Sunday, July 30, 2017
A former premier used to call it feeding the chooks. Those of us old enough to remember the Sir Joh era will recall (among far more distasteful political snippets), that the State's longest serving premier took great pleasure in gathering the media and then sprinkling grains or "wisdom". I felt a bit like that today (although hopefully my sentences were more coherent). It was QUT Open Day and my duty at this annual event is to front the audience who roll up to hear about the course. I whinge and moan about having to work on a Sunday but actually it's pretty good fun and they give you free lunch which is a total bonus. Also I do try to ease the pain of the horrible process of deciding what you want to do "when you grow up" at a time of life when most teenagers are ill-equipped to make such a decision. My advise "don't stress. Go with your best bet and it's painlessly easy to change your mind later". Because Open Day is at the Gardens Point campus, between presentations I like to have a walk around, see what the other stalls have on offer and check out what's happening in the Botanic Gardens.Today it was pretty much the same as on campus - hungry young things devouring all on offer. Not bad for a Sunday.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Love ya, Brisbane. Thank you for bringing two of my favourite things together in one big celebration. The annual noodle markets at South Bank in the shadow of the Wheel of Brisbane are awesome, totally awesome. Tonight we were just window shopping on the way home from the theatre. Well that was the plan. However, there was a dessert that was just calling my name. A smash cake. It's cake that's flash-frozen and whipped and garnished with rose petals and pistachios. It looked too pretty to eat but that didn't stop me. And it tasted goooooddd. Next time it will be octodog, the Japanese dagwood dog. It too looked too good to eat. Again, I've never let that get in my way.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
|Professor Scott Harrison before he produced the letter|
***The production images are supplied. The food and drink I took myself!
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
|The talented young cast of Blackrock. Pic Dylan Evans|
|QUT Drama discipline leader Sandra Gattenhof praises her young charges|
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
It was a difficult choice for the birds today. They wanted mince. Margaret had mince. But, and it was a big but, so did the dogs and the dogs were there first.
You could see them weighing up the situation, doing an avian equivalent of a pros and cons list. One the plus side, the possibility of getting food. On the minus side, the possibility of becoming food. But the mince was fresh. But the dogs were barking. The noisy miner camped at the window for a bit and then throwing caution to the wind flew in. Almost immediately it regretted it. It flew up on to the window ledge and wouldn't move. The dogs went crazy. The bird cowered. No-one got anywhere near the mine. It was a standoff that lasted quite a while. Eventually I opened every window I could find and the scared little thing made an escape. You'd think that would make it stay away. Not so.The prospect of food is responsible for many a bad decision (here I am talking about me). As soon as we were out the door it was back - as were half the other birds in the street.
Monday, July 24, 2017
|Jimi with Mum Agnes and Grandmother Petharie (Photo David Kelly)|
|Photo David Kelly|
Jimi says his family feels a responsibility to perform their own story.
"The amazing thing about them playing themselves and me playing myself on stage is that you as an audience member you relate to us not as a character but as real people.. It becomes more real."
Director and co-creator of My Name is Jimi Jason Klarwein agrees. "It does have an immediacy and an authenticity that you can't get otherwise. When you watch this family interact, it's like watching your family so you sit there saying 'oh it's exactly like my grandma'. I think the story is so personal to the Bani family, the only way to do it was to have as many Bani members on stage as possible."
But convincing the four generations to take part in the ambitious project wasn't easy and may not have happened without the prodding of Jimi's late father Ahdi Dimple Banu the 8th Chief of Wagadagam who died during the play's creation process. Jimi admits he was too scared to ask his family himself "I said 'Dad, you ask them'."
Working with the family hasn't been totally smooth sailing.
"It's tough," Jimi admits. "You need self-discipline. You have to be really careful about not offending. It taught me how to communicate properly with respect. It takes so much energy."
Jason, however, jokes that having performers who are not trained actors has its advantages. "Actors can be pretty difficult," he laughs. While programming a show with a cast almost exclusively made up of amateurs may have been a huge risk for the State's major theatre company, early indications are really positive. The run was sold out in the play's world premiere in Cairns earlier this month. And previews in the past week suggest Brisbane audiences are also warming to the Bani family.
The whole clan: Jimi, Agnes, Conwell, Dmitri Ahwang-Bani,Richard and Petharie (Photo David Kelly)
Jason says that's not surprising.
"The show is a real positive, hopeful, hilarious piece of theatre."
What may surprise audiences more is the unique, modern approach to telling the story of one of the oldest cultures on earth.
"We use a lot of different mediums to tell the story. We are using lots of different technology. We are using AV, we are using cameras, we are using miniature models that get filmed, we use a special pop-up book, here's dancing, there's cultural dancing, there's modern dancing, there's all sorts of different things that are happening in the show."
We'll see Jimi joke in three languages with his grandmother and torture his son with his spontaneous break-dancing.
