27th October 2017
Director Ian Harman
BURLESQUE! BOOM, BOOM!
Centrepoint Theatre was transformed into a haven of French-style glamour to celebrate the 10th anniversary chapter of The Boom Boom Room Burlesque with Tease-o-Rama! As expected from director Ian Harman a highly polished show, combined with a classy set provided great entertainment for a spellbound crowd. A full house lined up for Friday night’s premiere, some raucous and some getting into the spirit of it all and dressed to thrill...
Flesh, feathers, sparkles, sweetness and oh so much teasing kept an enraptured audience eating out of these ladies well manicured hands throughout the show. The alluring French accent of an off-stage MC wafted over the audience providing excellent entertainment as each delicious lady was introduced with their alter ego names matching a variety of fun themes. Costa DeMillion showed off her mastery of the art of burlesque revealing her years of experience with The Boom Boom Room with exceptional performances.
Mistresses of tease, these glamorous ladies were delightfully attired in a range of the most beautiful (and well fitting) lingerie – costuming on point. I seriously chastised myself for my own ill-fitting, mismatched and shabby underwear choices and wondered how I might look in high heels, pretty lingerie, and just of dot of the sexiness of the burlesque babes – oh la la!
I’m not sure whether the audience knew quite how to respond, sometimes it seemed there was a bit of enchanted silence which might not be the desired response. Personally if I was going to dance around in my lingerie I’d expect people to be screaming with delight. Someone who does know how to make an audience respond the way he wants is Mr Lola Illusion (Ian Harman) who offered some magical moments, some vulnerability, and a decent shaking of his tail feathers!
It’s too late to catch Tease-o-Rama! now as its limited two night showing is over, but The Boom Boom Room is bringing a new show soon to which I would highly recommend you attend.
There was no cooling their jets when James and Maree Candish put their wheels in motion and purchased a little known workshop tucked away on Cambridge Avenue in Ashhurst. Young, ambitious and full of enthusiasm they grabbed the keys and went to work making sure that their workshop stood out. Fresh new paintwork, a thorough clean throughout, and rebranding meant that a young James had a sparkling new workshop to get his mechanical business Village Valley Automotive started on a transformational journey towards becoming the humming mechanical pit stop that it is today. Not forgetting its past James honours the history of his workshop, displaying black and white photos in the reception area of a very retro looking Astro Auto Services owned by his predecessor Roger Herd who loyally stayed on working for James for a few years.
James had made the most of an opportunity presented to him, and had not expected that a job mowing lawns as a teenager would lead to becoming a mechanic let alone owning his own workshop. He took a job at CESCO doing forklift repairs, when the opportunity arose through his lawn-mowing job, which led to him doing an apprenticeship in heavy-automotive plant and equipment diesel mechanics. Seven years working for someone else left James feeling discontent. Shown a ‘for sale’ advertisement of Astro Auto Services, a little known workshop tucked away behind trees and some old decommissioned BP fuel pumps on the main drag in Ashhurst, James and his wife Maree took the risky first step into becoming business owners. With Maree busy studying to become a midwife, their life became like a speedway blur of activity. After a ten year investment of hard graft, and with a growing young family, James finds himself in pole position for providing mechanical services in Ashhurst and surrounding areas.
James looks back at those early days with the wise eyes of a business man with years of experience under his belt, he’s faced and overcome many challenges along the way but each challenge has brought him invaluable experience. He laughs as he recounts the handwringing experience of buying a new tyre balancing machine in his first three months of business, which seemed a significant and risky venture for his young business. Since then almost every item in the workshop has been updated and/or replaced with new equipment such as diagnostic computers and wheel alignment machines, bringing equipment and service capabilities to the modern high standards needed. This has allowed Village Valley Automotive to provide the wide range of services they deliver to clientele so that they won’t have the inconvenience of having to go farther afield. James relishes the opportunity to solve problems for his customers and says with his skills and the others in his team they can always nut out a problem in the end. Being a born and bred Ashhurst resident James appreciates the needs of his community, he’s grown into the role he’s taken on and admits that relationships with customers, staff and suppliers are most important to him. He’s uncomfortable about being referred to as ‘the boss’, asserting that his team are all important cogs in his well oiled machine.
