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. : https://boutiquetheatre.com.au/season-2017/russiangirls/ 

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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.

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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 www.boutiquetheatre.com.au
Enquiries: 0403 937 529 or boxoffice@boutiquetheatre.com.au
Venue: St Martins Youth Arts Centre (Irene Mitchell Studio) – 28 St Martins Ln, South Yarra
www.boutiquetheatre.com.au 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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!

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

 

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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.

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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!

Help us Launch Raspberry Ripple Productions

Raspberry Ripple Productions, a disability led theatre company, is calling on the Australian public to help them create an accessible website and officially launch. The Pozible campaign launched on 05 May, 2017, aiming to raise $9,500 or more to help the organisation achieve its mission.

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As a new entrant to the theatre scene, the organization relies on community and government funding. The Pozible campaign will help Raspberry Ripple build an accessible website to host information about its events, workshops and advocacy work. The website will be accessible to all people, no matter their disability. An important aspect that many websites overlook.

 

The funds will also be used for marketing and promotional services to get the word out there and advocate for disability in the arts. Finally, they will launch Raspberry Ripple Productions officially to the world, with a party and event to be hosted at Footscray Community Arts Centre on Saturday 3 June, 2017.

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Raspberry Ripple’s remit is to create compelling theatre of a professional standard, using disabled and mainstream performers, writers and technical artists to tell stories of living in the world together.

 

Critical acclaim and opportunities followed the new disability led theatre company’s first official performance, ‘Enunciations’, at Footscray Community Arts Centre in 2016. Raspberry Ripple Productions is coming into its stride as a theatre company making a difference in the arts.

 

Kate Hood, Artistic Director and Founder of Raspberry Ripple Productions is the driving force behind the campaign. She’s passionate about making an inclusive and level playing field in the arts. Kate says:

 

“After being diagnosed with a neurological disease, I became a full time wheelchair user and struggled to keep my place as an actor in the mainstream performing arts.

Then I began to work with my new tribe of disabled artists – and realised that there is a rich seam of material that has never been explored in the mainstream. The dimension that could be created by performers with disability has been ignored for too long.  

That’s why I started Raspberry Ripple Productions. I want to see a pathway made for performers, writers, directors, and any disabled artist who has the talent and desire to work professionally in the performing arts.”

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The Pozible campaign will run for four weeks and offers rewards from as small as a thanks on Facebook to tickets to the company’s productions, or being a named sponsor on the website.

Visit the campaign here: https://pozible.com/project/launch-raspberry-ripple-productions

Hood adds “We want the mainstream industry to celebrate the deliciousness of diversity!”

 

To learn more, visit the Raspberry Ripple Productions Facebook page.  For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Lovelly Communications at lovellycommunications.emma@gmail.com or 0413 955 970.

Don’t be afraid of sad.

What a wise man. YES! We are afraid of sad. As soon as someone is sad, we try to stop it in its tracks and stop those feelings.

Let yourself feel. Let someone else feel. Ride the wave. Really feel it. Experience emotions as they are meant to be. Not blocking it and putting it away for it to come back more powerfully and punch you later on.

If you’re sad be sad, move on. If you’re happy, feel it and enjoy it.

Ahhhh I loved his explanation of this!

Watch here: https://www.facebook.com/goalcast/videos/1106708176073038/

And enjoy this picture of a puppy I met in Bhutan

for lovelly pet sitters
This puppy is excellent company when you’re sad – after a little while, you won’t be!

Written by Emma Lovell, Director of Lovelly Communications

Dragon at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017

Natalie Harris had a stellar 2016, performing her solo show Good Grief to sold out crowds at MICF and Melbourne Fringe and being awarded Screen Australia Gender Matters funding to develop the show into a web series. Now, Nat returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her brand new solo stand up show Dragon.

‘Dragon’ is the nickname Nat proudly gave herself at the age of 19 and persisted with until even her own mother finally started calling her ‘Dragon’. Now 31, she’s got an RSA under her belt, body corporate on her tail and two online dating profiles to her name. Her third solo show is filled with honest, divergent and hilarious tales of what it is like to be a self-made ‘Dragon’ in a modern world.

Natalie Harris (The Vagina Diaries ABC2, Twentysomething ABC2, , Fancy Boy ABC2) was a RAW State Finalist in 2012 and made her solo stand up debut in Secrets (MICF 2014). She co-starred in CREEPS (Melbourne Fringe 2014), Marked to Clear (MICF 2015) and brought her second solo show Good Grief to MICF and Melbourne Fringe 2016.

