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POST ■ February 28, 2015
POST, February 28, 2015 – Page 71
on the
It continues to be the year of the
giants. Sculpture by the Sea opens
next weekend with giant babies, a
massive pink bunny, a larger-thanlife red Chinese figure and a giant
dot painting.
Controversial artist David
Cerný from the Czech Republic
is exhibiting in Perth for the first
time, bringing his giant space-age
crawling baby sculptures.
In Prague, his larger-than-life
social commentaries are well
known, including Wenceslas sitting
astride an upside-down dead
horse, Piss – two mechanical men
urinating on the map of Czech
Republic – and the three giant
ugly babies with slot-machine faces
designed, apparently, to make the
notoriously ugly Zizkov television
tower more attractive.
“What inspires me most is
rage,” the artist said in a Prague
interview. “I just enjoy pissing
people off.”
While three 2.5m black babies
will crawl on the beach, Thai
artist Naidee Changmoh’s large
bronze cartoon baby, called The
Ascetic, will stand benevolently
on the beach representing the
purity and happiness of Buddhist
Stormie Mills’ now familiar 4m
tall pink bunny will also stand
serenely overlooking the ocean.
Stormie’s faceless pink bunnies
started out as collectible toy
characters he designed for a Hong
Kong company. He sent one as a
gift to Brisbane’s festival director
Noel Staunton, who suggested he
create giant bunnies for Brisbane’s
2013 festival. The nine bunnies
were moved each night around the
city centre.
Stormie said his street art and
scultpture was usually associated
with isolation and loneliness – “but
■ Please turn to page 72
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Page 72 – POST, February 28, 2015
■ arts
I Wish I Was Lonely
Norwich Arts Centre, UK
State Theatre Centre
■ David Cerný’s huge black babies crawl their way onto
Cottesloe beach.
Bunny on the beach
■ From page 71
that doesn’t apply to
rabbits”. He expects lots
of young people to clamber
over the beach bunny.
Another interactive
sculpture is Water
Dreaming, a blend of
traditional indigenous
art and contemporary
culture, a huge indigenous
“painting” made up of fit
balls. Perth mothers Trisha
Lee and Nicole Bailey will
re-create an Aboriginal dot
painting by artist Shorty
Jangala Robertson (19252014) using 250 fit balls
half buried in the sand.
Norton Flavel, the
artist behind last year’s
giant goon bag, sticks
with the giant theme, this
year creating a giant balland-chain he has called
Lucky Country. He says
it is a commentary on the
Australian psyche and
what we choose to see.
Chinese artist Chen
■ Chen Wenling returns to
Cottesloe with another of his
popular giant red figures.
Wenling’s striking red
figures have been features
of Sculpture by the Sea for
the past three years. He
returns with a new largerthan-life red figure called
Harbour, which will recline
on the grassy banks.
■ Now in its 11th year,
Sculpture by the Sea,
Cottesloe will feature
works from over 70 artists,
including 31 from WA.
Sculpture by the Sea
runs on Cottesloe beach
from March 6 to 23.
■ Stage and
Regina Noakes
Linton and Kay Galleries
299 Railway Road,
On show until
March 5
on personal
experiences and
Regina’s paintings
are powerful, ambiguous,
fun-loving and metaphorical.
■ Fly By Night
Musicians Club to
stay in Freo
Next month the Fly will
move to the heritage-listed
building Victoria Hall in
High Street, Fremantle.
It will continue to stage
community programs and
national touring acts in the
260-capacity space.
■ Les Arts Florissants
William Christie
Lecture and recital
The Rhetoric of Passion
Callaway Auditorium
UWA School of Music
Friday, March 6, 7pm.
To book go to trybooking.
■ Les Arts Florissants
In an Italian Garden
With six singers of Le
Jardin des Voix
Australian premiere for
Perth Festival
Perth Concert Hall
March 7, at
■ Kaleidescope
By Tracey Moffatt
Curator tour
Thursday, March 5, 6pm
Curator Leigh Robb
will conduct a free tour
through Tracey Moffatt’s
major solo exhibition of
over 80 photographs and
■ PICAnauts
Rottnest swim
PICA’s power-women Amy
Barrett-Lennard, Leigh
Robb, Nadia Johnson and
Renae Coles raised $5675
for PICA’s 2015 artists-inresidence program.
We have forgotten
what it’s like to be lonely
because we are very rarely
alone. In those moments
of aloneness, we reach for
the mobile phone and text,
phone, facebook, tweet,
instagram or google.
