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Monday, 30 April 2012 16:02

Review: The Neverending Story

Harvest Rain Theatre Company have made history as the first theatre company to adapt Michael Ende’s classic, ‘The Neverending Story’ from novel to the stage.

NeverEnding 18Director Tim O’Connor has surpassed expectations and successfully interpreted the tale of Bastian, a lonely schoolboy whose imagination is taken to another level after discovering a fantastical novel, ‘The Neverending Story’.

In the confines of his school attic, Bastian becomes engrossed in the story and reads of young warrior Atreyu who must save Fantasia from the deadly threat of The Nothing.

As Bastian reads on, he and Atreyu’s lives slowly become intertwined, eventually transporting Bastian into the world of Fantasia.

Outstanding performances by the entire cast and with world-class lighting and sound, ‘The Neverending Story’ is a standout production for 2012. Do not miss it!

Harvest Rain Theatre Company’s ‘The Neverending Story’ plays at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre until May 12.


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Wednesday, 14 July 2010 13:39

The Runaways Preview

Film In Preview

‘The Runaways’ is a coming of age story about a band all about ‘firsts’. It was the first band to have girls playing the electric guitar. It was the first all-female rock band. But more importantly it was the first band to push the boundaries of youth and to thrust five young girls to heights beyond their wildest dreams, paving the way for female musicians all over the world.

Wednesday, 09 September 2009 16:24

Blessed Interviews

Film In Preview

'Blessed' is a tale of how the bond between mother and child is one that can overcome any obstacle, regardless of the circumstances. As award-winning director Ana Kokkinos describes, it’s a bond that’s universal and 'Blessed' is a story that reaches out to anyone, anywhere.

Based on the award winning play 'Who's Afraid of the Working Class?', ‘Blessed’ is a story of great beauty and sadness but also of hope. It’s also the first Australian film in 12 years to be selected for main competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

“There were four writers involved with the writing of that play and I found that all the characters in the play were really compelling, very fresh, very alive and very immediate sort of characters who were ordinary people dealing with their everyday lives with great courage and intelligence, humour and dignity,” she says.

“That was a really strong point of connection for me with the play and I just saw that there was a great potential to make a beautiful film from it.”

The film, which has had a fantastic response from audiences so far, tells a story over a period of 24 hours, of the lives of seven children who wander the streets in an urban odyssey, some of whom find their way home and others not. When dawn finally breaks the same story plays out, this time from the viewpoint of the mothers.

“The relationship between mother and child is such an important one, it's primal and it can be full of conflict but also great love and I was really interested in the idea of the struggle to love and be loved and to explore the way in which sometimes as a teenager, you get to a point in your life where you want to test the boundaries and do things that you know your mum or your dad aren't going to approve of,” she tells.

“So what I was really interested in saying with this film was that despite the difficulties that sometimes kids encounter with their parents, all kids and all mothers have this incredible, unbreakable bond between them, no matter what shit is going down.”

'Blessed' is Ana Kokkinos' third full-length feature film, after her debut movie 'Head On' that starred Alex Dimitriadis and featured at Cannes International Film Festival. Her second film, the controversial drama 'The Book of Revelation', saw her nominated in three major categories at the 2006 AFI Awards.

‘Blessed’ is released September 10.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009 09:46

Jeff Lang Interview

The Travelling Troubadour

ARIA Award winner Jeff Lang is back with a new album, 'Chimeradour', which suggests a combination of a travelling ttroubadour mixed with an ancient greek mythological beast. And as Lang tells, is not all that far off the mark in the story of his life as an artist.

“It's something I've done a lot through the years. For example, ten to fifteen years ago I was living in my van, just making enough money to get from one gig to the next, so I was definitely living that kind of lifestyle; it’s something that I'm very familiar with,” he explains.

“I feel really lucky that I get to do exactly what I want to do, it's not like I'm running myself in circles trying to guess what everyone is going to want, and I'm just kind of trying to keep it true to my vision for what I want. I don't take it for granted that people are interested and wanna hear my music, I feel really fortunate for that.”

