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● Emma Clair Ford, Jennifer Robinson and Elenor Smith Adams present The Candy Totts. See P8

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Page 2 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Best Places

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Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 3

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Bruce Clarke 0427 424 243

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Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 5

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www.MelbourneObserver.com.au Melbourne


Showbiz News

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 7

It’s All About You!


Production Company celebrates 20 years Observer Sidney Myer Awards

In This Edition

Candy Topps in Candy Totts Matt Bissett-Johnson, Cartoonist Do you remember Geoff Corke? David Ellis’s ‘Struth’ column John Rozentals on Wine Cheryl Threadgold’s Local Theatre news Observer Classic Books Melb. Comedy Festival latest details Len Baker at Cranbourne Cup Ted Ryan previews Saturday’s races Hand To God social pictures Country Music Movies, DVDs Local Theatre Arts Guide

Observer Showbiz

Latest News AroundVictoria

Observer details

● Kate Mulvaney and Carrillo Gantner ■ Congratulations to the winners of the pres- new work in Townsville, North Queensland tigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts before touring around Australia and across Awards announced by Carrillo Gantner , Chair the globe.” says Ms Page. of the Sidney Myer Fund as part of the Aus“I’m so thrilled to win the 2017 Sidney tralian Performing Arts Market. Myer Performing Arts Award Facilitator’s Three of Australia’s leading arts practitio- Prize, but really, it’s a win for the whole arts ners have been announced as the winners – sector and the Free The Arts campaign,” says Kate Mulvany playwright and actor has won Nicole Beyer, Theatre Network Australia. the Individual Award ($60,000); Nicole Beyer, “The Award recognises the power of the executive director; Theatre NetworkAustra- collective voice, demonstrated by the enorlia has won the Facilitator’s Prize ($25,000) mous groundswell of opposition to the and Dancenorth has won the Group Award government’s changes to the 2015 arts bud($90,000). get. Now in its 34th year, the Sidney Myer Per“I’m really grateful that the work of beforming Arts Awards are one of the richest hind-the-scenes advocates is valued by the and most coveted awards in the performing Sidney Myer Fund.” arts in Australia. The Trustees of the Sidney Myer FounFor each recipient this award is an dation believe that real achievement should acknowledgement of their rich artistic achieve- be recognised and rewarded. To date they have ments. awarded well over $3.5 million. “My work as an Australian artist has been Announced annually, the national awards nurtured and driven by the support of so many are determined by a Judging Committee companies and individuals over the past 20 chaired by Carrillo Gantner (Chair of the years,” said Kate Mulvaney. Sidney Myer Fund) and this year they in“Without their trust, heart and spirit, I would cluded: Brian Ritchie (Curator, MOFO, Tas.); not have the body of work that I do today. Christie Anthoney (Director, Festivals South “To receive the Sidney Myer Performing Australia, SA); David Berthold (Artistic DiArts Award in recognition of my work inspires rector, Brisbane Festival Qld); and Terri-anne me to give back to the industry that has given White (CEO, UWA Publishing, WA). me so much, and has so much to give.” The Judging Committee recognises past Artistic Director Kyle Page says: “ We are achievements but also gives consideration to truly ecstatic to be named recipients of the the potential of an individual or group to con2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group tinue their contribution to Australian society Award. through the performing arts. “Dancenorth is the coming together of inThe Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards credible minds generously collaborating to cre- were established in 1984 by the Trustees of ate contemporary dance that challenges con- the Sidney Myer Fund, to commemorate the vention and inspires a reimagining of the world. 50th anniversary of the death of Sidney Myer, “The extraordinary generosity of the Sidney a passionate advocate and great friend to the Myer Fund and the Trustees enables us to arts. continue pushing the boundaries, creating bold - Cheryl Threadgold

● Caroline O’Connor will play Judy Garland in The Boy From Oz ■ The launch for The Production Company 2018 season was held last week at Raheen, Kew. Jeanne Pratt was at the front door of the magnificent building to personally welcome guests and members of the media. This year’s three stage musicals were announced. They will be: ■ Oklahoma starring Simon Gleeson and Anna O'Byrne, ■ The Boy From Oz starring Rohan Browne and Caroline O'Connor, and ■ A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder starring Mitchell Butel, Chris Ryan and Nancye Hayes. We were entertained by cast members singing selections from the shows. I particularly enjoyed Simon Gleeson's rendition of Oh What A Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma, and Rohan Browne's version of I Go To Rio. Ticket sales for last year's season were in excess of 54,000 across 49 performances. The Melbourne Observer is proud to support The Production Company which not only provides great shows but also creates work for talented Australian performers. Media people in attendance at the launch includedPhilip Brady, David Mann, Mike Brady, Simon Owens, Chris Ryan, Judy Banks, Bob Phillips and John Michael Howson. Congratulations to The Production Company on their 20th anniversary. Tickets are reasonably priced and patrons can book a subscription to the three shows on 1300 182 183. The first show Oklahoma opens on May 26. - Kevin Trask

■ There was no issue of the Melbourne Observer published last week (Wed., Feb. 28) due to an eight-hour electricity outage in the district where the newspaper is assembled. Editor Ash Long was taken by ambulance to Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, on newspaper deadline night (Mon., Feb. 26), then transferred to Warringal Hospital, Heidelberg, where a heart procedure took place. Mr Long faces further hospital procedures this Friday (Mar. 9). There will be no issue of the Melbourne Observer on Wed., Mar. 14, and weekly production will resume on Wed., Mar. 21. Advertiser and subscriber accounts will be adjusted accordingly, so that full value of schedules are delivered to customers.

‘No comment’

■ Police observed the Ford Territory allegedly travelling at 140kmh, above the 60kmh speed limit along Oherns Rd, Epping, at the weekend. Police intercepted the vehicle a short time later on Cotters Rd and discovered a 16-year-old driver behind the wheel, along with two underage passengers. When questioned by officers, the driver replied with, ‘No comment’. The vehicle was impounded.

Forecast ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Today (Wed.). Sunny. 14°-29° Thurs. Sunny. 14°-29° Fri. Sunny. 15°-30° Sat. Sunny. 18°-23° Sun. Mostly sunny. 14°-28°

Mike McColl Jones

Top 5

THE T OP 5 TELL TOP TELL--TALE SIGNS THA TAR ACE HORSE THAT RA MIGHT BE DOPED 5. It can't stop neighing Bob Dylan songs. 4. Spending too much time at the local tattoo parlour. 3. He goes into the TAB and backs himself for a win, not each-way. 2. He wanders into the local Amcal chemist and asks for a "top up". 1. Channel 9 has booked him for a role in ‘Underbelly’.

Page 8 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018



Observer Showbiz

Observer Candy Topps in Candy Totts inc orpor a ting the Melbourne A d vvertiser ertiser, incorpor orpora Ad Melbourne T ict orian Rur al Ne ws Trr ader ader,, V Vict ictorian Rural New and Melbourne Seniors News News.. Victoria’s Independent Newspaper First Published September 14, 1969 Every W ednesda y Wednesda ednesday

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Local Theatre with Cheryl Threadgold and team

● From Page One ■ Eltham resident Emma Clair Ford can be seen in a new family show with her cabaret trio The Candy Topps, on April 4, 5 and 6 at 11.15am in the Lower Melbourne Town Hall (Ladies’ Powder Room). Titled The Candy Totts, the show will blend jazz infused pop anthems and classic kids’ songs in swinging style. In 2015, The Candy Topps – Femme Fatale was honoured with three Green Room Award cabaret nominations for Best Production, Best Ensemble and Best Musical Direction. In addition to bringing their alter egos to life, The Candy Topps team each have over a decade of experience performing and creating with Australia’s leading children’s theatre companies. Having recently plunged into the realm of parenthood themselves, the time is ripe for worlds to collide. Starring Emma Clair Ford, Jennifer Robinson and Elenor Smith Adams. Conceptualized and directed by Alister Smith, musical direction by Daniele Buatti Performance Dates: April 4, 5, 5 at 11.15am Babies under 18 months free Venue: The Powder Room, Melbourne town Hall Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au/ 2018/shows/the-candy-totts - Cheryl Threadgold

with Kerry Kulkens ARIES: (March 21-April 20) Lucky Colour: Lilac Lucky Day: Friday Racing Numbers: 5-7-3-1 Lotto Numbers: 14-18-24-28-35-3 Not a good period for lending or borrowing money or possessions; travel is favoured and many are in for major changes in business and career matters. Opportunities for rapid advancement are indicated. TAURUS: (April 21- May 20) Lucky Colour: Green Lucky Day: Thursday Racing Numbers: 7-8-3-1 Lotto Numbers: 11-17-24-29-35-20 Do not let yourself be pressured into taking chances on unknown business affairs. They are likely to be very quick moving and if in doubt consult the experts. Love affairs look good and family reasons to celebrate. GEMINI: (May 21- June 21) Lucky Colour: Lemon Lucky Day: Friday Racing Numbers: 6-3-1-4 Lotto Numbers: 1-5-9-23-31-40 Career affairs promise higher financial rewards. More support from the boss; a holiday or travel could be in the offering; a chance encounter could be history making in your love life. CANCER: (June 22- July 22) Lucky Colour: Red Lucky Day: Saturday Racing Numbers: 1-3-2-1 Lotto Numbers: 11-8-10-24-29-35-33 Friends and partners could be more demanding and difficult to cope with; a career opportunity could present itself and if you are prepared to take on added responsibility promotion and better financial rewards.

● Emma Clair Ford

Comedy at Tasma Terrace ■ Brisbane-turnedMelbourne sketch comedian Dave Massingham is flying solo in Sketch Me Like One of Your French Girls being presented from March 27 - April 8 at Tasma Terrace, Melbourne. Running across 13 shows, Sketch Me Like One of Your French Girls sees the Raw Comedy Queensland state finalist bring together his funniest sketch monologues and interactive set pieces for one huge comedy showcase. Originally hailing from Brisbane, Massingham moved to Melbourne at the end of 2016 and quickly made a splash in the city’s improv and comedy circles. The comedian’s solo sketch comedy work in Melbourne has been built on the back of years in Brisbane sketch comedy troupe The Sexy Detectives. In addition to popular and successful runs at the 2015 and 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festivals, The Sexy Detectives were named an Artist's Choice nominee at Wild West Comedy Festival in Perth, became a top five finalist in Comedy Channel's Comedy Gold comp, and were featured on ABC TV. Massingham draws on both his sketch and improv history in Sketch Me Like One of Your French Girls, promising audiences clever set-ups, big dumb fun, and a dose of interactivity. Venue: Tasma Terrace at 6 Parliament Pl, East Melbourne Dates: 8pm March 27 through until April 8 Bookings: www.comedy festival.com.au - Cheryl Threadgold

Your Stars

LEO: (July 23-August 22) Lucky Colour: Red Lucky Day: Sunday Racing Numbers: 8-4-2-1 Lotto Numbers: 13-19-24-29-34-35 Love affairs should take a turn for the better; those who like a bit of a gamble could hit the jackpot. Investors should bring in better rewards; however travel could present a problem or two. VIRGO: (August 23- September 23) Lucky Colour: Grey Lucky Day: Monday Racing Numbers: 1-6-4-3 Lotto Numbers: 1-7-21-25-32-41 Friends and partners are more likely to be more loving and considerate and you should be feeling happier. Business ventures could be more profitable than usual. LIBRA: (September 24- October 23) Lucky Colour: Green Lucky Day: Friday Racing Numbers: 1-7-3-1 Lotto Numbers: 13-18-25-29-34-43 During this period romance should find you in different places and an interesting offer concerning your career matters. Keep lovers informed of future plans as that will avoid friction later on. SCORPIO: (October 24- November 22) Lucky Colour: Red Lucky Day: Saturday Racing Numbers: 6-3-1-5 Lotto Numbers: 7-2-32-38-45-5 Added opportunity to gain more income is about to be coming true; be ready to take on the chances as they come. Romance looks very interesting; some will meet the mate of their dreams and some an old flame could re-appear.

● Dave Massingham in Sketch Me Like One of Your French Girls. Photo: Kris Anderson

From The Air

■ Australian Art Orchestra’s 2018 Meeting Points intimate concerts in the Hamer Hall Stalls Foyer features an incredible line-up of guest artists from around the world, along with some of Australia’s most dynamic musicians. The first concert for 2018, From the Air, on March 17 delves into the intersection of contemporary folk and contemporary approaches to music improvisation and composition. The concert features Melbourne alt-folk icon Grand Salvo, the alter-ego of singer-songwriter Paddy Mann in collaboration with international new music luminaries and long-time Australian Art Orchestra associates Vanessa Tomlinson and Erik Griswold, who perform as the duo Clocked Out.

The concert will also feature award-winning young clarinettist, Aviva Endean and Australian Art Orchestra artistic director Peter Knight. Paddy Mann’s distinctive tenor voice floats over spatters of electroacoustic crackle, bowed cymbal drones, junk percussion and toy piano. Clocked Out create and produce innovative music that extend experimental traditions in engaging and thought provoking ways. They use music as a vehicle to explore central cultural issues such as environmentalism, multi-culturalism, and interactions of science and music. The creative outlet of Vanessa Tomlinson and Erik Griswold, Clocked Out's work includes original music for percussion and piano, a variety of artistic collaborations, concert series, tours and festivals.

SAGITTARIUS: (November 23- December20) Lucky Colour: Green Lucky Day: Wednesday Racing Numbers: 8-5-3-4 Lotto Numbers: 5-2-21-27-35-43 Wiser to let those who matter what your future plans are and they should be supportive. Don't rely on anybody else but yourself in business and get everything in writing.Your handling of money should be easier; however, if you need advice go to the experts. CAPRICORN: (December 21- January 19) Lucky Colour: Yellow Lucky Day: Friday Racing Numbers: 1-7-8-3 Lotto Numbers: 15-19-24-28-34-39 Money needs to be carefully budgeted, as you could get tempted into buying things you really can't afford. Major changes are indicated and many will be moving house. AQUARIUS: (January 20- February 19) Lucky Colour: Burgundy Lucky Day: Saturday Racing Numbers: 7-8-9-4 Lotto Numbers: 4-2-16-11-25-39 Career affairs look good and your financial affairs are looking good. Past problems could come back to haunt you some, if you allow it to. Ask and you should receive from those in a position to further your cause. PISCES: (February 20- March 20) Lucky Colour: Red Lucky Day: Friday Racing Numbers: 1-6-7-3 Lotto Numbers: 15-34-38-32-29-1-18 With less effort than usual you can put important people on you side; efforts that you put in in the past should now pay off and in any schemes for future success, now is the time to go for it. KERRY KULKENS PS YCHIC LINE 190 2 240 051 or 1800 727 727 CALL COST: $5.50 INC G.S.T. PER MIN. MOB/PAY EXTR A. VISIT KERR Y KULKENS MAGIC SHOP AT 1 693 BURW OOD HWY BELG RAVE PH/FAX (0 3) 9754 4587 W W W.KERRY KULKENS.C OM.AU Like us on Facebook


Melbourne Arts Light Night Music

● Nadine Garner and John O’May in A Little Night Music. Photo: Jodie Hutchinson ■ Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece A Little Night Music demands operatic voices to negotiate the challenging singing of his glorious music. Watch This have achieved this in assembling a stellar cast who handle the robust vocal work beautifully with strength and agility. This clever and witty farce that premiered in 1973 was based on Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles of a Summer Night. It won four Tony Awards which included best musical, best original score and best book and parodies traditional relationship themes of love, young romance, adultery and betrayal all intricately interwoven. The musical highlight is the well known Send in the Clowns sung by Desiree Armfeldt, Nadine Garner. Nadine is a much loved and well known performer in Melbourne, highly respected and experienced. She delivered one of the most memorable and powerful renditions of Send in the Clowns while retaining the emotions behind the song. A very moving performance. John O’May gives a superb performance as Frederik Egerman. John is a well known master of music theatre who also brings a wealth of experience to this stage. Eddie Muliamaseal’I displays a fine voice with extremely rich lower notes in his role as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, Carina Waye ( a perfect Anne Egerman) Nelson Gardner (a very amusing Henrik Egerman), Johanna Allen ( Countess Charlotte Malcolm), Jackie Rees (Madame Armfeldt ) Grace O’DonnellClancy (FredrikaArmfeldt),Anna Francesca Armenia who gives an impressively strong rendition in Petra’s song The Millers Son , Adrian Barila (Frid/Mr Erlanson)Kate Louise MacFarlane (Mrs Nordstrom) are all accomplished and experienced performers. Director Nicholas Cannon, Musical Director Daniele Buatti and Choreographer Michael Ralph are most ably supported by the talented team of musicians and creatives. It is so exciting to know that independent theatre like Watch This is alive and flourishing in Melbourne. This grass roots theatre company’s aim is to be a Sondheim Repertory Company and they have achieved remarkable success in a short time. It is also reassuring to know this theatre is being supported by generous donors and organisations. Watch This: www.watchthis.net.au - Review by Jill Page

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 9 Melbourne


In One Voice festival

■ The Jewish street festival In One Voice will take place from 11am to 5pm on Sunday, March 18 in Selwyn St, Elsternwick. The famous Jewish obsession with food and gastronomy is always on display at the annual In One Voice Jewish street festival in Elsternwick but this year it will gain even greater prominence due to the festival’s proximity to Pesach (Passover). The festival on Sunday, March 18, is less than two weeks before Pesach which this year starts on March 30. Pesach is one of the most important Jewish holidays, commemorating the liberation of the Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt under the leadership of Moses. According to the Old Testament, they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise. In commemoration, no leavened bread is eaten, with matzo often substituted. Festival director Judith Weizman said that the popular Nosh Tent would be featuring Pesach food. “With Pesach less than two weeks away, we’ve called on cooks from all corners of the world, modern and traditional, to get the juices flowing with demonstrations and tastings galore. “Think matzo brei, tsimmes, haroset, boiled eggs… and still more things to do with matzo,” she said. Dani Valent, award-winning writer, eater, traveller and cook, and, restaurant critic, will demonstrate a whole new take on matzo balls (kneydlech) using a Thermomix. Valent, who has written three Thermomix cookbooks, says her matzo ball recipe has taken inspiration from other cuisines, including Vietnamese pho and Chinese dumplings. “I am on a mission to connect the Melbourne Jewish community to other communities,” Valent said. “Even if, like me, you don’t go to synagogue, Pesach is a great excuse to get together and eat a lot of fabulous food with your family. I love Pesach, particularly the sense of renewal it brings. And what a great story. “Like Lunar New Year, Pesach is an easy festival for everyone to access – and we Australians are pretty good at connecting to other cultures through food.” Even as a professional cook and culinary expert, Valent says that there is nothing like her mother’s chicken soup. Indian Jews, Ken and Esther Daniels, who have won lots of fans at the Nosh Tent over the past two years, will demonstrate their special Indian-style date haroset. In the Jewish tradition, haroset is a Pesach dish most often with fruit and nuts to symbolise the mortar used by the Jewish slaves in Egypt. “Our recipe is centuries old, handed down from generation to generation. “Dates are soaked overnight in water and then cooked on the stove for a very long time. “The dates are then strained through a cheese cloth and then go back onto the stove until the mixture is thick and glossy. “It can sometimes be garnished with cinnamon and nuts. We eat it with matzo,” Esther said. Jews settled in India, probably in the year

Melbourne Observations

with Matt Bissett-Johnson

What’s On

● Dani Valent 175 BCE, after being shipwrecked off the coast of Mumbai. Other Jewish migrants settled in and around Mumbai in the 18th century and then in a few other places. They are known as Bene Israel (‘Sons of Israel’). “The Jewish community lost its scriptures in the shipwreck but we kept Kosher, circumcised our baby boys, said the Shema and kept the Sabbath as a day of rest. We also maintained other customs such as wearing white on Yom Kippur. “Our scriptures were restored to us in the 1700s. We experienced no anti-Semitism in India. The Hindus made us very welcome, as did the Muslims,” Esther said. The Daniels will be joined by Aloma Treister who will introduce the crowd to some Iraqistyle haroset recipes (including one with date syrup) and by Helen Mizrachi will demonstrate how to cook tsimme, a traditional Ashkenazi (eastern European) Jewish superfood (think prunes and veggies), according to her mother’s own recipe. A big feature of the day is the impact Pesach Bake-Off Competition, anyone can enter. Pastry Chef Pierrick, the 2017 Pastry Chef of the Year, will judge the best flourless Pesach cake and baked desserts. Perrick is offering first prize – a 2-3+ hour cooking class for the winner and friend. Home cooks stand to win other fabulous prizes including cookbooks, a hamper from the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice-creamery, Classic Cinema tickets, soda stream machines, a Matzo plate from Ruby’s Gifts and salad servers. The Bake-Off benefits impact, a volunteerrun organisation providing assistance to women and children fleeing extreme violence at home. The In One Voice Jewish Street Festival is presented by the Kadimah Jewish Cultural Centre and National Library and SKIF. - Carmel Shute

Todd McKenney in Rocky Horror ■ Todd McKenney and Shane Jacobson will join the cast for the forthcoming Melbourne season at Her Majesty’s Theatre from July 13. Australia’s multi-award winning triple threat Todd McKenney will star as Frank N’ Furter, a role he has wanted to perform since commencing his career. Shane Jacobson will perform the role of the Narrator. Also appearing will be Kristian Lavercombe who astounded audiences in the 2015 tour as Riff Raff, Amanda Harrison as Magenta, Nadia Komazec as Columbia, Brendan Irving as Rocky and James Bryers as Eddie/Dr Scott.