The highlight of last
year’s Perth Festival was
You Once Said Yes, a
solo journey through
Northbridge encountering
odd characters.
This year, the highlight
so far has been the inclusive, utterly engaging and
interactive discussion with
UK poets and performers,
Hannah Jane Walker and
Chris Thorpe.
Instead of the usual
instruction to turn off
mobile phones, participants
were encouraged to answer
calls if their mobiles rang.
We shared text messages
(the text message that my
dog had successfully come
through surgery earned
a round of heart-felt
applause!) and randomly
rang other people in the
All this in between
storytelling, poems,
anecdotes and moving
moments of acting out. The
result of this extraordinary
encounter was that,
though our mobile phones
continued to be an extension
of ourselves, everyone
began to engage directly.
By the end, we had made
new friends, and were all
caught up in direct and
personal conversations. We
may not always be lonely
but we still have a beautiful
ability to connect, engage
and share.
Reviews by SARAH McNEILL
Ubu and the Truth
Handspring Puppet Company
State Theatre Centre
What French writer
Alfred Jarred’s absurd
and satirical character
Ubu Roi has to do with
South Africa’s Truth
and Reconcilliation
Commission (TRC) is one
of the many mysteries of
this bizarre production.
Wild and outlandish
animated cartoons (William
Kentridge), a sly crocodile,
dogs of war, the outrageous
Pa Ubu (Dawid Minnaar),
who wears only underwear,
and tap shoe-wearing
Ma Ubu (Busi Zokufa)
combine in a confusion
of absurd satirical and
metaphorical allusions.
While Pa Ubu juggles
with his conscience over
his countless night-time
murders, the real moments
of truth in this satire come
from the beautifullymanipulated puppets at
the TRC, with their real
testimonies of tragedy.
■ Madama Butterfly is a visual feast, but starved of emotion.
Madama Butterfly
English National Opera/Met Opera
His Majesty’s Theatre
Filmmaker Anthony
Minghella’s cinematic
version of Puccini’s opera
is undeniably beautiful.
Set designer Michael
Levine’s steeply raked glossy
stage is mirrored from
above, reflecting the glorious
colours of Han Feng’s elaborate Japanese costumes.
Sleekly moving Japanese
paper screens, flowing silks,
falling cherry blossom and
delicately beautiful fan dances create an ever-moving,
lustrous effect.
But lavish visuals are not
what this tragic opera is all
The object of our
attention should be English
opera singer Mary Plazas
as the teenage geisha CioCio-San (Butterfly) and
the ruthless American
naval lieutenant, B F
■ General Ubu with his political dogs of war.
My boss
would like
me to write
a letter of
Wayne & Tamara
on what goes on when
he is away from the
their love lives and plan
office and I am left alone
what to do after hours.
with two younger
By the time they decide
to work, half the day is
When they arrive at the gone. Next day, when the
office and clock in, they
boss arrives, he wants
eat their breakfast in the
to know what we each
break room, go on the
did because so little was
computer and do personal accomplished.
things, like plan holidays,
I started this job a few
pay bills and read permonths ago and they
sonal emails.
have been here over a
Sometimes they snooze
year. They work on the
or leave the office to
days the boss is in. It’s on
do private business. At
the day he is out of the
lunchtime we clock out
office that they abuse the
for 30 minutes, but they
system. My boss told me
continue their lunch
he wants me to write up
break after they clock
these women in a report.
back in.
But they will know
They are best friends
who complained about
and hang out together.
them and I’m afraid of
We all do the same work, retaliation. I want to
and even though they see
keep this job. I think the
me working, they conboss should know what is
tinue to text, talk about
going on but not use me.
How can I write a
report against them without them knowing I did it?
Lizzie, we all
have an internal gauge, that
no one gave
us, which says
what is fair and not fair.
Fairness is valued in business and in life. When it
is not met, everyone with
a sense of justice notices.
“It’s not fair.” That’s where
our head goes.
You were not hired to
make these two do their
job. You are not their
supervisor. You come to
work to do your job and
get paid. But for some
reason, perhaps your boss’s
shortcoming, they have
been getting away with this.
Evaluating their actions
one day a week is not what
you were hired for. Tell the
boss: “Unless I am their
supervisor or manager I do
not feel it is appropriate to
report on their activities.
Pinkerton (Adam Diegel),
who weds her, beds her
and leaves her, unaware
that she is carrying his
They both have fabulous,
powerful and arresting
voices, but it is impossible
to become emotionally
engaged with the story,
when their physicality has
turned the tale on its head.
