The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-05-06T01:00:00Z HOTA GALLERY OPENS ITS DOORS WITH MAJOR EXHIBITION, NEW COMMISSIONS AND 100+ ARTWORKS FROM THE CITY COLLECTION 2021-05-06T01:00:00Z hota-gallery-opens-its-doors-with-major-exhibition-new-commissions-and-100-artworks-from-the-city-collection Contemporary cultural precinct HOTA, Home of the Arts opens the major new $60.5 million HOTA Gallery on Australia’s Gold Coast on Saturday 8 May 2021. Spanning six levels and including over 2,000m2 of AAA rated, international standard exhibition space and a dedicated Children’s Gallery, HOTA Gallery is the largest public gallery outside a capital city in Australia. Celebrating artists from across Australia and the world, HOTA Gallery presents world premiere international exhibitions, Australian exclusives and new commissions, and is home to the $32 million City Collection, consisting of more than 4,400 artworks. Designed by award-winning Melbourne-based architects ARM, the gallery is the latest addition to Australia’s dynamic new arts precinct, HOTA, Home of the Arts, sitting on the banks of the Nerang River on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The Gallery is the centrepiece of the City’s Cultural Precinct master plan which guides the evolution of the precinct over the next 10-15 years. Criena Gehrke, HOTA CEO said: ‘We’re delighted to throw open the doors and welcome the Gold Coast to the new HOTA Gallery for the first time. The Gallery will challenge everything people thought they knew about arts and culture on the Gold Coast, it’s bold, unapologetic and completely unbound by tradition. ‘HOTA Gallery represents everything we believe in at HOTA, from local artists front and centre in our first major exhibition, to hidden and unexpected stories in our collection galleries, exquisite Indigenous art and wonderful, immersive experiences for our youngest culture vultures in the Children’s Gallery, there is truly something for everyone.' The Gallery’s inaugural program launches with the major exhibition SOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise (8 May - 4 July 2021). Commissioned by the Gallery, 19 emerging and established Australian artists and collectives, each with a personal connection to the Gold Coast region, have created new works exploring the relationship between people and place, the human impact on the natural world, as well as the urban environment and beauty of the landscape. Artists including Hiromi Tango, Michael Candy, Abbey McCulloch, Samuel Leighton-Dore, Elliot Bastianon, CJ Anderson and Lisa Sorbie Martin have created indoor and outdoor works ranging from large-scale sculptures, ceramics, paintings, photography to immersive video and installations, presented throughout the Gallery and the surrounding HOTA parklands. Tracy Cooper-Lavery, Director, Gallery and Visual Arts, HOTA said: ‘It’s absolutely fitting that the first ever major exhibition in HOTA Gallery is SOLID GOLD - Artists from Paradise, an exhibition of all new works by local artists. SOLID GOLD showcases the incredible depth of creativity and talent in our city and will position local artists into the national conversation. ‘SOLID GOLD will be followed later in the year by Lyrical Landscapes – The Art of William Robinson and in November we will present Contemporary Masters, selected works from one of the world’s largest private collections based in New York in an exhibition exclusive to HOTA Gallery. Visitors will be able to enjoy iconic works from legendary contemporary artists, such Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.’ Acclaimed Queensland Waanyi artist Judy Watson and Sri-Lankan born, Sydney based artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran also present two major outdoor artworks commissioned by the Gallery. Responding to the history of the site and local Indigenous people, Brisbane based artist Judy Watson has created a multi-part sculptural garden work, serving as a place of gathering, education, knowledge, and ceremony for all visitors. For his largest sculpture to date, contemporary artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran has created a monumental six-metre high, double-sided sculpture welcoming visitors to the entrance of the Gallery. Alongside the premiere exhibitions and new commissions, HOTA Gallery also presents works from the $32 million City Collection. Consisting of more than 4,400 artworks, the collection includes one of the largest collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in regional Australia. Presented across three galleries, HOTA Collects showcases more than 100 works from the City Collection to reflect key developments in Australian art over the past 50 years, spanning abstraction, feminist art, Indigenous art, ceramics and twenty-first-century photography. The inaugural hang include works by Ben Quilty, Tony Albert, Julie Rrap, Jenny Orchard, Nell, Tracey Moffatt, Gordon Bennett, Michael Zavros, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Linde Ivimey, the Huxleys, Scott Redford, John Gollings, Kenneth Macqueen, Vida Lahey, Charles Blackman, Fred Williams, William Robinson and Ethel Carrick Fox. The inaugural exhibition in the new dedicated Children’s Gallery is World Upside Down (8 May – 10 October 2021). Working with Gold Coast artists Lowana Skye-Davies and Alinta Krauth, the Children’s Gallery is an immersive space filled with interactive art and hands-on making activities, inspired by the themes found in the first two major exhibitions, Solid Gold and Lyrical Landscapes. Major upcoming exhibitions include Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson (31 July 2021) celebrating one of Australia’s foremost living artists and greatest landscape painters and a world premiere exhibition exclusive to the Gold Coast and Australia, Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection (13 November 2021), drawn entirely from the famed art collectors private collection. Tickets to the HOTA Gallery Launch weekend have proved some of the hottest in town, with all tickets being snapped up in under two hours. Following this, tickets to the first month of the HOTA Gallery experience were released, with over 1364 tickets allocated in the first 24 hours.Although tickets for the Gallery’s launch weekend have sold out, the local community can still join in on the celebrations with free music on the Outdoor Stage all weekend long. The line up on Saturday the 8th of May will feature the Powerhouse Soul vocals and fiery frenetic instrumentation from Hussy Hicks, dreamy psych pop sunshine from EchoWave, the joyous colourful sounds of Samba, Bossa Nova from Augusta Street, the hip hop, soul, traditional rhythms from young First Nations band, Jarulah and Blackline Band and the funky, house, disco and soul vibes from DJ Felix. Sunday 9th May will deliver a free concert of live and loud homegrown talent, Echoes of Gold. Featuring performances by Eliza & The Delusionals, Donny Love, San Mei, Alt Fiction, DENNIS. and DJ sets by VICES; hosted by Kate Baggerson and Zac Fahey, with live on stage interviews with artists, musos, and industry movers and shakers. The Design Collective Markets have also curated a selection of Gold Coast and Queensland makers and retailers for a pop-up market selling a selection of boutique wares, who will be accompanied by food outlets and local brews. Information on the 2021 exhibition program can be found at www.hota.com.au, with further details and programming to be announced in late 2021. From Monday May 10 the Gallery is open to the public and free to visit from 10am, but bookings are required. -ENDS- FOR ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES: To request interviews, further information or imagery please contact:Amy Stalinescu | M10 CollectiveE: amy@m10.com.au M: 0411 789 195 IMAGES: Images available for download HEREABOUT THE EXHIBITIONSSOLID GOLD: Artists from Paradise8 May - 4 July 2021 HOTA Gallery’s inaugural headline exhibition, Solid Gold: Artists from Paradise (8 May - 4 July 2021) premieres new works from emerging and established artists celebrating the diversity, richness and ambition of the Gold Coast. Commissioned by HOTA, artists with a national reputation including Hiromi Tango, Michael Candy, Abbey McCulloch, Samuel Leighton-Dore, and Libby Harward, alongside locally recognised artists and collectives, present a series of indoor and outdoor works ranging from sculpture, weaving, textiles, ceramics, painting, photography, video and installation works. The project, a $100,000-worth of commissions and artworks marks the largest presentation of new works by Gold Coast artists undertaken by HOTA. Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson31 July - 3 October 2021Lyrical Landscapes: The Art of William Robinson (31 July - 3 October 2021) celebrates one of Australia’s foremost living artists and greatest landscape painters William Robinson AO. The Queensland-born artist has been awarded both the Archibald and Wynne prizes and is celebrated for his monumental canvases that transformed perspective and the way we view Australian landscape painting in a thoroughly new direction. Coinciding with his 85th year, Lyrical Landscapes, guest curated by Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, presents Robinson’s entire Creation Series, produced over 16 years, together for the first time. Widely considered his master works, the series highlights the artist’s spiritual connection to the natural world and through their symphonic composition explores his love of classical music. The monumental multi-panelled paintings will be presented alongside intimate studies and prints. Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection13 November 2021-27 February 2022The world premiere exhibition Contemporary Masters from New York: Art from the Mugrabi Collection will feature approximately 70 works from some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists, from Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Richard Prince to Jeff Koons. Developed by HOTA Gallery Director, Tracy Cooper-Lavery and drawn entirely from the private collection of famed art collector Jose Mugrabi, the owner of the largest collection of works by Warhol, the exhibition will mark the first time these iconic works have been shown in Australia. Influential, popular, and controversial, these artists are a unique cultural phenomenon, whose reach extends far beyond the confines of the art world. World Upside Down8 May -10 October 2021Alongside the main exhibition space, HOTA will unveil the dedicated Children’s Gallery with its first exhibition World Upside Down (8 May - 10 October 2021). Inspired by the themes of Solid Gold and Lyrical Landscapes, the exhibition includes interactive art encouraging the young and young-at-heart to be curious and creative, responding to the natural environment to design a world for the future. ABOUT THE HOTA COLLECTIONThe HOTA Collection was established in 1968 and houses more than 4,400 artworks.The collection has been developed around specific collecting themes and strengths and has been predominantly acquired through sponsorship, benefaction and art prizes including the Gold Coast Art Prize, International Gold Coast Ceramic Art Award and The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award. Through the vision of the Gallery’s first Director Fran Cummings, and later the benefaction of Patrick Corrigan AM, the City of Gold Coast holds an important collection of Indigenous work from across Australia, in particular barks by John Mawurndjul, Charlie Djurritjini and Dorothy Galaledba. Continuing this rich collection theme, recent acquisitions include major paintings by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gaboriand Gordon Hookey.Presented across three floors of galleries, HOTA Collects will showcase more than 100 works drawn from the collection reflecting key developments in Australian art over the past 50 years, spanning abstraction, feminist art, Indigenous art, ceramics and twenty-first-century photography. The inaugural hang will include works by Ben Quilty, Gordon Hookey, Michael Zavros, Linde Ivimey, Abbey McCulloch, Anna Carey, the Huxleys, Scott Redford, John Gollings, Kenneth Macqueen, Vida Lahey, Charles Blackman, Fred Williams, and Ethel Carrick Fox.Alongside these works, Gallery 3 will also premiere a number of recent acquisitions; large-scale installations by Nell and Alex Seton, with major works including Mid Century Modern, a series of 70 photographs by Tony Albert, Emily Floyd’s Literary Parrot (Ver-Vert), and the epic painting Nyinyilki by Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori. On Level 5, HOTA Gallery will present works by Australian sculptor Linde Ivimey, including works in HOTA’s Collection, and items on loan from the artist. Media release: Effie's encore at Yarraville Club 2021-05-03T05:13:44Z media-release-effies-encore-at-yarraville-club After three sold-out Yarraville Club shows in April with her acclaimed show, ’Hello Good Thanks - Better Out Than In”, outrageous comedy queen Effie will return to the beloved western Melbourne venue by popular demand for one more night on Friday, July 9.Proving that we can have a good laugh at the year we’d rather forget, Effie manages to make us see the really funny side of 2020, in which in Effie’s own words, “…the world stopped spinning. The sh*t hit the fan and there was no toilet paper to clean it up. And we were all sent to our rooms. Me? I’d been in physical lockdown, sexually that is, for most of my life. Then I got married and made up for lost time. I don’t wanna brag, but in 2020 my hot husband Shane Bradley Cooper and I clocked up a lot of ‘Rooting Frequent Flyer’ points. Hello? I went from Bronze to Platinum in nine months.“But thank God we're all finally out. Out of the house. Out of the pantry. Out of the fridge. Seriously it was so bad I thought about writing a COVID memoir called ‘Eat, Pray, Eat.’ Right now we need a good laugh more than anything. Come and see my new stage show, ‘Better Out Than In.’ And let me lift youse up where youse belong!”Tickets are on sale now through yarravillelive.comLISTINGS INFO:Friday, July 9 EFFIE - Hello Good Thanks - Better Out Than In (18+) The Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen St Yarraville. Tickets (excl. BF): $90/99 (Dinner & Show); $39/$49/$59 (Show only)Bookings: www.yarravillelive.com Ph: 03 9689 6033Doors open: 6.30pm (dining); 7.30pm (show only)Show time: 8.30pm MEDIA CONTACT:Jameson & CoErin Jameson - 0419 323 663 / erin(at)jamesonandco(dot)com Media release: Australian True Crimes podcast with Meshel Laurie & Emily Webb 2021-04-30T04:37:00Z media-release-australian-true-crimes-podcast-with-meshel-laurie-emily-webb Young & Hardy and Yarraville Live are proud to present the return of Meshel Laurie and Emily Webb, presenting a new episode of their acclaimed Australian True Crime podcast, “Blood Ties”, featuring special guest, former homicide detective Rowland Legg - on Saturday, June 12 at The Yarraville Club.Established in 2017, Australian True Crime is one of Australia’s original true crime podcasts, and has been downloaded more than 13 million times earning its place as one of Apple Podcasts Best of 2018.For each podcast, Laurie and Webb are known for delving deep behind the headline by interviewing victims, perpetrators and people working in society to address issues of crime and punishment.At The Yarraville Club, former Homicide Squad detective, Rowland Legg will join the two on stage for an insightful 80 minute show, including a 20-minute Q&A session, where the audience can interact with the presenters.Meshel Laurie is one of the nation’s most experienced and talented broadcasters. Whether she’s hosting FM breakfast radio alongside Tommy Little or Matt Tilley, appearing as a regular on Hughesy We’ve Got A Problem and The Project, Meshel always gives good chat.None more so than when presenting the Australian True Crime podcast with Emily Webb – journalist and author of three true crime books (Murder In Suburbia, Angels of Death and Suburban Nightmare). The chemistry between these two as they forensically interview the people involved with some of Australia’s most notorious cases has seen ‘Australian True Crime’ become the most successful podcast of its kind as they probe the underbelly of our towns and suburbs, uncovering the darkness at the heart of Australian life.Rowland Legg is one of Australia’s longest serving homicide detectives, having led countless high-profile murder investigations such as Jaidyn Leskie, the Bega schoolgirls, Elisabeth Membrey, and numerous ‘Underbelly’ cases.Tickets are on sale now through yarravillelive.com LISTINGS INFO:Saturday, June 12 Australian True Crime podcast with Meshel Laurie & Emily Webb + special guest Rowland Legg (18+) The Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen St Yarraville. Tickets: $96.38/$105.58 (Dinner & Show); $42.61 (Show only)Bookings: www.yarravillelive.com Ph: 03 9689 6033Doors open: 6.30pm (dining); 8.00pm (show only)Show time: 8.30pm MEDIA CONTACT:Jameson & CoErin Jameson - 0419 323 663 / erin(at)jamesonandco(dot)com Tiny Universe: a view inside the beautiful worlds we imagine for ourselves 2021-04-26T20:31:05Z tiny-universe-a-view-inside-the-beautiful-worlds-we-imagine-for-ourselves FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Friday 27 April 2021 Comprising 60 years of impact in the Australian arts landscape, Shopfront Arts Co-op and Milk Crate Theatre join forces on a bold new intergenerational work, Tiny Universe, which will premiere at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists in Erskineville from May 20 – 29.  Co-directed by award winning team, Shopfront's Creative Director, Natalie Rose, and Milk Crate Theatre's Artistic Director, Margot Politis, Tiny Universe explores the delineation between inner and outer worlds – what we present to the world, and what is actually happening behind closed doors. It invites audiences to consider what we carry with us through life, and how that changes over time. What are the rituals we perform, the modicums of self-soothing that occur in our own little corners of our lives?  