Sunday, August 17, 2014

The streets of old Fitzroy

I've lived in Fitzroy for 14 years, and long before I moved here spent some formative moment in its pubs and terrace houses. I have an unpublished novel that set's in Fitzroy in the 1940s (originally it was set in the 1950s but I've realised it was the wrong period). I love this suburb, even as it changes before my eyes, which is why I love articles and photographs and stories of its past.

 This kind of housing once dominated inner-city suburbs like Fitzroy, Collingwood and Rich

From the Herald-Sun, here's a series of images of the old inner city slums that once characterised much of Fitzroy.

And from The Age just yesterday, here's an article about a photographer who was documenting the vanishing post-war Fitzroy culture in 1973-74.

Happy reading. And maybe allow Dan Sultan to provide you with a soundtrack?

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Reviews: Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014

Poor, much ignored blog: the least I could do is update you with a list of all my Age reviews from this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, so that they're all easily accessible in the one place. Here you go:

The Tim Vine Chat Show
A dad joke generator turned up to 11, the prop-swinging, pun-slinging UK comedian Tim Vine takes the Parkinson route in this entertaining but unchallenging show, in which interviews with audience members become the inspiration for more quick-witted quips drawn from his encyclopaedic memory.

Adrienne Truscott's Asking for It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else!
Fallacies about consent and startling lessons concerning the birds and the bees – or more specifically, ducks and gerbils – are provocatively and intelligently explored in this debut stand-up show from US cabaret artist and acrobat Adrienne Truscott.

Geraldine Quinn's MDMA: Modern Day Maiden Aunt
Comedian and cabaret artist Geraldine Quinn is unmarried, approaching 40, and fond of a drink. Instead of children she has 19 nieces and nephews, whom she adores, despite their tendency to over-share on social media. In the beautifully pitched Modern Day Maiden Aunt, a bittersweet blend of self-deprecation, family dysfunction and sardonic wit set to music, Quinn does some over-sharing of her own, to hilarious effect.
Read full review here.

Laura Davis - Pillow of Strength
A significant gulf sometimes separates ‘love’ from ‘like’, a distance which Laura Davis attempts to bridge in her latest stand-up show. Originally from Perth, where she won the Best WA Comedy award at Fringeworld last year, Davis is now based in Melbourne; thankfully her material steers clear of banal comparisons between the two cities in favour of exploring wounds both physical and psychological.

Damien Power - Keit
From a gun-happy father-in-law and his own dad's peculiar anger management issues, to a relationship with a "crazy" Estonian woman which culminates in his son's birth, Queenslander Damien Power's new show has a distinctly domestic focus.
Read full review here.

Stella Young - Tales from the Crip
Journalist and disability activist Stella Young opens her show with a clever inversion of existing power structures in order to give ‘normal’ audience members a taste of what it’s like to be constantly belittled.
Read full review here.

Felicity Ward - The Iceberg
As well as being one of our best comedians, Ward is also a proficient actor, a skill she makes memorable use of in The Iceberg. This tightly written show is aptly named: what we see is an engaging performance; the hard work beneath the surface, the carefully connected structure of routines and callbacks, is cleverly concealed.
Ben Pobjie - Trigger Warning
Few comedy shows begin with a recorded voiceover warning about being ''gently stroked by the fingers of a fat man'', but Ben Pobjie isn't your typical comedian.
Suns of Fred - Excited!
Clive Palmer’s weight; Ian Thorpe’s sexuality – the targets of Suns of Fred’s jokes are neither original nor inspired. This slick but soulless musical act have well synchronised moves, melodious voices, confidence and chemistry; all that’s lacking is material to match the quality of their performance skills.