I can safely say winter is wearing me down. Even on the warmer than usual days. Hibernation is all good and well, but sometimes even I have to admit there is more to life than soft pants, uggs and so bad it’s good reality TV.
I’m sure many of you feel the same. Nothing makes me change out of my less than socially acceptable clothing faster than live performances. My love of theatre is no secret, and living in Melbourne means there is always lots on offer. I don’t think I will ever get tired of going to the theatre. Even being in a foyer pre-show is something I love. Dance and song warm the heart almost as much as good ducted heating.
When I was offered the chance to see two upcoming shows I jumped at it. Nothing says Ha! Take that winter! Like a night out.
Hot Shoe Shuffle, featuring some of my favourite 1940s songs, including Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off, is performed in the tradition of Broadway musicals. It is one of the longest running multi-award winning musicals ever to be produced in Australia.
Stomp began way back in the 90s. Since then it has been encouraging people of all ages to bang on pots, rubbish bins, buckets… pretty much anything that can make a noise.
To say I can’t wait pretty much sums it up. Luckily for you I have double passes to each show to give away. I’d say that’s just the ticket!
First up: Hot Shoe Shuffle. I have two double passes to see this Broadway style show for Friday 9th August at 8pm at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. Each double pass is valued at $210
Next up: Stomp! For this fast paced all action, no voice show I have two double passes for Tuesday 20th August, 8pm performance at Comedy Theatre. Valued at $158 for each double pass.
That’s eight tickets in total.
The fine print. To be in the running to win a double pass, leave a comment below telling me your perfect night out. Be sure to say which show you would prefer to go to – Hot Shoe Shuffle or Stomp! You will need to be in Melbourne on the dates of the performances. Tickets are for the dates and times specified only. Each winner will receive one double pass. Entries close Wednesday 7th of August at 6pm, at which time comments to this post will close. Winners will be notified by email.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is a partnership with Cavanagh PR. I have been compensated for my time, receiving tickets to each of the shows mentioned in this post.
It is a well known fact I am a terrible singer. Terrible. Even four year olds I teach give me a look as if to say really? Do you have to? My own children also get very eye-rolly when I sing along in the car, or at home. I often have song lyrics in my head, and there can sometimes be a disconnect between brain and mouth. Realising too late I’m singing what appears to be random lyrics out loud in supermarket checkout lines.
This is why the Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music is such a good night out. A Mecca for all the people who just want to sing along and not be told to SHUSH! Home for the out of tune, the in tune, the I know all the words please let me sing people. Who knew there were so many of us.
Last year was my first foray into this event. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I wondered if people really would sing all the words. If people really would get into the spirit of the experience, or would I be a lone singer in a sea of naysayers. Or should that be naysingers. I needn’t have worried. As soon as Maria come on the screen and the well known music swelled, the whole audience began to sing.
What followed was a great night. The group behind us seemed to be having their very own high notes sing-off. Others had a knack of perfectly timed sneezes and comments; usually frowned upon in theatres, at Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music, they brought laughs instead. This is movie going like no other. There were cheers for Julie Andrews, wolf-whistles for Christopher Plummer, hissing at the Baroness and booing at the Nazis. And the moment when Maria and the Captain finally kiss? Why it’s accompanied by a theatre of simultaneous party poppers sounding as their lips touch, naturally!
Due to popular demand (a lot of which may be mine) Sing-A-Long-A Sound of Music returns to Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre for three performances across two dates. Friday 16 and Saturday 17 August.
Watch the movie on the big screen with song sub-titles incase you don’t know every word! Dress up and take to the stage yourself in the pre-movie parade. The talented Chelsea Plumleyreturns to hosting duties to guide the audience through this unforgettable show and tribute to The Sound of Music.
You know you want to go. And now you have the chance. I have one double pass to give away for Friday 16th August. Show starts at 7.30 pm, State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne.
To enter, leave a comment below telling me what song you love to sing along to. From the Sound of Music, or any other song. If you could like my facebook page, that’d be great too.
Entries close Friday 26th July at 6pm. Comments to this post will then be closed. Winner notified via email.