Mary’s Butterfly
makes no attempt to look
Japanese (and her wig line
is disturbingly obvious)
and Pinkerton, who should
have passed on his fair skin
and blue eyes on to his son,
is played by a black-haired
American who appears to
have Asian heritage. In this
setting, he looks Japanese.
Maria Zifchak is the
strongest in this cast, as
Suzuki, Butterfly’s maid.
She is deeply moving in
her protection of her young
charge, and her voice is
one of the few not drowned
out by the orchestra.
Using a Bunraku puppet
to play Butterfly’s son is
surprisingly successful. The
three puppeteers do not
overshadow the tiny boy,
who must silently watch
his mother’s desperate
emotional decline.
It says much about the
emotional engagement with
this production when a puppet steals the curtain call.
But as a supervisor, with
an appropriate title and
compensation, I will get
them to work on the days
you are gone.”
These two are
like misbehaving
schoolchildren. Without
authority, you might be
writing yourself out of a
job if you write them up.
With proper authority,
you could stop them from
doing what they are doing.
If you are granted
authority, make it clear,
when the boss is out of the
office, it is just another day
at work.
Getting these two to
work when the boss is
absent is equivalent to
increasing productivity
by 20%. That kind of
performance can get you
your next, better job.
As a supervisor, you
would have protection
against these two. As
an equal, you have no
Wayne and Tamara
POST, February 28, 2015 – Page 73
Art comes with background
A lively, theatrical art
parade will open Artitja
Fine Art’s first exhibition
of Aboriginal art for the
Art Parade, which premiered last year, is the
brainchild of Melbourne
art curator, writer, critic
and publisher Susan
Susan is one of
Australia’s visual arts
experts and conceived the
idea of an art parade as an
entertaining, interactive
and informative way to
educate people on art.
Around 80 works of art,
paintings and sculptures
will be presented and
paraded by a team of
assistants to the audience
as Susan talks about the
art, artists and the regional
Artitja Fine Art director
Anna Kanaris said: “We
all have to work a little bit
harder to present art in
new and interesting ways.
“I have known Susan
for many years and
immediately saw merit
■ Left: Emerging artist, Herman
Whiskey Tjungarrayi. Above: Ngura
(Country): Peter Mungkuri
in the concept of an art
lecture presented in a
creative way.
“Not only are you looking at beautiful works
of art, you are getting
a specific and informed
insight into how it comes
Susan grew up in the
world of art. Her father,
Alan McCulloch, was the
art critic for the Herald
in Melbourne, founding
director of the Mornington
Peninsula Regional Gallery
and founding author of the
Encyclopedia of Australian
Art (1968).
He and his wife, Ellen,
bought the now-famous
property Whistlewood, on
the Mornington Peninsula,
where he and his childhood friend, Arthur Boyd,
designed and built an art
Through the 1950s,
Whistlewood became a
much-visited destination for the art world.
Susan’s photographs taken
across the 1950s, 60s and
Fringe triumph for Blue Room
The Blue Room Theatre’s
Summer Nights program
for the Fringe World
Festival won 10 Fringe
World awards.
The Blue Room, in
association with PICA,
won Best Independent
Program for the fourth
year running.
Monroe & Associates,
by local company The Last
Great Hunt, a detective
show set in a caraven for
one audience member
at a time, took out the
prestigious Martin Sims
Award, with a prize of
$10,000 and international
touring opportunities at
other Fringe Festivals.
■ Hard-working and multiskilled Joe Lui.
The Last Great Hunt
also won the Melbourne
Tour Ready Award with
its two-hander play, FAG/
Run Awa
t Circus skills classes
t School and community workshops
t Circus birthday parties (Sundays only) (08) 9335 5370
Old Customs House 8 Phillimore St Fremantle
Fake it ’til you Make
it by Bryony Kimmings
and Tim Grayburn won
best Theatre Award,
and Trygve Wakenshaw
(Squidboy) won Best
Comedy with Kraken.
Lost and Found opera,
featuring sopranos Sara
Mcliver, Fiona McAndrew
and Elisa Wilson, won
the WA Award for In
the Shadow of Venus.
Mikala Westall won Best
Emerging Artist for her
show, Moving On Inc.
The Bookbinder and
Lords of Strut jointly won
the Children’s Award.
Joe Lui, Summer Nights’
production manager,
director of A Circle of
Buzzards and contributor
to numerous other Fringe
shows, took out the Spirit
of the Fringe Award.
All these shows were
presented by the Blue Room,
which had a 84% capacity
across the season.
