Review: The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

We were invited to the Opening Night of The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls in Melbourne on 19th May 2017. Genuinely I can say, this is not a show you want to miss.

Not knowing what to expect, I can honestly say this is an exceptional piece of independent theatre, one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Well produced, brilliantly acted and totally engaging.

The storyline is:

Once upon a time, in 2005, 20-year-old Annie is sent by her mother back to her native Russia to brush up on the language, and lose her American accent. Underneath an opulent, neon-lit, post-Soviet Moscow she discovers an enchanted motherland – teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches, and ravenous bears.

The dynamic nature of the play means there is never a dull moment. The fairytale stories have been intertwined and you keep guessing throughout, what will happen next. I loved the tailoring of the stories to the Russian setting and the actors captured that grim side to the fairytale’s well, as did the set.

I don’t want to give too much away but I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how the story would unfold. You can get a feel for the show here in trailers and imagery for the show here at Boutique Theatre’s website. : 

russian girls

The actors are all brilliant and perfect for their parts, however I must point out that Felicity Steel is a stand out. Her stage presence and physicality is spectacular and her delivery of the character will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Some of the players performed multiple roles which added a great dimension, and made the cast seem much larger than it was. A great diversity amongst the players too.

The Irene Mitchell Theatre is a lovely little venue tucked away in the backstreets of South Yarra. There’s a bar at the show – but make sure to eat before you arrive as there aren’t so many food outlets close by. What they’ve done with the set is incredible and it was the perfect space for this back streets fairytale play.


So trust us. Don’t miss this show. The details are:

19 – 27 May, 2017
Tues – Sat, 8pm
Tickets: $32 Full, $28 Concession, $25 Grps 6+
Bookings: online only at
Enquiries: 0403 937 529 or
Venue: St Martins Youth Arts Centre (Irene Mitchell Studio) – 28 St Martins Ln, South Yarra 

Thank you to Boutique Theatre for having us!

Review written by Lovelly Communications Director, Emma Lovell

Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours: Taste of Burleigh Heads tour

We were recently invited by Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours to experience one of their walking tours on the Gold Coast. Our Director Emma Lovell loves food, and wine, so it was an easy yes! Here is a review from Emma about her experience on the Taste of Burleigh Heads tour. Enjoy, and we hope your mouth doesn’t water too much while reading about all these delicious delicacies.

Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours: Taste of Burleigh Heads tour began in a lovely park on a bright Saturday afternoon. A great way to start a walking tour.

We met business owner and tour operator Karen near the bowling club and quickly I started chatting with the group. An important part of these tours is the group dynamic and Karen does a wonderful job of fostering a warm and friendly space for her guests. After a quick intro about what we would experience, a little get to know you and a brief history of the area, we set off!


Our first stop: Stones Throw Café.

This little café is new to the area but doing very well and quickly gaining a name for itself. Seemingly plain from the outside, the inside has a rustic styling which makes it feel more like it could be a friend’s house for a gathering rather than a café. We settled into the charming front room and were quickly offered a lovely glass of Amadio wine by Karen.


Lovelly Communications Director Emma Lovell with Tour Operator Karen Inglis-Turner.

The chef put together a great tasting plate of seasonal offerings and interesting flavours. Hummus, sweet potato chips and a salad. All the ingredients were super fresh and it seemed the café would cater to all dietary requirements. A great start to the tour.



Second stop: Golosi Food Emporium.

Whenever something has emporium in the title, you know you’re in for a treat. This was only a short walk to the well-known James Street. The beauty of this tour is that it’s all within comfortable walking distance and does it’s best to showcase a variety of cuisines in the area. We were greeted by the most spectacular cheese platter and our delightful host Selena, the shop’s passionate owner.



From 100-year-old Italian balsamic vinegars, to locally baked treats, this shop had it all. I’m meant to give an unbiased review of all stops but this was hands down my favourite. I can see myself visiting many times and especially taking guests back there. I did have a quick browse around the store but my focus was on the lush cheese’s, fruit pastes and caramel sauce available for tasting. Oh and of course, a glass of bubbly in hand!


Third stop: Dolce Follia Gelateria


After thoroughly indulging in the delicacies of Golosi, it was time to stretch our legs and walk to our next location. We stopped a number of times at different restaurants and shop fronts which Karen helpfully pointed out as new to the area or other great dining options. We then stopped in front of a tiny little hole in the wall gelato store that was bursting at the seams with customers.

A few tastes of their gelato, including coconut and honeycomb crunch, and you can understand why! We were all invited to try as many as we pleased and then chose our favourite for an entire scoop. I went for the palate cleansing mint. I’m a big fan of having ice cream in the afternoon as opposed to after a meal. It was the perfect break up in the tour and got us ready for the next savoury treat!



Fourth stop: The Pocket 

The name is intriguing isn’t it! The Pocket. It could be many things, a corner bar, a clothes store, or microwave pizza pockets (maybe that’s just my weird mind.) but no! IT’s the middle eastern style cuisine of pita bread pockets stuffed with dips, pickled vegetables and the most incredible falafels. Our table was lavished with these gorgeous platters and it didn’t take us long to dive in. Coupled with a glass of wine and some home made rose water infused lemonade, perfection.



I must also point out the beautiful ambience at the back of the restaurant. These paintings were done by a staff member only a few weeks before our arrival. They perfectly reflect the Burleigh vibe and make for a relaxing meal setting. Exceptional!



Fifth and final stop: Finders Keepers Bar

Sadly, the tour must come to an end. But, it sure did end on a high. Drinks and a show as we were treated to a theatrical guide of how to make an espresso martini. As this is my absolute favourite drink, I was invited to assist in the mixing and shaking of the cocktail. I shook it like a polaroid picture! Shake, shake, shake!


Paired with our incredible martini was a decadent chocolate mousse dessert with a secret ingredient. I would tell you… but where’s the fun in that! It’s delicious and works perfectly, that’s all I’ll see. It was the perfect end to the tour as it allowed the group to relax and chat together and if desired, kick on and keep the good vibes going. It was a wonderful chance to not only learn about amazing venues in Burleigh, but also make some new friends.



In short, I highly recommend these tours. The value for money is exceptional. What you would pay for an indulgent meal at one restaurant, you get to sample five different eateries. The mix of the stores and restaurants was perfect and I feel much more comfortable in the Burleigh area when selecting a place to eat.


The best part is – the stops on the tour are always evolving and changing. You could do the tour three times and always get to try something new and different, whilst also going back to your favourites. It’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get! You can also try the Taste of Surfers Paradise and Taste of Broadbeach tours.


This is a great idea for tourists visiting the area and for locals who are looking to know their own backyard better. Thank you for having me Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours!

We can also offer friends of Lovelly Communications a special price on Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours which will give you a $30 discount off the tour price! Send us an email or post a comment below for more details!

Emma Lovell featured in The Weekend Australian promoting ethical travel

Today Emma was featured in The Weeksnd Australian speaking about ethical travel. Emma wrote her top five travel tips for travelling ethically and taking on some amazing experiences.

Here is an excerpt:

Trekking to Everest Base Camp was always on my bucket list, so when I got the chance to go there with World Vision Australia in March this year I jumped at the offer! Not only did I get to trek to base camp while raising money for communities in Nepal, but I got to see the work World Vision does first-hand. The people of Nepal now more than ever need our continued support. To donate to the Nepal earthquake appeal, visit:

The article is also online and tweeted here:

The insiders: ethical travel with Emma Lovell featuring @WorldVisionAus @inspiredadvntrs @blackdoginst #ethicaltravel


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