Ten years have not passed unmeasured. James and Maree set targets for themselves that helped them steer their future in the right direction and to make sure the wheels didn’t fall off along the way. Their measured approach has facilitated the growth in their service, their workshop, and their local business. A short time spent in his reception area reveals, that in this small community, Village Valley Automotive provides a friendly and familiar service to many. From WOF’s, car services, full tyre replacement, and wheel alignments to heavy equipment and machinery, James and the team have got the Ashhurst community’s mechanical needs covered.
Director: Jenna Kelly
18th October 2017
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Chatroom, Jenna Kelly’s directorial debut at the The Dark Room. If you’ve never attended a show at this little gem of a theatre, do not be intimidated, it is a welcoming, friendly little nook with all the essentials like eft-pos and drinks – rock on up and enjoy yourself.
Anyway, Chatroom, I have to admit that I thought I might be a bit old to enjoy a teen internet chatroom drama, would I even understand their lingo? Well, I took a front row seat and felt like I was really part of the action, even though there really isn’t a lot of action. There’s a minimalist set, just the bare necessities which with good use of lighting and sound, works perfectly and does not detract from the strong, dialogue driven act.
I found myself really immersed in the chatroom conversation between these teens, all six parts delivered a compelling and believable act and expertly showed how quickly things can get out of hand under the cover of online aliases, with the group quickly splitting into a hero’s versus villains aesthetic. One actor’s delivery was perhaps slightly hampered by an overly rushed delivery of lines, hopefully just first night nerves, but the rest of their performance was well formed. Excellent characterisation by all actors brought teenage behaviour to life well, I low key had melancholy pangs for my (long) past teenage life.
Finn Davidson offered an exceptional performance as depressed teen Jim. His tender and subtle yet strong performance was awe-inspiring and just what was needed to handle the delicate issues of his character.
I commend Jenna Kelly on her directorial debut. Chatroom, is a thoroughly well delivered show for all to enjoy.
Margaret Edson's Wit
The Rare Theatre
Director : Damian Thorne
Last night I had a ‘rare’ experience indeed. Tucked away at the back of Shed 23 on Princess Street is a cheeky little rebel theatre where director Damian Thorne has produced The Rare Theatre’s debut show - Wit. With a coffee cup in hand I surveyed the charming array of chairs and cushions all neatly lined up in delightful rows in the intimate theatre space. I think that when spaces are restricted great skills of creativity are needed to endow them, sort of like condensed soup – it has a richer flavour. That was certainly my experience of The Rare Theatre, it is cosy, full of ambience, personal and embracing.
Looking at the set was sort of like staring into a lounge window, it was a very relaxing scene to gaze upon. The small set space did not stop this one woman show from delivering its full story to great effect. Actress Gael Haining-Ede as Vivian Bearing used her space well to deliver a witty yet bleak narrative about her cancer battle supported by voice recordings with Trudy Pearson as Susie Monahan, Damian Thorne as Jason Posner and Jeremy Matthews as Harvey Kelekian.
Gael’s performance was commendable as she delved deep to deliver some highly emotional scenes. Balancing the narrative with strength, courage and wit, at times I got goosebumps, while other theatre goers wiped tears from their eyes. The soothing and gentle tones of nurse Susie Monahan were a relief in amongst some tough scenes, and Jason Posner’s clinical and robotic, yet thorough bedside manner offered more light relief.
With Vivian Bearing’s occupation as an academic specialising in 17th Century English Literature taking a dominant role, this play really delivered a bunch of my favourite things. Small spaces, clever language, art, and a strong woman role model! It was a rare experience, but a delightful one.
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