The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2021-04-18T00:00:00Z 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: - ENDS - ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Amy Stalinescu | M10 Collective Ph: 0411 789 195 Email: *IMAGES can be downloaded from this LINK. 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: 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                               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”: 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: 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 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: Media Enquiries:Interviews, high resolution images and press tickets available on request. TickTick CommsZachary ExnerPublicity DirectorPhone: 0470 695 280Email: '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 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: A comic book trailer of The Adventure of the Dragon’s Leg can be viewed on YouTube at:   Media Contact: Julie Ditrich Phone: +61 2 9606 4728 OR +61 412 445 511 Email: 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 ENDS ___________________________________________________ MEDIA CONTACT ONLY: AA Xpose Media Director/ Photojournalist Aldwyn Altuney ph: 0409 895 055 Smokin’ up a storm- Electro Swing and Funky House returns to Rubix Warehouse 2021-01-27T06:05:15Z smokin-up-a-storm-electro-swing-and-funky-house-returns-to-rubix-warehouse The dance floor is back at Rubix Warehouse with the return of the heralded Rubix Fridays – an ongoing Friday night party with resident DJ’s playing the best in Electro House, Funky House and some deep hitting Bass!The DJ’s will rotate on a weekly basis, with names like Mortisville and Friends, Mikey Space, Tahl and Rakish having graced the decks so far for the festivities.The afterparty will follow the newly launched Smokin’ Phoenix Steampunk Circus performance, with free entry all night.A pandemic-forced hiatus afforded founder and owner of Rubix Warehouse Tanya El Gamal a chance to recalibrate, renovate and launch a brand-new Pizza bar as part of the dining experience, as well as collaborating with a number of artists to launch a theatrical Steampunk Circus experience encompassing an award-winning cast who will take up a performance residency at Rubix, backed by live house band The Ruffled Feathers every Friday night before Rubix Friday kicks off.Those wanting to see the show can pre-book, with ticket options including show only or the show with dinner from the all-new Rubix pizza bar, a complimentary drink on arrival and 1.5 hour Smokin' Phoenix Steampunk Circus show. Up to two shows per evening will run every Friday 6.30pm and 8.30pm and will be followed by free entry to the afterparty.The newly renovated front bar has been reimagined with beautiful timber bench seating and long timber slab tables, with the antique metal harrows inherited from the farm claiming the centrepiece above the bar. It has been a labour of love with El Gamal and her partner Jay Tiilikka on the tools, spending weekends renovating Rubix, and weekdays working on the farm.“I was given a commercial pizza oven, and that was the catalyst – from there we built the pizza bar, using materials from the farm to tie in both of my favourite places, giving Rubix a facelift with a rustic and cosy feel. We have designed a yummy pizza and snack menu to cater for all tastes which will also be available for delivery from Mr Yum soon,” she said.El Gamal, repurposed materials from her second venture - Our Friends Farm - Victoria’s largest licenced music venue located in Tallarook Victoria. First established by legendary venue operator ‘Bruzzy’ who owned the Provincial Hotel in Fitzroy, Tallarook Hotel and the Royal Hotel in Seymour before setting up this beautiful 221 acre property as a one of a kind entertainment and accommodation park in 1999.Rubix now offers an ideal outing for guests who want a unique and interactive performance, followed by a dance to some incredibly talented musicians and DJ’s. An ideal night out for singles, couples group bookings, hens and bucks nights, corporate and group bookings and anyone after a unique post-covid arts extravaganza.“Rubix has always supported the fringes of music-loving individuals in a fluidity that transcends all genres. We are so excited to innovate once again with a unique offering that fuses art, live music, theatre and performing arts, as well as reopening the dance floor” said El Gamal.A renowned Melbourne music, arts and community contributor, El-Gamal has two decades of experience in venue operations, event management and community program development as well as being a passionate artist herself.Additional Info and tickets for Smokin’ Phoenix Steampunk Circus at Rubix Friday tickets at The Theory of Relativity - #1 Top Trending Musical during COVID-19 2021-01-24T22:26:38Z the-theory-of-relativity-1-top-trending-musical Friday 22 January, 1pm AEST From Drama Desk Award nominees Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, this unconventional musical is a joyous and moving look about our surprisingly interconnected lives.   