Sing-A-Long A-Sound of Music
Venue: Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre
Dates: Friday 16 August 2013 at 7.30pm and Saturday 17 August MATINEE at 1.00pm and 7.30pm
A partnership with 360 immerse and Arts Centre Melbourne.
With the onset of winter little more than days away, thoughts tend to focus on being indoors. Lazy days in comfy clothes, warm food and nothing much else on the agenda. I know I certainly look forward to those days.
Sometimes we can forget about the outside world on cold grey days and dark nights. A trip away from home though can be just the way to ward off winter blues. Arts Centre Melbourne Winter Season has plenty to offer, and would certainly entice me from the couch.
The theme for the 2013 Winter Season is Switched On. Celebrating the collaboration of art, science and technology through opera, dance, theatre, puppetry and exhibitions.
With inspiration taken from the success of the 2012 Hamer Hall Opening Season, the 2013 season promises inspiration, imagination and a break from the everyday of winter.
Highlights of the season include Penny Plain, a beautiful and dark apocalyptic puppet comedy; the ground-breaking opera/contemporary dance fusion Einstein on the Beach. Proximity, a contemporary dance performance using videography and Botanicaa family-friendly performance featuring spectacular costumes, inspiring dance, and theatre.
With a range of performances, the season runs for three weeks from July 26 to August 18. The full range of events can be found on Arts Centre Melbourne website. I know it is something that will lighten my grey winter, perhaps it will do the same for you.
Written in partnership with 360 immerse PR. Image used with permission.
It is no secret that I love a night out. Or that Melbourne plays a big part in that love. Sometimes music, a friend and a beautiful voice is what is needed to cut through a long week. That’s where the Spiegeltent and Lior come in.
It is a poorly kept secret that I have yearned to go to the Spiegeltent as it settles itself outside Arts Centre Melbourne each year. Tonight I’m finally getting that chance.
On the first day of Autumn I can breathe out a little as Lior, together with Gian Slater and her vocal ensemble Invenio wash away the working week.
The last time I saw Lior was at a three day festival. It was hot, I had been serving wine to a full spectrum of festival goers in a small tent. I had timed a break to see Lior on the main stage. The beauty of working on a wine stall was I had access to wine, no waiting. The down side, what would appear to be the worlds dirtiest feet. I’ll take a short wait for a glass of wine and the beauty of the Spiegeltent over a festival these days.
The Spiegeltent is weaving its magic at the Arts Centre Melbourne now through to April 21. There are a range of events, including a programme for children and families. I am wondering if I can convince Hubby he needs to come to Jazz High Tea with me. Although I think he would rather see Chef and Sushi Master Shaun Presland in his show Sushi Ragamuffin. Also on the food front, the Macaron Luau, with tips on how to cook perfect macarons, tasting delicious sweets while The Ukeladies croon with Hawaiian inspired tunes. Katie Noonan is another favourite of mine, and her Love Song Circus, exploring the incredible stories of the first female convicts in Australia looks set to be a wonderful performance.
I for one can’t wait. I am hoping The Spiegeltent will weave a spell over my Friday night, and am more than a little happy this time round as I listen to Lior the only wine I have to think about is the one I will be sipping.
The Famous Spiegeltent is on now through to April 21. For a full range of what’s on visit here, and follow along on Facebook.
Disclaimer: I worked with 360 Immerse for the Arts Centre and am duly compensated for my time.
If you were in Melbourne on Wednesday night, you would have seen a city alive with summer. People walking, milling, sitting. Sharing time with friends, family, or alone.
You may have passed a mother and her son. He just about to pass her in height. Walking across St Kilda Road, shooting the breeze, in search of food fit to satve off the constant hunger only a teen child can muster. You may have seen a kid and his first taste of Lord of the Fries, of which, I am told, there is no going back.
There is something special about spending time one on one with a child. As they get older and naturally begin to move away from the constant want of parental and family company it is good to get away from home and the confines of the did you do, are you sure, have you got…
Away from the humdrum of home, tensions seem to loosen and side by side in the car, the street, the theatre, real conversations can be had.
That is the way it was when I took The Blue Eyed Boy to LEO at the Arts Centre Melbourne. He had the pick of three shows to see, and this was his choice. The more intimate space of the Fairfax Studio was perfect for this one man performance. A fringe festival-like show that starts out with some laughs and makes a decent into darker territory. All the better for older children and adults.
