At Ezra Pound

Drinking shiraz and enjoying the atmos

I discovered a new bar in town last night.

A bar that made me feel like I was in Melbourne.

Maybe it was the street art vibe…

street art

Maybe it was the fact I was out on in Northbridge with friends for the second night in a week.

Ezra Pound was of course a famous American poet at the turn of the previous century – I’m not terribly familiar with his work – a quick read of Wikipedia makes me think he wasn’t all that pleasant a chap – although in his favour he did convince people to publish one of my favourite poets – TS Eliot.

Do not move
 Let the wind speak
  that is paradise.
Let the Gods forgive what I
  have made
Let those I love try to forgive
  what I have made.
from Canto 120, Ezra Pound

 Anyway, the man himself aside, it’s a great little bar.
Loved the exposed brick, the couches and chairs inside, the outdoor seating, the decorated fence.
I missed it completely the first time – it’s down a little alleyway just a few doors down from The Bird on William Street if you’re heading towards the Brass Monkey.
Oh and speaking of monkeys… or rather Great Apes… we had a very lively discussion of the play we’d just been to see at The Blue Room – Wish.
If you’ve read the book by Peter Goldsworthy you’ll know why.
When JJ – the hearing son of deaf parents – agrees to teach Sign to the mysterious Eliza, he embarks on a voyage of discovery that takes him to the outer limits of language, science, nature, ethics – and love.
For me the play was about living in two worlds but fitting in in neither.
And it also raised the question:  Does love justify your actions?
I’m not sure it’s the get-out-of-jail-free card that the romantics would have us believe.
Have you read the book?  Seen the play?
What do you think?
Happy to be at this bar

Nudie Rudie

Generic beach shot because taking out a camera at the nude beach is probably not the done thing

I am doing a storytelling course (Barefaced Stories) at The Blue Room Theatre with Margot Leitman (check out one of her stories on The Moth).

Eight sessions and at the end we will have a polished story.

Each session we have homework.

The first assignment – “do something outside your comfort zone”.

This required some deep thought.

Then I remembered the time Groover and I  – in our 20s when we had hot (ish) bods – stripped off and drove naked down West Coast Highway – at least until the adreniline wore off and we thought about all the what ifs… what if we broke down? What if we get pulled over by a cop? And we quickly scuttled back home.

So I thought okay, let’s up the ante and go for a swim at Perth’s favourite nude beach – luckily not far away – Swanborne – public nudity.

First question… what does one wear to Swanborne because clearly you can’t rock up nude – does one wear bathers?

I decided to wear my bikini, as it seemed appropriate, and with towel and sunblock in hand casually strolled down the beach.

OMG!  There are naked people there!!

First thing I saw from a distance was the silhouette of a man and let me tell you he was hung.

Second question… where do I sit?

I don’t want to sit too close to anyone else but I do want to get the Swanborne experience so I don’t want to sit completely on my own and I don’t want to sit up by the dunes as I figure the creepy guys hang out there perving, so I plonk my stuff down in the middle and undress.

Well that feels a bit weird and as I slide my bikini bottoms off I’m thinking some trimming might have been in order but it’s too late now.

Lying on the beach I’m conscious of what everyone is doing.

People are moving between groups chatting, there’s a very tanned girl to my right doing a job interview on her iPhone, and there are people – clothed people – walking by all the time.

But I can’t lie on the beach forever – for one thing I can’t stay out in the sun too long and for another – well a swim is part of the challenge.

So choosing my moment I stand up and walk into the surf.

The water is cool, the surf a bit dumpy but this is no time to get into the water gingerly.

Before long I am enjoying my swim and getting chatted up by a tanned fellow in his mid forties who turns out to be the pilot of our flight home last Sunday – I kid you not.

Anyway I go back to my towel and air dry.

I notice that I’m possibly one of the younger women on the beach – hard to tell as all the women have VERY dark tans – and also, I’m not that uncomfortable.

And I notice the men – it’s hard not to.

One guy I swear has more metalwork “down there” than the Bunnings tool section.

Another guy has tats all over his body – except “down there” and frankly who can blame him.

There are men of all sizes – and that’s when I realise that actually there are way more men than women.

Why did that surprise me?

I get dressed and get up to go and as I’m leaving the pilot starts chatting to me.

Now that feels a bit weird… chatting to a completely naked man while fully dressed on the beach.

Anyway we chat for a bit and I’m thinking well this will make a great addition to my story when…

Groover walks by!

OMG and I’m chatting to a naked man!

Anyway it takes me a while to catch up with the groovy one because by the time I noticed him he was about 20 metres away and the wind is whipping away my voice and hey, I’m not that fit so running in sand isn’t very fast but eventually I catch up with him and we walk back  and I tell him about my experience and he remembers the pilot’s name and I suggest that he might like to go in for a quick dip.