The sold-out and
extended season of La
Soiree won Best Cabaret,
and 3 Is A Crowd’s Fright
or Flight, inspired by the
behaviour of birds, won
Best Circus.
Sam Perry Live won
the music award and the
Georgian production of
Carmen (Choreodrama)
won the dance award.
70s, show artists including Arthur Boyd, John
Perceval, Godfrey Miller,
Guelda Pyke, Dorothy
Braund, John Brack and
their families, Nina and
Clem Christesen, Susan’s
godparents Oscar and
Dorothy Hammerstein, and
the entire cast and crew of
the New York City Ballet.
Susan still lives at
Whistlewood, where she
runs a gallery in her father’s
former art studio and runs
her publishing company,
McCulloch and McCulloch,
with her daughter.
Her concept of art
parades results in a greater
understanding and awareness of the now oversubscribed Aboriginal art
Anna at Artitja said: “We
don’t encourage buying art
as an investment. It doesn’t
sit right with us. We sell
on the appreciation, the
knowledge and understanding of where that art
has come from.
“Everything I select I
have chosen on aesthetics,
regardless of who the artist
■ arts
The art parade and
following exhibition
feature brilliantly
coloured canvases by both
established and upcoming
talents from more than
20 art centres and remote
communities, including the
APY Lands (the tri-border
area of WA, NT, SA), the
Tiwi Islands, and bark
works from Yirrkala.
The Artitja Art Parade
will be held at MosArts,
16 Lochee Street, Mosman
Park, from 3 to 5pm on
Saturday, March 14.
After the overwhelming
response last year, when
they had to turn people
away, it is a ticketed event
this year.
The works will be on
show on Sunday, March
15, from 11am to 5pm,
before moving to Artitja
Fine Art, in Attfield Street,
South Fremantle, for the
weekends of Saturday and
Sunday, March 21 and 22,
and 28 and 29.
■ Book tickets for
Art Parade online
at artitjaartparade.
For the Love of
Exhibition open daily 10am - 4pm
Saturday 14th – 29th March 2015
Moores Building, 46 Henry Street, Fremantle
Page 74 – POST, February 28, 2015
■ goodtaste
Ocean Spice and all things nice
the chef’s
I am constantly looking
for new places to dine.
Truthfully, it’s a bit of an
The web is a neverending source of restaurant
news and new openings,
but Perth’s “urbantrippers” can get a little
carried away, ranting about
disappointing meals and
awful service.
On the other hand, when
I find a restaurant that
attracts nothing but praise,
I take it as an excellent
sign. One such place is a
casual Asian restaurant,
Ocean Spice Café, which
has been open just a few
months – to rave reviews.
Ocean Spice Café is
in Eric Street, Cottesloe,
right next to the Ocean
Beach Hotel. It’s modern,
airy and has sea views if
you get a table next to the
large, open window.
We dine at 6pm on a
Tuesday and already the
place is bustling with people
and take-away orders.
We are very warmly
welcomed by the owner,
Maria. Ocean Spice is not
licensed, so Chef dashes to
the neighbouring OBH for
a bottle of white. There are
soft drinks on offer, as well
as Vietnamese delicacies
such as sinh to bo, an
avocado milkshake, for the
more adventurous.
There’s a lot of choice on
the menu for meat eaters
and plenty of vegetarian
options too.
To start, Chef and I
choose a few entrees.
■ Ocean Spice Café
2/1 Eric Street, Cottesloe. Phone 9383 3303
■ opening times
Tuesday to Friday – 5 to 9pm
Saturday & Sunday – 11am to 9pm
■ rating
service &&&&
ambience &&&
value for money &&&&
style – Thai and Vietnamese
wine – BYO
owner – Marie Grace
chef – Pop Samasorn
feel – casual and unpretentious
wheelchair access – small step at entrance
cost – Entrée - $7.90 to $8.90
Mains - $11.90 to $21.90
Dessert - $8.90 to $10.90
■ all in all – Well-priced and well-cooked food with a
warm welcome.
The TIMEOUT food reviewer visits restaurants
unannounced and pays for meals and drinks.
Wine month
of the
west australian
sem sauv blanc & cab merlot
$999 each
Available at all Liquor Barons
stores until 1 March 2015
■ The always popular chicken pad thai is a hit.
We have Little Chef in
tow. It is the notoriously
fussy five-year-old’s first
dalliance with Asian food.
The four vegetarian
curry puffs ($8.90)
brimming with potato and
peas are only mildly spicy
and to our surprise Little
Chef tucks into them. The
pork spring rolls ($7.90)
are deliciously crisp too.