Through a seemingly unrelated collection of songs, scenes and monologues, The Theory of Relativity introduces a compelling array of characters experiencing the joys and heartbreaks, the liaisons and losses, the inevitability and the wonder of human connection. Whether you're allergic to cats, in love for the first or tenth time, a child of divorce, a germaphobe or simply a unique individual, audience members are sure to find something that they'll resonate with. Featuring a vibrant and diverse cast across Sydney, Whimsical Productions is proud to continue its commitment to promoting creativity, diversity and growth in Australian theatre. 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 26 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. VENUE PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville 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 LIGHTING DESIGNER: Mehran Mortezaei STAGE MANAGER: Mellita Kang 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. COVID-SAFE GUIDELINES Please refer to the latest COVID guidelines on the PACT website ABOUT WHIMSICAL PRODUCTIONS We would like to thank you for supporting Whimsical Productions: The Theory of Relativity! Whimsical Productions is a non-profit, independent theatre company based in Sydney, Australia. Formed in 2016 and officially launched early 2017, Whimsical Production’s objective is: To produce theatrical works in the most creative and diverse way possible. For more information on how to partner with Whimsical, please visit our website: or email Thank you and we look forward to meeting you all! Whimsical Productions Inc. ABN: 27 589 457 440 DEBUT AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR RELEASES THE INCREDIBLE TRUE WWII STORY OF ‘ANNA UND GUNTHER’. 2021-01-20T12:15:10Z debut-australian-author-releases-the-incredible-true-wwii-story-of-anna-und-gunther FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE – PUBLICATION DATE FEB 1 2021 Anna und Gunther is the first novel by Australian author Jacob Hendryx to be released globally by Osmond Press on February 1st, 2021. It is a historical fiction based on a true story that follows the separate storylines of two children forced to grow up too young in Germany during World War 2 and the subsequent Cold War. The dual-storylines merge into one in the third and final part of the book where the protagonists fall in love and emigrate across the world to Australia. As described in the Author's Note, the book was written after the author travelled to his German grandmothers hometown in the Sudetes Mountains of today’s Czech Republic. Returning with photos of one of the few buildings that remained, his grand-mother began to recount stories of growing up in the town in vivid detail she had never shared before. These stories formed the first chapter of the story which Jacob gifted to her, and upon her delight at reading her own stories, encouraged her to share the stories from her life following that chapter that she previously had not shared. It was a series of repeating visits like this, writing only a chapter at a time, that today's novel came together. Anna und Gunther appeals to a broad range of readers young and old and will be favourited by those who enjoyed other notable true stories from the era such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Rich historical content also lends itself to inclusion in high school curriculum and university reading lists. Available in all good book stores, online and via Kindle from Feb 1st. Watch the video trailer here: “I have never read a book with quite as much authenticity as well as being thoroughly entertained from beginning to end” – Maegan McFall @turningpagesmm “A uniquely innocent take on unfathomable horror, this book is as relatable as it is shocking” – Dr. Sam Nicholls, Australian Historian “The book is well written, jam packed full of historical accuracies that elevate this tale of humanity” – Julie Oakley @bookish.intoxication ELK Publishing Launches Inspirational LILIWIOFE Diaries 2021-01-04T07:18:19Z elk-publishing-launches-inspirational-liliwiofe-diaries 2021 is a new era for ELK Publishing - with the release of their first, annual publication of the inspirational - LILIWIOFE Diaries. Dropbox link to photos ‘LILIWIOFE’ is an acronym for ‘Live Life Without Fear’ - a diary that enables timid individuals to push past the debilitating fear of: fear itself; success and somehow not being good enough to bring an idea to fruition.  It inspires individuals to take charge of their lives; leads them to greater confidence; re-ignites their passion and their belief in the impossible – a phrase coined by the late Audrey Hepburn who once stated, "the word itself says ‘I’m Possible!"   