Tag Archives: Humour

‘I remember when I was young and I was happy’

“We played your song to John Lee Hooker, and he liked it” Matt Taylor remembers being told.

Chain performing in Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the 80’s

In 1971 Sunbury, tried to deliver a concert like Woodstock, but apart from being an outdoor concert, the two had little in common and most sources will confer that theirs was a ‘Love-in’ and ours was a ‘Drink-on’; yet for $1 you could enjoy Chain and Phil Manning blowing the breeze with cool blues and sweet guitar. Decades later they are together in Chain, playing in St Kilda at MEMO, just doing their stuff…living music.

Chain is like a Classic Harley Davidson, it doesn’t grow old but rather more impressive. I don’t doubt that the crowd on Friday night were just as alive to the music as they could ever have been. The artists ability hadn’t dimmed nor had their creativity faded, they were effortless, clean sound welded together with musical precision . They are not an old band regurgitating one hit wonders, this is a band  of genuine artists perfecting their craft.

There was a mixed crowd of those that grew up with the music and younger folk that were new to it.

“It’s not an age thing man, you love them for their music and like them because they are good at their music” Josh (20something)

Matt Taylors relaxed and inviting stage presence between songs gave the night an unexpected charm. The session closed with ‘I remember when I was young’ and it set the crowd alight.

At MEMO StKilda 2018

 

by April Forward

Nightsongs

Life looking back is a vista, a remarkable journey, encumbered,encrusted and inspired; the good,the bad ,the ugly and the beautiful, the footprints the young look upon with indifference, unless it weeps from the tree of integrity.That nectar that inspires trust.

Natasha Moszenin has over 25 years of musical experience that mixes the palette of life and art and delivers a performance at the quaint Butterfly Club that made Friday night fatigue, a soothing recharge.

Moszenin stares unflinching at the drama and terrors of life that hide in the shadows, she has faced them all and knows them by name. With maturity, resilience and defiance, she acknowledges and creates a wonderful score about her life. Ironically the Butterfly Club’s eclectic pictures on the wall illustrate the transformative passage of hope,  love,trauma and …triumph.

The Artists Lara Vocisano, Claie Nicholis and Jai Luke present a narrative through song that washes over the audience. The beautiful voice of Nicholas is of a song-bird but not to take away from the solid vocal presence of Vocisano and Luke, as Moszenin plays the beautiful score on an old piano.

Moszenin dives into the depths and finishes off on a light comment on todays less emotional world.

Nightsongs is performing at the Butterfly Club this weekend

 

 

Review by April forward

What pain women endure for shoes

I am taking a liberal guess, but I can confidently say that nearly all women have a pair of shoes that they endure with pain and will not throw out.

I went to the streets to test my theory. These are their stories.

Jess from Belgrave

Designer

“I have sitting shoes, I can’t walk anywhere without holding on to my partner’s hand. He props me up until I find a seat, then I can sit down, looking pretty.”

Other women call their un-walkable footware, their dinner shoes

Jan from Burwood

Hairdresser

Jan has 50 pairs of shoes and 12 Boots, which she rotates.

I asked her if she wore uncomfortable shoes.

“Absolutely that’s why I have sore feet. I just grin and bear it, anything for the look. I want to be tall and slim with long legs and when I get home I whinge”

Lizzi Ablmett from St Kilda

Sales Assistant

“I have 8 or 9 shoes that all hurt and I squeeze my feet into them, every night. I come home with blisters and bunyips. I do it because they look great. Even if they’re the wrong size I don’t care. The problem is my feet, not the shoes.”

Simone from Burwood

Sales Manager and Clothes Stylist

Simone has 41 pairs of shoes.

“I rotate my shoes, if I don’t wear them, I give them away. Since having a baby I no longer wear painful shoes, I need to run around and be able to pick up Alice.”

Bernie from Hallam

Sales Manager and Fashion Coordinator

Bernie leaves shoes at work that she changes periodically, during the day, to regulate the pain.