Many years ago, my
yard stick for satay sticks
was set impossibly high
during a trip to the Satay
Club in Singapore. Never
before had we tasted such
delicious morsels of nutty
meat and sadly, never
again since.
Our chicken satay sticks
($8.90) at Ocean Spice
Café are very tasty, but
fall short of our impossibly
high benchmark. They are
missing the smokiness of
being char-grilled.
I choose a chicken
cashew nut stir fry
($18.90), also available
with beef or pork. The
thinly sliced chicken is
perfectly sautéed and oh-so
tender. It is packed full of
fresh, crisp vegetables –
snow peas, capsicum and
spring onions – all covered
in soy sauce and sesame oil.
It is absolutely delicious.
Next, we devour a pile of
crispy roast duck ($21.90),
which sits atop a mound of
crunchy noodles. The duck
is moist on the inside and
is smothered with a lipsmacking sweet plum sauce.
Chef enjoys his favourite
To Freo for the
hottest festival
Chillies are good for
you – in moderation.
Chillis have up to seven
times the vitamin C level
of oranges and are good
sources of vitamins A and
E, beta-carotene, folic acid
and potassium.
Chillis, which contain a
substance called capsaicin
to give the spicy kick, are
believed to help fight sinus
congestion, aid digestion,
help relieve migraines and
muscle and joint pain and
are considered a potential
metabolism booster for
weight loss.
Cultures where people
eat the spiciest food
reportedly have much
lower rates of heart attack
and stroke.
What can possibly go
A really hot chilli,
usually the smallest ones,
can burn the inside of the
mouth and severely irritate
the bowel. It is a myth that
they contribute to stomach
Chilli lovers can unite
next weekend at Araluen’s
annual Fremantle Chilli
Festival at the Esplanade
Reserve, Fremantle.
More than 100 stalls
will celebrating all things
chilli, from plants, curries,
sausages and sauces, to
chocolate, beer and jams.
There will be lots of
street entertainment
and the Great Cocktail
Gastronomy challenge.
The hottest festival in
Perth is on Saturday and
Sunday, March 7 and 8,
from 10am to 5pm.
staple Thai dish of chicken
pad thai ($18.90). He
practically demolishes the
traditional street-food dish
of soft stir-fried noodles,
perfectly cooked chicken,
fried egg, tofu, bean
sprouts, garlic and chives.
The khong wan menu,
which translates as “sweet
things”, looks tempting.
Feeling rather full, the
three of us decide to share
the kow neow manung
with ice-cream ($10.90).
The traditional dessert of
sticky rice with succulent
fresh mango, sesame seeds
and coconut milk with
a generous serve of icecream is the perfect end to
our meal.
This busy café offers
outstanding value for
money and is incredibly
popular. We notice many
of the other diners are
Ocean Spice Cafe seems
to have filled a niche in
life by the
Ripper riesling
This wonderful grape
variety is admired by
industry personnel,
yet neglected by most
There is some thought
that it’s in resurrection
mode, back to the glory
days of the 1970s and
However panel members
are saying that renewed
interest in riesling is
isolated and it is mainly
selling in better liquor
stores where customers
are wine educated and
in restaurants where
wines are recommended
by sommeliers.
The style of today’s riesling also came up for
comment. More wines
are now made using a
modern approach of
indigenous yeasts, oak
fermentation and lees
contact. Perhaps it’s
done to make the wines
different and to try to
enhance sales.
I am all for these
approaches with sauvignon blanc, semillon/
sauvignon blanc and
other white wines but
admit to being a traditionalist when it comes
to riesling.
Riesling grapes are so
pure-fruited, it’s unnecessary to use wine
making techniques to
add secondary characters. Riesling is totally
capable of standing
Here are two classical
wines that have been
cold-fermented in stainless steel using cultured
yeasts and bottled early
to retain freshness.
O’Leary Walker 2014
Watervale Riesling
Love the light,
straw colour and
the distinctive
greenish tinge in
this wine; it is a
sign of freshness
and health. The
bouquet has a floral lift with freshlycut lime and light
spice and the palate
is long, dry and has
crunching acidity. Magic
with wild-caught sweet
Aussie prawns and a
tart citrus dressing.
☛ Score 18.5. $25
K+B 2014 Mount Barker
Mike Kerrigan
(Hay Shed Hill)
and Gavin Berry
(West Cape Howe)
are good mates
and get together
each vintage to
make this brilliant riesling.