Just Briefly Women’s Day

■ This International Women's Day, Magnets & Friends, Levi's and The Curtin present a collection of powerhouse artists all of whom encompass the diversity that IWD celebrates. This whole-venue event will take place after the IWD march, on Thursday (Mar. 8) at 7.30pm at the John Curtin Hotel. The line-up will feature four live acts, a spoken-word artist and DJs playing on both floors. The evening will be going out with a bang with the formidable Miss Blanks - this unapologetic force of nature who calls Brisbane home. She is an outspoken ambassador for safe space and has been described as the new face of Australian hip hop. The second interstate headliner is the ethereal Rainbow Chan, floating in from Sydney to charm us all. Rainbow won FBi radio's Song of the Year award for her single Let Me and unsurprisingly so; her brand of soulful and delicate multiinstrumental electronica is a rare gem. She combines the influence of her Chinese heritage as well as her love of flea-market finds to conjure up an experimental dreamscape that will leave a crowd feeling warm and gooey on the greyest of days. Other entertainers include Jazz Giuliani who will perform poignant spoken word that peels back the surface to look deep into life's injustices and break them apart in the timeless form of storytelling. Thursday, March 8, at 7.30pm Tickets: $25/$15 www.musicglue.com/ the-curtin/events/2018-03-08-internationalwomens-day-miss-blanks-the-curtin - Cheryl Threadgold

Yianni Agisilaou

■ Fresh from his stand-up comedy special for ABC TV with his award nominated show Pockets of Equality, Yianni hits theMelbourne International Comedy Festival for a light hearted look at the upcoming apocalypse. From suggesting shows on Netflix, tailoring news and ads for you and in myriad places you’re not even aware of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly embedded in our lives. But far from being a mere ‘You-mightlike-this’ internet trinket, AI can also diagnose cancer, drive cars and predict from a photo whether people are criminal or gay (regardless of who’s asking and why). And these abilities are still very much just the beginning. A growing school of thinkers are demanding that alongside its abilities, we teach it ethics. Can we teach a robot to love humanity? And how hard will that be considering in many ways we still can’t do it ourselves? A show about futures, possible and desirable, and what trying to replicate our best and mitigate our worst traits teaches us about what it is to be human. Yianni says: “I’m exploring the human effects of technology. AI soaks up prejudices faster than a curious child with bad parents and we’re already putting it in charge of decisions that impact people’s lives. Do smartphones and social media ruin our social skills? Does training a chatbot on Twitter turn it into a douchebag? Microsoft found out with its chatbot Tay, that it really, really does.” Performance dates: March 29 – April 22 Venue: The Greek Centre (Aphrodite) Previews: March 29 and 30 Season: March 31 – April 22 Times: 8:30pm (60 mins duration) Tickets: Previews $22; Adult $27; Conc $23; Groups 4+ $25; All bookings through www.comedy festival.com.au - Cheryl Threadgold

Hitch and Gary

■ Newsreader Peter Hitchener will be interviewed by Gary Mac at the Australian Marquee Entertainment Luncheon Club when it meets at The Emerald Hotel, 415 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, on Tuesday, March 20. The Club luncheons are for show business people only. elmroad@optusnet.com.au

Page 10 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Observer Magazine


Stateside with Gavin Wood in West Hollywood

‘Come fly with me’ across the sea ■ Hi everyone, from my suite at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Suites comes this week's news.

WeHo team in Australia ■ Everyyear around this time, Alan Johnson, Managing Director, Ramada Plaza Hotel and Suites, hosts a delegation from West Hollywood travelling Down Under. The delegates include former Mayors of the City, Councilmen and women, City leaders and travel industry executives. Purpose of the exercise is to educate stakeholders about the wonder and beauty of Australia and also to talk with Australian travel executives about the benefits of landing in West Hollywood.

Cancer link to processing ■ We hate to spoil your breakfast, but a groundbreaking new study by French scientists has linked processed foods such as cereals, mass-produced bread, and bacon to an increased chance of getting cancer. The study, published by the British Medical Journal, suggests that the more "ultra-processed foods" ones made in factories with lots of added preservatives and flavourings a person consumes, the higher the risk of them developing certain types of cancer. The risky foods also include chicken nuggets, chocolate bars, and sodas, so basically all of the most delicious things in the world. The team of scientists studied the medical records and eating habits of nearly 105,000 people for the project and said, while further study is needed and they didn't want to be alarmist, the results were "consistent and quite compelling".

● Alan Johnson

■ Snowboarding legend Shaun White set the stage for a triumphant Olympic comeback, taking first place in the second qualifying run for the Men's half pipe event. After falling behind Australia's Scotty James and Japan's Ayumu Hiranoin the first qualifying run, White, 31, pulled out all the stops to win, with a near-perfect score of 98.5 in the second round. James took second place with 96.75, and Hirano fell into third with 95.25. White, who gained fame as the Olympic half pipe winner in 2006 and 2010, suffered a setback in 2014 and came in fourth place. With fans eager for a comeback, his journey to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was almost derailed in October, when he suffered a brutal training injury that left him requiring 62 stitches in his face. Ahead of the Games, however, he told reporters he'd come to terms with his loss in Sochi and come back "stronger than ever."

Amy ties the knot ■ Amy Schumer is a married woman. The Trainwreck star secretly tied the knot with chef boyfriend Chris Fischer. Their surprise ceremony came shortly after Schumer, 36, made her relationship Instagram official, posting a PDAfilled picture from Ellen DeGeneres' 60th birthday party. According to The Blast, Schumer and Fischer rented a private home in Malibu to say their vows in front of about 80 people, including Larry David, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston and David Spade.

Westminister champion ■ Flynn, the bichon frise, was crowned as America's top dog at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York. The five-year-old pooch beat out six other finalists to win Best in Show, apparently impressing judges with his powder-puff fur and light-footed prance. "It feels a little unreal," Flynn's handler, Bill McFadden, said after the event. "I came in expecting nothing and just hoping for a good performance and I think I got it," he said. A total of 2 882 entries competed in the 142nd Westminster event, with 202 breeds and varieties. Flynn competed against six other finalists, including Biggie the pug; Bean the Sussex spaniel, Slick the Border collie, Winston the Norfolk terrier, Lucy the borzoi, and Ty the giant schnauzer, who was the runner-up.

Snowboarding is a hit


From my Suite at the Ramada Plaza Complex on Santa Monica Blvd

Netflix lures top producer

North and South: ‘Momentum

■ Netflix has lured producer Ryan Murphy away from 21st Century Fox with a five-year deal reportedly worth as much as $300 million, one of the biggest deals ever for a TV producer. Murphy, whose hits like Glee and American Horror Story attracted huge ratings, is due to move to Netflix in July, after his contract with Fox expires. Fox executives reportedly sought to keep him around, and he was viewed as a potential boost for Walt Disney Co. once the studio takes over most of Fox's assets. "This history of this moment is not lost on me," Murphy said in a statement. "I am a gay kid from Indiana who moved to Hollywood in 1989 with $55 in savings in my pocket, so the fact that my dreams have crystallised and come true in such a major way is emotional and overwhelming to me."

■ Kim Jong Un has welcomed his sister home from the Winter Olympics, praising South Korea for its "impressive" and "sincere" hosting of the Games. The North Korean leader's sister, Kim Yo Jong, led a delegation of officials whose attendance in Pyeongchang has been seen by many as a warming of relations after decades of hostility against each other since the Korean War in the 1950s. North Korean state media quoted Kim Jong Un remarking on his "satisfaction" with the visit and "expressing thanks" to the South Korean hosts. He went on: "It is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will of the North and the South with the Winter Olympics as a momentum."


Last curtain for stars ■ Vic Damone, the post war crooner whose intimate, rhapsodic voice captivated bobby soxers, middle-age dreamers and silver-haired romantics in a five-decade medley of America's love songs and popular standards, died last week in Miami Beach. He was 89. Ed Henry, a family friend, said the cause was complications of respiratory failure. ■ Marty Allen, the bug-eyed comic who formed one half of the hit comedic duo Allen & Rossi, died last week in Las Vegas at age 95. The Associated Press confirmed the news via his spokeswoman Candi Cazau, who said that he died from complications from pneumonia with his performing partner of 30 years and wife Karon Kate Blackwell at his side.

Mention this paper

■ If you are considering a move to Los Angeles or just coming over for a holiday then I have got a special deal for you. We would love to see you at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Suites, 8585 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood. I have secured a terrific holiday deal for readers of the Melbourne Observer and The Local Paper. Please mention 'Melbourne Observer' when you book and you will receive the 'Special Rate of the Day'. Please contact: Joanna at info@ramadaweho.com Happy Holidays, Gavin Wood


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Healthy Living

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Healthy Living


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Port Melbourne


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Best Places


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Observer Showbiz

Local Theatre with Cheryl Threadgold and team and either observe from afar, have a blessing bestowed upon them or be chosen to cross over briefly into the heavenly realm. Born in a Taxi Company Artistic Directors, Penny Baron and Carolyn Hanna along with founding company artist Nick Pappas are the angels inviting audiences to slow down, take a breath and reflect on how we engage with each other. The Cube, which is a purpose built indoor venue intended for the outdoors by Melbourne sculptor and designer David Murphy, is a visually stunning beacon of hope that houses the Angels. Amplifying the experience are the sonic musings of Michael Havir and lighting projections of Bruce Ramus, former U2 Lighting Director and now luminous artist whose practice spans city precincts, architectural facades and live events. ● Ian Nash-Gilchrist (Crimson Over the weekend during the day and into pirate), Ed Dolista as Captain Jake the late evening, The Cube becomes a and Scott Popovic as Captain mesmerising space that invites you into the creSaladbar in Dead Men Tell No Jokes ative process with a program of visual and parat The Butterfly Club. ticipatory activities for all ages. Come along and ■ Geelong-based Comic Genius Productions be enchanted by what you discover in The Cube. presents Dead Men Tell No Jokes from April 2 Performance Dates: March 9 -12, 7.30pm – for seven shows at The Butterfly Club as part 9.30pm of the Melbourne International Comedy FestiVenue: Forecourt, Arts Centre Melbourne ● Oliver Cowen and Kayla Hamill in val. Further details: artscentremelbourne.com.au/ The Tales of Witchmen. This show is promoted as a family comedy enlighten that’s rated Arrrr! Can Captain Jake and his ■ Billed as a combination of Monty Python, Tickets: Free piratical crew stop the evil Captain Saladbar Mel Brooks, and the Umbilical Brothers, The Duration: Stay for as little or as long as you and his fishy crew from ruling the Caribbean Tales of Witchmen can be seen from March 27 – like April 1 at 10pm at The Butterfly Club. seas? - Cheryl Threadgold The Tales of Witchmen stars Oliver Cowen With undead pirates, sea battles, mermaids, a giant Kraken and even a Hamilton-esque in- and Kayla Hamill, who will weave a tale of adspired song performed live, Dead Men Tell No venture, romance, and courage, as well as an Jokes is a fully staged send-up for the whole overwhelming sense of dread about the inevitable heat death of the universe. family. Two sea sponges cleverly disguised and cosThe cast includes comedic actors Ed Dolista (The 39 Steps), Ian Nash-Gilchrist (Picasso at tumed, Oliver and Kayla are making their the Lapin Agile), Scott Popovic (The Produc- Melbourne International Comedy Festival deers), Ian Rooney (The Doctor Blake Mysteries), but. Oliver mostly resides in his mother’s baseStacey Carmichael (Hope Song), Jenn Stirk (Legally Blonde), Nick Addison (Rumors) and ment rewriting all the Goosebumps books as radio plays, while Kayla recently starred in David Jonathan Evans (Les Misérables). Dates: April 2-8. Time: 5:30pm. Cost: $25 - Williamson’s newest play Credentials which $32. Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, launched at La Mama as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. Melbourne. Tickets: thebutterflyclub.com Dates: March 27-April 1 - Cheryl Threadgold Time: 10pm Cost: $25-32 Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne Tickets: thebutterflyclub.com - Cheryl Threadgold ● Rosey Cullinan in It’s Never Too Late at The Basin. ■ There’s lots of laughter, some of it raucous, coming from The Basin Theatre this month during their entertaining production of It’s Never Too Late. Competently directed by Christine Grant, the play is a light-hearted exploration of divorce, middle age, and starting anew. Susan Shaw’s husband of many years has left her for a younger woman. The show opens in the middle of a fiery phone conversation in the middle of a committee meeting taking place ● Luke Morris in the middle of Susan’s modest home. Quickly ■ The Wine Science Show is being presented we see this is a story about Susan’s middle, from March 28 to April 7 at the Pilgrim Bar, both physically and figuratively, as she navigates Federation Square (Federation Wharf). advice and some surprising offers. ● Nick Papas, Penny Baron and Hosted by Luke Morris, this will be a wine Rosey Cullinan is satisfyingly sorrowful and Carolyn Hanna in Enlighten at Arts science talk with jokes, answering questions repressed as Susan, a woman facing the unCentre Melbourne. about how much wine you can drink and why thinkable. She gives us a very realistic and reyou drink and champagne and Hungarians. ■ Nightly from March 9-12, Melbourne physi- latable woman, which is essential to the success This show tells the story of Dom Perignon, cal theatre company Born in a Taxi will shroud of the show and its themes. an often lied about icon of Champagne. As a Arts Centre Melbourne’s forecourt with EnThe supposed tenderness in the play is lost pious monk he achieved great things without lighten – an enchanting, interactive performance though. No poignancy is achieved and knowing why and by being a bit of a kill joy. connecting audiences through a sense of won- Cullinan’s Susan is more rigidly demure and The Wine Science Show tells this story, gives der and play. apologetic than tender in her negotiations of ofa few great laughs, and explains how wine, and A giant illuminated cube becomes home to fers and declarations presented to her. No, this alcohol in general, impacts the body, mind and three angels, who unify the audience of strang- show is all fun and hilarity. But that’s fine, it’s bladder. ers through interactive events in the spirit of cel- such great fun. After helping to plant vineyard at the age of ebration and hope. Thanks to the tongue-in-cheek and light 17, Luke has worked in wineries and wine sales Integrating dance, comedy and participatory heartedness, the brave men of the audience in Australia and abroad for over 20 years – theatre with a soundscape and interactive light- don’t seem too uncomfortable at the frequent specialising in old and rare stock. ing projections, Enlighten seeks to illuminate man-bashing banter and all the talk of sex and Now Luke studies Psychological Sciences what is important to us and our search for the women’s sexual desires. at Latrobe University, and has written humour divine within all. The work swings between the Like any good play, the second half is even columns. He also writes comedy stories for the profound, kitsch and joyful. better than the first and it’s here the cast really stage and manages stand-up comedy nights in The performance runs for two hours with the take the bull by the horns and run with it. Bendigo. audience invited to stay for as long as they like Pip Le Blond is outstanding as the fit, funny

Dead Men Tell No Jokes

The Wine Science Show, presented by Crowded, Pilgrim Bar, and BucketofWork, combines skills in wine, sciences, and comedy writing, and is being performed during the first two weeks of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Performance Dates: March 28, 29, 30, 31 and April 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Time: 5:45pm (45 min. show) Cost: $16-$20 Venue: Pilgrim Bar, Vaults 15-19, Federation Square (Federation Wharf) Tickets: www.winescience.com.au - Cheryl Threadgold

and feisty best friend Linda, ever loyal and encouraging of her good mate. Matthew Ducza’s Thomas is fabulously intense and peculiar. Robert Trott plays an endearing Henry and Mike Roberts and Robert Williams are wonderfully funny, too. Performance Season: Until Saturday March 10 Times: Thurs-Sat at 8pm Venue: The Basin Theatre, Doongalla Rd, The Basin Bookings: www.thebasintheatre.org.au or 1300 784 668 - Review by Deborah Marinaro

Tales of Witchmen

The Sound of Falling Stars

Never Too Late

Wine Science Show


● Cameron Goodall Photo: Claudio Raschella. ■ It’s hard to believe that Robyn Archer’s onewoman cabaret of tortured and tragic female singers, A Star is Torn, is 40 years old. It’s harder to believe that it has taken as long a time for Archer to turn her hand to writing a show featuring tragic male singers, The Sound of Falling Stars. It was well worth the wait. Actor and singer, Cameron Goodall, is exceptional in playing over 30 singers in this new show directed by Archer. Goodall plays larger-than-life singers with broad brush strokes and others with more nuance but each vignette is a fully-realised portrait. Goodall, a talented guitarist, is accompanied onstage by Enio Pozzebon on keyboard and George Butrumlis of piano accordion. There are quirky moments: who knew actor Sal Mineo, tragically murdered at 37, released two singles, both forgettable, or that Sid Vicious’s mother bought the drugs that killed him? The songs and the deaths mount up as we pass through the 1950s with icons such as Elvis, Hank Williams, Gene Vincent; the 1960s with Sam Cooke, Bobby Darin, Otis Redding; the 1970s see the demise of such greats as Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Nick Drake. By the time we hit the 1980s and 1990s, the list already seems tragically long. Some died by accident, some by misadventure, some as a result of mental illness, and some, like the unlucky 17-year-old Richie Valens who won a seat on Buddy Holly’s ill-fated Beechcraft Bonanza via a coin toss, through a tragic quirk of fate. What makes this show so poignant is the thought of what could have been achieved had each of these immensely talented artists lived. The Sound of Falling Stars was presented at Arts Centre Melbourne. - Review by Kathryn Keeble

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Observer Showbiz


Local Theatre with Cheryl Threadgold and team Into The Abyss

● Jacob Sacher and Jack McGorlick in The Abyss ■ Rising comedy stars and winners of Melbourne University’s 2017 Comedy Competition, Jacob Sacherand Jack McGorlick return with their genre defying show, Into the Abyss, for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, at Tasma Terrace from March27 – April 8. The show’s surreal premise (a father enters the mind of his dying son) utilises a ground breaking comedic style that shatters expectations of traditional sketch comedy. Into The Abyss weaves improvisation and audience engagement into a meticulously honed narrative to ensure a dynamic process in which no two performances are alike. Sandro Falce (Triple J) adds further dynamism to the show. Sacher, a current ensemble member at The Improv Conspiracy Theatre, explains the show’s maverick relationship to comedy theory. “So much comedy is focused on being ‘good sketch comedy’ or good ‘stand-up comedy’’, Sacher mused. “For this show we set out to create the best possible comedic endeavour regardless of preexisting conventions.” Sacher and McGorlick’s success comes off the back of a dedicated apprenticeship together in sketch and stand-up comedy. Cumulatively they have performed in 11 productions at Melbourne Fringe and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and performed over 100 times together at the University of Melbourne. McGorlick comes hot off the heels of a critically acclaimed performance at The Melbourne Monologues, and is also an accomplished theatre director, while Sacher is a Melbourne Theatre Company award-winner and Raw Victoria state finalist. As a duo, the pair won the 2017 University of Melbourne Comedy Competition with excerpts from Into the Abyss. Performance Details: March 27 –April 8 at 8.30pm Venue: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne Bookings through the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website or on the door. www.comedyfestival.com.au/2018/shows/intothe-abyss - Cheryl Threadgold