“I’ll wear painful shoes if they go with the outfit”

Sonia from Watirna

IT Specialist

Sonia has knee issues and is forced to wear sensible shoes however she holds onto her ‘unwearables’.

“I look too gorgeous in them, to throw them out.”

Sophie from Elwood

“I am drawn to the statement and collect them like feet ornaments, yet I wear the comfy one’s everyday. My collection waits for me.

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Gemma from Mont Albert

Journalist; L’Oreal

“ I was a ballet dancer for 18years, I’ve put my feet through so much pain, I can handle any shoe now.”

Dorota from Mt Waverley

Legal Intern

“I have an obsession, all of my friends come to borrow my shoes. People tell me I’m crazy. My uncle, who is a builder made me shelves, for half of my wall, for all my shoes.

Tell me about your favourite.

“ I bought a pair in Poland. If I wear them out at night, I can’t walk the next day.”

Vinita from St Kilda

Journalist

“I can’t wear heels or my foot will twist, I can’t balance but I always want them”

Do you buy them?

“Yes, a lot, I’ve got 13 pairs, but I only wear two.”

What does you partner say about your shoes?

“When I go shopping, my husband will say. ‘Why do you want them, you wont wear them? He thinks I’m just collecting the things”.

Kshipra from Hoppers Crossing

Manager

“I have really high heeled white shoes with pretty straps and I just wore them once. I didn’t take public transport, I got my husband to drive me to the door of the restaurant. When we wanted to walk around the city, I changed into other footwear.”

And do you still have them?

“Yes, its been three years since I bought them but I wont throw them out. I always dust them and put them back, I hope to wear them some day. The hope is there.”

What does your partner say about your shoes?

“ He says, why don’t you give off the ones you don’t’ wear, then buy the new ones? I say, no I’ll wear them some day.”

Kshipra adds;

“At Crown, after the party, I walked out and see these women,  the first thing they do is take off their shoes. And there was one girl, no matter what, she did not want to remove her heals. She was holding to her friend, because she couldn’t stand on her own, yet she refused to remove her shoes.

We were watching her from behind and we really thought she would fall.

Based on these stories, I conclude that Cinderella didn’t loose her shoe, she was kicking them off at the end of the Ball.

On the Clock

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As the MICF circus wraps up, 2 clowns sent it off with a bang.

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The afternoon show at ACMI was the icing on the Festival, after a series of ‘Stand up’ wit and profound observations we discover a new territory. These Guys have nothing to say, it’s what they do that suspends reality and slaps you in the face. Throughout  the performance the unexpected continued to surface from beneath the banal.

Confused? Good , that’s a great start.

You will be bewitched within a Dadaists performance of an office mundane that imploded into the wild and creative instinct of lifes little dramas. Bit by bit they shatter through reality to reveal a seething internal existence with comic twists.

Intrigued? I hope so, it is an intriguing experience.

No matter how sober you think you are, they will pick up your solid piece of reality and twist it until you feel entirely happy. Like an animal can become a chair, a thing can become an animal. They are very clever Consultation Specialists.

Welcome to Ruck’s Leather Interiors starring Gareth Grubb (Trygve Wakenshaw) and Dennis Chang (Bernie Duncan) as Performance Artists.

Bernie Duncan

FullSizeRender-20 Where did you Guys train? MP

“I didn’t do training but Ttygve went to Gaulier, a French Clown School in Paris.”

How did you get into this? MP

“I always made theatre, we started a Company (Theatre Beating) about 14 years ago, and we made stuff we liked”

Audience Responce

“I never dreamed that I would ever see two people entertain me from the time they started right up until the very end. Everything that happened was totally unexpected , it shocked me, it was so funny and you never knew what was coming and everything that came was brilliant.”