Who are we – and how do we cope - when no one is looking, especially if we feel there is something about ourselves that makes us different from others? Do we ever get used to the uncertainty that life throws at us?  Through conversations with “self”, Tiny Universe reveals how we reckon privately with social pressures, systems, and expectations, through the exploration of set, space, movement, lighting, and text.  The devised work reflects both companies’ commitments to championing the voices of artists from underepresented communities and backgrounds. Through this new partnership, Shopfront and Milk Crate Theatre will bring forward the stories and artistic expression of young people and people with lived experience of homelessness, mental health issues, and disability.  “The most wonderful thing about this work is the collaboration between the two companies, the artists and the creative team,” says Shopfront’s Creative Director Natalie Rose.  “The process has proven that regardless of lived experience, we are all the same. We share the universal – we all want to feel safe and be the best versions of ourselves whenever we can.”  Milk Crate Theatre’s Artistic Director Margot Politis describes her excitement at “bringing our dynamic theatre organisations together on this project,” explaining that the performers are all “exploring the very painful as well as the very funny experiences of life – and the reasons why sometimes it is easier to just hide away.  What we’re finding is that the issue of self-discovery is something that affects us at all stages of our lives – maybe when we are older we just get a little more used to the uncertainty.”  The production has been developed in collaboration with a team of cast and creatives, including Desmond Edwards, Harrison Bishop, Lana Filies, Lily Hayman, Lisa Griffiths, Matthias Nudl, Steve Konstantopoulos, and Nick Vagne, and will feature the work of revered composer, James Brown, lighting designer Liam O’Keefe, and support artists Lucy Watson. SEASON & TIMES 20 – 29 May Wednesday – Saturday 6.30pm Matinee Friday 21 May 12pm ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES All performances are wheelchair accessible. AUSLAN interpreted performance: 6:30pm Friday 21 May Relaxed performance: 6:30pm Wednesday 26 May VENUE PACT Theatre for Emerging Artists 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville NSW 2043 PRICE Individual tickets $12 - $22 Group tickets $100 More information and to purchase tickets: www.shopfront.org.au/tiny-universe Promotional Images: Hero Image Image Credit: Artists: Darlene Proberts and Steve Konstantopoulos. Photo by Joshua Morris / David Molloy. Media enquiries: Valentina Corona, Shopfront Arts Co-op | 02 9588 3948 | valentina@shopfront.org.au Lauren Vassallo, Milk Crate Theatre | 0481 348 218 | lauren@milkcratetheatre.com Image credit: Joshua Morris, with Overlay artwork by David Molloy CREATIVE TEAM Directors:                                                            Natalie Rose, Shopfront Arts Co-op Margot Politis, Milk Crate Theatre Composer and AV Design:                           James Peter Brown Lighting Design:                                                 Liam O’Keefe Set Design                                                         Margot Politis Performers: Desmond Edwards, Harrison Bishop, Lana Filies, Lily Hayman, Lisa Griffiths, Matthias Nudl, Steve Konstantopoulos, Nick Vagne Support Artist:                                                 Lucy Watson ABOUT SHOPFRONT ARTS CO-OP www.shopfront.org.au Shopfront Arts Co-op is the home of youth arts. We stand as Sydney’s only cross-art form organisation led by and dedicated to the artistry of young people. For over four decades, Shopfront has amplified the voices of young people. Supported by practising, professional artists, our members make bold and ambitious works of creative expression. We champion acts of artistic bravery. We are acknowledged for this bravery through awards, recognition and support of arts bodies, and by the thousands of people who have at one time or another in the last four decades considered Shopfront to be their second home. Being a member of Shopfront means you are part of something. Our co-operative is an inclusive community of artists sharing a common goal of making great art (and having a lot of fun along the way). ABOUT MILK CRATE THEATRE www.milkcratetheatre.com Milk Crate Theatre effects social change through the power of performance. We provide opportunities for people whose voices are under-represented in mainstream discourses to engage in artistic practice, sharing bold and resonant stories that build empathy and break down barriers. Our community of Collaborative Artists are generally living with, have experienced or are at risk of homelessness; living with mental health or disability support needs; have experienced domestic violence, or come from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. With a deep and genuine Community Arts and Cultural Development ethos, and employment of Sydney’s most exciting and communityversed contemporary artists, we make dynamic and impactful performance work that integrates film, sound, movement and aesthetic to achieve high level outcome in the expression of integral social justice subject matter. With thanks to: We acknowledge the Bediagal and Kameygal people of the Eora nation who are the traditional custodians of the land on which Shopfront is built. We also acknowledge the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora nation who are traditional custodians of the land on which Milk Crate Theatre work and create theatre on. We pay our respects to those elders past and present, and to all our brothers and sisters of our first nations people. Vision impaired Perth Hills ‘wonder woman’ releases the inspirational memoir of her transplant journey and beyond 2021-04-23T04:10:36Z vision-impaired-perth-hills-wonder-woman-releases-the-inspirational-memoir-of-her-transplant-journey-and-beyond Type 1 diabetic, fitness fanatic, dancing queen, Canasta champion; only some of the tags to describe Colleen Ashby. Daughter, sister to five brothers, wife and mother of three sons further define her. Add to that, she is a heart transplant recipient who is now visually impaired with only 5% sight and you realise there is much more to learn. Colleen grew up in the Perth Hills, enjoying a safe and ‘privileged’ childhood, particularly with five brothers always looking out for her. Surrounded by a bunch of boisterous, competitive boys, it’s no surprise Colleen developed a passion for sport and fitness and a confidence she could do anything. Although physically fit, problems with her heart began to plague her and slow her down. Twelve stents later, the 13th was unlucky and resulted in open heart surgery. It was soon obvious her heart was not going to last much longer and after much discussion, serious consideration and convincing the ‘grumpy old witchdoctor’, Colleen was placed on the transplant list. Colleen was given a new heart but due to severe blood loss during the surgery, Colleen lost 95% of her vision. “I’d have been really pissed off if I’d lost it all but 5%? I can cope.” With a bucketful of hope, perseverance, gratitude and the unwavering support of friends and family, Colleen has navigated her new normal. Funny, down-to-earth, harrowing and at times, heartbreaking, I Can See Clearly Now is the rollercoaster ride of a woman who continues to defy expectations. MAMMA MIA! CAST REVEALED AHEAD OF JUNE SEASON 2021-04-18T00:00:00Z mamma-mia-cast-revealed-ahead-of-june-season The team of seasoned performers will take to the stage alongside Gold Coast local, Madeline Grice, who was crowned the lead role of ‘Sophie Sheridan’ during MAMMA MIA!’s Star Search announced last month.Telling the much-loved story of a young bride-to-be whose quest to discover the identity of her father draws three men from her mother’s past back to a Greek Island on the eve of her wedding, this beloved musical is set to the toe-tapping songs of ABBA.With a profile rapidly on the rise, Lakota Johnson, is the actor, model and digital influencer born and bred on the Gold Coast set to play the lead role of Sophie’s soon-to-be husband ‘Sky’. With the film industry in his family history, Lakota has been training with The Warehouse Studio Australia and overseas, landing roles in feature films including Dora and The Lost City of Gold and the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic, directed by Baz Luhrmann. In 2020, Lakota also appeared in a guest role in the Netflix series #blackAF, created by Kenya Barris.Cast as ‘Donna Sheridan’ and playing the role of Sophie’s mother is Jayde Westaby. Hailing from the UK, Jayde trained at Bird College of Performing Arts in London and has had a successful career overseas playing ‘Judy Haynes’ in White Christmas, ‘Magenta’ in The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour), ‘Velma Kelly’ in Chicago (London West End), ‘Tanya’ in MAMMA MIA! (Australian Tour), and several other musical theatre performances to date. Sean Mulligan is no novice to the stage, playing ‘Sam Carmichael’ who is one of Sophie’s three fathers in the production. Sean began training at the age of four under the direction of Peta