Wait Until Dark

They seek a doll containing a valuable substance which has been connected to unsuspecting Sam. Sam and his blind wife Susy’s home is burglarised, a woman is murdered, and the crooks ply Suzy with deceit and lies. However, astute yet vulnerable Susy remains one jump ahead in the doll-focused battle of wits. The play’s action is well-directed by Rhys Purdey, and he and his team immerse the audience in the playout of a tense experience. Janis Coffey is articulate and impressively believable as Susy and skilfully portrays her blindness. Chris Black (Roat) demonstrates splendid versatility when depicting various characters and moods. Warwick Smith (Mike) presents a caring, likeable crook, and Sam Burton is perfectly cast as Susy’s husband, Sam. Rick Barry (Croker) is great delivering his role physically and facially, but hurried dialogue with an accent becomes inaudible. More voice projection needed. Arman Khieri’s (Policeman) arrival is welcome. Wonderful to see a star of the future, young Giselle Gaunt (Gloria), confidently playing an integral role in this play with her real-life mother, Janis. Well done to Giselle. Like Rick, Giselle would benefit from voice projection direction. Set in Susy and Sam’s home, with brightly painted walls, the year appears to be c.1960s. I did think that upmarket Susy and Sam would have decorated their rental home more stylishly, but the set works efficiently using the doors and window. This year, Strathmore Theatrical Arts Group ceIebrates its 64th anniversary. It is delightful to visit STAG’s friendly theatre and be greeted by members including cofounder Mary Little, president GailArmstrong, secretary Val Sartori and supporters Cenarth Fox and Mel de Bono. Wait Until Dark is a good story if you enjoy a crime thriller. STAG’s show finishes on March 11. Performance Season: Until March 11 Venue: Strathmore Community Theatre, Loeman St, Strathmore. Bookings: 9382 6284 or www.stag theatre.org/reservations - Review by Cheryl Threadgold

These indolent characters really have no one to blame but themselves for their dissolute conduct. The lack of any dialogue means that there is no character development or realization of motive. Rather, the cycle of songs from the eponymous album scroll through and the associated action becomes more impressionistic than a distinct narrative. The choreography marshals the cast into set routines adeptly performed but the moves one associate with rock bands don’t necessarily suit the musical stage and the stage routines of musicals don’t adapt well to rock music. Indeed, two members of the audience sitting close to this reviewer wanted to raise their arms and sing along as if they were in a mosh pit. This then is the productions dilemma, can it cross genres effectively and which audience is it trying to serve? Conformity of movement would also seem to be an ironic goal given the desire for individuality in a punk band. Green Day acolytes may well love the music but, even after all the verve on stage, a true musical is more demanding. This production plays to the converted. Comedy Theatre until March 11. - Review by David McLean

Bad Luck Cabaret

American Idiot ● Laurie Black in Bad Luck Cabaret ■ Laurie Black presents the alternative cabaret show, the Bad Luck Cabaret from April 9 – 13 at 10pm at The Butterfly Club. There will be guests from the cabaret and comedy world to help Laurie kick bad luck with a piano, original electronic tracks and musical comedy songs. Born and bred in London town, Laurie has been performing in cabaret shows with her piano since 2013 and is a veteran of the stages of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Known for her mix of electronic music, comedy and that distinct ebony/ivory hair, she debuted Bad Luck Cabaret at The Famous Spiegeltent in Edinburgh 2016 as La Clique’s ● Alex Jeans in American Idiot. bad little sister. Photo: Ken Leanfore This is her first year at Melbourne Interna■ Green Day’s American Idiot explodes onto the stage with an amplified energy and vigour tional Comedy Festival. Performance Dates: April 9 – 13 at 10pm that one can only associate with rock bands and Venue: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, augmented woofers. The crafted back projected videos against Melbourne Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com the apartment block set of doors and windows - Cheryl Threadgold sets this piece in the digital world of constant news broadcasts, surveillance cameras and snapchat images of graffiti. The pace and momentum of the show is sustained and the energy never falters with simple set and costume changes that are quick and ■ Artefact Theatre Company presents Oscar snappy. But there is no story. A minimalist effort has Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest from been made to provide a sense of continuity with March 27 – April 7 at St Martin's Youth Arts Johnny (Ben Bennett) offering a diary type dat- Centre, 28 St Martins Lane, South Yarra. A trivial comedy for serious people, Oscar ing of time as he journeys to the city where he Wilde’s scandalous satire on Victorian mandiscovers drugs. Friends, Tunny (ConnorCrawford) and Will ners is widely considered one of the funniest (Alex Jones), are just as rootless. The latter loses plays in the English language. The witty reparhis partner and child to an indulgence for ‘grass’ tee and lively piercing of hypocrisy and pomwhile the former is injured having found him- posity has now delighted theatre-goers for over self in the military. To say, then, that Green Day’s a century. Focussing on well-intentioned young bachmusical is a rebellion against the social and poelors, Algernon and Jack, The Importance of litical alienation of the day is an overstatement.

The Importance of Being Earnest

● Crooks Mike (Warrick Smith) at left, Roat (Chris Black) and Croker (Rick Barry), menace Susy (Janis Coffey) in Wait Until Dark. Photo: Adrian Raciti ■ Strathmore TheatricalArts Group (STAG) presents the crime thriller Wait Until Dark until March 11 at the Strathmore Community Theatre. Playwright Frederick Knott’s story tells of two former jailbirds, Mike and Croker, working for sinister stand-over man Roat.

● James Cutler in The Importance of Being Earnest Photo: Hugo Rose Being Earnest invites audiences through their detailed double lives as they court the attentions of the wonderfully desirable Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew. With Gwendolen's formidable mother, Lady Bracknell, also in the mix these gallants must grapple with mistaken identities, lovers entanglements, and the riotous consequences of their deceptions. Director Matthew Cox says The Importance of Being Earnest is a satire of elitist values and hypocrites. “I've seen the show many times, but I've never seen a production that reached the levels of farcical outrageousness that I had in my head,” says Matthew. “This show is packed with immensely overdressed, overeducated characters who are horny, wicked and ravenous, with physical comedy frequently reaching the absurdity of the dialogue.” Founded in 2016, Artefact Theatre Co. is a fully independent, self-funded theatre company dedicated to producing high calibre, memorable theatre. Melbourne-based, their past productions include Seminar by Theresa Rebeck and David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Proof. Performed by James Cutler, Mark Raymond Yeates, Ross Dwyer, Olivia Solomons, Cazz, Suzanne Sandow, Frank Handrum and Thomas Henry Jones . Performance Dates: March 27 – April 7 Venue: St Martin’s Youth Arts Centre, 28 St Martin’s Lane, South Yarra Tickets: $40 Full, $35 Concession, $25 Preview. Bookings: online only at www.artefact theatre.com or at the door (subject to availability) Enquiries: 0420 350 914 - Cheryl Threadgold

Morning Melodies

■ When it comes to putting ‘bottoms on seats’, Melbourne Arts Centre’s Morning Melodies series at Hamer Hall is a winner every time. This Melbourne entertainment institution, created by Betty Pounder in 1985, just keeps giving and filling houses. The 2018 season opened with popular opera and musical theatre star, David Hobson accompanied by renowned pianist David Cameron and Karoline Kuti, Aaron Barnden and Atilla Kuti forming the Carneval Strings. David Hobson is a consummate performer whose vocal repertoire transported the audience, along with his dance moves, stories and humour. His performance opened and closed with opera and continued to explore a range from musical theatre, rock and Celtic, folk songs. We were treated to a surprise appearance from Marina Prior. David and Marina performed in dynamic harmony in their duets. David’s versatility further delighted us with the Man of La Mancha, the English folk song, Foggy, foggy dew, and an old favourite Fagin song from Oliver, Reviewing the Situation , and many more. Each month Morning Melodies stages different performers. The shows are on Mondays, are one hour in length, at 11 am or 1.30pm and sometimes at both times. Each ticket includes a complimentary cuppa and biscuit after the show. Venue: Hamer Hall, 100 St Kilda Rd. Melbourne. Bookings and times: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au Box Office phone: 1300 182 183 Monday–Saturday, 9.00am – 8.30 pm. - Review by Sherryn Danaher


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 25

Local Media’s 50 Years. Part 1.

Media group’s history started with Gordon Barton


Local Media Pty Ltd, publisher of the Melbourne Observer and The Local Paper, traces its origins to September 1969. Our 50-year anniversary will be held in September 2019. Over the 18 months from March 2018, we present a series of feature articles looking at our history over the past half-century. ■ In the fast-moving internet-age of the 21st Century, Local Media Pty Ltd is publisher of the Melbourne Observer and The Local Paper newspapers. The Melbourne Observer is a weekly statewide newspaper, on sale at hundreds of newsagencies across Victoria. The Local Paper is a weekly publication focusing on the north-east, with a footprint that extends from Mernda to Seymour, the Diamond Valley to Yea and Alexandra, from Lilydale to Mansfield. About half the readership is now of digital editions - exact replicas of the print issues - at our websites. Our history goes back to the different times of1969, when Australian transport magnate Gordon Barton founded the Sunday Observer newspaper in Melbourne. Over the past half-century, the Observer has been run by four quite different publishers: ■ Gordon Barton, ■ Maxwell Newton, ■ Peter Isaacson, and ■ Ash Long. Four quite different publishers. Four quite different newspapers. But all linked by the Observer tradition. Gordon Page Barton was born in Surabaya, on the island of Java, then in the Dutch East Indies, to George Barton and the former Antoinette (Kitty) Kavellars. George had grown up in Charters Towers in northern Queensland. Kitty was raised in Holland. George was the youngest in a family of 11 brothers, starting work at age 13, as a pearl fisherman. Kitty was a school teacher. They had a son Basil, eight years older than Gordon, who arrived on August 30, 1929. Father, George Barton, was Assistant Manager of Burns Philip’s, controlling its rubber plantations and trade agreements Gordon was enrolled at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School, known as ‘Shore’, in January 1939. In May 1940, with the threat of Japan’s expanionist policies, and the German occupation of the Netherlands, George Barton sent his wife to Sydney. Same Everingham, author of Gordon Barton: Australia’s Maverick Entrepreneur, notes: “Gordon was delighted. It meant he could persuade his mother to remove him from boarding school. Together they rented a pretty house

● Gordon Barton: established the Observer in 1969 in Mosman near the water. George acter. He has considerable initiative sent money each month from Java and is capable of sustained diligence. to support the family.” I think that he is likely to do well in Japan’s entry to World War II his future career.” saw rthe School evacuate pupils to Gordon Barton won an Exhibithe Mount Victoria Hotel in the Blue tion scholarship in Law, transferring Mountains, with Gordon and his to Arts, allowing him to finiosh his mother living nearby at Blackheath. shorthand and typing, putting him in Abruptly, George Barton’s a better position to apply for a jourmonthly cheques stopped arriving, nalism cadetship. and his fate was unknown. He signed on to write for the Gordon’s brother Basil, a Flight Sydney University newspaper, Honi Sergeant, went missing in Bass Soit. Strait, north-west of Flinders Island; In 1952, Barton went into partno further information ever came. nership with Harry Ivory, sourcing A compassionate scholarship was a Reo truck, with the help of a large awarded by ‘Shore’ to Gordon, with bank loan,m and the involvement of his mother now only in receipt of an a university friend, Jim Staples. RAAF pension of 15 shillings per The trucking business carted pofortnight. tatoes and onions, refrigerators, deGordon, a young teenager, won mountable homes and telephone ex£15 in a Sydney essay writing com- changes. petition held by newspapers, and Sometimes Barton would drive gardened and cleaned at weekends 48 hours straight, combining it with to supplement the family income. his legal work as a judge’s clerk asAt August 1945, at the end of the sociate. war, news came through that George Ivory & Barton purchased a secBarton was indeed alive. He was ond and third truck. Maintenance hospitalised for months, and was put problems plagued the business for on lighter Burns Philip duties in Port years. Moresby. In June 1955, the business was Says Everingham: “The boy making £50 to £100 weekly. Then it promised his mother he would ‘work hit the jackpot by winning a contract harder than anyone has ever worked to transport 1400 refrigerators in a and become rich so that none of us month, using contractors until he will have to worry about money could purchase more vehicles. again’.” The business made headlines As Gordon Barton weighed up when the distance problems on trickhis university options, he considered ing to Western Australia saw Barton becoming a cadet journalist. and Staples arrange for the ComHeadmaster L.C. Robson wrote monwealth Railways transport the of Gordon: “He is, in my opinion, huge trucks by rail from Port Auhonourable and of high moral char- gusta to Kalgoorlie.

George Barton was now in Australia, working for his son’s transportr business as an accountant, and described the financial state of his son’s business as “desperate”. In 1958, Barton eyed the business of Adelaide pair Charlie Nesbitt and Alf Charleson, who had started a door-to-door delivery service, Interstate Parcels Express Company. Companies were clamouring for the service to deliver their urgent freight. In 1959, Barton bumped into old university friend, Greg Farrell, an accountant. It was to prove to be a fortunate re-meeting. Barton, his father and Farrell convinced the McNamara brothers to sell their Rex trucking business. Innovative solutions had to be found to find cash to fund the evrexpanding businesses, that were challenging rail and air freight competitors. Barton devised lease agreements so that drivers could purchase trucks.A petrol company was persuaded to inject £16,000 into the business. The business was soon delivering more than 10,000 sonsignments every working day. IPEC started its own insurance company, instead of paying 1.5 per cent to outside insurance companies. It made a lot of money. Within eight years, IPEC had grown to 300 vehicles, a £2.25 million turnover, 15,000 urgent consignments every working day, and staff numbering 1500. With the business bringing in a comfortable income, Barton was able to afford a return to an interest in the political issues that had been a focus of his university years. The Vietnam war, and a visit by US President Lyndon B. Johnson, saw Gordon Barton take out a fullpage ad in The Sydney Morning Herald to air his views opposing the Vietnam war. Prime Minister Harold Holt called an election at the end of 1966, and Barton and colleagues were to stand as ‘Independent Liberal’ candidates. They called themselves ‘Liberal Reform’. Backed by wealthy businessmen, a campaign of 150 TV ads and 600 commercial radio spots was booked. The Liberal Reform Group (later to be re-named as the Australian Reform Movement) picked up more than 53,000 votes - an average of 5 per cent in each of the seats they contested. They were heady days. Barton and wife Vonnie (nee Hand) had a son, Geoffrey. Gordon Barton was said to be in an expansive mode, even though Vonnie’s illness meant it was likely that she would not see Geoffrey’s first birthday. By 1967, Farrell and Barton looked to set up a new venture specialising in takeovers, asset-stripping, mergers, company restructuring and on-selling of assets. It was Tjuringa Securities, a name based on Aboriginal legend. An engraved Tjuringa stone was given by the tribe elders to every initiated members. According to Everingham, “this team would become one of the most feared raiders in corporate Australia”. Interests expanded to include Federal Hotels and Direct

Acceptance Corporation. The Victorian interests included the Savoy Plaza, the Mezies and the Federal Hotel. Wrest Point Hotel in Tasmania was considered a jewel. In July 1969, the political interests had re-branded as the Australia Party. In August 1969, Vonnie passed away. In September 1969, Gordon Barton launched the Sunday Observer newspaper in Victoria. One of the party’s early organisers had been journalist John Crew. Barton approached him: “I’d like to start a Melbourne Sunday newspaper. I’d like you to run it.” Crew’s experience was in radio and television, and he expressed his reluctance in running a big newspaper operation. “Oh ywes, you can do it. We’ll keep an eye on you.” Premises were located at 822 Lorimer St, Fishermans Bend. It was a converted World War II Nissen hut, that proved to be a rust magnet for the Goss press that was installed, months after the paper had started. Barton used the presses owned by suburban weeklies to print the Observer. Amongst those used were Dern Langlands’s Regal Press, Progress Press headed by Ken Heyes, Waverley Offset Press, and Peter Isaacson Publications. There were few controls on spending in those early weeks. Michael Cannon was briefly the first Editor. He was given the task of finding 20 full-time and part-time staff. In 1969, The Herald afternoon newspaper sold for 4 cents; the Observer was to be priced at 12 cents. The Victorian Associated Newsagents’ Association were not keen on their members having to open on Sundays. They agreed to take up to 70,000 newspapers, but Barton wanted an order for 100,000 copies. So, he set up his own army of 2000 delivery boys and girls across Melbourne, with a network of zone supervisors and area agents. Each newsboy would receive 2 cents per copy sold. One of the newsboys from September 1969 was Ash Long, then aged 12. He was to create Melbourne’s third largest-selling round, in the working-class suburb of Reservoir. The Observer was also distributed through a network of independent milk bars. “This is possibly the first Sunday paper you have bought,” Barton wrote to readers in that first issue of September 14, 1969. “It is certainly the first I have published. I hope you like it. “Outr policy in regard to news is that it shall be objective, complete, concise and up-yo-date. Our columnists will be expected to be independent, plain spoken and fearless.” Barton’s anti-Vietnam war attitude was reflected in the editorial columns. He was said to infuriate early editors by re-writing headlines and copy. Barton was first in Australia to publish colour photos of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. IPEC was losing $25,000 a week on Barton’s Sunday Observer experiment. Circulation had not achieved targets, advertising revenue was affected by Barton’s antiwar stance. Farrell was furious, and urged the Observer’s closure.

Page 26 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Observer Magazine

■ For those who remember radio station 3DB in the 1950s, and the beginning of GTV Channel 9 in Melbourne ,you may recall Geoff Corke. Geoff Corke was born in Melbourne in 1935. His father was a rubber plantation farmer in New Guinea, and Geoff spent some of his childhood there. The family were evacuated in 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour and returned to Melbourne. Geoff went to SouthAuburn Primary School and then Scotch College. When he left college, Geoff started working for International Harvester as a tractor salesman. He loved radio and one day he heard an advertisement for a position at 3DB on Danny Webb's breakfast show. He applied for the job and started working there as an office boy. Geoff advanced to being a turntable operator and worked with many of the radio personalities such as Eric Pearce, Jack Little, Dick Cranbourne, Geoff McComas, Binny Lum and Stephanie Deste. He eventually became an announcer on 3DB and he had a late night program. Geoff gained television experience doing oncamera work in the Brashs store window. Norm Spencer invited Geoff to join GTV Channel 9 and when the test transmissions began on the September 27, 1956, Geoff Corke became the first person in Melbourne to be seen on "live to

Whatever Happened To ... Geoff Corke

By Kevin Trask of 3AW and 96.5 Inner FM

air" television from the Mt Dandenong transmitter. The studios at Richmond had not been built at that stage. When GTV9 opened in 1957 Geoff became a popular personality hosting breakfast shows and other programs such as Anything Goes, Penalty Box, Geoff and Judy and Happy Go Lucky. Geoff was tall and "a gentle giant". When In Melbourne Tonight began, Geoff was working as the "off sider" to Graham Kennedy. I used to go into the studios as an audience member to watch Geoff and Graham working together on IMT - it was live television and brilliant to watch. In 1958 Geoff married Val Ruff, who was a

● Geoff Corke


singer at the television station and they were featured on the front cover of the first TV Week magazine. The marriage lasted about five years and they had a daughter Lindy. In the early 1960s Geoff took over as host of The Tarax Show as King Corky, King of the Kids. When Geoff took leave, Philip Brady was the replacement as ‘Prince Philip’. Ron Blaskett and ‘Gerry Gee’ were always a big part of the show. Geoff Corke was a private man and retired from television and public life in the late 1960s and concentrated on other projects. In 1979 he married Sue, who he met whilst in hospital and Sue was his nurse. They were happily married for 14 years. Geoff Corke passed away in 1993 at the age of 58 after a long illness. Geoff is the uncle of 3AW's Simon Owens. Kevin Trask Kevin can be heard on 3AW Mike Till Midnight: Saturday at 8.10pm The Time Tunnel: on Remember When Sundays at 9.10pm And on 96.5 FM That's Entertainment: Sundays, 12 Noon

When you gotta go, here’s the place to go ■ Hopefully it appears that the days of public toilets being hidden as far away as possible at many city and country tourist centres, and worse still tucked down the end of spider-webbed long bush tracks, may soon be a thing of the past. Because operators and overseers of these centres and sightseeing drawcards are realising that rather than being an expensive burden they’d rather not have, quality public toilets can prove a cosy little money-maker for their attractions, villages, towns and cities. So much so in fact, that after the toilets at the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre at Mittagong in NSW were refurbished in late 2015, annual visitation to the Centre increased from 60,000 then, to 72,000 last year. And sales of travel items and souvenirs, plus bookings for local accommodation and sightseeing tours at the Centre’s tourist shop rose a whopping 20 per cent a year in that time. All this also saw the Centre win the award for Best Economic Contributor in last year’s first-ever International Toilet TourismAwards. If you want to know more about these unusual awards and the Southern Highlands’Welcome Centre toilet facilities, have a look at www. MyTravelResearch.com

Shortest river

■ There’s little wonder the State of Montana in the USA claims its Roe River is the world’s shortest – at just 61 metres long it’s a whole 10 metres shorter than the length of a 747 jumbo jet, and it can be walked from start to finish in under a minute. It was back in 1987 that final year students at the Lincoln Elementary School in Great Falls, Montana thought the little un-named river near their school really deserved a name. So with the help of teacher Susie Nardlinger they wrote to America’s Board of Geographic Names, suggesting that the tiny stretch of water, that ran that 61 metres from its source at Giant Springs to where it empties into the Missouri River, be given a name and put on the map. And they proposed Roe River after

OK. With John O’Keefe Lifestyle no longer

■ Macquarie Radio has decided to dump the format of Talking Lifestyle (formerly Magic 1278) to an all sports broadcaster. The drastic change is because of shocking ratings as the talk format did not fire, particularly in Melbourne. The new format will go head to head with SEN and sister station 3AW. The changeover takes place March 30. Expect most of on-air material to be Sydney based . A lack of marketing had a lot to do with demise of Talking Lifestyle.

