Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20. Day 51. Bending over backwards

Drama Teen and I spend A LOT of time discussing the performing arts. Even though neither of us are big fans of Rodgers and Hammerstein (and that's an understatement) a quote from Richard Rodgers is often pulled out: "No-one leaves the theatre humming the scenery". Perhaps not, but a really dynamic set can and will make your heart sing. This is something I remind the teen of frequently. I love a good set. But the set is only the start of the non performance aspects of a production that make theatre what it is. The technical production - the lighting, the design, the sound, the costumes and that set really can lift a production - or indeed sink it. The good news is for those who create theatre in Brisbane is that those technical categories are now much better represented in the annual Matilda Awards with  best sound design/composition and best audio visual design being added to the award categories. The annual awards were presented at a sell out ceremony at the Powerhouse Theatre tonight. It was a fun-filled, loved filled evening with two Queensland Theatre productions each taking away a swag of awards. The Wider Earth, a piece of magic by Dead Puppet Society, was rewarded for its technical wizardry while the stunning performances in Switzerland saw it take out both the major acting categories and best mainstage production. As the mother about to send her "baby" to study Drama at Queensland University of Technology one name stood out. Emily Weir was still a QUT student when she auditioned for the role as the maid in Tartuffe. She was a stand out, a real show stealer and obviously the judges agreed. She won both the emerging talent award and the best female supporting actor award. You go girl.
Wins for independent theatre companies also reflected the strength of that sector.
And the notable omission? Not one single award for La Boite Theatre Company. It's not that I think any of last year's productions was hard done by. It's more that we all benefit when there are stand out performances across the board and across the city. Still I very much enjoyed Single Asian Female at La Boite last week so perhaps next year. We'll see.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 19. Day 50. Things are hotting up

Almost unquestionably the biggest event in Brisbane in May is the annual Paniyri Festival.
For those counting down the days, you have 90 more sleeps until you can get your Greek on. But some things are worth waiting for and honey puffs, haloumi and calamari are among those things.
If the wait seems almost too much to bear, consider for a moment the Hellenic Dancers. This year's Paniyiri marks the 40th anniversary of the dance troop. At times in Musgrave Park this afternoon there must have been some dancers who wondered if this might be the last dance.
Those traditional costumes are really cool but really cool they are not.
If a day is a long time in our fast paced world, 90 days is an eternity especially in terms of the weather. February is probably the worst month in Brisbane's climate calendar. May is glorious. Let's be honest, you can eat haloumi in any weather but it's even better when not mixed with sweat.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 18. Day 49. A head rest

A picture never lies. As such I knew that dragonflies would land on the head of turtles because my wonderful friend and Project365 buddy Donna Weeks snapped the photograph that proved it a couple of years back. I love that photo. I love the university lakes where it was taken. I spend quite a bit of time at the lakes watching the turtles and I've never seen a dragonfly anywhere near them. Indeed there was no sign of the dragonflies there today either when I walked my little buddy Molly around the lakes to check out the turtles. She was very excited by what she saw so as soon as we got back to her parents on the other side of the lake she insisted we return with her mum. This visit was no more than 10 minutes after the first only this time the dragonflies had flown in. Right in front of me one landed on a turtle's head. So now I have a turtle versus dragonfly photo too. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Friday, February 17, 2017

February 17. Day 48. Just add water

It's POETS day, so one is almost obliged to Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday. And so we did. The dogs and I headed Colmslie Recreation Reserve and the riverside dog park. It's an incredibly well equipped park with a load of agility equipment not often seen in other dog parks. All my dogs did on this equipment was pee. About a hundred metres further on there is a slither of sand along the foreshore. The second we arrived there their excitement levels hit fever pitch. There was sand. There was water. This was heaven. It wasn't much but it made all the difference. The water made the experience. The agility equipment just got in the way. I thought of that tonight at Act One Theatre's performance of The Importance of Being Earnest. The play is set in three locations: A London flat, in the garden of a country home and inside the country home. Each scene was created by an appropriate use of furnishings and props all of which created exactly the right feel. But then they'd added a projected image. It told me nothing not already conveyed through the traditional set. Seriously people. Theatre is not film. You don't need to use multimedia just because you can. Used well it can set mood, define place or add detail and context. But so often in community theatres it tells me nothing, or is distorted, not focused or just a distraction. Be ruthless. Ask yourself. Will this be like the river and it will make the audience's heart sing or will it be like the agility equipment that just sits there until some animal pees on it? Since man began to perform on stage, set designers have been able to create magic without a single projection. Don't let us lose that art.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 16. Day 47. Social butterfly

I often say I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do when I grow up. Clearly I have a bit of work to do to get to that stage. Think about it. I still have afternoon naps. I frequently manage to put my clothes on inside out or back the front. I can't tell my left from my right. Trained slugs would have more developed balance and coordination. And I am completely capable of wearing as much food as I manage to shovel into my mouth. Tragic. But while I sometimes wish I could behave a little more like a functioning adult, I don't mind those occasions where I have retained my childlike wonder. As far as I know spending a large amount of time watching bugs and slugs is something "normal" people grow out of. Well good luck to them. I may no longer have a Bug Catcher or a jam jar with holes in the lid but my fascination with creepy crawlies remains. In the words of Monty Python: All things dull and ugly, all creatures short ad squat, Call things rude and nasty, The Lord God made the lot.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 15. Day 46. Food for thought

Pelicans are awesome.
I love that wide-eyed amazement look they rock pretty much all the time.
I love their ability to own a space with no real effort.
Just being there is enough to make a statement.
Also their colour palette is black and white with a splash of pink. That's pretty much the sort of accessorizing I love.
But of I'm honest that's not the big thing. The big thing is the beak. How can you not love a creature that can shovel so much into it's mouth? That's my attitude to life to.
At the University of Queensland lakes this afternoon the pelicans were putting on a show.
Actually, they were just being themselves. That in itself is a show of awesome.
What made it so special was that they decided to do it right in front of me and my camera caring not at all about my two fur friends also enjoying the display. Love it

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14. Day 45. This one goes out to the ones I love

Valentine's Day. The Hallmark occasion to end all Hallmark occasions (if anyone actually sends greeting cards any more). This is the day for love but love comes in many forms. Sure February 14 is the red letter day for the romantic kind of love. But my husband is in Melbourne for a Superannuation conference (what could be more romantic than that?) so this Valentine's Day I shall honour the only other beings invited to share my bed - my dogs. The joy that those two bring into our home is impossible to quantify. They are quite simple hilarious. Rumple is so solid, so loving so dependable. Winkle is as mad as a cut snake, silly and playful. Together the antics this canine odd couple get up to would bring a smile to anyone's face. What's not to love about that? So after days of house arrest due to conditions not favourable for walking when you are covered in fur, it was time to reward my bed buddies with an adventure. We went to the off leash area along Kedron Brook. It was glorious after yesterday's cleansing storms and clearly just about every dog owner in the district had the same idea. At one point there was a great big playful canine cluster. My dogs looked but showed no interest. Like a couple on a Valentine's Day date, they only have eyes for each other all the while making sure I was never out of sight. That's love in my eyes.