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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Launch of Five Oranges

Last night I attended the launch of the new novel "Five Oranges" by Melbourne author Graham Reilly at the Rob Roy Hotel in Fitzroy in inner Melbourne. Idiosyncratically launched by fellow Melbourne writers Arnold Zable and Barry Dickens, 'Five Oranges' is the sequel to 'Saigon Tea' where we first met the characters Frank and Eileen, Jimmy and Stella, Danny and Mai.

Written with loving attention to the minutiae of life in Glasgow, Melbourne and Saigon, Graham has created stories where you feel you know these people and their every day ( and unlikely) predicaments.

The launch speeches were entertaining; I managed to buy Barry Dickens a drink when he asked to have it put on the long exhausted 'launch tab'; Arnold Zable left before I had a chance to say how much I enjoyed his book 'Scarps of Heaven'; the following live music drowned all hope of conversation; the Rob Roy is no yuppie pub; talked ( or yelled) with Graham's dad who claimed Graham got a good number of ideas from him. We left at around 10.00 leaving Graham and a hard core group of drinking/smoking journos from the Age.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Two Brothers - A Great New Hannie Rayson Play

Another Saturday afternoon play. This time Two Brothers by the Australian playwright Hannie Rayson - a Melbourne Theatre Company production at the Playhouse in the Melbourne Arts Centre. A great contemporary play about the Australian political response to refugees and the personal and political compromises made in the pursuit of power. A long play of some two and a half hours but the pace and interest is kept high in part through the innovative revolving staging A convincing performance by Gary McDonald as the thoroughly morally and ethically corrupt Minister for Home Security.

Walking back through the city with the unseasonable hot 30+ degrees, saw lots of people out enjoying this late burst of summer but oh the bloody awful ferris wheel sitting alongside Federation Square. Why?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Beautiful Days and Cooling nights

Beautiful autumn days continue but with daylight saving now ended, evenings come on quickly and then bring a hint of winter to come. The evening walk around Princes Park is now completed in the dark - but the numbers of walkers and runners is still high. Bet they fall away when the real cold weather comes.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The annoying International Flower Show

That time of the year when the very public Carlton Gardens is closed for two weeks for the preparation, conduct and clean up for the International Flower Show. Daily users of the gardens feel affronted but the huge grounds it attracts show just how popular it is.

Might even go myself this year.

Running into "Ghost Rider"

Filming of the Hollywood film "Ghost Rider" continues in and around Melbourne, yesterday they spent a good part of Sunday filming in and around the intersection of Exhibition and Little Lonsdale.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Technorati Profile

Is Bigpond Cable believable?

As a subscriber to Bigpond Cable internet access I have lost all faith in them as a reasonable provider. For the first time last month I exceeded the 10G limit and my download speed was reduced to a dialup rate for the last five days of the month. So much for looking after long term customers. So I upped my plan to a higher capacity - and of course more money for them. And now after three days on the new plan and have alledgedly reached 13% of my new limit of 20G per month. Looks like I will need to cut back on Podcast downloads.

An Eagles win is always a good thing

Second week in to the 2005 AFL season and the preferred team - the West Coast Eagles - have won their 2nd game but still not convincingly enough for we eternal pessimists.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

"The Big Con" - a kind of review

Today I saw the show "The Big Con" starring Max Gillies and Eddie Perfect at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne (

Before that show I was not particularly looking forward to it - Max Gillies' style of humour is well known and predictable. Would there being anything fresh? Max presented nothing new - his satirical representations of a range of mostly Australian politicians from the current Howard Government are good but expected. But Mr Eddie Perfect I did not know - and probably should - he was good with a strong singing voice. Is this his real name?

In the end, 2 hours reasonably spent but not sure either that good satire is achieved by claiming that homosexuality underlies so much of what you oppose.

But oh the audience!

Do people over 60 constitute the majority of the audience of most Melbourne theatre productions these days? If so, then theatre in Melbourne has a very limited future. It's depressing!