Roseanne returns

■ Remember when Roseanne was a ‘must watch’ on telly? Well, the same gang and a few newbies are on their way back in an 11-part sitcom . The new Roseanne remake started last week in the US, followed by release locally on Ten . Roseanne Mark I series ran for 20 years .

Presley in debt

■ Daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie has launched legal proceedings against her manager Barry Siegal. The King left a trust valued at $100,000 and upon Elvis’s death Siegal and Lisa Marie went on a spending spree buying real estate, entertainment companies and a few pizzas. The investments went belly up, leaving little left of Daddy’s fortune. Today Lisa Marie is reported to be $16 million in debt. ● NSW Southern Highlands Welcome Centre’s loos have information boards that are a check-list of everything you’ll likely be thinking about – and a reminder to grab a cup of coffee. The suggestion won approval, and the students then put it to Guinness World Records that it recognise their now-named Roe River as the world’s shortest. But when Guinness did so in 1989, it drew a lengthy challenge from the State of Oregon that claimed its briefly-named D River was shorter by 24 metres than the Roe, which then brought counter-challenges from Montana. But because the two States used different methods for measuring, and their rivers had differing tidal influences, Guinness decided it didn’t want anything to do with the squabble, and in 2006 quietly eliminated the World’s Shortest River category from its World Records – leaving Montana’s Roe River the world’s shortest, having been previously with David Ellis recognised for this by Guinness back the fish eggs used in their biggest lo- in 1989. cal industry, a fish hatchery. - David Ellis


Russell’s garage sale

■ Russell Crowe is having a garage sale of his movie memorabilia on April 4. Billed as ‘The Art of Divorce’ certain proceeds will go to pay off the divorce settlement with former wife Danielle Spencer. Sothebys have got the gig to auction online everything from his collection of watches, paintings, posters, movie props including a Roman chariot ( rarely used) – all going under the hammer with $3 million as the reserve.

Philip misses the memo

■ Phillip Brady had a brain fade when he discussed the Rumour File with listeners. Phil mentioned how contributors to the Rumour File could win a Lexus vehicle. Station management should alert the veteran announcer the popular segment is sponsored by Melbourne BMW Dealers. Whoops.

Rolling Stones rumour

■ Rumour getting a lot of traction is the possible visit of the Rolling Stones to tour Australia in November. The timing makes sense as the Stones multimedia exhibition of memorabilia is due to open in Sydney at same time. We’ll be watching closely for any announcement.

Ash’s 50-year milestone

■ Can’t overlook the fantastic achievement of Ash Long, publisher/editor of the Melbourne Observer. Ash has notched up nearly 50 years service with the weekly paper that continues to entertain Melburnians with all the news that matters. Well done Ash.

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 27

Observer Classic Books

Hard Times - by Charles Dickens Mr. Gradgrind crossed to the spot where his family was thus disgraced, laid his hand upon each erring child, and said: ‘Louisa!! Thomas!!’ Both rose, red and disconcerted. But, Louisa looked at her father with more boldness than Thomas did. Indeed, Thomas did not look at him, but gave himself up to be taken home like a machine. ‘In the name of wonder, idleness, and folly!’ said Mr. Gradgrind, leading each away by a hand; ‘what do you do here?’ ‘Wanted to see what it was like,’ returned Louisa, shortly. ‘What it was like?’ ‘Yes, father.’ There was an air of jaded sullenness in them both, and particularly in the girl: yet, struggling through the dissatisfaction of her face, there was a light with nothing to rest upon, a fire with nothing to burn, a starved imagination keeping life in itself somehow, which brightened its expression. Not with the brightness natural to cheerful youth, but with uncertain, eager, doubtful flashes, which had something painful in them, analogous to the changes on a blind face groping its way. She was a child now, of fifteen or sixteen; but at no distant day would seem to become a woman all at once. Her father thought so as he looked at her. She was pretty. Would have been self-willed (he thought in his eminently practical way) but for her bringing-up. ‘Thomas, though I have the fact before me, I find it difficult to believe that you, with your education and resources, should have brought your sister to a scene like this.’ ‘I brought him, father,’said Louisa, quickly. ‘I asked him to come.’ ‘I am sorry to hear it. I am very sorry indeed to hear it. It makes Thomas no better, and it makes you worse, Louisa.’ She looked at her father again, but no tear fell down her cheek. ‘You! Thomas and you, to whom the circle of the sciences is open; Thomas and you, who may be said to be replete with facts; Thomas and you, who have been trained to mathematical exactness; Thomas and you, here!’ cried Mr. Gradgrind. ‘In this degraded position! I am amazed.’ ‘I was tired, father. I have been tired a long time,’ said Louisa. ‘Tired? Of what?’ asked the astonished father. ‘I don’t know of what — of everything, I think.’ ‘Say not another word,’ returned Mr. Gradgrind. ‘You are childish. I will hear no more.’ He did not speak again until they had walked some halfa-mile in silence, when he gravely broke out with: ‘What would your best friends say, Louisa? Do you attach no value to their good opinion? What would Mr. Bounderby say?’At the mention of this name, his daughter stole a look at him, remarkable for its intense and searching character. He saw nothing of it, for before he looked at her, she had again cast down her eyes! ‘What,’ he repeated presently, ‘would Mr. Bounderby say?’All the way to Stone Lodge, as with grave indignation he led the two delinquents home, he repeated at intervals ‘What would Mr. Bounderby say?’ — as if Mr. Bounderby had been Mrs. Grundy. Chapter II— Murdering the Innocents THOMAS GRADGRIND, sir. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over. Thomas Gradgrind, sir — peremptorily Thomas — Thomas Gradgrind. With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case of simple arithmetic. You might hope to get some other nonsensical belief into the head of George Gradgrind, or Augustus Gradgrind, or John Gradgrind, or Joseph Gradgrind (all supposititious, non-existent persons), but into the head of Thomas Gradgrind — no, sir! In such terms Mr. Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general. In


e rv se US N Ob N IO BO CT SE


‘Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.’Thus (and much more) Bitzer. ‘Now girl number twenty,’ said Mr. Gradgrind. ‘You know what a horse is.’ She curtseyed again, and would have blushed deeper, if she could have blushed deeper than she had blushed all this time. Bitzer, after rapidly blinking at Thomas Gradgrind with both eyes at once, and so catching the light upon his quivering ends of lashes that they looked like the antennae of busy insects, put his knuckles to his freckled forehead, and sat down again. The third gentleman now stepped forth. A mighty man at cutting and drying, he was; a government officer; in his way (and in most other people’s too), a professed pugilist; always in training, always with a system to force down the general throat like a bolus, always to be heard of at the bar of his little Public-office, ready to fight all England. To continue in fistic phraseology, he had a genius for coming up to the scratch, wherever and whatever it was, and proving himself an ugly customer. He would go in and damage any subject whatever with his right, follow up with his left, stop, exchange, counter, bore his opponent (he always fought All England) to the ropes, and fall upon him neatly. He was certain to knock the wind out of common sense, and render that unlucky adversary deaf to the call of time. And he had it in charge from high authority to bring about the great public-office Millennium, when Commissioners should reign upon earth. ‘Very well,’ said this gentleman, briskly smiling, and folding his arms. ‘That’s a horse. Now, let me ask you girls and boys, Would you paper a room with representations of horses?’ After a pause, one half of the children cried in chorus, ‘Yes, sir!’ Upon which the other half, seeing in the gentleman’s face that Yes was wrong, cried out in chorus, ‘No, sir!’ — as the custom is, in these examinations. ‘Of course, No. Why wouldn’t you?’ A pause. One corpulent slow boy, with a wheezy manner of breathing, ventured the answer, Because he wouldn’t paper a room at all, but would paint it. ‘You must paper it,’said the gentleman, rather warmly. Charles Dickens ‘You must paper it,’ said Thomas Gradgrind, such terms, no doubt, substituting the words ‘boys farrier, and horsebreaker. Give me your defini- ‘whether you like it or not. Don’t tell us you and girls,’ for ‘sir,’ Thomas Gradgrind now pre- tion of a horse.’ wouldn’t paper it. What do you mean, boy?’ sented Thomas Gradgrind to the little pitchers (Sissy Jupe thrown into the greatest alarm by ‘I’ll explain to you, then,’ said the gentleman, before him, who were to be filled so full of facts. this demand.) after another and a dismal pause, ‘why you Indeed, as he eagerly sparkled at them from the ‘Girl number twenty unable to define a horse!’ wouldn’t paper a room with representations of cellarage before mentioned, he seemed a kind said Mr. Gradgrind, for the general behoof of all horses. Do you ever see horses walking up and of cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and the little pitchers. ‘Girl number twenty possessed down the sides of rooms in reality — in fact? Do prepared to blow them clean out of the regions of no facts, in reference to one of the common- you?’ of childhood at one discharge. He seemed a est of animals! Some boy’s definition of a horse. ‘Yes, sir!’ from one half. ‘No, sir!’ from the other. galvanizing apparatus, too, charged with a grim Bitzer, yours.’ ‘Of course no,’ said the gentleman, with an inmechanical substitute for the tender young The square finger, moving here and there, lighted dignant look at the wrong half. ‘Why, then, you imaginations that were to be stormed away. suddenly on Bitzer, perhaps because he chanced are not to see anywhere, what you don’t see in ‘Girl number twenty,’ said Mr. Gradgrind, to sit in the same ray of sunlight which, darting fact; you are not to have anywhere, what you squarely pointing with his square forefinger, ‘I in at one of the bare windows of the intensely don’t have in fact. What is called Taste, is only don’t know that girl. Who is that girl?’ white-washed room, irradiated Sissy. For, the another name for Fact.’ Thomas Gradgrind nod‘Sissy Jupe, sir,’ explained number twenty, boys and girls sat on the face of the inclined ded his approbation. blushing, standing up, and curtseying. plane in two compact bodies, divided up the ‘This is a new principle, a discovery, a great ‘Sissy is not a name,’ said Mr. Gradgrind. ‘Don’t centre by a narrow interval; and Sissy, being at discovery,’ said the gentleman. ‘Now, I’ll try you call yourself Sissy. Call yourself Cecilia.’ the corner of a row on the sunny side, came in Suppose you were going to carpet a room. ‘It’s father as calls me Sissy, sir,’ returned the for the beginning of a sunbeam, of which Bitzer, again. Would you use a carpet having a representation young girl in a trembling voice, and with an- being at the corner of a row on the other side, a of flowers upon it?’ other curtsey. few rows in advance, caught the end. But, There being a general conviction by this time ‘Then he has no business to do it,’ said Mr. whereas the girl was so dark-eyed and dark- that ‘No, sir!’ was always the right answer to Gradgrind. ‘Tell him he mustn’t. Cecilia Jupe. haired, that she seemed to receive a deeper and this gentleman, the chorus of NO was very Let me see. What is your father?’ more lustrous colour from the sun, when it shone Only a few feeble stragglers said Yes: ‘He belongs to the horse-riding, if you please, upon her, the boy was so light-eyed and light- strong. among them Sissy Jupe. sir.’ haired that the self-same rays appeared to draw ‘Girl number twenty,’ said the gentleman, smilMr. Gradgrind frowned, and waved off the ob- out of him what little colour he ever possessed. ing in the calm strength of knowledge. jectionable calling with his hand. His cold eyes would hardly have been eyes, but ‘We don’t want to know anything about that, for the short ends of lashes which, by bringing Sissy blushed, and stood up. here. You mustn’t tell us about that, here. Your them into immediate contrast with something ‘So you would carpet your room — or your husband’s room, if you were a grown woman, father breaks horses, don’t he?’ paler than themselves, expressed their form. His ‘If you please, sir, when they can get any to short-cropped hair might have been a mere con- and had a husband — with representations of flowers, would you?’ said the gentleman. ‘Why break, they do break horses in the ring, sir.’ tinuation of the sandy freckles on his forehead ‘You mustn’t tell us about the ring, here. Very and face. His skin was so unwholesomely defi- would you?’ well, then. Describe your father as a cient in the natural tinge, that he looked as though, ‘If you please, sir, I am very fond of flowers,’ returned the girl. horsebreaker. He doctors sick horses, I dare if he were cut, he would bleed white. ‘And is that why you would put tables and chairs say?’ ‘Bitzer,’ said Thomas Gradgrind. ‘Your defini- upon them, and have people walking over them ‘Oh yes, sir.’ with heavy boots?’ Continued on Page 22 ‘Very well, then. He is a veterinary surgeon, a tion of a horse.’

Page 28 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

From Page 27 ‘It wouldn’t hurt them, sir. They wouldn’t crush and wither, if you please, sir. They would be the pictures of what was very pretty and pleasant, and I would fancy — ’ ‘Ay, ay, ay! But you mustn’t fancy,’ cried the gentleman, quite elated by coming so happily to his point. ‘That’s it! You are never to fancy.’ ‘You are not, Cecilia Jupe,’Thomas Gradgrind solemnly repeated, ‘to do anything of that kind.’ ‘Fact, fact, fact!’ said the gentleman. And ‘Fact, fact, fact!’ repeated Thomas Gradgrind. ‘You are to be in all things regulated and governed,’ said the gentleman, ‘by fact. We hope to have, before long, a board of fact, composed of commissioners of fact, who will force the people to be a people of fact, and of nothing but fact. You must discard the word Fancy altogether. You have nothing to do with it. You are not to have, in any object of use or ornament, what would be a contradiction in fact. You don’t walk upon flowers in fact; you cannot be allowed to walk upon flowers in carpets. You don’t find that foreign birds and butterflies come and perch upon your crockery; you cannot be permitted to paint foreign birds and butterflies upon your crockery. You never meet with quadrupeds going up and down walls; you must not have quadrupeds represented upon walls. You must use,’ said the gentleman, ‘for all these purposes, combinations and modifications (in primary colours) of mathematical figures which are susceptible of proof and demonstration. This is the new discovery. This is fact. This is taste.’ The girl curtseyed, and sat down. She was very young, and she looked as if she were frightened by the matter-of-fact prospect the world afforded. ‘Now, if Mr. M’Choakumchild,’ said the gentleman, ‘will proceed to give his first lesson here, Mr. Gradgrind, I shall be happy, at your request, to observe his mode of procedure.’ Mr. Gradgrind was much obliged. ‘Mr. M’Choakumchild, we only wait for you.’ So, Mr. M’Choakumchild began in his best manner. He and some one hundred and forty other schoolmasters, had been lately turned at the same time, in the same factory, on the same principles, like so many pianoforte legs. He had been put through an immense variety of paces, and had answered volumes of head-breaking questions. Orthography, etymology, syntax, and prosody, biography, astronomy, geography, and general cosmography, the sciences of compound proportion, algebra, land-surveying and levelling, vocal music, and drawing from models, were all at the ends of his ten chilled fingers. He had worked his stony way into Her Majesty’s most Honourable Privy Council’s Schedule B, and had taken the bloom off the higher branches of mathematics and physical science, French, German, Latin, and Greek. He knew all about all the Water Sheds of all the world (whatever they are), and all the histories of all the peoples, and all the names of all the rivers and mountains, and all the productions, manners, and customs of all the countries, and all their boundaries and bearings on the two and thirty points of the compass. Ah, rather overdone, M’Choakumchild. If he had only learnt a little less, how infinitely better he might have taught much more! He went to work in this preparatory lesson, not unlike Morgiana in the Forty Thieves: looking into all the vessels ranged before him, one after another, to see what they contained. Say, good M’Choakumchild. When from thy boiling store, thou shalt fill each jar brim full by-and-by, dost thou think that thou wilt always kill outright the robber Fancy lurking within — or sometimes only maim him and distort him! Chapter III—A Loophole MR. GRADGRIND walked homeward from the school, in a state of considerable satisfaction. It was his school, and he intended it to be a model. He intended every child in it to be a model — just as the young Gradgrinds were all models. There were five young Gradgrinds, and they were models every one. They had been lectured at, from their tenderest years; coursed, like little hares. Almost as soon as they could run alone, they had been made to run to the lectureroom. The first object with which they had an association, or of which they had a remembrance, was a large black board with a dry Ogre chalking ghastly white figures on it. Not that they knew, by name or nature, anything about an Ogre Fact forbid! I only use the word to express a monster in a lecturing castle, with Heaven knows how many heads manipulated into one, taking childhood captive, and dragging