From old vines
at Mt Barker in
the Great Southern, it
doesn’t get much better
than this. Almost colourless, it’s pure-fruited,
incredibly austere and
youthful with minerality
and rapier-like lemony
acidity. It’s as tight as a
Conservative Treasurer.
Drink it now or in 10
years’ time with panfried plump Rottnest
☛ Score 18.5. $30
Rod Properjohn for
POST, February 28, 2015 – Page 75
Taking a seriously
funny look at Oz
Comedian Felicity
Ward created a television
documentary, Mental
Mission last year to change
the conversation about
mental health, expose the
fears and stop the stigma.
Now her “conversation”
continues with stand-up
audiences, with a long,
hard look at racism,
Australia’s critical, and
what she unashamedly
denounces as illegal,
response to illegal
immigrants, and cricket.
In her documentary
about mental health,
Felicity was very open and
honest about her struggles
with anxiety and panic
She said she had suffered
from anxiety since her
teenage years. Doing
stand-up comedy is an
extraordinary challenge
for someone with such
a debilitating condition,
which she described as
“like having a flight or
fight response but being
Felicity said: “There is no
Like having a
flight or fight
but being
good place to have anxiety.
It’s not geographical. I’ve
just got to deal with it and
make it good wherever I
Alcohol was her prop
through the early years of
her career, but she gave up
drinking, which she said
was transforming.
In 2012, she was the
first comedian to be
nominated for, or win,
every best comedy award
at Australia’s four main
comedy festivals.
In 2013, she decided
to take her comedy to
London has proved to
be good. She said she had
“stupidly” fallen in love and
things were working out
for her over there.
And it was from a
■ In England, Felicity Ward took a good long hard look at
Australia and Australian culture.
distance she was able to
look at Australia and write
a whole new show.
She has called it Iceberg
because she said the lettuce
was like Australians – “we
show a bit of ourselves, but
most of it is hidden, and
which ever way you look at
it, it’s different.”
She said the new show,
which she brings to
Subiaco next weekend, is
about sport and asylum
seekers – “because
obviously they go together
... my poor brain!”
■ Felicity Ward is in
Perth for one show at
the Subiaco Arts Centre
on Saturday, March 7, at
Book through Ticketek.
Bruch piece is Sarah’s talisman
Korean American violinist Sarah Chang asked her
parents for a violin when
she was three.
She auditioned for, and
was accepted into the prestigious Juillard School of
Music just two years later.
■ entertainment
The piece she played
for her audition, Bruch
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G
minor, is the same piece the
now 24-year-old will play
next weekend with the WA
Symphony Orchestra.
The child prodigy,
daughter of a composer
and a violinist, was eight
when she was given the
opportunity to audition
for renowned conductors
Zubin Mehta, of New
York Philharmonic
Orchestra, and Riccardo
■ “The stage is my home”: Sarah Chang has been performing since she was eight.
Muti, with the Philadelphia
Orchestra. Both gave her
immediate engagements,
and she released her debut
album at the age of 10.
She began to perform
internationally and was
17, when she asked if she
could have a three-month
break from touring an
average of 150 concerts
a year. The break didn’t
come until she was 20.
She continues to tour all
over the world, saying the
stage is her home.
In 2011, US President
Barack Obama asked her
to take on the role as State
Department special cultural envoy.
She comes to Perth for
the first time in 10 years
to perform with WASO
for the orchestra’s first
Masters concert program
of the year.
She said of the Bruch
concerto: “I have fond
memories of the work
since it was the concerto
that got me into the school
of my dreams. It is such
a romantic, beautiful,
heartfelt work.”
■ Sarah Chang performs
with WASO and
conductor Asher Fisch
on Friday and Saturday,
March 13 and 14, at the
Perth Concert Hall.
Book through the
WASO box office at 445
Hay Street Perth or waso.
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Page 76 – POST, February 28, 2015
cinema Film’s title was a big risk
What the critics are saying…
■ A Most Violent Year (MA15+)
“JC Chandor (All Is Lost), the writer
and director of this pulpy, meaty, altogether terrific new film, and Bradford
Young, its supremely talented director
of photography, succeed in giving
this beat-up version of the city both
historical credibility and expressive
power,” says the NY Times. The New
Yorker agrees: “Some of the menacing
atmosphere, and even a few scenes,
descend from the first two Godfather
movies. But, in fact, Chandor has done
something startling: he has made an
“Let’s say you discover a time machine
in your basement. Would you use it
to go back and stop Hitler, or would
you instead make tiny jumps to tweak
the quality of your own life ...? For the
teens in the found-footage time-travel
movie Project Almanac, the chance
to rewrite history is wasted trying to
perfect their high-school experience,”
says Variety. But The Guardian says:
“Despite the uncomfortable sexism
and altogether predictable nature of
the film, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t
modestly entertaining.”
