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boy girl wall

There is something magical about a theatre production that boasts a cast of one, and includes a scene whereby said cast member engages in oral sex with a sock puppet in front of the audience. Far from being tasteless, however, this single act epitomises all that is excellent about La Boite’s latest theatrical production, boy girl wall. It is a simple show, featuring very little in the way of sets or props or costumes. It’s just 85 minutes of one man telling us an interesting and engaging story about two ordinary people’s lives in a style that makes the term “post-modern” seem positively sublime.

Click to read the full review at Crikey’s Curtain Call blog …


Griff the Invisible

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted Australia to produce it’s own sci-fi franchise to rival that of Star Trek or Doctor Who. Heck, even though I am not a big fan of superheroes, I’d settle for an Aussie version of Batman. Just something that allowed us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our American and British cousins, and proudly declare that we too can produce high-concept, effects-laden masterpieces. Sadly, all we ever seem to get stuck with is character studies and quirky comedies. Which are fine, don’t get me wrong - but there is a part of me that hungers for more. Griff the Invisible, therefore, is a movie that has me stuck in two worlds - on the one hand, it’s a great quirky comedy that studies that characters of Griff and Melody (so nothing new there), but it also has some wonderful high-concept sequences in them that are driven by some quite impressive visual effects (something that is new in the Australian film landscape of the 21st Century). So did I actually enjoy it? Well, yes, yes I did. Save for the second last scene in the entire film, there’s very little one can fault in Griff the Invisible.

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Summer and Smoke

It’s been quite some time since I last had a chance to see a university theatre production. Despite this, however, I have always had a soft spot for this particular style of theatre. It gives you an opportunity to see some up and coming talent doing their thing before they hopefully become famous, and while the ability level of the various participants tends to create some solid divides, there is always a lot to love about university theatre performances. So it was with great anticipation that I attended the first student-performed QUT production of 2011. The group had chosen, for reasons that are not entirely clear to me, to stage a production of Tennessee Williams’ 1948 play Summer and Smoke, a play about love, passion, and desperation. The themes themselves were quite relevant to the contemporary audience viewing the performance, and while the performances were quite variable in their quality, this was overall an excellent production which had a lot of good things going for it, including a very interesting use of the QUT Gardens Theatre stage space that I found myself falling in love with from the moment I walked into the theatre.

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Microsoft + Nokia = FTW?

So it was about a month ago that Microsoft and Nokia took to the stage at a special press event, around the time of the Mobile World Congress conference, to announce a formalised “strategic partnership” going forward. This involves Nokia replacing Meego as the operating system of choice for their high-end smartphone products with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, in a deal that is reportedly worth around $1b. It’s an audacious move, particularly given that it seems to have been borne directly out of the appointment of former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop as the new Nokia CEO. For Nokia to drop their previously watertight stance that all hardware and software must be done “in house”, and essentially ring-in the entire software platform for their devices, marks a very big change of direction for the Finnish mobile giant.

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Rabbit Hole

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to see the Queensland Theatre Company production of Rabbit Hole, a then brand-new play by David Lindsay-Abaire. It was a fantastic production, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed, because it played to the innate strengths of theatre. We bore witness to the intimate and shocking repercussions affected onto the lives of Becca and Howie following the tragic death of their young Danny. The show was a masterpiece, and so when a film adaptation was announced, I was slightly concerned. Could the film-makers manage to successfully translate such a powerful piece of live theatre into the cinematic form, where the world of Becca and Howie is not seen with our own eyes, but rather through the single eye of a camera lens? Thankfully, I need not have worried. Given David Lindsay-Abaire himself was involved, and that lead actress Nicole Kidman was clearly motivated enough by the power of the film to also be an Executive Producer, what we end up with in the film version of Rabbit Hole is the same story being told, just in a different way - but equally as successful.

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