Theatre Review: Melba lifts the veil by celebrating Australia’s great dame (at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre to September 9th)

From little things big things grow. Paul Kelly could have sung this about Australia’s very own, Dame Nellie Melba. This famous soprano grew up with rather modest beginnings before she forged her own fabulous career. She eventually took the world by storm and become a renowned opera diva. The Hayes Theatre are playing host to the world premiere of Melba, a luminescent, musical theatre show about one of Australia’s most celebrated singers and cultural icons.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Nina Riggs’ The Bright Hour teaches us how to live & die with grace & dignity

Death is the great unknown. Yet it is something that we will all have to experience one day. Nina Riggs’ The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living & Dying contemplates some of these very things, as well as some other big existential questions. The book is an excellent meditation on life and death, and serves to remind us all to stop and take a moment to appreciate the things that really matter.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Claire Halliday’s Things My Father Taught Me is a love letter to Australian Dads

In the lead-up to Father’s Day journalist, copywriter and author, Claire Halliday follows up her previous book, Things My Mother Taught Me with one about the dads. Both books are collections of short interviews undertaken by Halliday with well-known Australian identities, where they describe the relationship they have with a parent. These range from warm and caring bonds to ones that can be a little fractured and difficult at times. This new collection, Things My Father Taught Me provides an interesting and sage look at the father-child relationship.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Rebecca Jackson’s You’re Not Alone is like a warm hug & a good starting point for those wanting to change their thinking

It’s fair to say that most people, at some point in their lives, will experience a dark period, a crisis or just an overwhelming desire to know more. The book, You’re Not Alone: A Practical Guide For The Awakening Soul by Rebecca Jackson is designed to help at these very points. There are some readers that may disregard the contents of this volume as hippie or new age stuff, but for those readers that approach it without judgement there are some handy things that can be found here, as well as some stuff they may already know about.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Mandy Len Catron’s How To Fall In Love With Anyone is a thought-provoking set of essays about modern love

In 2015 writer and academic, Mandy Len Catron went viral when an article she wrote was published in The New York Times. It was called, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This” where she described her recent date with a new acquaintance. They had answered 36 questions together from a research study designed to make people fall in love with each other. Her book, How To Fall In Love With Anyone is a collection of essays that includes this previously published one. It expands on the idea she posed in this article as well as looking at modern love and relationships and it does this in a helpful and thought-provoking way.... Read More | Share it now!

Review: The screening of The Wharf Revue by The Actors Benevolent Fund was a fine celebration of Australian satire

The Actors Benevolent Fund is a non-profit, charitable organisation who has been providing financial and practical assistance to professional performers since 1944. They support individuals who are unable to work due to illness, injury or disability. This charity recently held a fundraising night at Dendy Opera Quays where they screened a recording of the 2015 instalment of The Wharf Revue live production. This is a popular, political satire and cabaret show that was celebrating its 15th anniversary at the time. This film was a funny and biting look at Australia’s political and cultural landscapes.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: Brigid Delaney’s Wellmania is a funny & searing look at the wellness industry

A lot of us aspire to be well. It’s estimated that the wellness industry, which sells everything from day spas, retreats and yoga classes to supplements and detox diets is a multibillion dollar one that’s rising. Guardian journalist, Brigid Delaney is well-acquainted with this alternative church having been a devotee of various health and wellness fads over the years. In her third book, Wellmania she chronicles her misadventures in this pursuit for wellness. It’s ultimately an interesting one that separates the wheat from the chaff or the hype from the things that do work and it’s all nicely-presented in the form of some funny and painfully honest fly-on-the-wall-style essays.... Read More | Share it now!

Theatre Review: Front proves that a lot can go on behind closed garage doors (Performances in Sydney through 15th July)

Front is a new theatre production whose name could mean lots of different things. The band could all be a “front” for something else, a group often has a “front” man and being an artist means you have to perform on-stage “front” and centre. The play is a rocking one that takes a walk on the wild side through garages, smoke-filled band rooms and sticky carpets to shine a light on a group of musician’s meteoric rise and spectacular implosion. It’s a story that feels very raw, real and relevant.... Read More | Share it now!

Book Review: The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks is a detailed and intimate look at HeLa’s amazing origin story

For decades the human race has benefited from someone and they didn’t even know her name. She was known simply as “HeLa” to those in the know and it was a cell line that has been used extensively in research and lead to some major medical breakthroughs. The book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will commit Henrietta Lacks’ name to the history books at long last. In this volume – which was originally published in 2010 and reprinted now to coincide with the HBO special of the same name – science journalist, Rebecca Skloot finally puts Henrietta Lacks under the microscope and makes us realise why we should all be eternally grateful to her.... Read More | Share it now!