■ Fifty Shades of Grey (MA15+)
“Glossy, well cast, and a consistent
hoot until it becomes a serious drag,
this neo-9½ Weeks is above all a slick
exercise in carefully brand-managed
titillation – edgier than most grown-up
studio fare, but otherwise a fairly mild
provocation in this porn-saturated day
and age,” says Variety. But Rolling
Stone reckons it’s “a dull, decorous
affair, about as erotic as an ad for
Pottery Barn”. There’s definitely “no
need to lock up grandma”.
The Second Best Exotic
Marigold Hotel (PG)
■ Project Almanac (M)
Average star ratings
Advertise your goods in the
Unashamedly capitalising
on its 2012 predecessor’s
surprise moneymaking prowess
at the box office, The Second
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is
exactly as its title suggests –
second best.
Not that the first film inspired
superlatives. Rather, it was
a likeable comedy about a
disparate group of older British
expats opting for a warmer
and more economically viable
retirement in India.
What no doubt drew
such large audiences was
its appealing subcontinental
travelogue and a top British
cast led by Judi Dench, Maggie
Smith and Bill Nighy.
The same applies here.
Director John Madden
reassembles the same cast and
in the film’s opening scenes
neatly apprises audiences of
what each character is up to
now that they have settled into
the charming, now-improved
Jaipur boarding house of the
first film’s title.
Douglas (Nighy) is busy
giving factually sketchy tours
of local monuments and quietly
pining after Evelyn (Dench),
who spends her days sourcing
■ Star attraction: Evelyn (Judi Dench) and Douglas (Bill Nighy) are secretly in love.
fabrics for export and is
secretly in love with him too.
Cecelia Imrie’s Madge flits
between rich Indian suitors,
Norman and Carol (Ronald
Pickup and Diana Hardcastle)
are now an item, while Muriel
(Smith) is now co-managing
the hotel with the enthusiastic,
entrepreneurial young Sonny
(Dev Patel), who is soon to be
The only significant change
is Richard Gere showing up
as Guy, a divorced American
writer looking for a bit of
inspiration, replacing Tom
Wilkinson, whose character
died in the first film.
The latter event has inspired
Sonny’s daily morning roll
call, but despite his fear of
guests checking out in the
biblical sense, he is still intent
on expanding his empire of
retirement hotels.
Returning screenwriter
Ol Parker (who adapted
the first film from Deborah
Moggach’s book) centres the
drama on Sonny and Muriel’s
bid to bring in investors for
a second hotel, which of
course leads to all manner of
mistaken identity shenanigans
and the usual cross-cultural
Newcomers will likely find
themselves confused by the
multiple sub-plots; it all unfolds
with a little regard for narrative
But fans of the first film will
probably roll with the chaos until
Sonny’s massive, Bollywood
dance-filled wedding finale.
It is all sunny, routine,
entirely predictable fare.
Famed opera is free in the park
“Figaro! Figaro! Figaro!” is
a catch phrase that immediately
means opera.
And like hairdressers of
today, young barber Figaro
in 18th century Spain knew
City of Perth’s Opera in the Park
His Majesty’s Theatre
West Australian Opera Chorus | West Australian Symphony Orchestra
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Presented by alcohol.thinkagain
■ movietime
everyone in town and knew all
their secrets.
Rossini’s comic opera, The
Barber of Seville, will be
performed for Opera in the
Park on Friday, March 6.
A prequel to Mozart’s The
Marriage of Figaro, which
will be performed at His
Majesty’s Theatre in July,
The Barber’s plot revolves
around Count Almaviva’s
(John Longmuir) love
for the beautiful Rosina
(Emma Matthews) and his
determination to woo her
without revealing his high
status and wealth.
He is joined in this quest
by Figaro (James Clayton),
a young barber. Through a
range of outrageous antics,
they manage to thwart the
plans of Dr Bartolo (Douglas
McNicol), Rosina’s elderly
guardian, who has plans to
marry her himself.
Rossini is often reported
as having completed the
opera in just two weeks, but
in his book, Losing the Plot
in Opera, opera conductor
Brian Castles-Onion notes
that the entire overture and
several of the most popular
tunes, including Figaro’s
“Largo al factotum”, were all
lifted from the composer’s
earlier works.
It is full of bravura arias,
musical melodrama, flashes
of improvisation and farce.