Observer Classic Books it into gloomy statistical dens by the hair. No little Gradgrind had ever seen a face in the moon; it was up in the moon before it could speak distinctly. No little Gradgrind had ever learnt the silly jingle, Twinkle, twinkle, little star; how I wonder what you are! No little Gradgrind had ever known wonder on the subject, each little Gradgrind having at five years old dissected the Great Bear like a Professor Owen, and driven Charles’s Wain like a locomotive engine-driver. No little Gradgrind had ever associated a cow in a field with that famous cow with the crumpled horn who tossed the dog who worried the cat who killed the rat who ate the malt, or with that yet more famous cow who swallowed Tom Thumb: it had never heard of those celebrities, and had only been introduced to a cow as a graminivorous ruminating quadruped with several stomachs. To his matter-of-fact home, which was called Stone Lodge, Mr. Gradgrind directed his steps. He had virtually retired from the wholesale hardware trade before he built Stone Lodge, and was now looking about for a suitable opportunity of making an arithmetical figure in Parliament. Stone Lodge was situated on a moor within a mile or two of a great town — called Coketown in the present faithful guide-book. A very regular feature on the face of the country, Stone Lodge was. Not the least disguise toned down or shaded off that uncompromising fact in the landscape. A great square house, with a heavy portico darkening the principal windows, as its master’s heavy brows overshadowed his eyes. A calculated, cast up, balanced, and proved house. Six windows on this side of the door, six on that side; a total of twelve in this wing, a total of twelve in the other wing; four-and-twenty carried over to the back wings. A lawn and garden and an infant avenue, all ruled straight like a botanical account-book. Gas and ventilation, drainage and water-service, all of the primest quality. Iron clamps and girders, fire-proof from top to bottom; mechanical lifts for the housemaids, with all their brushes and brooms; everything that heart could desire. Everything? Well, I suppose so. The little Gradgrinds had cabinets in various departments of science too. They had a little conchological cabinet, and a little metallurgical cabinet, and a little mineralogical cabinet; and the specimens were all arranged and labelled, and the bits of stone and ore looked as though they might have been broken from the parent substances by those tremendously hard instruments their own names; and, to paraphrase the idle legend of Peter Piper, who had never found his way into their nursery, If the greedy little Gradgrinds grasped at more than this, what was it for good gracious goodness’ sake, that the greedy little Gradgrinds grasped it! Their father walked on in a hopeful and satisfied frame of mind. He was an affectionate father, after his manner; but he would probably have described himself (if he had been put, like Sissy Jupe, upon a definition) as ‘an eminently practical’father. He had a particular pride in the phrase eminently practical, which was considered to have a special application to him. Whatsoever the public meeting held in Coketown, and whatsoever the subject of such meeting, some Coketowner was sure to seize the occasion of alluding to his eminently practical friend Gradgrind. This always pleased the eminently practical friend. He knew it to be his due, but his due was acceptable. He had reached the neutral ground upon the outskirts of the town, which was neither town nor country, and yet was either spoiled, when his ears were invaded by the sound of music. The clashing and banging band attached to the horse-riding establishment, which had there set up its rest in a wooden pavilion, was in full bray. A flag, floating from the summit of the temple, proclaimed to mankind that it was ‘Sleary’s Horse-riding’ which claimed their suffrages. Sleary himself, a stout modern statue with a money-box at its elbow, in an ecclesiastical niche of early Gothic architecture, took the money. Miss Josephine Sleary, as some very long and very narrow strips of printed bill announced, was then inaugurating the entertainments with her graceful equestrian Tyrolean flower-act.Among the other pleasing but always strictly moral wonders which must be seen to be believed, Signor Jupe was that afternoon to ‘elucidate the diverting accomplishments of his highly trained performing dog Merrylegs.’ He was also to exhibit ‘his astounding feat of throwing seventy-five hundred-weight in rapid suc-

cession backhanded over his head, thus forming a fountain of solid iron in mid-air, a feat never before attempted in this or any other country, and which having elicited such rapturous plaudits from enthusiastic throngs it cannot be withdrawn.’ The same Signor Jupe was to ‘enliven the varied performances at frequent intervals with his chaste Shaksperean quips and retorts.’ Lastly, he was to wind them up by appearing in his favourite character of Mr. William Button, of Tooley Street, in ‘the highly novel and laughable hippo-comedietta of The Tailor’s Journey to Brentford.’ Thomas Gradgrind took no heed of these trivialities of course, but passed on as a practical man ought to pass on, either brushing the noisy insects from his thoughts, or consigning them to the House of Correction. But, the turning of the road took him by the back of the booth, and at the back of the booth a number of children were congregated in a number of stealthy attitudes, striving to peep in at the hidden glories of the place. This brought him to a stop. ‘Now, to think of these vagabonds,’ said he, ‘attracting the young rabble from a model school.’ A space of stunted grass and dry rubbish being between him and the young rabble, he took his eyeglass out of his waistcoat to look for any child he knew by name, and might order off. Phenomenon almost incredible though distinctly seen, what did he then behold but his own metallurgical Louisa, peeping with all her might through a hole in a deal board, and his own mathematical Thomas abasing himself on the ground to catch but a hoof of the graceful equestrian Tyrolean flower-act! Dumb with amazement, Mr. Gradgrind crossed to the spot where his family was thus disgraced, laid his hand upon each erring child, and said: ‘Louisa!! Thomas!!’ Both rose, red and disconcerted. But, Louisa looked at her father with more boldness than Thomas did. Indeed, Thomas did not look at him, but gave himself up to be taken home like a machine. ‘In the name of wonder, idleness, and folly!’ said Mr. Gradgrind, leading each away by a hand; ‘what do you do here?’ ‘Wanted to see what it was like,’ returned Louisa, shortly. ‘What it was like?’ ‘Yes, father.’ There was an air of jaded sullenness in them both, and particularly in the girl: yet, struggling through the dissatisfaction of her face, there was a light with nothing to rest upon, a fire with nothing to burn, a starved imagination keeping life in itself somehow, which brightened its expression. Not with the brightness natural to cheerful youth, but with uncertain, eager, doubtful flashes, which had something painful in them, analogous to the changes on a blind face groping its way. She was a child now, of fifteen or sixteen; but at no distant day would seem to become a woman all at once. Her father thought so as he looked at her. She was pretty. Would have been self-willed (he thought in his eminently practical way) but for her bringing-up. ‘Thomas, though I have the fact before me, I find it difficult to believe that you, with your education and resources, should have brought your sister to a scene like this.’ ‘I brought him, father,’ said Louisa, quickly. ‘I asked him to come.’ ‘I am sorry to hear it. I am very sorry indeed to hear it. It makes Thomas no better, and it makes you worse, Louisa.’ She looked at her father again, but no tear fell down her cheek. ‘You! Thomas and you, to whom the circle of the sciences is open; Thomas and you, who may be said to be replete with facts; Thomas and you, who have been trained to mathematical exactness; Thomas and you, here!’ cried Mr. Gradgrind. ‘In this degraded position! I am amazed.’ ‘I was tired, father. I have been tired a long time,’ said Louisa. ‘Tired? Of what?’ asked the astonished father. ‘I don’t know of what — of everything, I think.’ ‘Say not another word,’ returned Mr. Gradgrind. ‘You are childish. I will hear no more.’ He did not speak again until they had walked some halfa-mile in silence, when he gravely broke out with: ‘What would your best friends say, Louisa? Do you attach no value to their good opinion? What would Mr. Bounderby say?’At the mention of this name, his daughter stole a look at him, remarkable for its intense and searching

character. He saw nothing of it, for before he looked at her, she had again cast down her eyes! ‘What,’ he repeated presently, ‘would Mr. Bounderby say?’All the way to Stone Lodge, as with grave indignation he led the two delinquents home, he repeated at intervals ‘What would Mr. Bounderby say?’ — as if Mr. Bounderby had been Mrs. Grundy. Chapter IV— Mr. Bounderby NOT being Mrs. Grundy, who was Mr. Bounderby? Why, Mr. Bounderby was as near being Mr. Gradgrind’s bosom friend, as a man perfectly devoid of sentiment can approach that spiritual relationship towards another man perfectly devoid of sentiment. So near was Mr. Bounderby — or, if the reader should prefer it, so far off. He was a rich man: banker, merchant, manufacturer, and what not. A big, loud man, with a stare, and a metallic laugh. A man made out of a coarse material, which seemed to have been stretched to make so much of him. A man with a great puffed head and forehead, swelled veins in his temples, and such a strained skin to his face that it seemed to hold his eyes open, and lift his eyebrows up. A man with a pervading appearance on him of being inflated like a balloon, and ready to start. A man who could never sufficiently vaunt himself a self-made man. A man who was always proclaiming, through that brassy speaking-trumpet of a voice of his, his old ignorance and his old poverty. A man who was the Bully of humility. A year or two younger than his eminently practical friend, Mr. Bounderby looked older; his seven or eight and forty might have had the seven or eight added to it again, without surprising anybody. He had not much hair. One might have fancied he had talked it off; and that what was left, all standing up in disorder, was in that condition from being constantly blown about by his windy boastfulness. In the formal drawing-room of Stone Lodge, standing on the hearthrug, warming himself before the fire, Mr. Bounderby delivered some observations to Mrs. Gradgrind on the circumstance of its being his birthday. He stood before the fire, partly because it was a cool spring afternoon, though the sun shone; partly because the shade of Stone Lodge was always haunted by the ghost of damp mortar; partly because he thus took up a commanding position, from which to subdue Mrs. Gradgrind. ‘I hadn’t a shoe to my foot. As to a stocking, I didn’t know such a thing by name. I passed the day in a ditch, and the night in a pigsty. That’s the way I spent my tenth birthday. Not that a ditch was new to me, for I was born in a ditch.’ Mrs. Gradgrind, a little, thin, white, pink-eyed bundle of shawls, of surpassing feebleness, mental and bodily; who was always taking physic without any effect, and who, whenever she showed a symptom of coming to life, was invariably stunned by some weighty piece of fact tumbling on her; Mrs. Gradgrind hoped it was a dry ditch? ‘No! As wet as a sop. A foot of water in it,’ said Mr. Bounderby. ‘Enough to give a baby cold,’ Mrs. Gradgrind considered. ‘Cold? I was born with inflammation of the lungs, and of everything else, I believe, that was capable of inflammation,’ returned Mr. Bounderby. ‘For years, ma’am, I was one of the most miserable little wretches ever seen. I was so sickly, that I was always moaning and groaning. I was so ragged and dirty, that you wouldn’t have touched me with a pair of tongs.’ Mrs. Gradgrind faintly looked at the tongs, as the most appropriate thing her imbecility could think of doing. ‘How I fought through it, I don’t know,’ said Bounderby. ‘I was determined, I suppose. I have been a determined character in later life, and I suppose I was then. Here I am, Mrs. Gradgrind, anyhow, and nobody to thank for my being here, but myself.’ Mrs. Gradgrind meekly and weakly hoped that his mother — ‘My mother? Bolted, ma’am!’ said Bounderby. Mrs. Gradgrind, stunned as usual, collapsed and gave it up. ‘My mother left me to my grandmother,’ said Bounderby; ‘and, according to the best of my remembrance, my grandmother was the wickedest and the worst old woman that ever lived. If I got a little pair of shoes by any chance, she would take ’em off and sell ’em for drink.‘

To Be Continued Next Issue


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 29

Melbourne Seniors News

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Victorian Rural News



Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 37

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Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 39

Quantity Surveyors

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Observer Victorian Sport



SA Cup winner takes Cranbourne ■ Saturday night’s $50,000 (Group 2) Decron Cranbourne Cup for M0 or better class over 2555 metres was taken out by this year’s SA Cup winner Shadow Sax much to the delight of Cranbourne HRC Committee person Pam Hockham and husband Russell who bred and race the 5Y0 gelded son of Shadow Play and Miss Saxony. Trained by the all conquering combination of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin in Ballarat, Shadow Sax with Chris Alford in the sulky led for the majority of the journey from gate four after crossing polemarker Mustang bart running into the first turn. Although kept honest by second elect San Carlo, Shadow Sax defied all challengers to score by 4.1 metres in a mile rate of 1-56.1 from Clancys Fobwatch along the sprint lane from three back the markers, with Mustang Bart 3.7 metres back in third place.

Knight Pistol

■ The 2555 metres (Group 1) Aldebaran Park “The Knight Pistol” worth $50,000 went the way of bonnie 5Y0 Yankee Paco-Karaka Tooth mare Red Hot Tooth for Bolinda trainer Kari Males and stable reinsman Zac Phillips. Exploding away from gate five, Red Hot Tooth had little difficulty in leading and after setting a slow tempo, bounded away on the final bend to register the easiest of victories, accounting for Tornado Valley along the sprint lane from three back the markers and Sparkling Success (four wide home turn) which went huge after an early gallop The margins 3.3 X 1.9 metres in a mile rate of 2-01.9.

Stable double

■ At Maryborough on February 19, Melton cotrainers Sonya Smith and Anthony Butt snared a stable double with a pair of four year olds Shadow Play-Drewsam mare Manthadee taking the Red House Bakery Pace for C1 & C2 class over 2190 metres and Changeover-Ergo Denario gelding Convert Denario the 2190 metre Neat Meats Pace for C0 class. Manthadee (gate four) moved forward from one/one in the first portion of the race to cross the leader Erico and with Butt controlling the tempo, Manthadee a margin of 3 metres on reaching the wire over Valentina Brave (one/ one) and Seaside Beauty which faced the open. The mile rate 1-59. Convert Denario starting from gate three on the second line possied near last as pole marker Here Comes Sharkie held the front running. Showing a brilliant burst of speed once the speed slackened, Convert Denario was presented the leading role on a platter. Holding a margin on the final bend, Convert Denario just lasted from a game Implode which raced uncovered for the majority of the journey to go down by a half head in a thrilling finish. Here Comes Sharkie held down third 18.7 metres away. The mile rate 2-00.5.

Bendigo top night

■ Harness Racing Victoria's "Raceapacer" Syndications enjoyed a great night at Bendigo on February 21, with two of their stock greeting the judge. Somebeachsomewhere-The Dreamtime filly Sheza Beach Dream taking the Santons Of Bendigo 3Y0 Pace over 2150 metres and 4Y0 Rock N Roll Heaven-Elite Shiraz mare Rockin Shiraz the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Bronze Series (1st Heat) for Trotters T0 class over 1609 metres. Sheza Beach Dream trained by Ross Sugars and driven by son Greg starting from inside the second line came from an almost impossible position near last on the markers to make the home turn very wide and rattle home to register a 2.5 metre victory over Trinity Dreaming (one/ two - three wide home turn) and Angel Of Arts which raced exposed. The mile rate 1-57.2. Rockin Shiraz trained and driven by Monegeetta's David Miles, led throughout from the pole to score in 1-58.8. Kicking away ap-

Harness Racing



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with Len Baker proaching the final bend, Rockin Shiraz just lasted by a head from a flying Fear Not (four back the markers - three wide home turn), with Schippers 3.3 metres away in third place after trailing the winner.

Brilliant best

■ Ace reinsman Gavin Lang was at his brilliant best at Geelong on February 25 after winning both feature events - the 2570 metre Yabby Dam Racing Tontine Trotters Championship and the Flying Brick Cider Tontine Pacers Championship over 2100 metres. Formerly run as a heat and final series, but now a one off event, both races carried a stake of $25,000, with the Trotters elevated to Group 3 status.

Rated perfectly

■ Astute Ararat trainer Terry Young's very smart Tennotrump-Deltasu 4Y0 gelding Deltasun was the victor of the standing start trotters, returning a mile rate of 2-02. Starting from 10 metres, Deltasun stepped cleanly to possie four back along the markers, before going forward to take over after travelling a short distance. Rated to perfection, Deltasun was untroubled to record a 3 metre margin in advance of bonny mare Margaret Ruth (30 metres) which led up the three wide line from the bell, with Variance an eye catching third after racing in the open. Ex-Kiwi 4Y0 gelding Rishi (Bettors DelightReklaw) was tough in his pacers victory, much to the delight of owner John Hawke and Melton trainer Lance Justice presently sidelined due to injury. Starting from gate three on the second line as Cruz led from gate two, Rishi settled mid-field in the moving line. Easing three wide to race exposed for the final circuit, it was vintage Lang who never at any stage seemed perturbed, allowing Rishi to stride at his own speed without any pressure being applied. Despite racing a little roughly on the final bend, Rishi when asked for a supreme effort on straightening was too tough, defeating a deathseating Our Little General by a head in a thrilling finish, Rank outsider Islandspecialmajor was a neck away in third place. The mile rate 158.7.

24th success

■ The Charlton Bank Charlton Pacing Cup Day was held on February 25 and Toolern Vale trainer Adam Kelly combined with stable reinsman Zac Phillips to land the Group 3 feature over 2570 metres with much travelled 8Y0 Lombo Pocket Watch-Road To Paris gelding Clancys Fobwatch who by winning, chalked up his 24th success in 111 outings.. Starting from the extreme draw, Clancys Fobwatch was content to sit at the rear of the field as the heavily supported Mustang Bart (gate two) led. Tracking Lets Elope ahead of him forward in the final vircuit, Clancys Fobwatch peeled

four wide in the straight to round up his rivals with ease, scoring by 7.3 metres from Lets Elope, with Mustang Bart a head away in third place. The mile rate 1-57.5. Former Charltonian Ellen Tormey now based in Bendigo, captured the $20,000 (Group 3) North West AG Services Charlton Trotters Cup for TM0 or better class over 2570 metres with 6Y0 Bacardi Lindy-Oh Yes Indeed gelding The Boss Man in a rate of 2-02.3. Burning away from gate five, The Boss Man led throughout easily account for Our Twentyten (one/one) and Tiavons Dream which followed the winner all of the way.

Great guns

Sulky Snippets This Week

■ Wednesday - Kilmore, Thursday - Yarra Valley/Mildura, Friday - Maryborough/ Geelong, Saturday - Melton, Sunday - Birchip (Cup)/Wangaratta (Cup), Monday - Melton, Tuesday - Terang.

■ Maryborough (Havelock) trainer/driver Tina Ridis has 8Y0 Bettors Delight-Sexy Lexy Whitby gelding Itsallaboutex going great guns at present, bringing up two wins in succession by taking the ■ Billy Phelps, Tornado Valley, Guilty PleaCervus Equipment Pace for C2 & C3 class over sure, Nor Nor West, Needabacardi, Bring The Action, Dennington Heights, The Thug, My 2160 metres at Hamilton on February 26. Angling to be one/one a lap out, Itsallaboutex Mojito, Carramar Sovereign, San Domino, after peeling wide on the final bend, finished best The Hervey Bay. to prevail by 2.4 metres from Tommaso which trailed the weakening leader Sketchman who ion, accounting for Bobbies Delight which trailed held down third 3.4 metres back. The mile rate and Fine Artist in an all South Australian finish. The mile rate 2-01.3. 1-58.4. Open class performer Bettor Party (again by Bettors Delight) snared the feature event - the Cosmic Packaging Orange Pace for C5 or bet■ Bungaree based father and son - Ashleigh ter class over the sprint journey of 1790 metres. and James Herbertson scored an impressive vic- Trained on course at Globe Derby Park by Les tory with Lincoln Royal-AmbroAffair gelding Harding, Bettors Party's victory was meritoriVapar Jack in the MIXX FM Radio 3Y0 Pace ous, coming from near last at the bell off a three wide trail to score narrowly but well (half head) over 1660 metres at Hamilton. Sent forward from outside the front line, Vapar over fellow croweater Jeremy Seal's Tezz Khora Jack was trapped in no mans land racing into the which followed him home, with the Broken Hill trained Ardens Legacy (one/one - three wide first turn, but eventually crossed to lead. Despite using up plenty of fuel in the early last lap) 1.1 metres back in third place. The stages, Vapar Jack received some respite through mile rate 1-57.8. the middle stages, before bounding clear on the home turn to win by 2 metres in a rate of 1-56.7 over They Wantano which raced in the open, with the heavily supported Strelitzia a disappoint- ■ Most consistent 5Y0 Sundon-Big O E mare ing third 3 metres away after trailing the winner. Aldebaran Ay M greeted the judge in the 2nd Heat of the Lyn McPherson Breed For Speed Gold Series for Trotters T4 or better at Shepparton on Thursday. Trained and driven by ■ Tabcorp Park Melton raced on Monday Feb- Bendigo's Chris Svanosio for father Peter, ruary 26 and Melton mentor Ken Tippet's very AldenbaranAy M (gate three) settled three back much in-form Rocknroll Hanover-Into The Fire along the markers as Nieta led from the pole. Moving to race exposed at the bell, Aldeba4Y0 gelding Prosthesis brought up two wins in succession at the track when victorious in the ranAy M exploded to the front prior to the home TAB MultiplierTrotters Mobile for TR1 & TR2 turn, holding a margin of a 6.3 metres on the wire in advance of Glenferrie Burn which ran class over 2240 metres. Settling mid-field from gate two on the sec- on all too late from near last, with Nieta holding ond line after being three wide early, Prosthesis down third a half head away. The mile rate 2sprinted sharply in the final circuit to explode to 03.1. the front on the home turn, holding a margin of 3.2 metres on the wire from Needabacardi (three wide last lap). Mr Sundon was an eye catching third 6.4 ■ It was the regular "double day" on Thursday, metres back after circling the field to race ex- with Maryborough racing in the afternoon and Ballarat at night and the day belonged to Chris posed. The mile rate 2-01.9. Alford who finished the day with five winners two at Maryborough (Speak No Evil and Striking Beauty), while at Ballarat Amendment Thir■ Last season's champion juvenile trotter teen, Our Celebrity and Best Of Beauty greeted Wobelee (Alison & Chris Alford), resumed in the judge. (all five were trained by Emma the 2nd Heat of the Need For Speed Prince Se- Stewart). ries for 3T0 to 3T2 over 1720 metres, recording a regulation 2.4 metre margin over Regal Assassin and Chissy in 1-57.5. ■ Elsie Eiler knows that the quickest way to get something done in the little village of Monowi in north-eastern Nebraska, is to do it ■ South Australian took the honours at Mildura herself. And that’s not just in the tavern which on Tuesday February 27, winning three races on she owns and is manager, barkeep, cook and the program, all driven by Dani Hill who trained bottle-washer too, but in Monowi generally two of them while father-in-law Les Harding as she also holds down the roles of Mayor, prepared the other. Four year old Blissful Hall- Town Clerk and Treasurer of the one-person Summer Fairytale gelding Hez A Chance was Monowi Local Council, and is librarian for the 5,000-volume Monowi Library. first to arrive, leading throughout in the Valls StyAnd despite now being 84 years of age, rene Pace for C0 class over 2190 metres, deElsie also ensures the tavern sends its taxes feating Serene Chance (one/one) by a half neck off on time – to herself in her role as Council in 2-00.6. A Good News Day was 4.6 metres Treasurer to pass on to the State of Nebraska, away in third place. then sends it back to her as the local Bettors Delight-Passions Promise filly Pas- that Mayor to keep Monowi’s four street lights sions Delight snared the 2190 metre Cosmic ablaze every night. Packaging Grapes 3Y0 Pace in identical fash-

