Tuesday, August 15, 2006

May Melbourne Trip Part 3: Culture

You've already heard about the first show (sort of), but Graham also took me to another show and a very cool comedy thing.

The other show was called... shit. I forget now. It was called... "Doubt"! Ah-ha! Thank you, Google!

"Doubt" is a three-hander, and is the story of a young nun teaching at a Catholic boy's school in New York. A new Priest has started working at the school and there start to be doubts as to the propriety of his relationship with the students.

It was a superb show. The performances were great (although the accents not entirely flawless), the sets and lights were brilliant and the script was very good. There were no cheap, expected moments, but rather a whole lot of excellent characterisation and dialogue. If you get a chance to see this production (I think it's touring) then do so! If you get a chance to read it, or audition for it, then do so too.

We also went (along with Harry) to the Glitch bar on Sunday afternoon to see "My Top 5 Songs". This is a thing that, I believe, they do regularly where someone comes in and plays and talks about their top songs. As the Comedy festival was on, the one we went to featured 3 comedians, those being Daniel Kitson (UK), David O'Doherty (Ire) and Courteney Hocking (Aust) and was awesome. They were all funny and candid and interesting. And there was cake!

Courteney made a great point (and one that kinda relates to my own worldview), that everyone is after the Big Joy and yet it's easier to find small joys and be happy with the. The Big Joy may come, but while you're at it you can still cuddle the puppy or eat the ice cream. Daniel Kitson's "Secret To Happiness[TM]" was to find a girl who thinks the word "poo" is funny.

Oh, and you should go to the Glitch bar when you're in Melbourne. It bills itself as a bar/theatre and is pretty much just that. The front room is comfy and couchy with a simple bar and some books and Scrabble sets, and the back room is a very small, but also comfy, theatre and by theatre, I mean place for showing film. It was a perfect venue for the "My Top 5 Songs" thing, cause it had a sound system (that sort of worked with Ipod and CD, but had a few issues) and a steep enough rake that although there are only four rows of seats and not that many people can fit in, everyone can see clearly.

In my travels with Sam and Graham and Harry, I also found a bunch of great 2nd hand bookstores, including one that I'm pretty sure is a money-laundering front for the Mafia. They had a great selection, two floors of books and the owner/man at the counter seemed to have stepped out of an episode of The Sopranos.

Oh, and I also caught up with Bobbi one night and she, Gra, Harry and I checked out Martin Martini And The Bone Palace Orchestra at the Rainbow Hotel. Walking into the Rainbow Hotel, one cannot help thinking that Tim Burton has taken over direction and writing for the evening. There's a central bar, with low, wrought-iron hangings. The main bar is dingy, but in a companionable way, and there's still retro computer games in one corner and a beer garden complete with pool table that, just by the way, also looks like a cheerful, Australian Tim Burton has lit and designed it.

As for the band, Martin himself looks like the love child of Aunty Jack and Weird Al and, I have to say, my experience on the night was that the group could do without his vocal stylings. His keyboard playing was good, but I'm not sure if I liked his singing. As for the orchestra itself, the violinist was a pretty young lady in yellow wellies and stripy socks, the tuba player was a young Dom Deluise, the clarinet player was a clean-cut school of music type and the trombone player looked like Sideshow Bob's illegitamite son. I had no real impression of the drummer, but he did complain that a perfectly good song was crap, so maybe he just wanted to play it louder and faster. Their sound is, to stretch the metaphor a bit further, also Burton-esque. It's bold and brassy and enjoyable, with a sort of Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentleman feel, but not quite as polished. Check out their web site and check them out if you see them performing near you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to have you back, glad you had a nice time. Super glad Graham is alive and well, although his blog is not.

I saw 'Doubt' here in Sydney, and I heartily agree with everything you said. Although it took a little while for me to get over the fact the priest was the guy from 'Newlyweds'. Damn, that old nun was funny! I lost count of the times I flip-flopped between 'oh, he's obviously guilty' and 'gee, he's just misunderstood'. That shows how good the script was.


8:46 PM  

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