He (surprisingly) agrees and we have a little swim and then start to get dressed.

Do you want to meet the pilot I ask?

The pilot is now under his umbrella – still nuded up of course – but Groover says no.

I guess meeting a naked man on the beach is outside his comfort zone.

So this is the story I tell at my storytelling class and it goes down quite well.

The next day I decide to go back to the beach – because it was fun, there was quite a nice community feel to it and I was still on a high from the day before but it’s different.

For one thing it is much windier so there are fewer people and there are only two other women.

That friendly community atmosphere has blown away with the wind and what is left feels somewhat seedy.

The pilot is there and comes over to chat but it all feels a bit wrong.

I go home after about 20 minutes and shower.

If I go back – I won’t go alone.

Besides – I had my next assignment to do – ” to stray from my routine”.

Ah but that is another story.

A snippet of Groover in action

As you know Groover has been in a play recently called The Beat Goes On by A Lad In Sane productions.

Well, I have a tiny bit of the show so you can see him in action.

Actually you see more of his co-star…

My only excuse is that I got too involved in the play to remember to video later…

Doh!

A shameless plug for a nasty character

Groover... is Mr Williams in The Beat Goes On

Groover is in another play – The Beat Goes On – which opens this THURSDAY at Camelot Theatre in Mosman Park.

The play is really three one-act plays all, as you might imagine from the title, about police work in the home country.

Groover is in the third of these plays, directed by Sinead Bevan (the co-director of his last play Arsenic and Old Lace) and he plays a nasty piece of work.

Mr Williams is a thug.

He’s been arrested countless times and always seems to get off on a technicality – the police powerless to do anything about it and forced to be polite and over-courteous all the time.

Honestly, practicing his lines with him, I just wanted to slap him!

Still it is quite amusing and thank goodness this time at a theatre closer to home – although he has some performances out at Midland as well.

I’m going both Friday and Saturday nights – hopefully I’ll see you at one of those performances!

Book here.

Stage kissing – not a guide

Backstage at a New York Minute

So as you know I have recently been in a play – a wholly improvised play – at Subiaco Arts Centre, and Saturday night’s performance took me back to an audition I had when I was about 15.

15 and NEVER been kissed.

In the audition piece I had to kiss my lover.

WTF

Well having NO experience in the matter – such an innocent – I delivered a rather chaste little kiss on the lips of this much older man.

No no no! Said the director…

Kiss him like you mean it!

Needless to say I didn’t get the part.

Now, you would think, me being much older and more experienced in the way of kissing, if the situation were to happen again I would be fine.

I know what to do right?

Well the other night I watched my fabulous colleague – one who can actually act pucker up and ravish all the leading men – boy can that girl deliver a believable snog.

And she says to her on stage lover that he has to do the same to me.

Maybe I would have been less apprehensive had I no warning.

This poor boy, twenty years younger than me then has to kiss me and I…

!!!

I don’t know what to do.

I am 15 again.

As awkward as a teenager on her first date.

Luckily I have a blue feathered fan to hide behind.

A shame really.

It’s not often one has the legitimate opportunity to snog a young man…

Despite my parents sitting in the front row, I really should have taken advantage.

Video trailer for In a New York Minute

Courtney Sage Hart is one of the actors in the show I’m in – In a New York Minute, the Spontaneous Insanity production at the Subiaco Arts Centre.

The first three shows are sold out, and there is one extra show on Saturday night (which I am also playing in) at 10pm. Book here.

Anyway I think Courtney has got a brilliant future ahead of him in film making… check out the trailer he made above.

Meanwhile with opening night behind us – we are gearing up for tonight’s show.

I don’t know whether to be scared or excited!

Thank goodness I can rely on the rest of the ensemble.

They are amazing.

Reefer madness

See the kids! Precious kids!
Yes, their heads are on the chopping block
and someone’s got to dare to take a stand
Can’t ignore any more, it could be your son or daughter
With a deadly stick of reefer in their hand!
They’re heading straight for
Reefer Madness! Reefer Madness! Reefer Madness! Reefer Madness!
Save our kids!

We went to see Reefer Madness on Saturday night down at the Phoenix Theatre.

But before that we had dinner at the Left Bank which was very nice indeed. Generous portions.  If you like steak – a good place to be.  I had the Morroccan lamb which was also very pleasant.

This is the view from the balcony.

The Port of Fremantle from The Left Bank

But I digress…

Reefer Madness – the musical is a 1998 spoof of a propaganda film made in 1938 to scare people about the ills of marijuana.

