It’s hard to put your finger on just what is so intoxicating about the American series Welcome to Night Vale: one of the world’s most successful podcasts, which launched in June 2012. Is it the fact that nightmarish, extraterrestrial subject matter – often so bizarre that it would make Stephen King balk – is communicated through the medium of a community radio station, broadcasted from the fictional desert town of Night Vale? Is it the fact that, as the twice-monthly series continues, characters and plot threads become as nuanced and complex as Twin Peaks? Certainly, the show’s three creators – Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor and narrator Cecil Baldwin – never expected that a show as darkly funny and as surreal as this could command a fan base that now extends to cosplay events, tumblr fan art and fanfiction.
This year alone, Stephen Fry has married his partner Elliott Spencer, quit Instagram after saying he’d been ‘hounded off’, courted controversy over the colourful language he used when hosting the BAFTAs, and continued to preside over comedy panel show QI. ‘National treasure’ is a term perpetually orbiting around the British actor, author journalist, comedian, presenter and director: at the very least, the man has been instrumental to some of television’s finest comedies, has created first-class documentaries, novels and films, and has been advocating for LGBTIQ rights for decades.
You may only know him as the ‘Fry’ in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, or as Melchett in Blackadder. You may have raced through his autobiographical trilogy: Moab is my Washpot, The Fry Chronicles and More Fool Me. Or, maybe he’s just the QI guy.
Any way you look at it, Fry’s Australian tour is worth getting excited about.… Read more
Ron Swanson and Karen Walker are a married couple in real life. If this is news to you, then we’ll just let that sink in for a minute. If you’ve spent the last few years dreaming about what life is like at home for two of television’s most hilarious, acerbic characters, then break out the vodka: Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman are coming to Australia early next year to unleash their sexed-up Summer of 69: No Apostrophe tour.
Crucially, as Offerman notes in the tour announcement, “there’s an important subtitle in the show, and it’s ‘no apostrophe’. It’s about the greatest love relationship of all time”. Mullally adds that the show will be “rather graphic”; we’re talking songs, explicit details of their red-hot relationship and, (whatever this means), “an astonishing final act of completion”.
Many of us have already experienced the unbridled Offerman/Mullally sexual chemistry in NBC’s Parks and Recreation, in which Mullally plays Ron Swanson’s ex-wife, Tammy Two.… Read more
This year marks Victorian Opera’s tenth anniversary, and so far, the company has offered highly successful, innovative productions alongside more traditional pieces featuring world-class performers. The VO’s 2016 season – launched today by artistic director Richard Mills – branches even further out into unfamiliar territory, and opera enthusiasts and lovers of the performing arts have plenty of reasons to get excited.
‘Different dreams’ was the theme of the launch, for good reason: the first production of the year will beVoyage to the Moon (Feb 15-19) which will see director Michael Gow blend Baroque operas into an entertaining pastiche, featuring respected Australian soprano Emma Matthews and leading mezzo Sally-Anne Russell.
A highlight is sure to be Banquet of Secrets (March 1-5), created by Australian author, screenwriter, comedian and producer Steve Vizard and celebrated composer Paul Grabowsky in tune with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The show – starring the brilliant Antoinette Halloran, who stole the show in the VO’s recent production of Sweeney Todd – will see four friends sharing a meal live on stage (created by chef Philippe Mouchel) and swapping secrets.… Read more
Jealousy is an ugly thing, but thankfully we’ll no longer be eyeing off Sydney’s production of Tim Minchin’s smash hit Matilda the Musical as it looks like the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl adaptation is making its way to Melbourne in March next year.
Perth-born comedian Tim Minchin wrote the music and lyrics for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production back in 2010. Quickly, the show became a blockbuster hit on London’s West End, then Broadway, picking up rave reviews and major awards along the way (Time Out London gave the show five stars).
Predictably, Minchin’s show – which follows the journey of mistreated, extraordinarily intelligent Matilda – is packed with wonderfully revolting moments for kids (remember Bruce Bogtrotter and the chocolate cake scene?) and wistful peaks of childhood nostalgia for adults.
The show opened in Sydney last week, and while no Melbourne venue or date has been announced as yet, the casting call for children on the Matilda the Musical website says that “Performances will take place at a theatre located in Melbourne CBD commending (on or about) March 2016”.… Read more