Designed out of personal necessity and in dedication to Sketa’s late father, who passed away from cancer in 2014; creation of the diary gave Sketa a new found strength to push past her barriers of pain and loss, enabling her to achieve that which she deemed ‘impossible’. The 2021 hardcover diary went on sale at A$26.95 - in late November, while the 2022 diary is expected to hit bookstores early in the New Year.  CEO and founder - Selina Kucks a.k.a. Sketa stated, "…with the onslaught of CoVid across the globe, there will be many individuals who like me, will need a little help getting started, again." The diary uses the power of: daily quotes, hashtags and the comfort of Instagram to support like-minded individuals - who will in effect, ensure accountability for making dreams come true. "We are the Fairy Godmothers to wishes granted and yes, it is a wonderful way to safely hold each other’s hand through the whole process." It encourages individuals to push past those fears and doubts to just - ‘make it happen’ - with a little help from the #liliwiofe family.  " We are already taking orders for the 2022 diaries and as soon as they arrive on my desk for proof, we’ll be able to presell next year’s diary." They will be available in select, retail stores and of course, through "I can’t think of a better way to support those doing it tough, than to just gift a diary to a friend."   You’ve got this!  #makeithappen #liliwiofe For more information on this press release visit:   ELK Publishing Press and Publicity Officer Phone: +61 0475 923 670 E-mail: Web:   FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram -  ELK Publishing @ Facebook – ELK Publishing @ Introducing Boutique Lifestyle Photography in Auckland – Plus A Great Booking Special 2020-12-27T03:59:27Z introducing-boutique-lifestyle-photography-in-auckland-plus-a-great-booking-special Boutique Lifestyle Photography are award-winning portrait photographers based in Auckland, New Zealand. Established in 2007, the team have formed and further developed their signature style of portraiture; timeless images of your loved ones that artistically tell your story. Since their inception, Boutique Lifestyle Photography have continued to expand their professional photography services. From stunning family photography to beautiful maternity portraits and graduation photography, all photo shoot bookings are held in their upmarket Auckland studio location. More recently, a range of commercial photography services have been introduced including professional product photography as well as professional head shots. As part of their services, all portraits receive the team’s acclaimed professional portrait retouching. From scars to scratches, any imperfections or blemishes that you may have can be removed at your request. The team are also pleased to announce a fantastic $79 photo shoot sitting special. Included in this package is your in-studio photo shoot with your Auckland photographer, valid for our portrait services (excluding glamour), as well as a bonus $50 studio credit towards your chosen portraits. If you’ve been considering a professional photo shoot, then now is the perfect time. You are encouraged to contact the friendly team to discuss your requirements. In-studio consultations are available to discuss in advance your photo shoot aspirations and begin planning your session. Bookings are available Monday to Saturday by appointment. The Boutique Lifestyle Photography Philosophy As a family owned and operated business, the team at Boutique Lifestyle Photography go to great lengths to ensure your satisfaction. From your initial contact with the team, throughout your photo shoot to the final delivery of your treasured images, you are sure to be impressed. Having worked with countless families and individuals over the years, we are proud to have worked closely with people from all walks of life. Irrespective of your requirements, we offer you an in-studio portrait service that is both relaxed and professional with amazing results. We also offer a great range of flexible gift voucher options, perfect for any occasion or milestone. In addition, we also encourage charities or fundraising groups to contact us regarding any upcoming events or promotions we can assist with. Please visit our website and contact us with any queries relating to your event and how we can help. We look forward to hearing from you. Please contact us with any booking enquiries or general questions and we will be happy to assist. Boutique Lifestyle Photography (09) 522 5123 Introducing Family Portraits at Boutique Lifestyle Photography in Auckland 2020-12-27T03:58:45Z introducing-family-portraits-at-boutique-lifestyle-photography-in-auckland If you are looking at creating some memorable family portraits of you and loved ones, then the team at Boutique Lifestyle Photography in Auckland have just the answer! With years of experience, a great sitting special and a wonderful range of portrait options available, now is the perfect time to book with us! Available now