All posts filed under: Reviews

Two on the Night Train

We’re on the train to nowhere “Two strangers wake up on a mysterious train one morning. They have no idea how they got there, no sense of their ultimate destination, and can only tell one thing for sure – day is turning  to night, and the train is not stopping.” The description sounds like a metaphor for life,  and Two on the Night Train is just that. A play about nothing, but yet also so much at the same time. Two-person cast Katherine Pearson and Frazer Lee lead a never-ending train journey, time and time again switching and changing situations and possibilities as each part of the story runs parallel with the other. The ‘who’ and the ‘where’ remaining steadfastly consistent, yet the ‘why’ never seeming to become clear to either. They are tortured in by the notion that simply ‘existing,’ being neither good nor bad, travelling closer to, other further away from one’s final destination, being uncertain, vague and not knowing what you want, who you are or what your purpose is, is in fact …

Nocturnal

Following a string of successful past events, I was excited to attend the Melbourne Museum’s monthly live music event, Nocturnal.This month, as is fitting for the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Nocturnalput on an all jazz setlist. Entering the spacious atrium, my friends and I found the occasion to be in full-swing. Melodic echoes of beat boxing and vocal reproductions rang out as we wove through the colourful crowd. As with the previous events, there was a whimsical array of lights projected onto the ceiling and bouncing off every shined surface. What impressed me wasn’t merely the talent of the acts but also their adaptability. The entrance of the Melbourne Museum is (undeniably) a peculiar space for live music, with its mezzanine floor, and glassy, modern architecture. However, the performers and sound crew seemed to have made a deliberate effort to play to the venue, and they pulled it off spectacularly. There were no acoustic knockbacks or audio mishaps, but instead a chorus of perfected sound and colour bringing another unique set of experiences to life. …

WHEN THE LIGHT LEAVES

All I knew about When The Light Leaves before seeing it was that it was a play, based on a true story, about euthanasia. Specifically, it’s a story put on by Citizen Theatre with the release coinciding with the implementation of Victoria’s new Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws set to come into effect on June 19. The story is fictional but based on the real experiences of playwright Rory Godbold. Godbold’s father publicly acquired Nembutal, the drug used to euthanise pets and animals, before dying in 2015. Arriving at La Mama Courthouse, I sat in the quaint waiting area before the doors opened and the patrons migrated into the theatre. What was immediately noticeable was that every prop was suspended in the air. Apples, books and lights hung as though in space. A sense of distance from reality took hold before the play even began. As the play started, I saw the props used to great effect despite never touching the ground. Telephone calls, gift exchanges and arguments were expressed beautifully as they swung like …

Travesties

The word ‘travesties’ – meaning false, absurd or distorted representations of somethings – is a concerning name for a theatrical production. Knowing little about the play and its themes, I showed up to opening night hopeful that a degree in history wouldn’t be required to understand it. The immersion began as soon as I entered the theatre; the set had been arranged so that I had to walk through the furniture and props to get to my seat. This was a pleasant stunt. However, what was truly impressive was the cast. The actors were already on scene and embodying their characters, equipped with fastidiously picked costumes and props. Patrons were left to walk amongst the cast while getting drinks and finding seats. The moment the play began, I found myself in a state of utter confusion. Hit with a flurry of dialects and thick accents, I couldn’t understand the characters much. Thankfully, after a few moments everything became clear and made sense. The story was told through flashes of memory as the main character wrote …

May Contain Traces of Reading

Mitchel E Roberts is not your average stand up comedian. His show, ‘May Contain Traces of Reading, is performed without uttering a single word and it’s back for another season at the Butterfly Club this Jane – June. We spoke to Mitch about what audiences can expect this time around, and what’s next for the young rising star. Mitch, you talk about the concept for this show as ‘coming to you in a golden moment’ – but is there a back story or inspiration behind the idea? The back story to this show is basically that I’ve been having silly ideas since I was 8 years old, and within a couple of weeks, I’d move on to the next grand plan, or huge scale scheme. This idea was different though. For one, I wasn’t actively trying to come up with something. I was just working in a job that didn’t require a lot of brain power or attention, and while my mind was wandering, this show walked into my head, with a fully formed premise. …

Nocturnal X Mick Harvey

You might be apprehensive if the live-music tickets you bought list the venue as a Museum. Are the musicians really that old? Or maybe you start to imagine something akin to the movie ‘Night at the Museum.’ Having been to the Melbourne Museum before, I pondered as to where they’d set up stage and whether I’d spend the night concerned about knocking over irreplaceable artefacts on display. Arriving, I found the venue to be very well thought-out. The main stage was front and centre in the foyer with the second stage and film screens in the galleries deeper into the Museum. What’s more, the stages didn’t seem out of place, but rather enhanced by the historic building. The area was grand, accessible and the lights from the main stage seemed to shimmer beautifully off every surface. On top of that, I learnt that walking around a world-class museum with a beer in hand and atmospheric beats through the air is a sensation not to be missed. The bands and setlist were curated by Mick Harvey, …

50/50 Melbourne Comedy Festival

Michael Shafar is a self-proclaimed Jewish atheist, who loves a bargain, hates hugs, and always likes to be right. All jokes aside though – Michael has a really interesting story to tell about his diagnosis and survival of testicular cancer in 2017 through his new Melbourne International Comedy Festival show – 50/50. Not one to appear to throw a pity party for himself, Michael’s jokes are dark, raw and very personal – however he has a warm, sweet style of humour which engages with his broadly diverse audience, despite the hilarious but sometimes R-rated content. His knack for finding the humour in every situation, however dark and unhappy has armed him with a lot of quality laughing material and allowed him to add a positive spin on what most of us would find a terrifying and painful experience. For example, as a male with only half of his, err… nuts to worry about – he now enjoys the comfort of skinny jeans, something many men could not attest to – a silver lining, and so …