Norton and has toured Australia with Sophie Monk, Danni Minogue and performed with Drew Anthony and Leonie page in The Fabulous Rhythm Boys. Most recently, Sean has been travelling the world with The Tap Pack. Local Gold Coaster, James Shaw, is set to star as ‘Harry Bright’ after his lead role of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in Wicked. A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, James is a seasoned actor, writer and director who has boasted a successful career in Australia and abroad. He previously played ‘Harry’ in Little Star/RCCL’s production of MAMMA MIA!, ‘Amos’ in Chicago and ‘Collins’ in RENT to name a few.With a background in music, cabaret, opera and musical theatre, Sandro Colarelli’s award-winning talents will see him play the role of ‘Bill Austin’. A contemporary performance maker, Sandro has received a Matilda Award for his roles in The Odyssey for Zen Zen Zo/QPAC and The Venetian Twins for Queensland Theatre Company. Sandro has also played in Twelfth Night, Summer Rain (Queensland Theatre), The Adventures of Figaro (Opera Queensland) and more.Following an extensive audition process conducted by Matt Ward Entertainment last month, 16 additional performers have been cast in various supporting and ensemble roles for the iconic production, including Kyra Thompson ‘Ali’, Alicia Fox ‘Lisa’, DonAlex Vilitama ‘Pepper’ and Zane Powell, Jackson Brash, Maddi Coleman, Ryley Shaw, Carla Doyle, Selin Doygun, David Cuny, Shyan Andrews, Aurelie Roque as the ensemble – with a handful of roles still to be announced.Producer Matt Ward said the calibre of cast for MAMMA MIA! will make for an exciting rendition of the iconic production.“We are proud to have a very inclusive cast, filled with an abundance of talent from across Queensland and beyond. With both seasoned performers and a few budding musical theatre stars, the Gold Coast can expect a stellar three-week season of performances like you’ve never seen before.”“MAMMA MIA! is all about the feels and having a good time, so we hope audiences sing along and enjoy the toe-tapping sounds of ABBA’s classic hits.” Presented by Matt Ward Entertainment, MAMMA MIA! the musical will take to the stage at The Star Gold Coast from June 19 to July 11.Tickets are on sale now via Ticketek and for more information on Matt Ward Entertainment or MAMMA MIA! the musical, head to the website: www.mammamiamusical.com.au - ENDS - ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Amy Stalinescu | M10 Collective Ph: 0411 789 195 Email: amy@m10.com.au *IMAGES can be downloaded from this LINK. Ajak Kwai announces special guests for album launch 2021-04-16T06:14:57Z ajak-kwai-announces-special-guests-for-album-launch Since announcing the April 23 release of her fifth studio album and single of the same name, Ajak Kwai’s ‘Let Me Grow My Wings’ has enjoyed high rotation on ABC networks and community stations across Australia, and is accompanied by a recently released clip, directed by Aaron Wilson.Touted as Australia’s renowned songwoman of contemporary South Sudanese music, Ajak will perform her album live at Melbourne’s Night Cat on Friday, April 23 with special guests Zimbabwe born singer/songwriter Thando, fellow South Sudanese performer on the rise, Jacki Tut (accompanied by Arik Blum) and ABC TV & radio presenter Namila Benson as MC.With Ajak’s dedication as a passionate activist for refugees in Australia, the aptly titled Let Me Grow My Wings is an eclectic collection of twelve self-penned songs which reflect her observations, influences and connections since moving to Australia in the late nineties.Performed in English, Arabic and Ajak’s native language, Dinka, the record sees Ajak honouring the traditions of her homeland, yet defying stereotype in what is best described as “modern South Sudanese rock” (credit to award-winning composer, songwriter and producer Jan Skubiszewski who mixed and performed additional instruments on five songs).Backed by a pulsing rhythm section, piano and guitars feature throughout, with rhythmic rock gems like the opener, Love Not Bitterness (sung in English, urging people of the world to choose love over hate), Cool (Track 3 - Ajak’s message to young people, sung in English and Dinka, telling them they don’t need to act the fool to be cool, Life Is A Mystery - sung entirely in Dinka - in which Ajak questions why she ended up in Australia whilst so many of her people lost their lives (the final track on the album), and the album title track (Track 2) - one that Ajak says she feels closest to and is the first single off this album - in which she expresses (also in English and Dinka) her desire for the people in her community to have the same opportunities and be treated equally in Australia.Then there are emotive ballads such as In Our Hearts (Track 7), featuring the Yogyakarta State University College of Music Choir, with a poignant message (in English and Dinka) that we are all the same, no matter what colour or race and Don’t Make The Woman Cry, Ajak’s dedication to women, urging suppressors to choose kindness over harm.Says Ajak, 'My experiences in Australia inform my songs and my music. Music is a universal language – maybe one day we will forget our differences and hold the hands of one another. ‘This album is a collection of those hopes and dreams for an integrated future where we are one and can share and be accepted for what my community has to offer.’Ajak also explains, “It has taken years to complete this album, as I’ve kept getting distracted with my work as a community promoter and educating people at the Migrant Resource Centre, which takes me to many areas of Melbourne’.She hopes that by taking time out to concentrate on her own art and completing this album, she will inspire people with her music and lyrics to create a more positive environment for themselves.Let Me Grow My Wings will be available worldwide on CD and download, on all major online stores from April 23, 2021.In addition to Ajak’s band, the album’s impressive credits include Jan Skubiszewski, Nicky Bomba, Simon Lewis, Boris Conley, Chris Basile (prominent on guitar throughout), Kate Madden, Robin Mai and Aaron Wilson (who has also directed her forthcoming music video for the title track). Filmmaker and Ajak’s longtime friend, Margot McDonald executive produced the project. The songs were recorded at Nicky Bomba Studios, Jan Skubiszewski’s Red Moon Studios, and Simon Lewis’ Panorama Studios, where it was also mastered.In her live shows, Ajak, with her stunning, distinctive vocals fronts a four-piece rock band consisting of lead guitarist Kumar Shome, Matt Erickson on bass and Kofi Kunkpe on drums/percussion, occasionally joined by special guest musicians. As well as being ambassador for the Melbourne International Arts Festival, she has performed at major festivals around Australia and internationally, including Mofo, WOMADelaide, Panama Festival and the Tamar Valley, Port Fairy and Woodford Folk Festivals.Ajak is also a popular broadcaster in Melbourne, as a presenter on TWO prominent community radio stations! On PBS, she can be heard each Monday between 1300 and 1500 AEST hosting Come Together - focusing on music that promotes love and acceptance and on bringing her community into the radio realm. On 3CR, her multi-lingual show is Ubuntu Voices (ENGLISH, DINKA, NUER, ARABIC) each Wednesday night from 8.30pm-9.30pm, giving voice to the local African community to tell their stories through music and spoken word … challenging one-sided political narratives that deny our contribution to society and create hostility toward our community.The single, Let Me Grow My Wings is out now, with the album release on Friday, April 23. Let Me Grow My Wings by Ajak Kwai is released by 100 Pianos For Australia, supported by Creative Victoria and City Of Melbourne. For more information about Ajak Kwai, check out: www.ajakkwai.com MEDIA CONTACT:Erin Jameson 0419 323 663 / erin@jamesonandco.com Rising Australian classical music stars and seasoned professionals brought together for a unique event 2021-04-06T06:01:30Z rising-australian-classical-music-stars-and-seasoned-professionals-brought-together-for-a-unique-event Sydney musician Jack Stephens, 25, is both the Producer and Director of this week’s unique outdoor performance of Purcell’s Operetta King Arthur within the grounds of Australia’s oldest University College. He is also singing one of the Bass parts and even working with the cast to pull together costumes to support the production.  Currently working to complete his Doctorate of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Jack is the principal lay-clerk and Choir Tutor at St Andrew’s Cathedral and is used to singing and playing great music, having worked extensively within choral music and as a soloist.  