Horses to follow

Clear on home turn

Settled 3 back

Eye-catching third

Double day

2.4m margin


Honours for SA


Melbourne Obser ver - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 43 e urn lbo Me

Every Week in the Melbourne Observer

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Observer Showbiz

Review: The King’s Singers ........................................ Page 45 Arts: Peter Kemp’s column ................................................ Page 44 Country Music: Adam, Beccy join forces ..................... Page 44 Jim and Aar on: Top Gun meets Magnificent Seven ........ P age 46 Aaron: Cheryl Threadgold: Local theatre shows, auditions ............ Page 59 PL US THE LLO OVATT”S MEGA CRO PLUS CROSSSWORD

HAND TO GOD Joan’s Theatreland

● Joan Krutli ■ Popular Golden Days Radio 95.7FM presenter Joan Krutli presents a special 30-minute Theatreland segment during her weekly Monday Drive With Joan program. Joan began her radio career in 1996, the same year she retired from the work force. Prior to that Joan says she had never even been inside a radio station, much less been ‘on air’. It all came about when Joan was looking through the local papers one day, and saw that radio station 88.3 Southern FM was looking for a receptionist. Having been a secretary/receptionist all her working life, Joan says she thought “why not give it a go? It might be a bit of fun”. From small beginnings, Joan went on to present a weekly two-hour program titled That’s Entertainment/Backstage Chat, and another of her roles at Southern FM was that of News Co-ordinator. This involved auditioning prospective news readers who, if successful, came on board and often went on to get their own programs. Joan has also been involved in many years of live theatre, having done musical comedy, Gilbert and Sullivan, and now works with various groups around Melbourne including Encore, Malvern, Brighton and Mordialloc. She also works with The Adelphi Players (appearing not only in full length productions but also one-act play festivals as well as their Christmas pantomimes). Radio continues to play a big part in Joan’s life, and she is currently a presenter with Golden Days Radio, 95.7FM. Her program Drive with Joan can be heard every Monday between 5pm and 8pm. The Theatreland segment included in Joan’s program is devoted to the community theatre scene in and around Melbourne, covering details of current and future productions, interviews as well as production reviews. Joan has been with Golden Days for many years now and remains highly impressed with the station’s professionalism and high quality of their programmes. “The warmth and friendliness of everyone involved at the station makes it a happy experience for presenters and listeners alike,” says Joan. Being able to combine her love of theatre with the enjoyment and experience gained as a radio presenter, has given Joan the best of both worlds. This is something that Joan, her listeners and audiences hope will continue for many years. - Cheryl Threadgold

● Morgana O’Reilly (Jessica) and Gyton Grantley (Jason) with Tyrone in Hand To God. Photo: Angel Leggas ■ An outrageously rude, irreverent, demonic sock puppet named Tyrone is causing havoc in St Kilda until March 18. Don’t think that Hand To God, the multiple Tony award nominated black comedy playing at the gorgeous Alex Theatre is a puppet-show, because it isn’t. Rather, Tyrone becomes a scapegoat for the wrongdoings of ■ TEG Dainty and Nice Events announce the first AusJason his alter ego, and reminds us how we can easily blame tralian and New Zealand tour of The Minimalists, Ameriothers for our errors. “The Devil made me do it.” can authors, podcasters, filmmakers and public speakers. Written by Robert Askins and presented by Vass ProducJoshua and Ryan will present an in-depth talk about tions, this riotous show is set in the basement of a Lutheran minimalism and record a live version of their wildly succhurch in the conservative town of Cypress in Texas. Recently widowed Margery (Alison Whyte) endeavours to cessful podcast series The Minimalists Podcast. keep an amateur puppetry club going for teenagers, and her When they were 20-something, suit clad and upwardly serious-minded son Jason (Gyton Grantley) attends the group mobile, best friends Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan to please his mum. Nicodemus (both now aged 36) thought they had everyOther adolescents include antagonistic, rough-nut Timothy thing anyone could ever want … until they didn't want any (Jake Speer) and Jason’s secret passion, Jessica (Morgana of it anymore. O’Reilly). Pastor Greg (Grant Piro) encourages puppet minisWhen Joshua was blindsided by the loss of his mother try as well as Margery’s affection. When Jason’s puppet Tyron assumes control of Jason’s and his marriage and Ryan was faced with crippling debt mind as the Devil, all Hell breaks loose during exorcism atand depression, they began questioning every aspect of the tempts, but finishes poignantly, including a moral message for lives they had built for themselves. us all. Then they discovered a lifestyle known as Minimalism Director Gary Abrahams has assembled a fabulous cast. – and everything began to change. The puppeteering of Gyton Grantley (Jason) and his personalIn the pursuit of looking for something more substantial ity changes are particularly well done, as is Morgana O’Reilly’s (Jessica) puppeteering skill in the love-making scene. than compulsory consumption and the broken American Alison Whyte’s impressive performance as Margery covers Dream, Joshua and Ryan both walked away from six figa gamut of emotions from raunchy to sad, while Jake Speer ure careers and embarked on a new journey. captures Timothy’s arrogance and timidity. Since embracing simplicity as a lifestyle, they have Pastor Greg has a personality swing too, splendidly portrayed written three books, including the best selling memoir, Evby Grant Piro. erything That Remains, launched a #1 podcast, co-founded Jacob Battista’s terrific set design immediately transports Asymmetrical Press, a publishing house for the indie at the audience into the story, cleverly using the basement stage area to facilitate additional scenes. heart, embarked on a 100-city international speaking tour Melburnians are fortunate to be seeing this show so soon and spoken at Harvard Business School, Apple, SXSW, after its Broadway success, thanks to Aleksandar Vass and his TEDx and many other organisations and conferences. team. Their new film Minimalism: A Documentary About The Hand To God is must-see theatre experience if you enjoy Important Things, was the #1 indie documentary of 2016. witty comedy on the dark side. Be warned – leave the kids at Their Melbourne performance will be on Sunday, March home. 18 at the Forum Theatre. Performance Season: Until March 18 Venue: The Alex,1/135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda Tickets: www.tegdainty.com Bookings: Ticketek www.handtogod.com.au - Cheryl Threadgold - Review by Cheryl Threadgold

The Minimalists

Page 44 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Observer Showbiz

Country Music, Radio, Theatre, Almanac Country Crossroads

By Rob Foenander info@countrycrossroads.com.au

Adam, Beccy ■ Country music favourites Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole will perform at the Gateway Hotel, Corio, onApril 27. They will revive a number of the songs from their 2017 number one country album, The Great Country Songbook. "The stripped back show is sure to delight fans by highlighting the authentic country vocals and wicked humour we love them for,” their media release says. Tickets at Oztix.ood Friday Ap

Charlie’s last tour ■ International singer-songwriter Charlie Landsborough will tour Australia for the last time this year. The British country and folk musician will head down under for a series of shows in May and June. Latrobe Valley fans can see him on June 3 at the Morwell Club. For bookings, contact Elaine, 5635 4292.

Brunswick 2018 ■ Melbourne's longest running inner-city Brunswick music festival celebrates its 30th year and continues to reflect the exciting and diverse local music community. From March 4-18 both local talent and international artists will share a number of stages across Brunswick's iconic music venues. The ever-popular Sydney Road Street Party and Music for the People will once again be a highlight of the festival. - Rob Foenander

G&S at Sassafras ■ An interesting afternoon of music from various operettas was presented by Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Victoria on Saturday February 24. In a private residence set in the Dandenong Ranges the company had five singers, three male and two female: Jessica CarrascalaoHeard, soprano; Peter Mander, tenor; Nick Sharman, baritone; Laura Slavin, coloratura soprano; Paul Tooby, baritone. Richard Burman was narrator not only introducing each performance but adding to the enjoyment of the afternoon by telling the audience a little history of the writers and of the song and which operetta it was from. The afternoon opened with Nick Sharman and Paul Tooby singing and performing The Gendarmes Duet from Jacques Offenbach's Genevieve de Brabent. A delightful performance with a touch of comedy and enhanced by two wonderful baritones. The rest of the afternoon lived up to the standard set by the opening number with operetta's not often heard these days. These included Veronique by Brigid Audran; some popular pieces from Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II; The Gypsy Princess by Enmerich Kalman; and the popular Goodbye from Whitehorse Inn. It was an enjoyable afternoon with a high and wonderful standard of voice from the performers. - Peter Kemp

Merricks Gallery Seasons: a Photographic journey of discovery. Kate Donnelly has been working full-time as a photographer since 2002. You know her better through lovethepen.com.au or through her recently published book Seasons that takes you through a decade of her personal experiences and reflections on the Mornington Peninsula. Something as special as Seasons can only work when the people behind it put their heart and soul into it, and this is true of Kate's work. Seasons the exhibition showcases the vital transition and evolution of nature as well as the mood and tune of the Mornington Peninsula region. Kate hopes through her photography she can inspire us to take a moment from our daily grind. Exhibition: March 9 - 25. Merricks House Art Gallery 1960 Frankston - Flinders Rd, Merricks. - Peter Kemp

r Obser vbeiz On This Day Show

Wednesday Thursday March 8 March 7

■ Tammy Faye Bakker, once married to TV evangelist Jim Bakker, and later married to Roe Messner. She died in 2007, aged 65, TV presenter David Koch was born in NSW in 1956 (62). Former husband of Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon was born in 1930.

■ US actor Alan Hale Jnr was born in 1918. He died aged 71. Dancer Cyd Charisse was born as Tula Finklea in 1921. She died aged 87 in 2008. Actress Lynn Redgrave was born 75 years ago, in 1943. Singer Carole Bayer Sager was born in New York in 1947.

Talk A Big Game

Melbourne Arts Festival of Live Art ■ Acclaimed American, Melbourne-based artist Jonathon Homsey bring s together motion capture technology and live performances to create an exciting new experience of dance, expression and intimacy beyond gender lines in Mx Reid. Featuring music by Joyce Wrice (USA) and choreography by Sela Vai (Western Sydney) and Homsey, Mx Reid collides contemporary dance with street to blur the lines between the virtual and physical worlds. Be ready for the pose off in MxRed Waacki' Ball as Homsey harnesses the cult popularity of 70s dance style Waakin. The queer futurist celebration of expression and empowerment will be created by the local and international waakin community, including performances by Burn City Waack and international waakin; champion Junko Sasaki, as well as participants of the local Mx.Red Waakin' Workshops. Self Seekers examines selfie; culture and the unique ways each person listens to the worlds around them. First developed by TheAmplified Elephants in 2015, with showings Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Melbourne Self Seekers is a multidisciplinary electronic work featuring live video, abstract sound and performance. A celebration of the awkwardness of adolescence. Lovely Mess invites an audience to bear witness as a group of teenagers on the cusp of adulthood shed the skin of childhood embarrassment so they can move on with their lives. Award-winning artists the indirect Object present three stories of intergenerational mental illness in Verbatim for an intimate audience of one. Told through an immersive solo journey into the heart of life with clinical depression, Verbatim asks 'at what point is a person with mental illness responsible for their actions?' An immersive sonic experience Cruel Optimism held at The Substation and performed by Laurence English, addresses the current geopolitical climate. As part of he event, English will be drawing on his global experience to host workshops on field recording. As Australia's largest live art program featuring contemporary, experimental, interactive and participatory art, the biennial Festival of Live Art is for curious audiences to experience intimate boutique and large scale works. Season: March 13 - 25. Footscray Community Arts Centre 45 Moreland St. Footscray - Peter Kemp

● James Nokise. Photo: Matt Grace ■ James Nokise has spent the last few years performing biting political satire, then Brexit happened, then Trumpocalypse happened. So this year it's jokes on sports. If Clive Palmer can quit politics, then so can James. Or can he? James’s show Talk A Big Game can be seen from March 31 toApril 22 in the Forum Theatre (Ladies Lounge). From cricket controversies, to running against Kiwi Olympians, and stealing other Olympians shoes, James will theorise as to why NBA is the end of the All Blacks; how the Wallabies can save Australian sport, why he'd rather take on Johnathon Thurston than Sharon Layton; and why Gary Ablett may be Jesus. He’s talking World Cups, World Champions, but no world events. Nokise says: “Talk A Big Game came out of a curiosity about the conversations society is willing to have and where they’re willing to have them. For years I’ve been told “no one is interested in politics, politics is boring, politics is elitist”. So I thought what does a show on something people are passionate about look like? I landed on sport. “What you begin to see is, in a society where competitive sport is at the forefront, everything is viewed through that filter. “I love sport, I’m a multi-sport tragic. There’s fun jokes about 23 different sports on the surface for audiences to relax and enjoy. But, like my favourite coaches, there’s many smaller subtler digs underneath if people want to look.” Performance Dates: March 31 – April 22, Previews: March 29 and 30 Times: 7.15pm Venue: Forum Theatre (Ladies Lounge), 154 Flinders St, Melbourne Duration: 60 minutes Tickets: $18 Preview; $25 Adult / $22 Conc. / $20 groups 6+ & Cheap Tues Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au - Cheryl Threadgold Melbourne


Friday March 9

Saturday March 10

■ The late Keith McGowan would have celebrated his 75th birthday today. He would have celebrated all week. Detective novelist Mickey Spillane was born in New York in 1918.. Chess champion Bobby Fischer was born in the US in 1941.

■ TV and film writer Tony Morphett was born in Sydney in 1938 Chuck Norris is too tough to blow out birthday candles. He was born in 1939. English singer Tina Charles is 63. She was born as Tina Hoskins. Prince Edward was born in London, England, in 1964 (54).

Sunday March 11 ■ Former British Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson was born in 1916. He died aged 79 in 1993. Squash champion Geoff Hunt was born in Melbourne in 1947 (71). Singer Bobby McFerron (Don’t Worry Be Happy) was born in 1950 (68).

Monday March 12

■ Actress Googie Withers was born in Karachi, India in 1917. She died aged 94. Barbara Feldon, who played Agent 99 in Get Smart. Liza Minelli was born in Los Angeles in 1946. She is 72 today. Singer Al Jarreau was born as Alwyn Jarreau in Milwaukee.

Tuesday March 13 ■ US singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1939. George Negus was born in Brisbane in 1942 (76). Lady Phyllis Cilento, mother of the late Diane, was born in 1894, died in 1987. Boxing champ Joe Bugner was born 1950.

Thanks to GREG NEWMAN of Jocks Journal for assistance with birthday and anniversary dates. Jocks Journal is Australia’s longest running radio industry publication. ■ Melbourne Find out more at www.jocksjournal.com


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 45

Observer Showbiz

TV, Radio, Theatre

Pick Up

Days of Our Hives

The King’s Singers ● Colin Craig and Alia Vryens Photo: Jamie Breen ■ Pick Up presents the cabaret comedy #Pickup from March 27-April 8 at Tasma Terrace, East Melbourne. Lounge singer Alia Vryens and Punk guitarist Colin Craig are making their Melbourne Comedy Festival debut after success at the Perth Fringe. Colin says: “We made it our mission to make a show that was as strong musically as it was comedically – not just three chords and some jokes.” Alia adds: “… but we did write some great jokes”. Colin and Aria say they talk openly about sex. “We promote a feminist and sex-positive attitude towards sex and dating, and present a united male/female perspective that eschews expectations of male comedians and female Ccomedians.” Alia is a performer, musician, producer, director and writer with more than15 years’ experience. Colin is a theatre practitioner with more than 15 years’ of professional experience in the areas of theatre, music, circus, comedy and cabaret, and has performed in WA, NSW, Victoriaand Adelaide. He was nominated for Best Actor in the Robert FinleyAwards, 2005, and was a RAW Comedy finalist, 2004 and 2005. Performance Details: March 27 – April 8 at 9.15pm Venue: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, Melbourne Bookings: www.pickupcomedy.com - Cheryl Threadgold

■ They are ageless. Their repertoire traverses the distance and history of the world from English madrigals to American contemporary and even to pieces composed for this, their 50th anniversary world tour. They are anonymous - the six singers not being identified by name in the program. They are the King’s Singers. That six unaccompanied voices can hold an audience is remarkable in this day of amplification but the King’s Singers hark back to the tradition of a cappella performance where atmosphere, message and entertainment relied on the simple skill and utility of the human

voice. And these singers make their mastery look so simple. The fun and exuberance in performance belies the discipline and acuity needed to balance, harmonise and remain in pitch. The opening Prayer of King Henry VI was a tribute to their foundation in King’s College Cambridge. The final William Tell Overture was a testament to their cheeky versatility. The intervening pieces were classical, popular, scholarly and fun. Such is their ability that composers gift them compositions. Their capacity to blend as one voice is their unique sell-

ing proposition if one is to adopt the ‘marketing parlance’. But they breathe together and finish together such is their precision. The voices are resonant and their diction clear and distinct. All this makes them a pleasure to listen to. And they can create atmosphere – the ghost in The Band Played Waltzing Matilda evoked with the mesmerizing airy cadence only possible with true voices working together. The performance at the Robert Blackwood Hall was their only Melbourne concert. It was worth the effort. - Review by David McLean

Enter Ophelia

Colder ■ Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre presents Colder by Lachlan Philpott, from March 13 – April 8. Under the direction of Alyson Campbell, Colder explores the real life events of someone disappearing without a trace and the emotional impact on those left behind. A young boy is separated from his mother and goes missing in Disneyland. Adrift in the artificial world of giant mice and noisy parades, nobody can account for what happened in the seven frantic hours before he’s found. Years later his life seems normal, but something about that day haunts him; something remains unresolved. And then, he disappears again… Lachlan and Alyson are proudly queer theatre artists who have worked together since 2000 under the banner wreckedAllprods. Alyson's production of Philpott's The Trouble with Harry (Melbourne International Festival, 2014) won two Green Room Awards. Alyson directed sell-out seasons of Lachlan's first play Bison in Belfast, London and Melbourne, and their other work includes Catapult, GL RY (Belfast), and upcoming works Cake Daddy (Belfast) and XXX-isle (National Theatre of Croatia). Performance Season: March 13 – April 8 Venue: Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel St., St Kilda Bookings: 9533 8083 or www.redstitch.net - Cheryl Threadgold

● Alanta Colley presents Days of our Hives ■ Days of Our Hives, the tale of Alanta Colley’s adventures and misadventures in urban beekeeping, is being presented from April 9 -22 at Belleville, Melbourne CBD. After fleeing from a swarm in the Czech republic, Alanta turned her fear into fascination and is now a proud member of Melbourne’s urban beekeeping community; removing swarms from her neighbour’s kitchen, sharing bee trivia and upsetting people by explaining honey is, in fact, bee vomit. Returning from an entirely sold out season of her debut solo show Parasites Lost at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Alanta’s nerdy concoction of evidence-based comedy and personal confessions has been warmly received across Australia and internationally. Alanta is a public health practitioner, comedian and co-founder of the Sci Fight Science Comedy Debate held at the Spotted Mallard. She has performed for the Gates Foundation, at Adelaide’s Science Exchange, is a regular at Political Asylum and the Laboratory. By day she teaches engineering students about international development. By night she tells jokes about her bees to confused comedy crowds. Days of our Hives will run for 12 performances. Bookings recommended. Dates: April 9 -22 (except Wednesdays) Time: 7.15pm Cost: $16-$26 Venue: Belleville Melbourne, Globe Alley Tickets: www.trybooking.com/book/ event?eid=343094& - Cheryl Threadgold

