All posts filed under: arts

The stars of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2017

For fans of the fun, frivolity and straight out pure talent enjoyment that comes with quality cabaret, this years’ Melbourne Cabaret Festival, now in its eighth year promises to be one that fans of the genre will love. We recently caught up with one of our besties, the fabulous Dolly Diamond, who is this year’s Artistic Director, Jon Jackson from “Queen of Broadway – The Ethel Merman Story” and Danielle O’Malley, star of “You’re my world – the Cilla Black Story” But first, darling Dolly: Dolly, how did you feel when you were appointed artistic director of the 2017 Melbourne Cabaret Festival? When they first mentioned (it) I think a little bit of wee left me… (It happens) and normally I jump in where angels fear to tread, but this time I actually took a bit of time to think about it. I wanted to be sure I could commit to it and do a good job… but once I said yes I was thrilled. How are you going to make your mark on this …

What you’re doing this weekend

If you’ve already binged watched the new season of OITNB and House of Cards, it’s time to get out of the house – here are our top picks for this weekend: Italian Food and Wine Festival: If the weather is getting you down, heat up with a festival devoted to the world’s favourite cuisine. The Italian Food and Wine festival will tempt you with over 200 wine makers, importers and chefs, ready to stuff you full of carb loaded love. Where: The Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton More: www.italianwinefoodfestival.com.au/melbourne/   Ru Paul’s Drag Race VAC-stravaganza trivia night: If you’re up for a sickening night and want to show off your Ru Paul’s Drag Race knowledge while supporting the Victorian Aids Council, lend your gag worthy smarts to an incredibly outrageous trivia night at Meat Market. Half price tickets if you show up in your best drag – but please, no kimonos. Where: Meat Market, 185 Blackwood Street Melbourne More: Tickets here   Melbourne Design Market: This Melbourne event staple returns this weekend to offer Fed Square a taste …

Review: 1984

Where are you now, Winston? An audience of a certain age will have been introduced to 1984 by the way of a forced Year 10 curriculum reading – not the most inspiring start, and definitely ironic given the themes of a story about dissent and questioning a system. For me, 1984 was a novel that made you consider the Powers That Be, contemplate dystopia as a far off concept, and get an A- on your essay about it. Over a decade later, sitting in the Comedy Theatre, Melbourne (irony, once more) Dystopia was made front and centre. Produced by UK theatrical innovators Headlong along with Nottingham Playhouse and the Almeida Theatre, this retelling of the story of Winston Smith does not for one moment let the audience catch a breath, and fully captures the sense of unease that George Orwell attempts to express, as we watch Winston fight, struggle and question everything – including his own sanity. While the use of set and props was fantastic, the experience, in my opinion, has to be completely …

Review: RENT

Last night I climbed the stairs to the Athenaeum 2 theatre to check out the Federation University student performance of RENT. Don’t judge, but for someone who adores musical theatre, I’d never seen this iconic show, so it was fairly safe to say that, I was pretty excited to be seeing it for the first time. Most people are familiar with the premise of RENT. Set in the late 1980’s, in the colorful Alphabet City precinct of New York’s bohemian East Village, a group of struggling, penniless artists live, love and try to survive. Ahead of its time, RENT looks at the fear, horror and loss associated with the AIDS epidemic of the time, and lightheartedly tackles topics like sexuality, drug addiction, homelessness and corporate greed. Performed in a relatively intimate space, the set was super funky, with the audience members sitting right up close to the action, allowing the cast to interact with them on a more personal level. The cast was nothing short of brilliant, each performer perfectly matched to their character, and …

2017 Melbourne Cabaret Festival

Dolly Diamond, Melbourne’s undisputed Queen of Cabaret has taken the reins of this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival, in her role of Artistic Director to bring together ten Australian premiere shows as well as some of the best new talent. Now in it’s eighth year, Melbourne Cabaret Festival returns to Chapel Off Chapel with two weeks of fabulous entertainment.  “At last I can reveal the fabulous line-up for this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival”, says Dolly Diamond, Artistic Director, Melbourne Cabaret Festival.  “It’s full of homegrown Australian talent with a huge amount of new works being presented. It was important for me this year to draw on the talented artists who live and work in Australia, just as I do. I’m a great admirer of artists working all around the world but I felt it was time to focus on the performers who are the backbone of Australian cabaret.”  “I believe we have put together a program that audiences will really enjoy and for me that’s what cabaret is all about. I’m looking forward to seeing you all at Chapel Off Chapel when …

MICF Review: Self Sabotage

Last week we checked out up-and-coming comedian, George Dimarelos in his Melbourne Comedy Festival stand up show – Self Sabotage, at the Bull and Bear Tavern. Self Sabotage weaves in and out of various tales and recollections throughout George’s life when, essentially, he stuffed things up for himself.  Though simplistic to describe, the stories are fun, and told in a warm, self-effacing manner through which you can’t help but be drawn in, as the story comes to life in front of you. He sure can paint a picture with his words. George has a super high energy execution, which he maintained for the entire performance, leaving literally no opportunity to tune out, a real sign of an interesting, engaging and entertaining show. Our highlight, was his musical evolution portrayal of picking up girls, from the 1950’s through to a very intense modern day interpretation of chatting up in a nightclub, which is pretty much burned into our memory. My how times have changed. Audience engagement in this show is continuous but not uncomfortable, more like …

MICF Review: Coloured Aliens

Coloured Aliens is a short insight into the interracial relationship between two main characters, Mai Nguyen a struggling female Vietnamese-Australian playwrite and Kevin, her white, western boyfriend, a security guard who grew up in the rough areas of Melbourne. Each role is ironically played by a western woman (Mai) – Melbourne-based performer Annie Lumsden, and Kevin, by Asia-Australian John Marc Desengano, a quirky twist which works to lighten some of the heavy content of the piece. The chemistry between the two characters was easy, warm and believable. Mai, the main character was narcissistic, self-absorbed, irritating and difficult to like – the kind of character that has a chip on their shoulder, who holds onto the sins of forefathers past and thus cripples themselves with blinkers, unable to embrace the positive around them. This, thankfully was balanced with Kevin’s sweeter, more simplistic nature. Though the intelligent insights, cleverly disguised as witty banter between two lovers were aimed to re-educate western audience members, we felt a little uncomfortable and guilty, for no reason which made the experience …