Comic Maverick and Ideas Man

This Charming Man, the very affable Matt Stewart draws in a full house as he gives a ‘Dry’ dose of ‘Very Dry’ at The Chinese Museum in Chinatown. He has taken his routine out of The Fringe and into the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, for a fresh round of laughs.

Getting to the venue is half the adventure, up the street hustle of Chinatown and into the historic site that sets the tone for the nights event. Stewart is unassuming, able to ‘break your guard’ whist never pouncing..

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The key to his art is his unflinching delivery as he stares into the bright lights that veil the audience. He promises to give ‘A pretty Good Show ‘ It’s most likely one of the top ‘Pretty Good Shows’ on the circuit.

Even though Matt’s not your mate, he could be. With comic cool he creates a friendly rapport as he spins absurd Aussie tales and butters it with wacky wisdom. He is edgy with a blunt delivery. ,

As a Caped Crusader, Stewarts superpower is to engage, indulge and transfix.

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‘Pretty Dry’ at the CHINESE MUSEUM                             Review by A. Forward

 

3 Mates & a glass of wine at MICF

The MICF Show is in town and Three Course Comedy is the show-bag of comic treats. Each night 3 Comedians take the stage to give you a sample size dish of their material. It’s a great way to be exposed to a range of comic styles, with a line up that changes each night.

MP went to the very ambient Fort Delta Gallery  in Howey Place to be amused by Tim Hewitt, Adam Knox and Michael Shafer

Tim Hewitt warms up the Crowd, as first up in ‘Three Course’ line-up.

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Hewitt is soaking in the City culture of MICF after doing the ‘hard yards’ in the parochial wilderness of Pokies Den’s and Greyhounds. The comics life may be rich in experience but it may not afford holidays to remote islands with Supermodels. There are compromises.

Hewitt has a personal warmth that endears the crowd, his suburban tales ‘touch a nerve’ and there are outbursts of laughter throughout the room.

With two comedians to follow, the routine manoeuvres speedily through his visual landscapes.

Also performing ‘Comedy Zone’ on the MICF circuit.

‘Knoxie’ is next

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Knox brings a mix of cultural anomalies to his performance wrapping his clever wit around some pearls of insight. He wavers between action, concern and an offhand remarks. He establishes an instant rapport with the audience before entering his comfort zone, once there, he opens up to the deeper issues that concern him, like a mate does.

Knox is also a part of Chimp Cop Forever

Michael Shafer

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Shafer breaks away from his sellout solo performance Jewis-ish to join his mates in this 3 course round-up. His routine is a bite sized, sped up sample of what audiences can expect to hear at the full show. Shafer continues to polish his work with diligent effort, comedy is not a vacation it’s his vocation.

Shafer manages to lead the course through the choppy waves of perception and throws out a line to the women in the audience, those that may be floundering in the male shallows.

Shafar on fire in Jewish-ish

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL review

Michael Shafar held his own at the momentous Trades Hall, that scrubbed up nicely, awash in neon for the MICF 2017.

Shafar is an eclectic blend of cultural experiences that have shaped and unshaped him. He is sorta Jewish, sorta Aussie,sorta cool, sorta nerd, sorta serious but definitely funny. His shows are selling out because the word is out, Shafar ‘nailed it’ this year.

Shafar examines his Jew-ish-ness with perplexed wonder. His grandfather was a Holocaust survivor and its more the ‘religousness’ than the faith that is up for review. He has a wealth of material to draw from that keeps the audience in stiches through out the performance. The crowd loved him and there was a reluctance for the show to end

MICHAEL SHAFAR is Jewish-ish at TRADES HALL Mar 30-Apr 23 8.30pm (no Wed & 7.30 on Sun)

An interview with Michael Shafar

“I used to encounter a lot of anti-Semitism when I was playing football for my Jewish school. I played from the ages of 12-16 and it was interesting and sad to encounter kids making anti-Semitic comments. I’m interested in whether those kids actually understood what they were saying, or if they were just repeating taunts that they had heard from their surroundings.”