The performance delights, engages and challenges perceptions as you watch both the performer and a screen that films his every move. As well as the cleverness and physicality of the performance, there is a depth of character and emotion I was not sure would be there before the show began. That was, for me, what made the performance. Not so much that my perception was challenged, but my emotional response as music, image and Leo himself changed from happy go lucky to an altogethr darker place. And, that he found his way out of that place.
Leo is recommended for children aged ten plus, and although there were younger children in the audience, I do think the promoters got the age right for this performance. The louder music and darker side to the show, which is what really drew me in, is not aimed at younger audience members. For younger theatre goers wanting something a little out of the ordinary Oh Suivant! May be more the show to see.
For my lovely, growing teen and his rather proud mother, this was the perfect show, and the beginning of a great evening in the city we call home. Leo is on now through to January 27th. Tickets can be purchased here.
Disclaimer: I worked with 360 Immerse for the Arts Centre and am duly compensated for my time. I was not expected to write a review of Leo. I did though want to write about my time with my son, and the performance we saw. Just as I would have if not collaborating with an agency.
There are some things that I just will not say no to. Some things speak to my heart more than others. This is why I am breaking my own blogging rule, posting about an event and having a giveaway while another one is still running. Let’s call it a Flash Friday Giveaway with Heart shall we?
In just one weeks time, on Friday December 14th two of my most loved things will come together for one night at Hamer Hall in Melbourne. Great music and a lot of heart and soul.
The Key of Sea, brings some of Australia’s finest (and some of my own favourite) musicians together with Australian-based musicians from refugee/asylum seeker backgrounds. Collaboration, music and voice. Read more…
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to go to the opening of The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition here in Melbourne. I took with me The Green Eyed Girl and one of her friends. Not your average midweek outing.
There is a small part of me that wants to believe in magic. When the kids were younger it could still be found watching on from the sidelines as they anticipated Santa, wrote letters to fairies and searched through dark windows for signs of Easter Bunny.
It could also be found in books. The suspension of disbelief as words turn to characters, adventures come to life and fantastical worlds unfold. My first encounter with the land of Narnia was as a six year old, having my teacher read from The Magician’s Nephew each day. It was the start of a long yearning to be part of that world. I spent many hours searching wardrobes, on the off chance one would happen to be the doorway to that land. Though I am not sure shutter-doored built-ins in a 1970s brick veneer suburban home really were all that magical. Not from wont of trying.
Imagine then, a typical working week. Imagine sitting in traffic going at a snails pace. A journey doubling in the expected length of time and a clock ticking away from fashionably late to down right rude even contemplating showing up at all late. Picture two excited eleven year old friends, sensing the rising tension from the driver, sitting quietly in the back seat as Melbourne traffic inched forward. A hasty car park, a hurried walking pace and a will that the doors were still open to what we hoped was The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition.
Something happened when we entered the pavilion. There is, it seems, a little bit of magic left after all. The friends pushed through two large wooden doors and found themselves in a wardrobe. In the wardrobe, complete with fur coats. In front of them, a lamppost, surrounded by snow. This is when the excitement really started, for the girls and for me. Instead of seeing the exhibition through my eyes, I saw it through those of two eleven year olds. Costumes from the movies, props, interactive touch screen maps. A chance to lift swords and attempts to lift armour. The right amount of fact and fantasy mixing to create a real sense of magic. My only concern was convincing the girls to leave.
The exhibition is open daily from now until February. Take your children along, and watch for glimpses of magic as you view it through their eyes.
Congratulations to the winners Lucy and Fiona. Both have been emailed to be notified.
Some books, some stories stay with you forever. The Chronicles of Narnia are like that for me. As a child I spent many hours in my parent’s wardrobe just in case the back finally gave up its magic and let me into the woods I was sure were at the back.
Some of the books were read to me by teachers, others I read myself. There was also a BBC TV series to watch. My own children have loved the books and the recent movies as well. Some stories cross generations and capture imaginations for years and years. I love when that happens, families sharing their love of stories.
You can imagine then, how excited my household was when we first discovered there was to be a Chronicles of Narnia interactive exhibition. The Green Eyed Girl had talked about it every day since she discovered it was coming. That’s a lot of talking.