Here to Infirmity

● Anna Rodway, Amanda Labonte, Sophie Lampel, Candace Miles and Madelaine Nunn in Enter Ophelia. Photo: Theresa Harrison ■ Something is rotten in the state of ‘dark and rushes. She soon realises that not everyone has her dirty’ Denmark; madness, murder and increasbest interests at heart. In this era of #MeToo, ingly dark forces haunt the Court. Ophelia, the ‘luckiest’ maiden in the country, Ophelia is a modern heroine; one who plots her is a victim of the patriarchy. Bullied by her fa- revenge. The dialogue moves quickly and the audither, Polonius and her brother, Laertes, and stuck in an abusive relationship with the tortured, ence needs to keep up. This is made easy by the moody Prince Hamlet, Ophelia begins to un- talent onstage. Directed by John Kachoyan, the all-female ravel, to fragment. Enter Ophelia is a reimagining of Shakes- ensemble of Anna Rodway, Amanda Labonte, peare’s drama with a female gaze. The action Sophie Lampel, Candace Miles and Madelaine is scaffolded with a chess game between Nunn is excellent. The mood is enhanced by Russell Ophelia and Queen Gertrude. A dangerous game for which the naïve Goldsmith’s atmospheric soundscape, a neat Ophelia is unprepared. “Don’t ask the big ques- set by Laura Hawkins and lighting by Steve tions, Ophelia,” Hamlet cautions, ‘to be or not Hendy. Giving agency to the ‘drowned damsel of to be…” It seems, in Denmark, that the only Denmark,’ Enter Ophelia is a welcome, fresh, way out is death. However, unlike her nineteenth-century new take on a 400-year-old play. Performance Dates: Until March 4 iconic, pre-Raphaelite doppelganger etched in Venue: La Mama Theatre, Carlton collective memory by the painter John Everett Bookings: www.lamama.com.au Millais, this 20th-century Ophelia is not going to - Review by Kathryn Keeble take these setbacks lying down among the bul-

■ Australian comedian Sue Ingleton says she’s still alive, but planning to murder her characters. La Mama presents From Here to Infirmity at La Mama Courthouse from March 29 to April 8. Sue says Bill Rawlings, whose first show in 1981 was called From Here to Maternity, has just survived the white ribbon campaign and boutique beer and refuses to go quietly to the crematorium. He says: “There’s a million women out there who still want me!” And there is Edith Wise, at 88, has been horrifying audiences for 30 years and hasn’t aged a day. Sue says Edith went to the crematorium but there was a queue so she refused to wait- “Because I cannot wait for death, he’d better choose someone else.” Gemma Hatchback who is tryptanoled, xanaxed and turmericked out of her brain, is recovering from a Cosmetic Tourism labia reduction and an Ashley Madison disaster. So preserved is she, by every experimental drug on the planet, her body can never die. Sue wishes to make this, her last show, a smash hit and a sold out season and says she wants no reason to keep coming back. Performance Season: March 29 – April 8 Venue: Courthouse Theatre, La Mama, Carlton. Bookings: 9347 6142 - Cheryl Threadgold

Page 46 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Observer Showbiz


Movies, DVDs with Jim Sherlock, Aaron Rourke What’s Hot and What’s Not in Blu-Rays and DVDs FILM: HOME AGAIN: Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance. Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Michael Sheen, Lake Bell, Candice Bergen. Year: 2017. Rating: M. Length: 97 Minutes. Stars: **½ Verdict: Recently separated from her husband (Michael Sheen), Alice (Reese Witherspoon) decides to start over by moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles with her two young daughters. During a night out on her 40th birthday, Alice meets three aspiring filmmakers who happen to be in need of a place to live, so Alice agrees to let the guys stay in her guest house temporarily, but the arrangement ends up unfolding in unexpected ways. Alice's unlikely new family and new romance comes to a crashing halt when her ex-husband shows up, suitcase in hand. Amiable but not altogether fulfilling formulaic rom-com-drama remains fairly pedestrian throughout, and though it may raise a mild smile from time-to-time it never really lists to anything totally satisfying or memorable. Nonetheless, there are sprinkles of hope due to Reese Witherspoon's briskness, radiance and charm, though not in the league of some of her more recent efforts including the award winning "Wild" (2014) and the multi-award-winning "Big Little Lies," but the real coup is having screen veteran Candice Bergen as her mother. A midlife crisis comedy short on comedy and crisis, there is enough here to fill in a couple of hours on hot or rainy afternoon while the kiddies play with their toys or cooking dinner, or both. FILM: THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM: Genre: Mystery/Horror/Thriller. Cast: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Eddie Marsan. Year: 2016. Rating: MA15+. Length: 109 Minutes. Stars: *** Summary: In Victorian Era London a series of murders by a "Jack The Ripper" style serial killer has shaken the community to the point where people believe that only a creature from dark times, the mythical so-called Golem, must be responsible as Detective Inspector John Kildare closes in. The dark, brooding and seamy side of Victorian Era London are all captured well in this effectively made mystery-horror-thriller, with superb production, set, costume design and period detail. Bill Nighy, stepping in for the late Alan Rickman who passed away shortly before filming began, is the standout as the Detective Inspector on the case and on the chase as the body count rises and puzzle thickens, along with Olivia Cooke in a richly captivating performance as music-hall star Elizabeth Cree and Eddie Marsan as the music-hall owner, Uncle. Written for the Screen by Jane Goldman (The Woman in Black, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class), even though the frights are light, theatrics high, the plot and pacing sketchy, this is nonetheless, a delightfully morbid, quirky and devilishly lurid nightmare who-done-it tale. FILM: GEOSTORM: Genre: Action/Sci-Fi/Thriller. Cast: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish, Mare Winningham, Ed Harris, Andy Garcia. Year: 2017. Rating: M. Length: 109 Minutes. Stars: **½ Summary: A catastrophic climate change endangers Earth's survival and world governments unite and create geo-engineering technologies designed to stave off the natural disasters, but after two years, something is starting to go wrong, and two brothers are tasked with solving the program's malfunction before a world-wide Geostorm can engulf the planet. "Independence Day" (1996), "Godzilla" (1998), "Eight Legged Freaks" (2002) and "Independence Day: Resurgence" (2016) producer, and Roland Emmerich collaborator, Dean Devlin makes his feature directorial debut this (yet another) disaster pot-boiler, and the results are big, dumb beyond words, and ultimately catastrophic. Among the madness and mayhem of earth crumbling around us there are plenty of yelling and explosions, buildings falling down, running, jumping, more yelling, cities crumbling, punching, shotouts, more yelling, car chases, and oh yes, bad weather, and a 14 year old daughter who just knows that daddy is going to save us all and is coming because he said so. Filled with cliché and more pot-holes than on the moon, especially when designer Gerard Butler tries to open a door in space, only to be told it's the wrong door, and as millions die the pooch has to be reunited with its boy owner, this is glued together by plot points from so many movies it's difficult to keep up, most notably "Our Man Flint" (1966) and "Diamonds Are Forever" (1971), among many others. Nonetheless, with spectacular special effects and cheesy dialogue, here is a "guilty pleasure" waiting in the wings as earth faces another catastrophe, and it right here, entertaining for all the wrong reasons, and there plenty of those around, we've all enjoyed. One more thing reliable than death, taxes and bad weather are bad movies, and with that in mind, this is as close as it gets. - James Sherlock

Rourke’s Reviews


● Chris Hemsworth stars in 12 Strong While not up there with his best, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is still ■ (MA). 130 minutes. Opens in lively, colourful fun, filled with eccinemas on March 8. centric characters and strange, What can be neatly described as sometimes indescribable incidents. Top Gun meets The Magnificent Josuke (Kento Yamazaki), also Seven, 12 Strong sees producer known as JoJo, is a high school stuJerry Bruckheimer return to his dent with special powers, and unshrewd, 80's-style jingoistic roots, sure of where they originated until and while young male audiences he meets Jotaro (Yusuke Iseya). may lap all this up, older movieInadvertently teaming up with goers wanting a more thoughtful new student Koichi (Ryunosuke examination of America's initial Kamiki), the understandably coninvolvement in Afghanistan after fused JoJo must figure out why his the tragic events on 9/11, will be small town is suddenly inundated sorely disappointed. with chaotic behaviour, and who is Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth causing it. stars as Captain Mitch Nelson, Miike (Blade Of The Immortal) who along with 11 other soldiers, inventively brings all this mangamust team up with Uzbek warlord adapted madness to life, but in an General Dostum (Navid attempt to cram as much of the Negahban) and his small army, to source material into one film as enter Afghan territory and defeat possible, some of the narrative and well-armed Taliban fighters. secondary characters are overDue to the type of terrain they whelmed by the entertainingly have to cross, these wary allies elaborate craziness. have to accomplish it on horse, and RATING - *** all within a three week timeframe. There is an absorbing, insightful movie to be made about what is quite an incredible mission, but 12 Strong isn't it. Simplistic in its writing, filled ■ (MA). 108 minutes. Now showwith one-note characters, and over- ing in selected cinemas. More successful as a straightseen by a director who emphasises explosions and one-liners over gritty forward thriller than an in-depth exrealism, this oddly retro tone makes amination of friendship, nostalgia the whole project feel uncomfort- and trust, this remake of the excelably out-of-step with other modern lent 2010 Japanese film of the same name is exciting enough, but trunwar movies. Hemsworth is better than the cates the smaller details a little too material given to him, while much, never allowing the audience Michael Shannon (The Shape Of to fully connect with its terrified, Water) looks lost among the conflicted characters. Gun-woo (Gang Dong-won) is Michael Dudikoff-inspired shean honest, hard-working courier nanigans. who sees his life turned upside RATING - ** down when he is accused of assassinating a prominent presidential candidate. Forced to go on the run, Gun-woo doesn't know who to trust, and as the media quickly present ■ JoJo's Bizarre Adventure : Dia- him as the number one suspect, he mond Is Unbreakable - Chapter 1 must find out who set him up be(MA). 119 minutes. Now showing fore those very people see him siin selected cinemas. lenced for good. Golden Slumber With a body of work that in- is certainly entertaining, but the cludes just over one hundred mov- numerous changes made diminies, it is nice to see some of inde- ishes its overall effectiveness as fatigable Takashi Miike's films fi- both a paranoia thriller and affectnally start to garner theatrical re- ing human drama. leases in this country. RATING - ***

12 Strong

Golden Slumber

Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adevnture

THE DVD AND BLU-RAY TOP RENTALS & SALES: 1. GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN [Biography/Drama/Domhall Gleeson, Margot Robbie]. 2. DETROIT [Crime/Drama/Thriller/John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie]. 3. BAD MOMS 2 [Comedy/Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn]. 4 BELOW [Biography/Adventure/Drama/Kale Culley, Sarah Dumont, Josh Hartnett]. 5. SUBURBICON [Comedy/Mystery/Drama/ Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac]. 6. SHOT CALLER [Crime/drama/Thriller/ Nikolai Coster-Waldau, Jon Bernthal]. 7. BLADE RUNNER 2049 [Sci-Fi/Mystery/ Drama/Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright]. 8. THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC [Comedy/ Fantasy/Drama/Jessica Brown Findlay]. 9. BRAD'S STATUS [Comedy/Drama/Ben Stiller, Michael Sheen, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer]. Also: DUNKIRK, BATTLE OF THE SEXES, MOTHER!, GEOSTORM, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, HOME AGAIN, TOMMY'S HONOUR, THE SNOWMAN, ANOTHER MOTHER'S SON, JIGSAW. NEW RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS ON DVD THIS WEEK: DADDY'S HOME 2 [Comedy/Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow]. TULIP FEVER [Drama/Romance/Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz, Judi Dench]. WONDER [Family/Drama/Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson]. PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN [Drama/Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall]. NEW RELEASE HIGHLIGHTS ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK: DADDY'S HOME 2 [Comedy/Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow]. WONDER [Family/Drama/Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson]. NEW & RE-RELEASE CLASSIC MOVIES ON DVD HIGHLIGHTS: None Listed for This Week. NEW RELEASE TELEVISION, DOCUMENTARY AND MUSIC DVD HIGHLIGHTS: THE STRAIN: Season 3. THE AMERICANS: Season 4. THE SINNER: Season 1. - James Sherlock


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 47

Page 48 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Best Places


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 49


Owners say sell Off ers o ver $200 Offers ov $200,,000 More info: www.mildurahouseboatsales.com.au 3 bedroom luxurious houseboat

$495,000 Moored 3 minutes from Mildura CBD. More info: www.mildurahouseboatsales.com.au

Southern Belle diesel powered paddleboat $298,000 Moored South Australia. arguably one of the best on the river More info:www.mildurahouseboatsales.com.au

More info www.mildurahouseboatsales.com.au or 0417 531 316

Page 50 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Caravans,Camping andTouring



Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 51

Fishing and Boating

Page 52 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Fishing and Boating



Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 53

On The Move

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Best Places


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 55

Best Places

Page 56 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Best Places


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 57

Best Places

Page 58 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Maeburn Cottages 33 Mairburn Rd, Metung VIC 3904 Phone: (03) 5156 2736 www.maeburncottages.com.au

Relax and unwind at Maeburn’s luxury lakeside Cottages, set in an acre of established parklike gardens and positioned for privacy with ample adjacent parking and a ramp for easy access. For that quintessential family holiday in Metung you can’t go past Maeburn Cottages! The ideal getaway for couples, families, friends and large groups of up to 20. Cottage 1 The Queen Suite (front part of the main house) Main bedroom has a queen bed. Second bedroom has a queen bed. LCD TV. Kitchenette. Private Tepanyaki BBQ and verandah. Cottage 2 Main bedroom has a queen bed. Second bedroom - one single bed. Double sofabed in lounge. Cottage 3 Main bedroom has a queen bed. Second bedroom - one single bed and a king single bed. Cottage 4 Main bedroom has a queen bed. Second bedroom has a queen bed. Every cottage has a dining and living area. Cottages 2, 3 and 4 have a dining and living area with an 81cm LCD TV, DVD player and reverse cycle air-conditioning. Kitchens are equipped with stoves, microwaves, refrigerators, crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils. Cottages 2, 3 and 4 have a washing machine, clothes line and dryer. Linen and towels for hire or BYO. Blankets and pillows are provided. New wooden deck with pergola and outdoor furniture. We are Pet Friendly - well behaved, clean and brushed dogs allowed.


Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 59

Observer Showbiz

Local Theatre with Cheryl Threadgold and team ONE ACT PLAYS

● Jordan Iverach (Bernard) and Sass Pinci (Jac) in The Devil in the Detail. Photo: Kirsten Taafe ■ PEP Productions present One Act Plays 2018 at the Doncaster Playhouse until March 10. The first is The Devil in the Detail, written by Amber Harris and directed by Karim Shaker. The plays tells of an actress and her leading man and a devilish amount of detail. The Salsa Plays by Alex Broun and directed by Salina Henderson is a collection of eight short plays set in and around a Salsa Dance class, focusing on the relationships between the new and old students of the class as they head towards their big dance competition. Congratulations to PEP Productions for winning Best Production Variety in the 2017 Lyrebird Awards for their production of Is There Life After High School? The company also proudly won the following awards: Best Sound in a Musical/ Variety Under $30k - Peter Philp, Michaela Philp and David Drew; Best Ensemble Item in a Variety - The Kid Inside; Best Female Performer in a Variety - Sonyta Trahar; Best Musical Director of a Variety - Stephen Amos; Best Director of a Variety - Justin Cleaver. Show dates: March 7,8,9 at 8pm and March 10 at 6pm (twilight performance) Venue: Doncaster Playhouse, 679 Doncaster Rd., Doncaster Tickets: $25 Bookings: www.trybooking.com/TRGY or 0418 549 187

JEKYLL AND HYDE ■ Martin Dunlop is out to prove we can run but not ‘hyde’at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with his new show Jekyll and Hyde: The Sequel, presented from April 2-8 at The Butterfly Club. Having tackled murder mysteries (Murder, He Spoke) and the witch panic (Burn the Witch) in previous years, Melbourne-based writer and comedian Dunlop has turned his attention to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of duality, madness and other fun with chemicals. A three-act comedy performed along with stand-up Lauren Bok and performer and television writer James Ferris , Jekyll and Hyde: The Sequel is inspired by the dank and torpid underbelly of the London much loved and seen in fiction since Stevenson’s day. Picking up where the original left off (only Jekyll’s not dead), Jekyll and Hyde: The Sequel is said to explore Victorian London’s obsessions with early psychiatry, modern romance and unspeakable perversion. Dunlop’s producer Cathy Culliver says: “With mental illness and the duality of evil men still in the news, there’s never been a better time for a show about Jekyll and Hyde than right now. Or indeed any other time between when it was written and now.” Performance Dates: April 2-8 at 10:00pm (Seven shows only). Where: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, off Little Collins St Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au - Cheryl Threadgold

Avant Garde Artists’ Society ■ Six of Melbourne’s best improvisers will creSHOWS ate a unique parody of ‘cutting-edge” theatre. vomedy, tragedy, Dada, Brecht and Beckett collide ‘in a one-off theatrical show from March 27 – April, in Victorian Avant-garde Artists Society Presents at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Each night the audience suggests a title for the newest company performance and VAGAS will devise, on the spot, a 50-minute experimental theatre piece. With movement, colourful characters and unbridled imagination, their performance will challenge conceptions of what comedy and theatre should be. This parody of theatre and art tropes is said to appeal to anyone who enjoys cringeworthy mockumentaries like The Office, sketch shows like The Characters, anything by Christopher Guest and to anyone who loves theatre. The Victorian Avant-garde Artists’ Society performs a monthly show at The Improv Conspiracy, Melbourne’s leading long-form improv comedy theatre. The cast is made up of a mixture of comedians, actors, writers and filmmakers who are intentionally subverting their own passions for this show.