The production by Blak Yak Theatre has been going for a couple of weeks and Saturday night was the last night.

Phoenix Theatre in Hamilton Hill is charming. You might remember we went to see a play there earlier this year.

I was keen to go because Louisa Fitzhardinge was in the cast – she played the sweet Mary Lane – and she’s also in In A New York Minute with me. (she’s the red head)

It was terrific.  Groover said to me yesterday that if it was still on he’d go again.

Really fun lyrics, great cast, tuneful singing and great hilarity – especially the Jesus scene.  Classic.

Louisa was as expected, simply brilliant – a highlight was her dancing!!!

And her co-star playing Jimmy was also great.

We also loved watching Roisin Bevan who you might remember from Arsenic and Old Lace.

A shame it has finished but a great testament to some of the great community theatre on in Perth at the moment.

The biggest fan (Groover) with Mr Movember and his lady
Feline and me

In a New York Minute

“In a New York Minute, everything can change… things can get a little strange” DON HENLEY

I’m in this  Spontaneous Insanity show at the Subiaco Arts Centre and I am out of my comfort zone.

Featuring Libby, Glenn, Louisa and Shane

It is a wholly improvised show, with improvised music and improvised lighting.

Some of the cast with Glenn Hall (centre), the director.

Luckily I completely trust my fellow actors and the director.

It is really exciting to consider long form improvised theatre.

Unlike Theatresports, there are no games and the director gets more involved in the action.

Glenn, Bree and Emmet ham it up for the camera

We’re in the studio at Subiaco Arts Centre. There will be caberet seating – you know… little tables and chairs – and there will be nibbles on each table.

You will be close to the action.

Book here.

This is me - all dressed up with somewhere to go

Two days in Sydney

Following my last post, after two days in Sydney I can no longer fit into my daughter’s size 5 jeans (size 5 is about a 9 in real language).

A pork roll from James’s favourite cheap lunch spot.

Lasagne!

At least I have avoided all the yummy pastries from the (count them) five gorgeous bakeries that surround our hotel.

The food in Sydney is cheap and delicious and so difficult to not eat.

The first night we went to a little Vietnamese place in Surry Hills (or was it Darlinghurst) called Phamish.

They started serving at 6pm and there was a queue waiting to be seated (including us).

The highlight – the to-die-for duck and prawn rolls – watching mum eat one and then realise they had prawns in them was priceless.

We’ve also gone to see Wicked – the musical.

Clever story, great music and amazing set and costumes.

We had a brilliant time.

Last night I went with my sister to the Cinema Verona to see an Italian film called I am Love – starring Tilda Swinton.

The Italians have a very different approach to film making – lots of loud crashing music and close ups.

Good film though.

And walking down Oxford St late at night was fun too.

Today… I’m not sure what we’re doing… something touristy before the exhibition opening probably.

Then drinkies and art.

Photos to come.

Man in the marigolds

Tonight we went to the Phoenix Theatre in Hamilton Hill to see the last night of the community theatre production of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds” a play by Paul Zindel, directed by Jane Sherwood.

When I first saw this on Facebook I was immediately keen to go.

I was a big fan of Paul Zindel’s work as a teenager.

They are quite dark, darker in fact than I remember.

The story in Marigolds is about a young girl who is working on a science project.

It’s set in the family home, populated by her manic older sister, her alcoholic, slovenly mother and an elderly lodger who brings in what appears to be the only income.

She is the “mutation”.

Groover and I sat front row centre.

The theatre has recently been refurbished and it is a great little theatre.

The seats are the pull out kind that seem typical of community venues.

We were impressed with the set which included a staircase, a messy kitchen and newspapers everywhere.

The mother played by Cally Zanik, holds the play together.

She has so much dialogue!

I thought she did a good job.

Her drunk scene felt quite believable to me.

Groover felt she needed to be a little darker to give the play more depth.

His favourite was Tilly – played by Melissa Kiiveri – the young girl with the science project.

She did a great job as the dreamy young girl fascinated by the atom.

And as this play was written in 1964, the atom would have been front and centre of people’s minds.

Paul Zindel was a science teacher and the play won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1971.

We loved Nanny – the elderly lodger played by Barbara Good – who doesn’t say anything but whose facial expressions were classic.

Ruth, the crazy older sister (Carmen Miles), was good as well.

And Janice (Kat Duynstee) did a good job in her cameo role – the plate on her teeth a great addition to her character.

Overall I really enjoyed the play.

I’m so glad that we have started going to community theatre.

The standard so far has been excellent.

(of course, I’m a little biased toward Arsenic and Old Lace but it was good)

In August, Phoenix is putting on a play by Python regular, Eric Idle, called Pass the Butler.

We’re going.