"There's nothing dry about the piece," Jason says.
Jimi agrees. "It’s funny and challenging, it’s inclusive and it’s honest, most of all, it’s hopeful."
My Name is Jimi plays at the Bille Brown Theatre until August 13.
You can hear our full interview with Jason Klarwein and Jimi Bani here
|Jimi Bani and Jason Klarwein. (Photo David Kelly)|
Sunday, July 23, 2017
I could make you happy, make your dreams come true. Nothing that I wouldn't do. Go to the ends of the Earth for you, To make you feel my love. To make you feel my love. Glorious lyrics penned by Bob Dylan, first recorded commercially by Billy Joel and today attributed to Adele. Yep, Adele. She may have recorded a wonderful version of it but I'm sorry kids, the song wasn't hers. I smirked in much the same way as I did at a school concert when a little one said I'm a Believer was a song from Shrek. Does it matter? For the record only. What I love is that really great songs stand the test of time and resonate across the generations. Today the "Adele" song was one of a number performed by members of the Fame Theatre Company for guests at senior citizens afternoon tea . The looks on the faces of those in the audience and on stage said it all. And while Dylan/Joel/Adele may have been singing about romantic love, there are other ways to make you happy. Music is a great start.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
We devoured a banquet and washed it down with Turkish apple tea ... and wine. My appetite for Turkish food has not diminished at all in the intervening years but the older, wiser me now avoids raki. Some things improve with age ... at least a bit.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
I rather like it when life takes me out of my crazy routine and into places not on the normal route. The road less travelled, if you like. It actually gives you time to "see" things. So I was dropping off the photos as discussed in yesterday's blog. In my naivety, I thought that a parking spot would be available somewhere in the same suburb. Not so much. So I walked with a great big folio of photos under my arm which I had to try not to crush. But it did allow me to have a look. A real look. I love the old museum. It felt so sad when it stopped being the museum but small things such as fire risks and complete inadequacy to safely and appropriately display things apparently ruled it out. Anyway we now have a wonderful new museum and a beautiful old space. And my photos are in. Winning.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
It was a case of deja vu, all over again (yes, yes I know). This will be the third year in a row I have entered photographs in the Ekka fine art competition. Let's just say, I'd better be more accomplished with a camera than I am at entering competitions. Third time lucky? Not for me. Practice is not making perfect. It goes like this. You have to enter and pay in May but the actual exhibits are not due until now. Actually they were due at the end of last week. Did I remember? No, I did not. I received a courtesy call today asking about my entries. Audible expletive. Had, I delivered the entries? No, I had not? Had I actually chosen my entries, or printed them, or mounted them? No, I had not. I was given until tomorrow. So bring on super thrust mode. I selected some shots, submitted them online for printing and went off shopping for such things as mounting boards.Then I did what any sensible person would do. I delegated. My lovely niece Scarlett was recruited to carry out the mounting. Against all odds, the whole process was completed in a matter of hours. Am I a happy with them? Honestly, not entirely. Some of the prints are not awesome. If I had more time I would have either chosen different photos or had a couple reprinted. But you can only do what you can do and at the end of the day you have to be in it to win it.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
My mother cries at weddings. I don't but I am endlessly fascinated by them even when I know neither the bride nor the groom. So when I saw a wedding party rock up at the Botanic Gardens this afternoon, I was drawn to go take a closer look. Rumple and Winkle made friends with one of the bridesmaids so I struck up a conversation and found out the happy couple are Kaz and AJ. As I watched I also noted how wedding photography has changed. No more superimposing faces in champagne glasses (although why that was ever a thing I don't know). The camera crew was circling the bride and groom, doubtless collecting 360 vision. And the final observation? Soft pastel dresses don't always survive well in a garden photo shoot the day after huge storms.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
Listen to the podcast here.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
One of the tales that is on repeat in my mother's Same Story playbook, involves a walk with the dog when my two sisters and I were very young.
According to the story, we were dressed identically for this walk because why wouldn't you dress your daughters like living Babushka Dolls? But that's not the scary bit. An older woman stopped for a chat. Mum, who thinks baby babushka is an attractive thing, expects the lady to comment on how adorable we looked. Instead she admired our pound dog. She said she'd rather raise nine dogs than one child. At that moment, the dog spied and ate poo. I now have a version of this story for my own repertoire. The dogs were beautifully clean and shiny after their regular groom. We went to visit Margaret next door to show off the beautiful hair cuts and bows. Winkle disappeared and had been quiet for too long. She was discovered in the bathroom where she had raided a bin of incontinence pads. It was gut-churningly disgusting. I cleaned her up. Then she did a wee on the floor. We left with our tails between her legs. But would it stop me raising dogs? Not in a million years ... And will it stop Margaret from welcoming the dogs? She'd rather welcome nine dogs than one child