He is also an accomplished brass player, having recently performed as a soloist in Schumann’s Konzertstück (Concerto for Four Horns) alongside Robert Johnson (Principal Horn of Sydney Symphony Orchestra). As part of his studies, he is the driving force behind this one off concert performance being performed at the University of Sydney this Friday. Purcell’s Operetta King Arthur  Hailed as one of the greatest works of western music Tells the story of King Arthur’s Britons as they battle the Saxons Unique one-off event - 7:00pm, Friday 9 April Semi-staged in the open-air Quadrangle of St Paul's College - Australia’s oldest University College within the University of Sydney    The event promises to transport the audience back to the early 6th Century- taking them on a tale of medieval adventure and mysticism. “This is a real cross-generational event – seasoned professionals will be pairing up with some of Australia’s best young musicians - including Soloists from Pinchgut Opera, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Sydney Symphony,Opera Australia and the Song Company, “ said Jack.  “In performing this extra-ordinary event, I have the privilege of working with some incredible performers including the legendary Peter Cousens, Artistic Director of the Talent Development Project Foundation, who will be narrating our version of the operetta.  “We also have some amazing soloists – all backed by an 18 period piece  orchestra,” he said. One of those soloists is the talented Chloe Lankshear, currently Principal Soloist with Pinchgut Opera, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Song Company. “A highlight on Friday will be Chloe singing ‘Fairest Isle’  - one of the most loved songs throughout the world.   “I invite anyone who will be in Sydney who loves classical music to secure some of the limited tickets, grab their picnic rug, bring along some food and drinks, and be transported to medieval times and be immersed in this great sounding tale of King Arthur,” said Jack.   INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES IN SYDNEY THIS WEEK Peter Cousens, Jack Stephens (pictured) and Chloe Lankshear are available for interview this week.   NOTE: Some of the cast in costume can be arranged from Wednesday onwards (costumes being finalised right now!) EVENT DETAILS Purcell’s Operetta King Arthur  When: Friday April 9 at 7pm Where: Quadrangle, St Paul's College, University of Sydney, 9 City Rd, Camperdown, NSW 2050 Cost: $40-$60 Tickets: tinyurl.com/kingpurcell THE PERFORMERS AND PLAYERS Conductor | Ross Cobb Concertmaster | Fiona Ziegler Narrator | Peter Cousens Soprano | Chloe Lankshear, Josie Ryan, Elise Morton Mezzo soprano | Stephanie Dillon, Hester Wright Tenor | Joshua Oxley, Elias Wilson Bass | Jeremy Boulton, Jack Stephens Violin | Fiona Ziegler, James Tarbotton Viola | Sophie Nickel Cello | Zoltán Szabo Bass | Will Hansen Harpsichord | Nathan Cox Bassoon | Harley Milano Oboe | Edward Wang, Joshua Ning Recorder | Isabelle Palmer, Aimee Brown Trumpet | Simon Wolnizer, Jonathan Baker Timpani | Adam Cooper-Stanbury     Calling all Creatives: SLOCOACH Arts Launches in Australia, Offering COVID-Safe Digital Coaching with the Best in the Business 2021-03-22T06:46:31Z calling-all-creatives-slocoach-arts-launches-in-australia-offering-covid-safe-digital-coaching-with-the-best-in-the-business Images and video available here Sydney, 22 March 2021: ATTENTION all budding performers, SLOCOACH, the innovative platform revolutionising the world of online coaching, has just launched an Arts & Entertainment arm to its Australian site. SLOCOACH Arts gives up-and-coming artists, comedians, singers, musicians, dancers and many other creatives the chance to digitally connect with the best in the business to receive personalised, one on one coaching. The platform has attracted a roster of top Australian artistic talent, including comedy genius Mark Trevorrow, who is best-known for his iconic character, Bob Downe. Other names involved include Tim Ferguson, member of wildly popular, stunningly anarchic trio the Doug Anthony All Stars, top US choreographer Brendon Stimson (who worked with Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep on Netflix’s The Prom), and ARIA-award winning hitmaker and international femme fatale of comedy and cabaret, Max Sharam. With SLOCOACH Arts, students can choose their specialist coach from a wide range of artistic fields including musical theatre, dance, singing, comedy, classical music, amongst many others. Once they have selected their coach, students upload a video of themselves performing and will receive detailed analysis and personalised feedback from their coach, providing tips on how they can elevate their performance. Even better, students of all levels and abilities can interact with coaches from wherever they are in the world, thanks to SLOCOACH’s cutting-edge technology. The platform will prove invaluable to artists around the world in 2021, as SLOCOACH Arts is completely COVID-safe and enables students and coaches to keep doing what they love, despite lockdowns and restrictions. COVID has introduced many millions of people around the world to online working and learning, and this will continue to develop and evolve as we slowly enter the new, post-COVID digital world. Co-Founder of SLOCOACH Luke Jecks says of the new addition to the platform: “SLOCOACH is all about helping people to thrive at doing what they love, which is why we’re so excited to be adding SLOCOACH Arts to the platform. SLOCOACH has already seen great success in Australia with its digital sports coaching platform but now it’s time for the creatives to get involved and get a piece of the action too,” he said. “Not only is the SLOCOACH Arts platform a fantastic tool for budding creatives, as they’ll have access to some of best talent in the business, but it’s also a brilliant opportunity for our coaches from across the world, to interact with their fans.” SLOCOACH is best known for its sports coaching platform which launched in 2020 in Australia, featuring some of Australia’s best sporting talent, including Olympian Sally Pearson, Wallabies captain Michael Hooper, cricket legend Michael Slater, WNBA Champion Lauren Jackson, tennis star Casey Dellacqua, and AFL great Dane Swan. SLOCOACH Arts has already proved a great success in the UK, where it first launched in 2020, featuring coaches in the theatre and dance sector. Since its launch, Broadway royalty Rob McClure and West End favourites Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser, have been using the UK platform to coach students of all ages and abilities around the world, and will also now be on hand to coach Aussies looking to brush up their skills too. With the arts industry being hard hit as a result of COVID-19, SLOCOACH Arts hopes to revitalise the struggling sector by allowing Australian artistic talent to become self-employed coaches, at a time when they’ve been faced with a reduced workload and performance cancellation. “Many of our coaches have personally felt the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods and are now turning to SLOCOACH Arts to be able to share their expertise with the world during this strange time, using their down-time to help mould aspiring creatives,” said Luke Jecks. SLOCOACH Arts coaches include: -          Mark Trevorrow (‘Bob Downe’), national and international comedy and cabaret icon, teaching comedy and cabaret -          Tim Ferguson (Doug Anthony All Stars), comedian, film director, screenwriter and author, teaching stand up, sketch, and musical comedy -          Brendon Stimson – Broadway dancer and choreographer, US-based. Associate Choreographer on The Prom, working with Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and James Corden. See video dance resume here. Teaching dance -          Max Sharam – ARIA-award winning singer / songwriter (‘Coma’), currently based in New York. Teaching singing and songwriting -          John O’Hare – Highly gifted and respected actor, director, and teacher. He has directed at NIDA, was former Head of Drama at QUT, and co-founder of Sydney theatre ensemble O’Punsky’s. Teaching acting and text analysis -          Heather Lee – Renowned soprano. Experienced in classical singing and show music. Teaching classical and show singing -          Kim Cunio – Head of Music at ANU. Also currently hosting a daily show for Indian TV on eastern lifestyle and philosophy, watched by an estimated 100million people. Teaching classical and world music -          Fiona Thorn – comedy and cabaret artist and creator of character Pastel Vespa. Teaching comedy and cabaret -          John Thorn – Renowned Melbourne jazz musician, arranger, Musical Director. Teaching jazz -          Queenie van de Zandt – one of Australia’s leading ladies of musical theatre and cabaret. Teaching audition technique for musical theatre, singing, and acting through song -          Rowan Greaves – former head of the Australian Theatre for Young People and highly experienced Director. Teaching audition preparation -          Jeremy Johnson – NIDA-trained actor, director, and playwright. Teaching theatre ENDS ABOUT SLOCOACH SLOCOACH is a digital start-up platform founded by Luke Jecks, Luke Holmes and Derek Hardy, revolutionising the world of online coaching – including sports coaching and the arts sector. Using new, cutting-edge technology, SLOCOACH connects recruits to world class coaches via one-on-one video coaching ‘sessions’, providing them with personalised feedback on their technique and performance. Founded in May 2020, the platform has over 70 coaches available to help share their knowledge to help recruits thrive at doing what they love and become their best.  