BOOK REVIEW: TEA COOPER – THE CURRENCY LASS

  The Currency Lass is a dramatic story about a young woman who runs away to join the circus. The eponymous character is Catherine Cottingham, an independent young woman who is orphaned on the verge of her 21st birthday. Her philanthropist father has passed away and left her riddled with a saddlebag of debt. This…

BOOK REVIEW: NEIL MCDONALD WITH PETER BRUNE – VALIANT FOR TRUTH – THE LIFE OF CHESTER WILMOT, WAR CORRESPONDENT

  Valiant for Truth is the first complete biography of Australian war correspondent, Reginald William Winchester (“Chester”) Wilmot. It’s a meticulously-researched and comprehensive look at Wilmot’s life. It covers his studies in Melbourne through to his passage into the world of journalism as well as the important stories he covered during the Second World War before his…

FILM REVIEW: THROUGH THE REPELLENT FENCE: A LAND ART FILM

  As Donald Trump continues promoting his idea of building a wall between the US and Mexico it’s heartening to see that there are some people taking a different approach. Through The Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film is a documentary about a land art installation that attempted to reinforce the notion that borders are…

FILM REVIEW: DAVID STRATTON: A CINEMATIC LIFE

  David Stratton is the doyen of Australian cinema. He is a respected film critic who has watched in excess of 25,000 films, peed on Fellini and entertained Australians for decades through his movie reviews with sparring partner Margaret Pomeranz. David Stratton: A Cinematic Life is a documentary about his life and brilliant career and…

DVD REVIEW: STREETS OF YOUR TOWN

  Streets of Your Town is a romp through history, suburban Australia and its architecture. Comedian, Tim Ross, a self-confessed modernist tragic who has performed his own live shows in significant Australian buildings takes us on a journey through different Aussie structures, from the significant ones to the humble family home ranging from the 1950s…

BOOK REVIEW: ANNA ROMER – BEYOND THE ORCHARD

  Beyond the Orchard is an Australian saga spanning multiple years, taking in different generations and perspectives. It seems to have a lot in common with the late Bryce Courtenay’s work insofar as it’s an epic slice of Australiana. The book is the third novel by Anna Romer (Thornwood House) and a rich and detailed…

FOOD REVIEW: THE ROCKS FOODIE TRAIL

  Let all Australians rejoice for we have some of the world’s prettiest landmarks in our own backyard. A case in point is Sydney’s historic The Rocks area. The traditional lands of the Gadigal (Cadigal) people of the Eora nation, 2016 embraces this precinct as home to history, art, culture and food, with over 50…

DVD REVIEW: GLORIOUS GARDENS FROM ABOVE VOLUME 2

Glorious Gardens From Above Volume Two does what it says on the tin. It is a gardening program that is set in the U.K. that grants us access to breath-taking, birds eye views as well as rolling up the metaphorical sleeves and getting your hands dirty as you get amongst it. This is all testament…

BOOK REVIEW: KELLY DOUST – PRECIOUS THINGS

  Oh you pretty things… Kelly Doust’s debut novel is a celebration of all things precious. It’s a rich, historic fiction book that intricately threads together the stories of the owners of a beaded coronet. This fashion piece is like a cat with nine lives because over the course of the book we learn that…

BOOK REVIEW: LUKE DEVENISH – THE SECRET HEIRESS

  The Secret Heiress is a rich, historic fiction book set in Castlemaine, Australia in 1886 and 1903. The novel is by screenwriter, playwright, author and academic, Luke Devenish. The latter is no stranger to writing about history as his two previous books were set in Ancient Rome. His latest offering is a rather mysterious…

DVD REVIEW: TALES FROM THE ROYAL WARDROBE AND BEDCHAMBER

  They say that clothes make the man. So the two documentaries released on one DVD, Tales from the Royal Wardrobe and Bedchamber could offer an interesting glimpse into some rather intimate details with respect to English monarchs. Historian, Dr Lucy Worsley offers up a program that has its moments and provides some good historic…

THEATRE REVIEW: ALL MY LOVE @ RIVERSIDE THEATRE, PARRAMATTA (17.02.2016)

  Henry Lawson and Dame Mary Gilmore (nee Cameron) are famous Australian authors who appeared on Australia’s old paper $10 note. They’re also the subject of an intense period drama and romantic play called All My Love. It’s a story that asks a number of “What if?” style questions and hints at what could have been a…