● Randy Adeva, Tom Burton, Roxanne Halley, Becky Swannic, Josh Burton and Colum Coomey Victorian Avant-gardeArtists Society runs for two weeks. Bookings recommended. Dates: March 27– April 8 Time: 7.15pm Cost: $18 - $25 Venue: Tasma 3, Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Pl, East Melbourne Tickets: www.comedyfestival.com.au

Latest shows, auditions SHOWS


■ The 1812 Theatre: Calendar Girls (by Tim Firth) Until March 17 at The 1812 Theatre, 3-5 Rose St., Upper Ferntree Gully. Director: John Mills. Bookings: www.1812theatre.com.au ■ Gemco Players: Falling From Grace (by Hannie Rayson) March 9 - 24 at 19 Kilvington Drive, Emerald. Director: Sharon Maine: Tickets: $25/$22. Bookings: www.gemcoplayers.org ■ The Basin Theatre Group: It's Never Too Late (by Ron Aldridge) Until March 10 at The Basin Theatre, Cnr Doongalla and Simpsons Rds., The Basin. Director: Christine Grant. Bookings: 1300 784 668 or www.thebasintheatre.org.au ■ Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre Company: Sylvia (by A. R. Gurney) Until March 17 at 3941 Castella St., Lilydale. Director; Catherine Garside. Bookings: 9735 1777. ■ Strathmore Theatrical Arts Group (STAG): Wait Until Dark (by Frederick Knott) Until March 11 at the Strathmore Community Centre, Cnr Loeman and Napier Sts., Strathmore. Director: Rhys Purdey. Tickets: $20/$15. Bookings: 9382 6284 or www.stagtheatre.org/reservations ■ Beaumaris Theatre: Chicago Until March 17 at Beaumaris Theatre, 82 Wells Rd., Beaumaris. Director: Debbie Keyt; Musical Director: Rhonda Vaughan; Choreographer: Camilla Klesman. Bookings: www.beaumaris theatre.com.au ■ PEP Productions: One Act Plays Until March 10 at the Doncaster Playhouse, 679 Doncaster Rd., Doncaster. The Devil in The Detail (by Amber Harris) Directed by Karim Shaker; The Salsa Plays (by Alex Broun) Directed by Salina Henderson. Tickets: $25. Bookings: 0418 549 187. ■ The Mount Players: The Offshore Island (by Marghanita Laski) March 9 - 25 at 56 Smith St., Macedon. Director: Cherry Servis. Bookings: 5426 1892. ■ Gemco Players Community Theatre: Falling From Grace (by Hannie Rayson) March 9 24 at The Gem Community Theatre, Kilvington Drive. Emerald. Director: Sharon Maine. Bookings: 0419 118 917. ■ Essendon Theatre Company: Old Actors Never Die, They Simply Lose the Plot (by Lynn Brittney) March 15 - 24 at 9 Bradshaw St., Essendon. Director: Dawn Hinrichsen and Alex McMurray. Bookings: 0422 029 483. ■ Warrandyte Theatre Company: Four One Act Plays March 16 - 24 at Cnr. Yarra and Mitchell

Avenue, Warrandyte. Director: Caroline Shaw. ■ ARKfest Short Play Festival, March 24 - 25 at the Lilydale Heights Performing Arts Centre, 17 Nelson Rd., Lilydale. Producer: Paula Armstrong. Tickets: From $10. Bookings: https:/ /www.trybooking.com/book/ event?eid=344224& ■ Sherbrooke Theatre Company: It's a Dad Thing (by The Dad's Theatre Group) March 16 - 24 at the Doncaster Playhouse, 679 Doncaster Rd., Doncaster. Director: Stephen Barber. Bookings: 1300 650 209. ■ The Basin Theatre: Burke's Company (by Bill Reed) March 12 at 7pm at The Basin Theatre, Doongalla Rd., The Basin. 0408 511 355. ■ Adelphi Players Theatre Company: Hippo Dancing (by Robert Morley) April 28 - May 6 at the Booran Road Hall, 264 Booran Rd., Ormond. Director: Michael Mace. Tickets: $15 adults, $12 children/concession (includes refreshments and program). Bookings: 9690 1593

AUDITIONS ■ Frankston Theatre Group: The Taming of the Shrew (by William Shakespeare), March 11 at 12.00pm. Director: Roy Thompson at the FTG rooms, Cnr Overport and Somerset Rds., Frankston. Enquiries:0419 304 650 ■ Malvern Theatre Company: Morning Sacrifice (by Dymphna Cusack) March 11, 12 at 29 Burke Rd., Malvern East. Director: Loretta Bishop. Enquiries:ljbishop@bigpond.com ■ Warrandyte Theatre Company: Doubt (by John Patrick Shanley) March 18 at 4.00pm, March 20 at 5.00pm at the Mechanics Institute Hall, Yarra St., Warrandyte. Director: Susan Rundle. Enquiries: 0416 298 136. ■ Mordialloc Theatre Company: Season's Greetings (by John Patrick Shanley) March 18 at 4pm, March 20 at 8pm at the Mechanics' Institute Hall, Warrandyte. Director: Susan Rundle. Enquiries: 0416 298 136. ■ Peridot Theatre: The Shoe Horn Sonata (by John Misto) March 25 at 6.30pm and March 27 at 7.30pm at Unicorn Theatre, Mt Waverley Secondary College. Director: Alison Knight. Enquiries: 0437 380 533. ■ Adelphi Players Theatre Company: Hippo Dancing (by Robert Morley) April 28 - May 6 at the Booran Road Hall, 264 Booran Rd., Ormond. Director: Michael Mace. Tickets: $15 adults, $12 children/concession (includes refreshments and program). Bookings: 9690 1593.


● Jack Druce, comedian ■ Comedian Jack Druce takes his new show to the Melbourne Comedy Festival, titled Kitchen Bird from April 9 -22 (no Wednesdays) at Belleville. Since releasing his first stand-up special in 2016, Jack has been building his reputation as a funny voice and strong writer, has toured his stand-up around the country and is writing for Australia’s prime-time comedy shows. Dates: April 9-22 (no Wednesdays) Venue: Belleville Time: 8.30pm – 9.30pm Price: $25.00 Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/ book/event?embed&eid=341833


● Jacqueline Mifsud ■ Jacqueline Mifsud says she is her own worst critic, (second only to her uncle who told her she was fat when she was 16 at Christmas) But she is trying to be better; a better daughter, a better lover, a better friend. Jacqueline sets a high standard for herself so why can’t everyone else? After performing to sell-out crowds and being named as one of the 20 hottest picks for the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival by Pedestrian.TV, Jacqueline returns with her fourth one woman show, Be Better It can be seen between April 9 and 22 at 6.45pm at Tasma Terrace. As well as being a comedian, Mifsud is a television and radio presenter and actor. She is part of the Tuesday Drive team Rach, Jacq and Dene and co hosts Sound of Summer on Joy 94.9. Mifsud also hosts the cultural web series Different Similarities as well as having cohosted two seasons of The Leak on Channel 31. She also appears alongside fellow comedians on the satirical 100% Genuine News. Be Better production opens on Monday April 9 and runs for 14 nights. Performance Dates: April 9 - 22 Time: 6:45pm Tickets: $20 - $25 ($15 Preview) Venue: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au


Page 60 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Melbourne


Lovatts Crossword No 24 Across

1. Visionaries 6. Man of Steel hero 11. Tibia 15. Gangster's lieutenants 20. Clumsy lout 21. Tall Kenyan tribe 22. The Boston ... Party 23. Most substantial 24. Sermonises 25. State publicly 27. Causing (havoc) 28. Father (children) 29. Elevate 31. Ireland (poetic) 32. Pester 36. Kenya's capital 37. Gods 38. Prepared (3,3) 41. Takes note of 44. Cymbals sound 45. Dutch centre of govt, The ... 48. Non-professional 49. Mideast shipping passage (3,3) 52. Pushing for 56. Go in front of 57. Dessert, ... split 58. Aerial 61. Culminate in (4,2) 62. California's San ... Fault 63. Vestments 64. Dame Nellie ... 65. Performs service for 66. Joins forces (5,2) 67. Odd bod 71. Canal boat 73. Of sound system 75. Cloudiest 80. Battery fluid 82. Elbowing 83. The T of PTO 85. Vibrated 86. Made reparation 88. Colonial realm 90. Acorn-gathering mammal 91. Dot/dash code 93. Agitated 94. Misbehaved (6,2) 95. Yummiest 96. Prime example 97. A single occasion 99. Unicorn spike 100. Snake 104. Upper leg 105. Tycoon 106. Well done! 107. Freeloaders 111. Spooky 113. UAE sheikhdom, ... Dhabi 114. Estimated touchdown time (1,1,1) 115. Computer/phone link 117. Part of sentence 118. Ate out 121. Brazil's ... Janeiro (3,2) 122. Wood-shaping machine 125. Gambol 126. Clock face 127. Give up (territory) 129. Xmas period 131. Receive 132. Hansel's partner 135. Coober Pedy gem 136. Sticks (to) 139. Peruse 140. International charity club 144. Bravery badge 145. Sultan's wives 146. Cost 147. Grumble 148. Curtly

Across 149. Tuscany is there 150. Kinder 152. Not heavy 154. Surrenders 157. Small version 158. Letter 162. Spinster relative, maiden ... 163. Academy Awards 166. Bathe 167. Assents with head 169. Ayatollah's land 171. Capital of Peru 172. Main Japanese island 173. Rule 175. Raising agent 176. Lead 179. US president, Ronald ... 180. Bird of prey 182. And so forth 183. Facial twitch 184. Encouraged, ... on 186. Half-breeds 189. Scoffs 190. Shrub fence 191. Panic 192. Insists 196. Tofu bean 197. Scythes 198. Monarch's rod 199. Holding up 201. Paraffin oil 202. Stupidly 203. Taunted 204. Carve in stone 205. Inserts 208. Twins zodiac sign 210. Cairo native 211. Teenage heart-throb 212. Disorganised person 213. Tin containers 215. Dodges 219. Paris underground 221. Stop! (nautical) 223. Spear vegetable 227. Robbers 228. Pilot 230. Eighth, ..., tenth 231. Army chaplain 232. Plays at, ... in 233. Nit-picker 234. Fill with blood 238. Synagogue scholars 239. N African country 240. Actress, ... Bullock 243. Changes 246. Fettered 247. Plough (into) 250. Trivial 251. Concur 253. Desists 256. Supervise 257. Wind (of river) 258. Absorb 262. Speed measurement 263. Spoon 266. Rodents 268. Intermediary 269. Goes faster than 270. Wounds 271. Judgments 272. Commercials 273. Kilt 274. Prosecute 275. Adds sugar to 276. Discourtesy 277. Gauged 278. Matchless

Down 1. Disband (troops) 2. Antelope 3. Corn 4. Singer, Diana ... 5. Lampooning comedy 7. Supposition 8. Stripy-tailed US animals 9. Film & Don McLean hit, ... Pie 10. Space agency 11. Depletes 12. Mercenary (5,3) 13. Smooching 14. Formal address 15. Chopping 16. Merit 17. Swimming stroke 18. Servants 19. Dusk to dawn 24. Sheep enclosures 26. Net fabric 30. Very annoyed 33. Yearly book of events 34. US folk singer, Woody ... 35. Stalk food 38. Of heart/lung exercises 39. More fortunate 40. Constant 42. Periods of time 43. Mythical vampire 46. Born Free writer, Joy ... 47. As far as (2,2) 49. Cheese on toast, Welsh ... 50. Blackball 51. London district (4,3) 53. Rush about angrily 54. Lazed 55. Allure 59. Drip shape 60. Most unpleasant 67. Follow-up movies 68. Train coach 69. Tussle 70. Personal reminiscence 72. Deep love 74. Travelling worker 76. Order 77. Made whole 78. Fleshy ear tissue (3,4) 79. Bank clerks 81. Reprimanded severely 84. Nursing sanatorium (4-4) 87. Tinted sun visor 89. Naphthalene pellet 91. Muttered 92. Close watch (5,3) 98. Neglect 101. Early anaesthetic 102. Sow 103. Acupuncture spike 108. Current unit 109. Skin transplant 110. Speedster 112. Rearousal 116. Adapting to stage play 119. Speak off the cuff 120. Outshining 123. Flying craft 124. Newspaper titles 128. Harmed 130. Power-grabber 132. Nomad


133. Banishment 134. Correct (text) 137. Indian group of dialects 138. Bake (meat) 141. Skips 142. Ethiopia's Addis ... 143. Spinning toys (2-3) 151. Distributed 153. Stashes 155. Elephant poacher's cache 156. Cutting beam 159. Mentally gearing (up) 160. Pottery fragments 161. Discarded rubbish carelessly 164. Wear by rubbing 165. Reply 168. Biased (3-5) 170. Famed gangster (2,6) 173. Stayed 174. Lacking ability 177. Lecturers 178. Confined (6,2) 181. Congregate 185. Lessening in intensity (6,2) 186. Siberian dogs 187. Sanctified 188. Trainee doctors 193. Profiteering ticket seller 194. Swaying on heels 195. Common expressions 200. Surrounding 201. Capsize (4,4) 206. Instants 207. Suffocate 208. Clasped 209. Chats 211. Map pressure lines 214. Levee bank sack 216. Include 217. Income cheats, tax ... 218. Equatorial region, The ... 220. Wood joint projection 222. Tot up (3,2) 224. Humiliated 225. Strolling 226. Fruitless 229. Back section 232. Numbered cubes 235. Indescribable 236. Possessed 237. Articles of clothing 241. Turned aside 242. Scorn 244. Normally (2,1,4) 245. Toy bears 248. Trophies 249. Triumphant laugh (2,2) 251. Upper limbs 252. Regain 253. Pitches tent 254. Grand Slam tennis champ, .. Agassi 255. Take (revenge) 259. Internal 260. Summon up 261. Cricket matches 262. Cry in pain 264. Inquires 265. Former Italian money unit 267. Fencing sword

Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - Page 61

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Page 62 - Melbourne Observer - Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Observer Victorian Sport Melbourne


Wine Column Time for Tannat

Australian Cup attracts best

■ Some of the nation’s best stayers will contest the rich Australian Cup this Saturday (Mar. 10) at Flemington. The imported galloper, Gailo Chop, prepared by leading trainer Darren Weir, is the favourite to take out the classic after two good wins from his last two starts. Early in February he won the Carlyon Cup at Caulfield first up, after returning to racing after a three-month spell. His front running style saw him win again at Caulfield, taking out the Peter Young Stakes over 1800 metres, once again leading all the way and winning in good style. Providing he draws well, he once again will be the horse to beat over the 2000-metre trip. On the next line is 2016 Melbourne Cup winner, Almandin, who returned to racing with a narrow defeat by his stablemate, Homesman, in the first at Caulfield on February 24. He was forced wide early and went down in the last stride to his stablemate. He will be well suited by the 2000-metre journey and will be right in it. He represents good value at $8 each way. On the same line is the good mare, Single Gaze, who ran second in the Caulfield Cup to Boom Time last year and is racing well. She followed up her good second in the C. F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 10, with another good second to Gailo Chop in the Peter Young Stakes. Single Gaze is a model of consistency and goes well for her Sydney rider, Kathy O'Hara, and will be right in the finish. The Williams team, The Taj Mahal, was scratched from the Peter Young at Caulfield, prior to that he was an impressive winner of the Sandown Classic back in November and is smart. He is being kept safe by the bookies at the odds of $10 and will appreciate the distance of the 2000 metres of the Australian Cup. The consistent galloper, Hartnell, is sure to have plenty of support after winning the C.F.Orr Stakes in good style, but I felt he was disappointing in the Peter Young, finishing third behind Gailo Chop, but will be better suited over the 2000 metres. Another former American galloper, Homesman, won narrowly, but well, in beating his stablemate at his first start in Australia for the Lloyd Williams camp. It was his first run since arriving in Australia, after finishing third at Belmont Park in the United States back in July last year. He is one to keep your eye on. He will also go around about the $13 mark. An interesting runner is the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup placegetter, the former international, Johannes Vermeer, who raced under the Lloyd Williams banner in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. He was transferred from the stables of leading Irish trainer, Aidan O'Brien. He hasn't raced since, the Melbourne Cup last year. Johannes Vermeer is all class, but it might be a bit hard first up amongst these. Prized Icon, who won the Victoria Derby a couple of years ago when with James Cummings, is now with Kris Lees up in Sydney, and on his day can run well, but I feel the others might be a bit strong. The former Japanese galloper, Ambitious, is an interesting nomination if he goes around, there is a strong whisper around that he has plenty of ability and bookies are keeping him safe at around $15. He is from the strong Anthony Freedman barn. The Melbourne Cup winner, Rekindling, the youngest winner of a Melbourne Cup, will resume in the Australian Cup after his big victory for the Lloyd Williams camp. He hadn't long turned three when he was set for the Cup last year, so it was an outstanding performance, but is a big ask, first up if he goes around. Rekindling is being quoted at around $20. Further down the market is the Mick Kent

● Australian Cup, favourite,Gailo Chop, wins the Peter Young Stakes in good style. Courtesy: Racing Photos trained mare, Abbey Marie, who on her day can float carrying business way back in 1925, makmix it with the best, but this lot appears too strong ing way for horses to be transported to areas, Levendi with Peter Gelagotis at Moe, is smart, rather than either by walking or by train. Among these was the almighty Phar Lap, but I thought a bit disappointing first up, and would need to improve on that run to match who the company conveyed from his Braeside these. home to many of his trials and back. Of the others Lord Fandango, with Archie Some of the other top horses that the Dunn Alexander, at Ballarat, has run some good races company was responsible were Don Pedro, and is consistent, but the others look too good. from the Ernie Willmott stable, and Craftsman who was with Andy White. The Epsom Horse Transport was also commissioned to transport one of the greatest sprint■ Had a great day at the Woodlands Golf Club ers of our time, Vain, to and from Sydney on one for their big Golf Day and Remember Phar Lap of their new floats. occasion. Two, other great horses, Carbon Copy, from My job prior to the golfers teeing off was to Des Mc Cormack's camp, and Grand Print, a interview four interesting racing folk. Melbourne Cup placegetter for Jack Besanko, The first of these was John Dunn, who re- were others that were transported by the Dunn ferred to the time that the Dunns started off the Carriers. Next up was Nancy Telford, who was the daughter-in-law to the trainer of Phar Lap, Harry Telford. Now in her nineties, Nancy, talked about her times at the Herald and Weekly Times where she met her husband, Gerry Telford. When mixing with HarryTelford, Phar Lap's name was mentioned a lot. Harry Telford was paying £800 a year, to lease the property at Braeside from Mr.A.Syme, a top man with The Age. Nancy said that Harry didn't invest his money well, and spent a lot trying to get a better horse than Phar Lap. Incidentally, Phar Lap, means Streak of Lightning in Singhalese. My next guest was the great jockey, Geoff Lane, one of the best ever to don the silks, a member of the Hall of Fame, inducted in 2013. He is now living up on the Gold Coast and works part-time for the Queensland Racing Club. One of the nicest people you could meet. Our final guest was David Robertson, the grandson of the legendary trainer, Lou Robertson, who trained for one of the greatest punters of all times, Eric Connolly. Lou Robertson also was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame back in 2004. Ladbrokes sponsored the day with the benefits going to the National Jockey Trust and the Woodlands Golf Club. Among the jockeys having a hit were Damien Oliver and Dwayne Dunn, both good golfers. The fay was hosted by Rob Gaylard and former top racing commentator, Greg Miles, who introduced the book on Eric Connolly, well put together by leading author, John MacNaughtan. The day was put together by John Sweeney and his team, and deserve a big pat on the back for a great day.

Great memories

Ted Ryan

● Mark Kirkby has embraced tannat at Topper's Mountain. ■ JOHN ROZENTALS becomes more familiar with tannat, and like what he tastes It's surprising how often the sounds of the names of grape varieties reflect the characteristics of the wines that they make. Hence, the name 'merlot' indicates a soft, roundness to this writer. Which is what most wines made from merlot in Australia are. Similarly, shiraz makes soft, rich, alluring red wines, just as its name would indicate, and 'cabernet sauvignon' sounds a bit like an aloof, somewhat austere sophisticate. With tannat you do generally get a red wine that tastes what its name sounds like. Apart from the lexicographic similarity to the word 'tannin', 'tannat' sounds rather robust and angular, which is what the variety's wines are usually about. Tannat has its home in the south-western French region of Madiran, where is makes long-living red wines that high respected English critic Jancis Robinson describes as "liquid treasures that are rarely given the time they need to develop". But the place that tannat really seems to have come into its own is Uruguay, which given the South American country's obsession with beef should be hardly surprising. It's pretty rare in Australia, but Mark Kirkby has readily embraced it at his Topper's Mountain operation in the elevated, cool New England region of northern NSW. I've tasted wines made from the variety before, but not often. It's a bit like durif, from north-eastern Victoria - a bit surprising to start with, but a style that grows on you. Just give it time. WINE REVIEWS Topper's Mountain 2013 W ild Ferment Tannat ($38): In less PC days I would probably have described this red as 'masculine', with its full flavour and muscular tannins quite able to cope with a substantial steak. With five years of age, the wine is just beginning to lose its angularity. This is a red definitely worth trying. It has novelty value, sure, but also quality - and that's important if you're outlaying close to $40. Topper's Mountain 2015 Bricolage Blanc ($30): Gewurztraminer contributes only 16 per cent of this unique white blend but its distinctive perfumed character assures that it dominates the other components chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and petit manseng, a rare, in-Australia anyway, white variety also originating in the south-west of France. It's a complex, food-friendly dry white that particularly suits spicy Thai or Szechuan cuisine. WINE OF THE WEEK Shaw Vineyard Estate 2017 Winemakers Selection Riesling ($18): I often wonder why our bottleshop shelves and winelists seem awash with sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio when there are rieslings as good as this around at much the same price point. This riesling, from near Canberra, is simply a lovely drop offering a burst of fresh, limey flavour. It's a dry, zesty wine that will go a treat with oysters or white-fleshed grilled fish. Go easy on the lemon, though, the wine will mostly take care of the required cutting acidity.


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