The exhibition has interactive hands on experiences, as well as costumes from characters including The White Witch and the Pevensie children (I so wanted to be Susan when I was young.) Exhibition goers will be able to create their own mythical creatures featured in the films.
Authentic props, costumes and set dressings are on display, and as I have been told every day for a few weeks now, there is an interactive frozen waterfall.
There is also a recreation of the study where C.S.Lewis wrote the books. I may linger near this display for longer than is necessary.
Whether it is the fantasy, the mythical creatures, the characters or the writer of these classic adventures himself you love, there is something for everyone at this exhibition. I can not wait to go.
Now for the really good part – you can go to! I have two sets of passes to giveaway. Each set has four tickets, valued at just under $60 for Saturday 24th November. The exhibition is at Pavilion Waterfront, Docklands Ave, Docklands, Melbourne.
To be in the running to win one of these passes, leave a comment below telling me about your favourite childhood book.
Entries close TUESDAY 20th November at 6pm. At which time comments on this post will be closed. Winners will be notified via email. Please contact me via return email with your address so tickets can be posted to you.
Do you remember how it felt as a child to listen to a story being told? How it unfolded in your imagination, whole worlds being created from the words the storyteller spoke? I do, and even as an adult I love the magic of it.
Storytelling is an art form. Not all of us can do it well. If you were to ask me, I’d tell you the best storytellers are the people who still have some of that childhood magic. Are still able to unfold an imaginary world and bring it to life with nothing more than their voice.
Many a childhood interstate car trip was held together by audio cassettes in my family. Wind in the Willows, I am sure, I could still recite to this day. My own children were often lulled to sleep with audio books on CD. There is not a Roald Dahl story they do not know. And while I love that when we travel now both children have headphones and iDevices to keep them occupied in the back seat, there are still audio books. I’ll also admit to a love of late night radio and a weeknight book reading. Although I am often asleep by the time the reader says their last words, being as it is 11.20pm by the time they finish.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about a one man show in Melbourne this Christmas. Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol. This is a true storytelling event. Phil Zachariah brings to life the characters and story of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In his later life, Dickens himself gave reading of this well loved book, and indulged in amateur theatricals. In this recreation, Phil Zachariah takes on not only the character of Dickens himself, but those of the story. The characters Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet to come, have been created for this production using Charles Dickens’ original prompt copy, which includes directions in the author’s own hand writing.
As an aside, this year marks the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth. Celebrations are taking place worldwide and this unique local production, after performing each Christmas for the past ten years in Melbourne, is now touring the world to rave reviews.
If there’s anything I love more than my city at night, it is my city at night during Christmas. I am, if you like, the anti-scrooge. There is something magical about warm, not yet dark evenings of Melbourne City. I often invent reasons to be there during December. Now I have an actual reason.
The combination of storytelling, Christmas and Melbourne is too good a pass up. I miss good storytelling and cannot wait to see this performance. But you don’t have to miss out either. I have a family pass of four tickets valued at $160 to the opening night of Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol to giveaway.
So, if you will, or can be in Melbourne on Wednesday 5th December at 6.30 pm then this is for you.
To enter please be sure to like my facebook page, and leave a comment on this post, or on facebook - just click on the giveaway tab on the page, telling me about your favourite part of Christmas.
Entry will close WEDNESDAY 21st of November at 7pm. At this time comments on this post will be closed.
Winners will be notified via email on Thursday 22nd November and will have until Sunday 25th November to contact me via return email or tickets will be re-drawn.
Disclaimer: I received a family pass of four tickets to the opening of Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol.
I have been staring at the screen trying to write about the weekend with justice. I can not yet.
I need some sleep, some time to reflect and some sleep. And then I need some sleep.
One of my sisters flew over from Hobart to spend the weekend with me. Needless to say between the two of us it will take at least a week to recover. While words are yet to form, I have images. Thank you instagram.
Fresh ink. A very small new tattoo has found a home on my wrist.
Lipsynch. An astounding 9 hour live theatre experience.
Soccer. A home game, with the good coffee.
My city. A moody Melbourne on the way home from the airport.
You can bet there will be some early nights around here. How was your weekend?