MEDIA CONTACT For further information or to arrange an interview with Luke Jecks, Luke Holmes or a SLOCOACH coach (see list here), please contact Blue Planet Public Relations: Jenny Calnan                                                                              Sophie Blue 0472 543 448                                                                             0416 006 821 Jenny.calnan@blueplanetpr.com.au                                     sophie.blue@blueplanetpr.com.au    Ajak Kwai announces new album, single and launch show 2021-03-15T09:56:26Z ajak-kwai-announces-new-album-single-and-launch-show PLEASE REPLY TO REQUEST YOUR REVIEW/AIRPLAY COPY OF LET ME GROW MY WINGS BY AJAK KWAIAustralia’s renowned songwoman of contemporary South Sudanese music, Ajak Kwai will release her fifth studio album, supported by a live album launch at Melbourne’s Night Cat on Friday, April 23. With Ajak’s dedication as a passionate activist for refugees in Australia, the album is aptly titled Let Me Grow My Wings, an eclectic collection of twelve self-penned songs which reflect her observations, influences and connections since moving to Australia in the late nineties.Performed in English, Arabic and Ajak’s native language, Dinka, the record sees Ajak honouring the traditions of her homeland, yet defying stereotype in what is best described as “modern South Sudanese rock” (credit to award-winning composer, songwriter and producer Jan Skubiszewski who mixed and performed additional instruments on five songs).Backed by a pulsing rhythm section, piano and guitars feature throughout, with rhythmic rock gems like the opener, Love Not Bitterness (sung in English, urging people of the world to choose love over hate), Cool (Track 3 - Ajak’s message to young people, sung in English and Dinka, telling them they don’t need to act the fool to be cool, Life Is A Mystery - sung entirely in Dinka - in which Ajak questions why she ended up in Australia whilst so many of her people lost their lives (the final track on the album), and the album title track (Track 2) - one that Ajak says she feels closest to and is the first single off this album - in which she expresses (also in English and Dinka) her desire for the people in her community to have the same opportunities and be treated equally in Australia.Then there are emotive ballads such as In Our Hearts (Track 7), featuring the Yogyakarta State University College of Music Choir, with a poignant message (in English and Dinka) that we are all the same, no matter what colour or race and Don’t Make The Woman Cry, Ajak’s dedication to women, urging suppressors to choose kindness over harm.Says Ajak, 'My experiences in Australia inform my songs and my music. Music is a universal language – maybe one day we will forget our differences and hold the hands of one another. ‘This album is a collection of those hopes and dreams for an integrated future where we are one and can share and be accepted for what my community has to offer.’Ajak also explains, “It has taken years to complete this album, as I’ve kept getting distracted with my work as a community promoter and educating people at the Migrant Resource Centre, which takes me to many areas of Melbourne’.She hopes that by taking time out to concentrate on her own art and completing this album, she will inspire people with her music and lyrics to create a more positive environment for themselves.Let Me Grow My Wings will be available worldwide on CD and download, on all major online stores from April 23, 2021.In addition to Ajak’s band, the album’s impressive credits include Jan Skubiszewski, Nicky Bomba, Simon Lewis, Boris Conley, Chris Basile (prominent on guitar throughout), Kate Madden, Robin Mai and Aaron Wilson (who has also directed her forthcoming music video for the title track). Filmmaker and Ajak’s longtime friend, Margot McDonald executive produced the project. The songs were recorded at Nicky Bomba Studios, Jan Skubiszewski’s Red Moon Studios, and Simon Lewis’ Panorama Studios, where it was also mastered.In her live shows, Ajak, with her stunning, distinctive vocals fronts a four-piece rock band consisting of lead guitarist Kumar Shome, Matt Erickson on bass and Kofi Kundpe on drums/percussion, occasionally joined by special guest musicians. As well as being ambassador for the Melbourne International Arts Festival, she has performed at major festivals around Australia and internationally, including Mofo, WOMADelaide, Panama Festival and the Tamar Valley, Port Fairy and Woodford Folk Festivals.Ajak is also a popular broadcaster in Melbourne, as host of a weekly show on one of the city’s much-loved community radio stations, PBS. Airing each Monday between 1300 and 1500 AEST, the show - called Come Together - focuses on music that promotes love and acceptance and on bringing her community into the radio realm.The single, Let Me Grow My Wings will be released on Monday, March 22, ahead of the album launch on Friday, April 23. Ajak will be joined onstage by her live band plus special guests and supports to be announced. Tickets are $20+bf or $25 on the door, available at thenightcat.com.au.For more information about Ajak Kwai, check: www.ajakkwai.com MEDIA CONTACT:Erin Jameson - 0419 323 663 / erin(at)jamesonandco(dot)comLISTINGS INFO:Friday, April 23Ajak Kwai + special guests TBAThe Night Cat, 137-141 Johnston St, FitzroyT: 03 9417 0090Entry: $20+bf; $25 on the doorTickets: thenightcat.com.au Dark Stories to Host Interactive Comedy Show, “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” 2021-03-05T07:08:19Z dark-stories-to-host-interactive-comedy-show-how-to-survive-a-zombie-apocalypse (March 5, 2021) – The current times have revived interest in apocalyptic stories, and the zombie theme isn’t far behind. What should one do when that rare zombie attack does happen? Everyone needs to be prepared to face the worst, and training always comes to the rescue, no matter what. The entertainment company Dark Stories is pleased to present its hugely fun and comic seminar, “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.” Tickets for “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” are on sale with extremely limited seats. The show starts at 7pm, Thursday, June 24, 2021, with social distance seating. Hand sanitiser will be available on entry, which is considered a must-have item when the apocalypse arrives. Book tickets for “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse”: www.darkstories.com.au/how-to-survive-a-zombie-apocalypse-brisbane/ An interactive theatre show, How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, is for those who want to become a master in the art of surviving epidemics. This unique seminar is where they will receive adequate training in all aspects of handling zombies. An elite team from the School of Survival has been hired specially to pass through town to deliver this exclusive course in surviving otherwise inevitable doom. “This is your once in a lifetime opportunity to learn all the skills you will need in order to survive the opening days of the zombie apocalypse. It’s your chance to learn how to thrive and survive when the undead revives,” says David Dark of Dark Stories. After completing the course, participants will know where to go in case of a zombie attack. They will learn what weapons are effective against the undead and which ones are not. They will master all the critical actions that must be taken to survive the early onslaught of zombies, with the show featuring live demonstrations. Dark Stories is a favourite place for lovers of events with dark themes.  The company host weekly crime history tours in Australia and several dark theatre shows each year. The team is known mostly for hosting events that provide the audience member with a vicarious thrill.  This Dark Stories show takes a break from scaring customers. It delivers an Interactive Comedy Spoof Seminar to provide a fun, interactive, laughter-filled evening of fun for the whole family to enjoy. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- For more information, please visit: www.darkstories.com.au Life affirming ‘The Illest’ set to debut at Adelaide Fringe 2021-03-01T06:08:26Z life-affirming-the-illest-set-to-debut-at-adelaide-fringe Across ten nights Fringe debutant, Yasemin Sabuncu, is set to share her story, while poking fun of her fully sick chronic illness in The Illest. The innovative, one-woman show follows Yasemin as she explores life as a second generation Muslim Australian, impacts of multiple near-death moments, healing in Byron Bay and studying in Los Angeles. This off the wall comedic journey takes you through Yasemin’s experiences with; ayahuasca and shamans, near death experiences, looking for healing in Byron Bay, surviving her own Ground day, and her lust for an authentic life all back dropped with a lifelong battle with chronic illness. Truly a performance to help as all manage our outlook towards the hard-times we face. Join Yasemin as she advocates for the illest people, including herself. This heart-warming, hard-hitting, glitter-filled comedy presents a painfully poignant look at illness and approaches we can take to the unexpected hurdles in life.  “There’s still too much stigma, lack of support and misinformation about things like endometriosis, mental health, disability and ADHD. It’s my aim to entertain, make people laugh and create dialogue about these issues that affect millions of Australians.” she says. “I like to dance between the fine line of tragedy and comedy in subversive ways. My work is a celebration of life, even when things don't work out how you planned or wanted. It's about how I turned adversity into alchemy and a life with meaning.” she says. Yasemin’s near death experience in the back of an ambulance encouraged her to follow her dreams of performing, and planted the seed of inspiration for The Illest.  “I was gasping for air, having a seizure; and I thought ‘I don’t want to die without fully expressing myself’. I still had so much to do. I promised myself to step up my life and return to comedy even though it didn’t seem sensible” Tickets are limited, on sale now at adelaidefringe.com.au About Yasemin The multi-talented, Adelaide local, Yasemin studied at The Groundlings Theatre LA, where the likes of Melissa McCarthy and Will Ferrell began their careers. Yasemin is also a skilled filmmaker and video artist, having studied at Uni SA were her Honours work was selected tour internationally. Her acting and writing talent has awarded her recognition both nationally and internationally with her work featured in leading arts festivals, venues and events. Yasemin has been selected for the Midsumma 2020 Pathways program for LGBTQ+ participants with a disability, which she hopes to use to further break down stereotypes and celebrate diversity in the arts. A star is truly on the rise rise, Yasemin is set to take on TV & film writing, live performance and much more in 2021 and beyond. Yasemin is a proud recipient of the BANK SA support grant and SA artists COVID support grant. Event DetailsThe Howling OwlDates: 6 – 9 March 2021Times: 6pm Rhino RoomDates: 16 – 20 March 2021Times: 9:30pm 50 Minute ShowParental Guidance Recommended (PG)Bookings: adelaidefringe.com.au Media Enquiries:Interviews, high resolution images and press tickets available on request. TickTick CommsZachary ExnerPublicity DirectorPhone: 0470 695 280Email: zachary.exner@ticktickcomms.com 'The Theory of Relativity’ opens next month 18-27 March! 2021-02-16T01:30:20Z the-theory-of-relativity-opens-next-month-18-27-march Whimsical Productions has been rehearsing for The Theory of Relativity opening next month, 18-27 March, at the PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, Erskineville. The Theory of Relativity was written over five years ago by Neil Bartram (music, lyrics) and Brian Hill (book) as part of the Canadian Music Theatre project and presented at the National Alliance for Music Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 2015. Since then, the show became licensed globally by Music Theatre International (MTI) and has steadily been building via the original cast soundtrack.   The show has also proved popular in schools and universities around the world because of its focus on young people, the flexible casting choices and the themes surrounding this unconventional song-cycle musical. At the time of writing, The Theory of Relativity has become the #1 top trending musical on the Music Theatre International website, which is quite an achievement for a show in a year where COVID-19 has had such a devastating impact on the arts and live performance industries. But to audiences here in Sydney, the show remains largely unknown.  This presented an opportunity for Whimsical Productions to produce this new musical and build their own artistic vision of the piece. Co-Director/Choreographer Michael Osborne was the person to originally pitch the show: “I came across the show via a simple search into available Musical theatre license rights. I was looking for a show that would fit within the core values of Whimsical Productions which are creativity, diversity and growth.” “It needed to be new, fresh, adaptable and something already written because we had been working with local writers to develop their shows and I thought it would also be good to try an international licensed work to test ourselves, continue to champion our diverse talent and plan for future growth” The creative team of Helen Kim (Co-Director) and Gianna (Music Director) were appointed back in 2019, auditions were held in February 2020 and rehearsals initially commenced in March 2020 for one week before COVID-19 lockdowns came into effect. Musical Director Gianna Cheung explains the sudden impact of COVID-19 in rehearsals: “At the beginning of the lockdown we did try to do a couple of rehearsals over Zoom, but obviously as an ensemble that was really difficult.” “So we decided to work individually with each cast member and I could work with them on their song and vocal technique, while Helen and Michael would work on their initial character development and so on.    “We did that for about three weeks because it might have reopened in three weeks but who knew it was going to be nearly a year of restrictions!” “It was quite scary. We almost didn't put it back on.” “Unfortunately, because of all the changes we had to re-cast almost half of our cast.  We started again in the first week of December, took a break over Christmas and then the restrictions got tighter when we returned in 2021. So, we have been very flexible working our rehearsals around the COVID-safe requirements and we are 4 weeks from opening now!” Co-Director Helen Kim also shared her experience of what connected her to this musical: “I love musicals. Growing up, my mum and I would catch iconic shows in Sydney like The Lion King and Wicked though I never imagined that I could also be on stage. Firstly, I wasn't a 'triple threat' – I was only comfortable singing in the Karaoke room and secondly, I hadn't seen an Asian-Australian on a musical stage. “I was fortunate to meet Melody Duan, the founder of Whimsical Productions, who offered me the chance to take on a co-director role for The Theory of Relativity. When I read the script, I fell in love with it immediately. I'm thrilled yet nervous for my first time directing a musical. But, I'm mostly excited about this new adventure and the chance to promote diversity in the arts industry. The Theory of Relativity is a coming-of-age story about a group of university students searching for answers on the nature of love, life and loss. There will be a combination of songs, monologues and storytelling.  This musical celebrates the students’ very own voices, very real with #nofilter. Think of a blend of sounds from ‘Glee’ and ‘The Book of Mormon’ with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ references and a dash of ‘Chicago’ and ‘Mean Girls’ in it. Audiences can expect a stripped back musical theatre, a simple black box set with the entire ensemble on stage for the duration of the performance to reflect all of the characters searching for the unknown.” The Theory of Relativity is a 1 Act musical (approximately 80-90 minutes) and recommended for a mature audience. PERFORMANCE DATES THURSDAY 18 MARCH 2021 7:30pm (Preview) FRIDAY 19 MARCH 2021 7:30pm (Opening) SATURDAY 20 MARCH 2021 2pm & 7:30pm WEDNESDAY 24 MARCH 2021 7:30pm THURSDAY 25 MARCH 2021 7:30pm FRIDAY 16 MARCH 2021 7:30pm SATURDAY 27 MARCH 2021 2pm & 7:30pm *We recommend you arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes prior to allow for QR barcode scanning and COVID-safe screening. CAST ADAM: Paul Mai AMY: Claire Broderick CAROLINE: Nicole De Villa CATHERINE: Grace Chim JENNY: Rosanna Lam JULIE: Anne-Marie Cavaco MIKE: Ethan Taylor MIRA: Lisa-Marie Long OLIVER: Matthew Yuen PAUL: Jeremy Kindl RYAN: Konrad Ryzak SARA: Olivia McNamara PRODUCTION TEAM CO-DIRECTOR: Helen Kim CO-DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Michael Osborne MUSIC DIRECTOR: Gianna Cheung PRODUCER: Melody Duan STAGE MANAGER: Mellita Kang LIGHTING DESIGNER: Mehran Mortezaei LIGHTING OPERATOR: Emma Johnston SOUND OPERATOR: Jacob Lawler RADIO MICROPHONE TECHNICIAN: Oliver Agbisit PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: Veronica Clavijo, Edwin Tay, Lisa-Marie Long, Ethan Taylor, Matthew Yuen, Nicole de Villa DANCE CAPTAIN: Olivia McNamara VOICE CAPTAIN: Jeremy Kindl SWINGS: Michael Osborne & Melody Duan CREDITS Music & Lyrics by NEIL BARTRAM  Book by BRIAN HILL The Theory of Relativity was developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Originally Produced by Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam, CT. The Musical was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in 2015. The Theory of Relativity is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) All authorised performance materials are also supplied by Hal Leonard Australia. GETTING TO THE THEATRE PACT Centre for Emerging Artists is situated at 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville, NSW.  