until Christmas, you can book your professional family photo shoot for just $79 with a fantastic offer! This incredible sitting special includes your in-studio portrait photo shoot (available for up to 8 people) as well as a bonus studio credit that is valid towards all of our beautiful portrait display options. The option to include additional family members is also available, so please enquire with us if this is a possibility. Professional family portraiture is a lifetime investment that never fails to disappoint. Working closely with you and your family, our award-winning team will create and capture contemporary, fun and memorable portraits that offer flattering results and provide treasured memories. A range of our work and further information about our family portrait services can be found by visiting Having photographed countless families over the years, Boutique Lifestyle Photography have continued to evolve their signature style of family portraits. Whether you have a young family with babies or toddlers, through to older families with teenage to adult kids, we pride ourselves on bringing out the best in everyone in front of the camera. In addition, with helpful advice both prior and during your photo shoot, you are ensured a fun-filled day together with a rewarding experience and amazing results! Flexible Photo Shoot Gift Vouchers Also Available Also, for those of you who are looking for the perfect Christmas gift, we also offer our portrait sittings as a gift voucher! Available as either a beautifully presented physical voucher, or a convenient E-Voucher, this is a highly personalised gift that is guaranteed to keep on giving. You can visit to find out more about our flexible options. How Do I Find Out More? You are encouraged to contact our friendly team by calling on (09) 522 5123, email or through our company website. Photo shoot bookings and pre-portrait consultations are available by appointment Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday). With Christmas just around the corner, be sure to get in touch today to ensure your preferred availability. Boutique Lifestyle Photography (09) 522 5123 HOTA ANNOUNCES 2021 LIVE PROGRAM 2020-12-20T23:00:00Z hota-announces-2021-live-program ZING heralds the first chapter of exciting new programming in 2021 for HOTA and is a rich and diverse program inviting audiences to make new memories, splash around, revisit familiar favourites, and celebrate great art. Kicking off on a sweet note with SCOOP! (15-17 January), the three-day festival with an epic line-up of ice cream, world-class circus, live music and more, starts the ZING program with a bang. In 2021, HOTA is planning to bring events and experiences to the HOTA precinct to engage, experience and delight people time and time again. HOTA CEO Criena Gehrke said HOTA has remained resilient across this year and is now ready to ring in 2021 with ZING. “Reflecting back on the year, I’m proud to say that HOTA has led the way nationally in the arts and culture sector in response to the global pandemic.” “As soon as we were able, we welcomed back our artists and community to HOTA,” she said. “Acknowledging that artists are at the heart of what we do, during a challenging period we launched a quick response artist grant Rage Against the V(irus), supporting over 150 Gold Coast artists and funding their work during a time when they needed it most.” “Since then, we haven’t looked back – programming intimate lakeside sessions with Fireside, the east coast premiere of the major earth installation Gaia during WONDER welcoming over 15,000 visitors and fast tracking a $100,000 commission for artists to be involved in the inaugural HOTA Gallery exhibition SOLID GOLD, to name a few.” “It has been quite the year, but we are excited and optimistic for what’s to come. The local community has been such a big support, and we promise to keep delivering more great art and events to the Gold Coast including the opening of the HOTA Gallery and kicking off 2021 with our new live program ZING,” Criena added. Opening 10 April, the new $60.5 million Gallery will feature an inaugural program of Australian exclusives, celebrations of Queensland artists, a dedicated Children’s Gallery, special events, artist talks, education programs never-before-seen works from the City Collection and more great and surprising art, indoors and out. ZING has something for everyone – art, performance, music, film, and so much more, and will be a welcome return to what audiences love about their Home of the Arts. Full program details are below and more to be announced in early 2021.All events meet social distancing and hygiene guidelines per HOTA’s COVID safe plan and is available on their website. For more information on HOTA’s ZING program, visit: Here is a LINK TO THE MEDIA KIT with available images.*ZING program details attached. - ENDS - ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES:Amy Stalinescu | M10 CollectiveE: M: 0411 789 195