SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SPECKLED BAND

April 23, 2018

Arthur Conan Doyle’s exciting thriller “Sherlock Holmes and the Speckled Band” keeps the audience enthralled from start to finish and is the second play in the Genesian Theatre’s 2018 season.

The Australian premiere of British playwright Max Gee’s adaption, which remains faithful to the original spine tingling short story from Conan Doyle, is directed by Tom Massey and features a cast of talented actors, headed by Chris Butel as Sherlock Holmes and Kieran Gilkes as his sidekick, Dr Watson.

Trying to solve the mystery by following the clues is too easy. To succeed in picking the guilty person, the audience must get inside Sherlock Holmes’ mind to guess “who dunnit”, before the master detective makes his announcement.

The action begins when a young woman tragically dies on the eve of her wedding, under mysterious circumstances. No reason for her death is ever discovered, but a heavy metallic clang and low whistle are heard.

Time goes by and the victim’s distraught twin sister is organising her own wedding, but late one night, she hears a low whistle in the dark. Enter Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. 

“Sherlock Holmes and the Speckled Band” is currently playing at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney until 12 May 2018. Friday & Saturday nights at 7.30pm with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes, with a 20 minute interval.

Writer: Sandra Tiltman   Photos: Craig O Regan

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BRUSH UP YOUR BOATING SKILLS

March 5, 2018

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The Boating Industry Association has put together “Advanced Skipper”, an advanced boat safety instruction course, designed by industry experts, which offers a high level of safety training plus tailored information on local waterways. For recreational boaters who aren’t on the water a lot, it provides a refresher, keeping them safe and up to date on boating rules and regulations.

As many Australian’s are taking to the water in retirement, the Advanced Skipper course allows those who sat for their boat licence years ago and have had very little boating experience since, to refresh their knowledge before heading out to sea for fishing or sailing.

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The Advanced Skipper certificate can be done at home in 60-90 minutes, via the online program for $55 (incl GST). Advanced Skipper presents 22 common boating situations from multiple angles and on completion of the course, Advanced Skipper status lasts for five years.  www.advancedskipper.org.au 

Sandra Tiltman Photos: John Pond


MAMMA MIA!

March 1, 2018

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After playing sold-out seasons in Brisbane and Canberra, it’s now Sydney’s turn to be wowed by the exciting new Australian production of MAMMA MIA!

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Inspired by the magic of ABBA’s timeless songs, writer Catherine Johnson’s heart-warming tale is set on a Greek island paradise and centers around young bride to be Sophie, who, on the eve of her wedding sets out on a quest to discover the identity of her father. Sophie sends wedding invitations to three men from her mother’s past, to lure them back to the island, which they last visited 20 years ago.

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Produced in Australia by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers and Linda Bewick this absolutely delightful fun filled show is directed by Helpmann Award winner Gary Young and features a talented cast that would be hard to better.

Natalie O’Donnell as mother of the bride Donna Sheridan is exceptional, keeping all eyes on her when she sings and dances her way through many of Abba’s fabulous hits such as Money, Money, Money. Sarah Morrison is also very believable as Donna’s daughter and bride to be Sophie. Natalie and Sarah look so much alike, they could actually be taken for mother and daughter. Alicia Gardiner and Jayde Westaby as Donna’s best friends Rosie and Tanya, bring their own special magic to these roles.

 

Ian Stenlake, Phillip Lowe and Josef Ber who play the three unsuspecting potential fathers, keep up the suspense as to which one will be giving the bride away.

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MAMMA MIA! is a stage show full of great music, dancing, fun and laughter that the whole family will enjoy.

Playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre until 6 May 2018. After a season in Perth, MAMMA MIA! moves to Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on 10 July 2018.

www.mammamiathemusical.com.au

Sandra Tiltman   Photos: John Pond    

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THOMAS TALLIS’ ENGLAND

February 25, 2018

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra has opened their 2018 season with “Thomas Tallis’ England”, and Brandenburg’s Artistic Director, Paul Dyer AO, has not disappointed with his programme featuring English works by Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, Matthew Locke, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Henry Purcell.

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Music by the German composer Handel, who took on British citizenship and was a major celebrity in his adopted home of London, is also included

To enhance these musical masterpieces, the orchestra has an expanded strings section, along with the magnificent voices of the Brandenburg Choir singing Tallis & Byrd. Topping off this whole experience is the return of countertenor Max Riebl, whose voice adds an extra dimension to this uplifting concert. Max commented “I’ll be singing two beautiful songs by Gibbons, from the late Tudor/early Jacobean period and an aria from Handel’s opera Orlando with lots of vocal fireworks. I’m probably most looking forward to singing Cold Song from Purcell’s King Arthur, a gut-wrenching masterpiece that is simultaneously epic and minimalist.”