■ Opera for everyone, in the park and under the stars.
The WA Opera company,
WA Opera Chorus and WA
Symphony Orchestra perform
this deliciously fast-paced
comic opera under the baton
of Richard Mills in a free
performance at the Supreme
Court Gardens at 8pm on
Friday, March 6. Take a rug
and a picnic.
POST, February 28, 2015 – Page 77
Creating drama from real news
Foreign correspondent
Sophie McNeill was
a 15-year-old student
at Shenton College
when she made her
first documentary,
Awaiting Freedom, which
highlighted the crippling
health crisis in a recently
liberated East Timor.
It won her the Young
Person of the Year Award
in 2001.
Since then, Sophie (no
relation to this writer) has
become one of Australia’s
most acclaimed young
The former Triple J
Hack host has gone on
to to twice win Young
Australian TV Journalist
of the Year in 2007 and
2009 as well as a Walkley
Award the following
year for Questions
from Oruzgan, which
investigated the deaths of
six Afghans, five of them
children, at the hands of
Australian Special Forces
■ Sophie McNeill tells the stories of the victims of violence.
Perth Theatre
Company’s artistic director
Mel Cantwell has been
an avid consumer of
Sophie’s investigations of
the world’s war zones and
made contact with her.
Mel said: “I emailed her
in 2008 because I was such
a fan of her work, and I
asked whether she would
be interested in exploring
any of her stories in a
theatrical context.”
Mel was surprised when
Sophie said she was very
interested in seeing her
powerful and political
stories in another context.
“There is something
about her courage
■ Director Mel Cantwell uses Sophie’s reports to tell stories
of women in conflict zones.
and passion and her
determination to tell the
stories other people don’t
want to tell that resonates,”
Mel said. “And so often the
worst news comes to us in
grabs and sound bites.”
Sophie agrees that the
news has become very onedimensional, with the same
people saying the same
Her inspiration has
always been the desire
to tell the stories of the
victims, the powerless and
the voiceless, what she calls
“hanging out with ordinary
people” in difficult and
dangerous situations.
Over the past six years,
during Sophie’s time as a
foreign correspondent for
SBS’s Dateline, she has
also had two children.
Mel said of her first
meeting with Sophie:
“She came into the Perth
Theatre Company office in
a flak jacket with her duffle
bag, on the way to SAS
“She’s sharp, intelligent
and spirited and she laughs
easily. She went off to leap
out of a helicopter. I began
ENQUIRIES: 9204 9406 [email protected]
to dig into her stories.”
Together, Sophie and
Mel have been crafting a
script that turns reportage
into a multi-artform theatre
“Her stories are always
so human,” Mel said.
“It was a process of
unearthing the imagery in
her work, which would
form the basis of what we
hope will be a compelling
and moving immersive
From the Rubble
investigates the lives of
civilians, inspired by stories
of women in conflict zones.
The women involved in
the production are visual
artist Fleur Elise Noble;
audio visual designer Mia
Holton; composer, fine
arts student and songstress
Mei Saraswati, making
her theatre debut; IranianAustralian performer Tina
Torabi, and performer
Mikala Westall.
Mel said the women had
turned the complex stories
into something visually
beautiful, using paper art,
projections, film images,
soundscapes, music and
Mel said: “From
the Rubble is a new
perspective of the news
and the way we imagine
other people’s worlds and
other people’s lives.”
■ From the Rubble is at
PICA from March 16 to
28. Book through PICA at
■ arts
And the winners are...
■ Newcomer of the year, Clarence Ryan.
Yirra Yaakin Theatre
Company, now based in
Subiaco, took out three
awards at this week’s
Performing Arts (WA)
The remounted production of King Hit, based on
the life of Geoffrey Narkle,
won best production, best
supporting actress for Karla
Hartand and best newcomer
for Clarence Ryan.
Black Swan State
Theatre Company’s show
Laughter on the 23rd Floor
won best actor for Igor
Sas, and best design for
set and costume designer
Lauren Ross.
Jo Morris won best
actor (female) for her role
as Stella in A Streetcar
Named Desire and
Humphrey Bower won
best supporting actor for
his numerous roles in
Barking Gecko’s adaptation of Craig Silvey’s story,
Jasper Jones.
Leah Mercer won best
director for Joey: The
Mechanical Boy at the
Blue Room Theatre.
Chris Isaacs won best
script for his debut play,
Flood, an award he shares
with Jeffery Jay Fowler
for his script, Elephents.
Retired actor Eileen
Colocott won the PAWA
Heritage Award.