How do you feel about your performance this year?

So far I’ve been really happy with the shows. I’ve changed up a lot of the content since I last performed it in Perth and have also changed the overall structure to make the theme about being culturally Jewish a lot stronger. I think it’s definitely working better now.

What type of reaction have you experienced from Jewish-ish?

So far the reactions have been great. A lot of people have messaged me to let me know they enjoyed the show. It’s interesting to me how different people tweet different jokes to me from the show, so it’s nice that there are a lot of different jokes in there that people remember and relate to.

What has been your most profound experience? MP

“The Comedians I met in the US were young, emerging comics who taught me a lot about work ethic. In the US, comedians are often gigging 15 times per week, which is why their development is accelerated. I tried to absorb that work ethic as much as possible so I try to gig as much as possible around Melbourne.”

Do Comedians support each other?

“Whenever there is a controversy about something that a comedian has said or done, comedians tend to help each other through it.”

Is MICF different for you this year?

It’s different because it’s my first solo show, so it’s definitely a lot busier than any other year. I also need to manage my time a bit better than previous years, making sure I still get enough sleep, eat well and exercise (which I have failed to do for the first few nights, so hopefully I get more disciplined!)

The play that created a storm

‘It’s foul weather in us all, good soul’

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Melbourne Sky

Ironically, it is a storm that opens the tale of The Tempest, but here on the banks of the Maribyrnong River it is a brewing storm that ends it. Melbourne’s fickle weather has once again cast its cold spell on an outdoor event. It has ‘undid’, subverted and prevented the ambition of this ‘goodly’ play. The stunning performance that was on Friday and Saturday was ‘naught’ on Sunday.

What could have been is; Prospero, performed by Brendon Ewing, dark with revenge and drawing his past into the currents of his macabre island home, seeking familiar company with unkindly aims, that give way to kindness sway. This tale untold, due to weather, it had to fold, so the cast did the next best thing, they sang.

 

Sly Rat Theatre Co.’s artistic directors Alan Chambers and Andy Harmsen have created a unique vision for The Tempest, inspired by science-fiction classics. The Pipework’s Natural Museum is a beautiful outdoor space, rich in atmosphere and a perfect setting for a summer picnic, weather permitting.

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“It’s a Rock and Roll version of Shakespeare, it’s very loud and very big” Director Andy Harmsen

Within the warm hub of the group, a buzz with laughter, singing and the smell of burnt sausage, it is easy to forget that the cancellation of a show could be disappointing, they are taking it so well. It’s a chance to catch up with some of the actors and chat about their role’s, the few that aren’t belting out a tune.

First up is Todd Levi

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“We like to push the boundaries but still tell a great story.. it’s Shakespeare, how he would like it done today…Its bawdy, its real and it is entertainment first and foremost. Prospero has been marooned on a magical island, betrayed by his sister and he’s been there for 12 years. He spies the evildoers sailing by and raises a tempest, a storm that shipwrecks them on the island where he prepares to take his revenge. It’s the search for redemption the final words of the play are; ‘As you from crimes would pardon’d be, let you indulgence set me free’

What made you choose this venue? MP

 “It’s a magical place, it’s a place where the community comes and we played here last year to over 2000 people … most of them had not seen live theatre before, let alone Shakespeare, and playing to an audience like that and seeing them fall in love with it”

Did you factor in the weather? MP

“You don’t expect to have nine shows of good weather every-time, hopefully this is our one and only cancellation.”

Next up is Tara Hauton 

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“Steph and I play the clowns, technically it’s the Court Jester but Andy and Alan have re-invented it to be two women who have been to the races all day long and have arrived at the play. We exist outside the world of the play and that’s where the comedy of the role happens…we are very drunk.

and Ty Holdsworth

 

It’s a play about weather, most Melbournians can relate to that.