“It’s safe to say that Natalie Harris’s secret is out — and a pleasure to share.” Herald Sun

“This girl is one to look out for, and this show is definitely one to see.” Yawp Magazine

Dragon!

 

Details:
Tickets: $18-22
Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 & at the door (but pre-purchase advisable)
Dates: Mon-Tue &Thu-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 6.30pm
Venue: Trades Hall – The Evatt Room, Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton
Facebook event:
Comedy Festival link:  https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/dragon 

See more of Nat Harris on social media!

Instagram: @natisdragon
Facebook: Natalie Harris 
Twitter: @natisdragon

Girls Night is back at MICF 2017

Expect witty. Expect wicked. Expect wonderful. Grab your girlfriends and get ready to giggle, Girls Night is back for Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) 2017! Shows will run from 29 March to 9 April 2017 at The Upstairs Lounge @ Little Sista in the center of Melbourne.

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Producer and MC Cath Styles

Cath Styles is bringing together the cream of the festival’s funny ladies in a night to celebrate all things female and funny. This festival favourite is big on value and even bigger on laughs.

Girls Night features an exciting mixed bag of stand-up, storytelling, sketch and musical comedy. The line-up changes every night and features: Mandy Nolan, Bev Killick, Nikki Britton, Alice Fraser, Diana Nguyen, Tessa Waters, Lauren Bok, Sally Kimpton, Georgie Carroll, MC Cath Styles and many more.

Always hilarious, Girls Night is hands down the ideal start to any night out at The Festival.

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Cath Styles

“Female skewed comedy with refreshing wit”
– Herald Sun

“This is a show you could easily see twice”
– Comedy Beast

“Some of the sharpest and best valued comedy around”
– Gagging for it

Venue: The Upstairs Lounge @ Little Sista, 240 Lt Collins St, Melbourne

When: 29 March – 9 April, 2017
Time: 6:30pm
Tickets: Full $25, Concession $20, Group (6 or more) and Tightarse Tuesday $20
Book here: https://www.trybooking.com/254412

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The Mosul article in The Australian that you must read TODAY.

Recently I read this incredible article in The Australian newspaper written by a former colleague of mine, Stuart Rintoul, from when I worked on the World Vision Australia media team. I was cast into a sphere of silence and my body felt numb. I totally escaped my own reality as I was immersed into the surreal world these people are now living in. A tent city in the desert, escaping from the ISIL hold on their city of Mosul.

Read the article here.

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Photo taken from video shot by World Vision Australia in Iraq. Full video in article.

It’s really easy to see the news alerts come up and click “delete” or “mark as unread” to read later. I knew this wasn’t an article I could just leave sitting there. Lately I’ve felt a little lost. What will I do next year, what clients are coming up, who do I want to work with? But my vague sense of self in the past few weeks has nothing on these people who have had to abandon their lives. This is after being in a state of limbo in their city – waiting for a time when it’s safe to resume life as “normal”.

The harsh reality is that for these people, there is no longer a normal. There is no consistency or routine. Each day will come and they will prepare for it in the best way they can. Can you imagine leaving your home and not knowing what’s next? Some of us call this an adventure – taking a leap of faith. That’s true! If it was choice. If you had any other option.

The video attached with the article, although showing a terrible humanitarian crisis and one of which we are yet to know its limit, it also shows a sense of hope. The reason these people left was in the hope of a safer life. Children have had no access to education or even been able to play during the ISIL hold on their city. Now, World Vision has set up Child Safe areas where kids can be kids. They are playing games, singing songs and laughing. This is what a childhood should be. This is their time to grow and enjoy being carefree – not worrying for their safety.

I feel a little silly talking about my existential crisis after relocating states. But my move and life change was a choice. I wasn’t leaving a violent and scary situation, only to enter the complete unknown. I cannot for one second put myself in these people’s place. I can cry. I can feel sadness. But I cannot empathise. I can, however, use my voice and share their story.

“Do what you can” – And what we can do is give money to organisations who know what these people need. Their most basic needs to be met – food, clean water, shelter and a safe environment for their family. We can give them that by giving to the emergency appeal.

I urge you to take a minute out of your day – put your day to day in perspective, and for a moment have some compassion for those in need.

Support World Vision Australia in responding to humanitarian crises such as Mosul by donating here.

You can also hear a wonderful interview Erin Joyce, the Humanitarian Portfolio Manager for the Middle East at World Vision Australia on ABC Radio National. Listen here. 

Written by Emma Lovell.

Emma Lovell is the director of Lovelly Communications. Emma is a Blog Ambassador for World Vision Australia. She is also currently undertaking a contract with World Vision Australia on the Run India campaign.