DVD REVIEW: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾

  The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ smells like teen spirit. The English TV series from the 1980s examined the trials and tribulations of an almost 14 going on 35-year-old. The program is now a fun slice of nostalgia for anyone who has ever felt teen angst and tried to grow up…

BOOK REVIEW: HELEN SABERI – TEATIMES- A WORLD TOUR

  Tea is one of the world’s most popular drinks. It also one of the most versatile as Helen Saberi’s Teatimes: A World Tour proves. The book is a delightful and colourful romp through time and around the world to celebrate all things Camellia Sinensis. This volume proves that there is so much more to tea than…

THEATRE REVIEW: GLASS ONION @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

The walrus was Paul, Clapton was God and Lennon is Legend. John Waters knows this because he’s had a lot of practice. Playing the tribute show, Lennon: Glass Onion since 1992, he sure knows how to live and breathe John Lennon. Oh, and that’s along with a little help from a friend called, Stewart D’Arrietta. The late John Lennon wrote hundreds of…

BOOK REVIEW: ADAM COURTENAY – THE SHIP THAT NEVER WAS

  James Porter was a convict who once had two choices: a) toe the line and eventually be released or b) escape prison. In Adam Courtenay’s The Ship That Never Was we learn about how Porter took option number two. Courtenay’s tome is an engaging look at history that leaves readers overjoyed and scratching their heads at…

THEATRE REVIEW: THE CLIMBING TREE

  When you’re a teenager you often feel like the world is against you. You’re too mature to be a child but not yet independent enough to be an adult. This is often a period associated with angst and growing pains. The Climbing Tree examines these existential problems while framing them around a nation’s past and the…

LIVE REVIEW: NEW WORLDS FEATURING BILL MURRAY, JAN VOGLER & FRIENDS

  Bill Murray and Jan Vogler could be the odd couple except that that name was already taken. Okay, “odd” is probably too strong a word. An unlikely pairing seems more appropriate because Murray is a Hollywood actor, comedian and occasional bartender, and Vogler a world-renown cellist. New Worlds saw both men making their Sydney Opera House debuts and this…

THEATRE REVIEW: MADIBA

  History is a complex beast and this is certainly apparent in Madiba. This musical weaves together the late Nelson Mandela’s story and the history of South Africa’s apartheid. The show is ambitious and tries to cover a lot in its two-hour runtime. This is a celebration of the long road to freedom for Mandela and his followers, in…

BOOK REVIEW: SANDER L. GILMAN – STAND UP STRAIGHT! A HISTORY OF POSTURE

  Sander L. Gilman has become an authority on the human body. The professor has written and edited over 90 books, including ones that examined our attitudes towards obesity and cosmetic surgery. Stand Up Straight! A History of Posture does what it says on the tin and covers elements of anthropology, medicine, theology and culture. It is…

FILM REVIEW: LADIES IN BLACK

Ladies in Black could have been named “Shopgirl”, but that title was already taken. The film, set over the summer of 1959 in a Department store like David Jones, is a gentle story about some Australian women who are standing on the precipice of change; but often feels like the entrée before the main. This film…

FILM REVIEW: THE INSULT (L’INSULTE)

  Ziad Doueiri’s Oscar nominated film, The Insult (L’insulte) could be called Pride & Prejudice. This isn’t because this Lebanese drama has anything to do with Jane Austen. Rather, it is because this film is all about how one minor conflict between two men escalates because of a combination of hubris and hatred. It seems that even in a modern…