 

 

Pipework’s Natural Museum Park on the banks of the Maribrynong River

 

 

by April Forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia’s patchy history

1800-1950

It’s fascinating to imagine that female convicts on ships to Australia, were sewing beautiful quilts. They were leaving heavily populated cobble streets and embarking on a tour into the wild unknown.It was a place where currency was rum, women were few and some unthinkable dark terrors took place.The unfree made free and the free made unfree.

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The Rajah Quilt

This quilt was created by the women on board the Rajah in 1841, they were taught by  Elizabeth Fry, a Quaker reformer.

‘The Australian quilting tradition developed in response to a unique set of factors that sets it apart from other quilting traditions internationally.’ NGV

There was the odd sailor that picked up a needle and thread and made his own quilt.

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unknown artist

This example is a work of Art, an intricate geometric design, with a contemporary feel. The beauty of the quilt is that it is also functional. The time poured over the work creates a meditative element that transfers an emotional or spiritual quality to the work.

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During WW1 and WW2, ‘quilts were a means of rallying support’.

To this day, some churches still create quilts to place over the unwell. The quilt can also serve as an historical piece, recording the members of a congregation, club or school.

Some stitched a bit of wisdom to guide the next generation.

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The Westbury Quilt  1900-03

The charming Westbury quilt was created by a Tasmanian family, it was intended to be a raffle prize. Its a mix of British domestic influence and Australiana.

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Mariann Gibson Crazy Quilt 1891

Others competed to be the ‘craziest’ of the ‘crazy quilt’ fashion, that was the sewing movement at a time, when European Art was shaking off the shackles of the past. The British settlers had no cultural roots in Australia, they could push the boundaries of traditional Arts.

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The Goodnight Quilt by Mary Jane Hannaford

 

Some caught the eye of the galleries to be immortalised. Mothers often sewed quilts for their children or were given to them by a loving friend or family member. Mary Jane Hannford’s ‘Goodnight Quilt’ was made for her 11 year old grandson.

‘The subject matter of Hannafords quilt includes patriotism, religious faith, the love of Australian wildlife and the marking of key family events’

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Nursery Quilt Artist unknown

Some works were sewed roughly, not for beauty or art but for warmth. The gathering of discarded clothes, recycled into a rug. The perfect art for Depression and War when materials are few and patience is limited.

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Wagga

‘real rag bag waggas, hessian bags or patchwork-covered army blankets, but still rich in the memories embedded in their cloth.’ Annette Gero

It’s a pictoral exploration into our past, through fabric. Mostly, but not exclusively a womens history. Sewing groups were also social and community acts. It’s an engaging exhibition.

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Inserts from NGV
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until Nov 6

Captain Australia

Melbourne Fringe 2016

Matt Stewart is ‘DRY’ at the Courthouse.

In the small ‘Attic’ of the Courthouse Hotel, Stewart warms up the crowd with off-beat humour and cultural observations.

He quickly builds a strong rapport with the audience. The jokes are uniquely Australian and as the room laughed loudly throughout the performance; a couple of overseas visitors looked on perplexed. His humour  is based on shared experiences that create a ‘party’ experience, as everybody ‘is in’ on the joke.

Stewart’s ‘lay-back’ demeanour and monotone delivery puts the crowd at ease, as his eyes search out his next sidekick. He opens the floor and allows a degree of improv, exacting sharp timing as he tosses a clever slip of irony back into the fold.

No Aussie performance can ignore the ‘heart of darkness’ of our vast continent and he does touch of some uncomfortable satire which is inserted between playful wit. He is a genuine comic, the type that other comedians would go to watch.

You will laugh so hard that your face will ache.

 

“I like him in general; his tone, the dryness, the way he comes across…his delivery” Mike Barnes Comedian*

 

Matt Stewart ; 2014 Raw Comedy Winner            

Review by A Forward

*Mike Barnes; Comedian and Manager of The Tickle Pit (Melbourne Fringe) @ Fancy Hank’s