Noni Hazlehurst in Mother (If Theatre)

I went to see Mother on Wednesday night with no intention of formally reviewing it, but it has left me with so many feelings that I thought I’d jot down some thoughts about it – I’d love to hear yours if you saw it, too!

Noni Hazlehurst could draw sympathy from a stone with her riveting performance in the one-woman play, but that is also the major issue I had with the play itself, particularly the ending – that Hazlehurst's character, Christie, is an object of sympathy, not of empathy. I'm still feeling conflicted the day after seeing it and have been trying to drill down into why.

The piece is a 75-minute monologue, delivered by Hazlehurst in the role of homeless woman Christie, scratching and patting and shuffling as she speaks about the events that led to her current lifestyle, digging through bins and walking the streets of Melbourne. Hazlehurst is barely recognisable in this role, layered in costuming and heavy with the stoic grief and dark, cackling humour of her character. Lighting design by Tom Willis established days and the passing of time, and Kat Chan’s costuming, set, and prop design established the squalid conditions of Christie’s life and few possessions. Sound design by Darius Kedros also assisted in bringing Christie’s world to life – the squawk of birds, rumbling of a train overhead, and the crying of her beloved baby.

GIVEAWAY: Bernstein at 100

Where? QPAC’s Concert Hall
When? Saturday, August 25, 7.30pm (pre-concert talk, 6.30pm)

Leonard Bernstein – superstar conductor, composer, educator, musician, cultural ambassador, and humanitarian – was born a century ago. Queensland Symphony Orchestra Music Director Alondra de la Parra has chosen to mark this event with four of his most wonderful works, and Backstreet Brisbane has two (2) double passes to give away to this musical celebration! Head over to my Instagram to enter.

QSO’s performance is part of the world-wide celebration ‘Bernstein at 100’and will take place on Bernstein’s actual birth date, and will feature: Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront, which received one of the film’s 12 Oscar nominations; Chichester Psalms which merges Bernstein’s Broadway panache with his classical style; The Age of Anxiety which is based on Auden’s poem; and, finally, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. It’s going to be an extraordinary birthday party!

For ticketing ad further information, visit the event on QSO’s website.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra Season 2019 - Orchestra for Everyone

Queensland Symphony Orchestra has launched their 2019 season, promising ‘Orchestra for Everyone’ with a wide variety of performances for every age and stage. In their commitment to showcasing Australian artists and works, the exciting line-up includes six Australian conductors, thirteen Australian soloists, three Australian choirs, eight Australian composers, and ten Australian compositions, as well as an Australian Premiere and a World Premiere.

Q is the new bar in town

Executive Chef Richard Ousby, Bar Manager Becki Parker, and Operations Manager Peter McMahon

Brisbane's beautiful Stoke Bar, beside iconic Stokehouse restaurant and looking out across the river to the city, has closed – but only briefly. It will be back, bigger and better than ever, from September 3, 2018 with a new look and a new name – Q.

A multi-million-dollar transformation will be taking place – Q will be larger than its predecessor, taking more advantage of the river’s edge and with increased seating, booths, intimate spaces, and a private lounge. Q will also extend the boardwalk experience with wrap-around lounge seating in a canvas of their new colours – grey, blue, pastel green, and orange – and will feature  a mix of DJs every Friday and Sunday, with live music sessions once a month.

An Evening in the Kitchen with David Tsirekas

It was a privilege to spend an evening in the kitchen at The Greek Club’s Nostimo restaurant on Thursday night with Chef in Residence David Tsirekas. David hosted a small group of us for a masterclass, sharing the recipes and methods of two of his signature dishes, and then sharing a meal, a glass of wine (or three), and stories with us. Plenty of food photos below, my mouth honestly started watering as I was writing this…

When I attended the Nostimo opening my impression of David was that he was a very open and genuine person who had a true passion for authentic Greek food and flavours – and that impression only solidified over Thursday evening as David answered our questions and taught us plenty about ancient Greece, Greek food, and the poisonous history of almonds (look it up! Or, better yet, go to Nostimo for a meal and ask David yourself).

Review: Karakorum (Australian Brandenburg Orchestra & La Camera delle Lacrime)

Photographed by Daniel Aimé

Karakorum brings together The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Brandenburg Choir, and French ensemble La Camera delle Lacrime, with narration by Australian acting legend David Wenham. This unique musical journey reimagined the music encountered by 13th century Flemish monk William of Rubruck, an ordinary man who undertook an extraordinary journey from Constantinople to the ancient capital of the Mongol empire: Karakorum. Rubruck’s quest was to convert the Great Khan to Christianity, and this theatrical musical voyage – which incorporates Western renaissance music, Christian psalms, Mongolian melodies, Buddhist hymns, and Sufi chants – is based on his written account of the journey. It was a pleasure to experience this gorgeously unusual musical journey, visiting Brisbane for one night only last week.

What's On: Chicago (Savoyards Musical Comedy Society Inc)

Joanna Nash as Velma Kelly, Joshua Moore as Billy Flynn, and Heidi Enchelmaier as Roxie Hart. Photographed by Chris Thomas.

? Iona Performing Arts Centre, Lindum.
When? September 29 - October 13

Savoyards, Brisbane’s oldest continuously running musical theatre company, is bringing a new production of CHICAGO to the stage this September and October. Directed by Sherryl-Lee Secomb with musical direction by Benjamin Tubb-Hearne and choreography by Desney Toia-Sinapati, this production will feature a cast of 43 talented local performers and a live orchestra, performing well-known Broadway favourites including “All That Jazz” and “Razzle Dazzle”.

Heidi Enchelmaier as Roxie Hart. Photographed by Chris Thomas

In the roaring twenties, Chicago, Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap... until he finds out he's been dumped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess" Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the "American Dream": fame, fortune, and acquittal.  A multiple award-winning show, Chicago has thrilled audiences in numerous productions around the world with its sharp-edged satire, and the dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse.  

What's On: Love Your Bookshop Day at Avid Reader

When? 7.30am – 6pm this Saturday, August 11
Where? The fabulous Avid Reader on Boundary Street, West End is the only bookshop listed for an event in the Brisbane area – check the official website or social media to see if your favourite is hosting an event! 

Love Your Bookshop Day is an opportunity to show your local favourites some love, and to celebrate and appreciate what makes your local bookshop great. A wide and ever-changing range? Helpful staff who always recommend great reads? Bookshops across Australia get involved, and Brisbane’s Avid Reader is having a Country Fair to mark the occasion!