Limited street parking available on site. The venue is walking distance from Erskineville (250m), Newtown (900m) & Macdonaldtown (1km) train stations and there are a range of bus services and taxi stand on Erskineville Road. COVID-SAFE GUIDELINES Whimsical Productions will ensure it follows the COVID safe plan to ensure all cast, crew and patrons are safe with hand sanitiser available and regular cleaning of surfaces.  We ask that patrons please wear a mask indoors and maintain a safe distance from each other. The venue capacity will be 50% to maintain social distancing and will be monitored closely. Please refer to the latest COVID guidelines on the PACT website http://www.pact.net.au/ First Australian woman comic book writer on The Phantom 2021-02-15T03:42:21Z first-australian-woman-comic-book-writer-on-the-phantom-1 Sydney-based comics creator Julie Ditrich has just officially become the first Australian woman comic book writer on The Phantom with the release of her 44-page comic book story The Adventure of the Dragon’s Leg, which has just been published in The Phantom: The Treasures of Drakon – The Red Dragon Saga trade paperback by Frew Publications. Julie is also historically the sixth credited woman comic book writer in the world1 to write for The Phantom. The story, which is illustrated by Brazillian artist Wendell Cavalcanti, is a sequel to three comic book stories, originally published in the 1970s, that focus on The Phantom’s battle with a deadly and obsessive female villain, driven not only to possess him but also to exact revenge on him in the most horrific manner.   The Phantom was originally created by US writer Lee Falk and first published in 1936 as a daily newspaper comic strip series. It is still being published to this day in that particular format, albeit with new writer and artist teams who came on board both before and after Falk’s death in 1999. The Phantom is also published in comic books, graphic novels and prose anthologies, and has also been adapted into other media—namely film, television and video games.   The Phantom is a masked and costumed crime-fighter who lives with his family in the Skull Cave in the Deep Woods of a fictional African country called Bangalla. Unlike other superheroes, The Phantom does not rely on magic or a superpower. Rather, he depends on his intelligence and ingenuity, strength, boxing and wrestling prowess, and the myth of his immortality as “The Ghost Who Walks” to fight his adversaries.   The origins of The Phantom legend lies 485 years in the past when in 1536 the young Christopher ‘Kit’ Walker witnessed his father’s murder at the hands of a pirate. Later on, Christopher swore an oath on the skull of his father’s killer to fight pirates and other evil doers around the world, thus becoming the first Phantom. That legacy was then passed from father to son in the lineage (and also included one female – Julie Walker – born in 1852 who occasionally took on the mantle of The Phantom when her twin brother, the 17th Phantom, was injured or missing). The current Kit Walker is the 21st Phantom.   Julie Ditrich, who has a BA Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Canberra, and who has sold over 270,000 copies of her comics books internationally, found that the comics medium completely suited her storytelling style. Julie has worked predominantly in the fantasy genre but now embraces action-adventure with The Phantom. I used to read Phantom comic books and the daily newspaper strip when I was growing up, and truly feel I was creatively geared to write these stories. I’m excited and appreciative beyond measure to be writing such a complex and fascinating character as The Phantom for Frew Publications. She adds: I really want to honour the legacy of The Phantom not only as a character but also as a universe, including the pioneering writers and artists who have come before me. I’d also love the story to connect with the dedicated “Phans”, especially the Australian readers, who are amongst the most passionate consumers of The Phantom in the world.   To prepare herself for this newly minted role as The Phantom comic book writer, Julie immersed herself for several months in Phantom lore by reading vintage and modern graphic novel collections. Her other literacy influences that have impacted on writing these stories include works such as King Solomon’s Mines by Sir H Rider Haggard and the Willard Price Adventure Series for children, which she read when she was a kid.   Julie has also recently completed a four-part series of The Phantom called Return of the Golden Circle, which will be published in 2022, and has been commissioned to write an additional two series after that.   The Phantom is owned by King Features in the USA and is licensed locally by Frew Publications, which was has been publishing The Phantom in Australia since its inception in 1948.   The Treasures of Drakon: The Red Dragon Saga is available on the Frew Publications website from 15 February 2021: https://www.phantomcomic.com.au/ A comic book trailer of The Adventure of the Dragon’s Leg can be viewed on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/CH2_Rvbu5VY   Media Contact: Julie Ditrich Phone: +61 2 9606 4728 OR +61 412 445 511 Email: julie@julieditrich.com FURTHER INFORMATION 1 There may have been some uncredited women comic book writers who supported male creators, and there are several credited women prose writers of The Phantom stories.   How to be happily single & avoid depression this Valentine’s Day 2021-02-10T01:17:02Z how-to-be-happily-single-avoid-depression-this-valentines-day WHILE Valentine’s Day is celebrated as a day of joy and romance, many single people spend the day feeling lonely, depressed and suicidal. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that relationship problems are the top cause of suicides today and psychologists worldwide suggest that Valentine’s Day on February 14 is the start of an annual rise in suicide rates that peak in April. It doesn’t have to be this way however as there are many positives to being single, as Gold Coast author Louisa Pateman shares in her new book Single, Again, and Again, and Again… “It takes courage to be single and it’s a big myth that when you meet ‘the one’, you will live happily ever after,” Ms Pateman said. “Your ultimate goal should be happiness - single or not. We all have our own unique life journey. If I had waited for ‘the one’, I wouldn’t have had such an amazing life.” Louisa, 47, has travelled to 73 countries, had multiple properties and chose to have her son solo using a sperm bank at age 37 after stressing out about her biological clock ticking and having more than 13 failed relationships since the age of 21. A civil engineer for 25 years, she created exciting and rewarding life experiences through travel, investing and spending time with girlfriends. “I spent 20 years looking for my soulmate and my son, Nicholas, is now the love of my life. I wouldn’t give him up for any man,” she said. Her tips for being happily single include: Embrace/ accept your situation for what it is and what you have Learn to be present- enjoy the moment Find other single people you can relate to but don’t exclude yourself from couple situations. Find opportunities where you can be around people you can connect with, who have lived part of your journey Love yourself and appreciate your self worth. You determine your own worth by what you will and won’t put up with Find inner contentment and the good in all your challenges. Don’t be a man/ woman hater or shun couples. If you are bitter, resentful or hold grudges from past relationship failures, that bitterness permeates your present experience. Find exciting and rewarding life experiences that you can do on your own. When you come out of a relationship, write down a list of all the things you want to do without a partner and do it, like going on a girl’s retreat or writing a book (eg. I was up 10pm to 2am most nights when writing my book). Stay optimistic about life. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for what you have - big and little things. List things you’re grateful for and realise things aren’t that bad. Look at life from a macro perspective and realise how small your issues are in the overall scheme of things Remind yourself that not everyone in a relationship is happy. You may be better off than some people who don’t have the courage to be single Ms Pateman’s tips are also in line with Singles Awareness Day (or Singles Appreciation Day), which is celebrated on February 15 each year. “It is a celebration of love in all forms recognising the love between friends, family and loving yourself. You have to accept you are where you are,” Ms Pateman said. “I’m not saying you can get rid of your desires. I’m saying if you don’t have courage to live a rewarding life on your own, life could pass you by and you could miss out on a lot of opportunities.” For more details or for a copy of the book Single, Again, and Again, and Again…, visit www.louisapateman.com ENDS ___________________________________________________ MEDIA CONTACT ONLY: AA Xpose Media Director/ Photojournalist Aldwyn Altuney ph: 0409 895 055