Artistic Director, Paul Dyer AO, said “I urge everyone not to miss hearing the Brandenburg Strings perform the epic and cinematic Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. It is an amazing concert experience, regularly voted in radio station polls as one of the favourites of all classical music works for good reason – it’s beautiful and emotional and just soars! I’ve always wanted us to play it. The breathtaking and sublime music Thomas Tallis wrote 450 years ago that inspired the Fantasia is absolutely ‘to die for’ and will be sung by the Brandenburg Choir.”

Being able to enjoy the beautiful singing of the Brandenburg Choir, with the music of the Brandenburg Orchestra, was an added bonus that made for an unforgettable evening.

Performances at Sydney City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place until 3 March 2018.

Sandra Tiltman  Photo: John Pond

 


THE LADY AND THE UNICORN FRENCH TAPESTRIES

February 12, 2018

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One of the most famous masterpieces of medieval art, “The Lady and the Unicorn”, is now on exclusive display in Australia at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, through a loan from the collection of the Musée de Cluny- Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris. Revered as a French national treasure, this 15th century ‘Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages’ will be in Sydney until 24 June 2018.

Prior to their Sydney exhibition, the six large scale tapestries, together measuring more than 20 metres in length, have only left Paris on two occasions, firstly being displayed New York in 1973-74 then Tokyo and Osaka in 2013.

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The six tapestries, which are woven in wool and silk, are amongst the greatest surviving artworks of their kind. Showing a richly costumed lady flanked by a lion and a unicorn, surrounded by animals, trees and a millefleur (thousand flowers) background, five of the tapestries depict the senses with the sixth representing the heart or understanding. The sense of touch has the lady holding the unicorn’s horn while taste shows her feeding a bird and smell has her holding flowers. Hearing depicts her playing music and in sight she is showing the unicorn his reflection in a mirror. The sixth tapestry with the text ‘Mon seul desir’ (My only desire) depicts the lady emerging from a tent, held open by the lion and the unicorn.

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Maud Page, The Art Gallery of New South Wales Deputy Director and Director of Collections, said “The tapestries are universally revered and are a portal to the past, but the lasting beauty of “The Lady and the Unicorn” is that it retains its mystique and its freshness after centuries, still inspiring awe in viewers today.”

I would recommend that it is well worth making a special visit to Sydney to view this beautiful exhibition              Sandra Tiltman    Photos: John Pond

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TRAVELLING NORTH

February 12, 2018

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Australian playwright, David Williamson’s “Travelling North” is a wonderful start to the Genesian Theatre’s 2018 list of exciting plays.

Directed by Sahn Millington, this delightful play that is both funny and sad, is based on the true story of David Williamson’s own mother-in-law, who found new love in later life. The play also brings up issues faced by many of today’s seniors.

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The two main characters, Frank and Frances, which are believably portrayed by Dave Kirkham and Jane Thorpe, decide to leave their lives and responsibilities in Melbourne behind and head north to tropical Queensland. Their love story encompasses all their family dramas plus highlights the downside of ageing.

Peter Irving Smith is excellent as next door neighbour Freddy, as are Megan Shooter and Lauren Birdsall who play Frances’ selfish daughters, Sophie and Helen.

Although the play is set in the late 1960s, it is very relevant to life today. If certain historical events such as references to the Vietnam War and Gough Whitlam were updated, the play could very easily be set in current time.Genesian Theatre Co - Traveling North 2018 -  Homepix Photography 0136_preview.jpeg

One of the many charms that David Williamson brings to his plays is his ability to make his characters relateable to the audience. One can always recognise some of his characters’ traits as those belonging to someone they know.

“Travelling North” is currently playing at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney until 24 March 2018. Friday & Saturday nights at 7.30pm with a Sunday matinée at 4.30pm. Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, with a 20 minute interval.

Sandra Tiltman


UPDATING YOUR WILL

February 12, 2018

Marriage equality is now law, so with the prospect of increasing numbers of those in love rushing off to the altar, the NSW Trustee & Guardian has issued some timely words of advice about making sure a person’s Will is up to date if their relationship status changes.

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Updating an existing Will is essential when a relationship status changes and should be one of the first things couples consider. Natalie Darcy from NSW Trustee & Guardian said “Legal documents aren’t romantic but updating your Will can be one of the most practical ways to demonstrate how much you care. When you get married, separated or divorced, if you don’t update an existing Will or have one written, it can affect the people you care about. People spend time updating their Facebook relationship status, why not something as important as your Will. Talk to NSW Trustee & Guardian about updating your Will so you can ensure that your affairs are managed according to your wishes.”

It is important that people seek expert advice when updating or creating a Will to ensure that it is legally valid. www.tag.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 364 103.

Sandra Tiltman