And he has been fortunate, playing with artists such as Bob Dylan and Chris Whitney, and more recently, drummer Danny McKenna and guitarist Grant Cummerford on his album 'Chimeradour'.

Jeff's style of performance is also something of a delight for fans, as he's not one to stick to a certain routine but rather to just go with whatever vibe he feels on the night. As he explains, each night has its own kind of flow and its own energy, so even if you do a run of shows in one venue night after night in the same place, there's a different audience each night and therefore a different feel.

“I kind of like to leave it up to the night, you know. You can kinda tell when the right thing to play is and to predetermine exactly what's gonna work- it doesn't always work out that way,” he confides.

“Even if you do have an idea of a certain format that will work best, you might get halfway through a gig and think, 'Geez, it doesn't really feel like the next song to play is the right song to play tonight’. So it's better to just surrender to that, let it be spontaneous.”

So what inspires the musician Jeff Lang? Where do his lyrics and music come from? Mostly, he says, it's not so much autobiographical, but rather sudden ideas that come to him during the creative process of song-writing or sometimes it’s something he's had jotted down in his diary for a couple of years just waiting to be used.

“Rather than just sit there and go, ‘Well, today is Tuesday, and you know, I looked after a friend's kid and went to the shops and someone was rude to me and so I'm gonna write about that’, I'd rather just kind of put the pen on the paper and just start writing what comes into your head,” he explains.

“There are various ways writing a song can work, but a lot of the time it's just been me held up in a shed at night at home, just locking myself in the back and going, 'Right, you're not allowed out until you've written something’. So I have to discipline myself a little bit.”

Lang confides there are other methods that he uses to discipline himself, but these he only resorts to in times of extreme writers block.

“In some cases I have to be hard on myself, so I say, 'don't make me use the whip!'” he laughs.

“Sometimes I make myself use the whip but different song, different album that one yeah ... (laughs) the album cover shot for that one is gonna be a killer.”

Jeff Lang's national ‘Chimeradour’ tour kicked off last week and will run for all of October and November featuring Canadian starlet, Jill Barber, who has been compared to the likes of Edith Piaf and Patsy Cline.

You can catch Jeff Lang Chimeradour tour with special guest Jill Barber on October 23 at The Soundlounge (Gold Coast), October 31 at the Zoo (Brisbane) and November 1 at Joe's Waterhole (Eumundi).

Wednesday, 06 January 2010 14:38

Cohagen Quaid Interview

Bight Me

'Thousand-year-old vampires' is one way Cohagen Quaid's Daniel Newton describes his crew, though this Brisbane rock band is essentially an ensemble of artists aching to reach people with their raw, yearning and distinctive sound.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009 13:47

Fundamentalz Interview

The Realing

Music runs in the blood for the boys of hip hop crew Fundamentalz, but it's their realness and staying true to what they believe that is, according to MC Fortafy aka Sam Ratumaitavuki, what makes the group a cut above the rest and keeps audiences asking for more.

It was a passion for hip hop that originally brought Fundamentalz' Fortafy and Exbozay, aka Zane McMahon, together during their high school days back in New Zealand. Here, the two boldly chose to go against the much-celebrated mainstream reggae tide and to head out on their own hip hop/ R&B tangent.

The pair, temporarily separated when Fortafy made the move to Australia, were again united in 2007 when Exbozay also decided to cross the Tasman. Not long after and with the recruitment of new blood, DJ Owe, and crewmember Jordan, Fundamentalz was reborn.

Breaking into the Australian music industry wasn't as smooth sailing as it is for their brothers across the sea, however, as the boys soon discovered.

“There's a lot of support for artists in New Zealand, but here it's more like if you can't push it yourself you ought to stay in your bedroom sort of thing,” explains Fortafy.

In the studio working on their debut album, Fortafy explains how their new sound will maintain the message of speaking the truth and keeping it real, but this time will include more depth and time than their previous work, ‘The Kool Truth’.

“We've got a local producer, Horace, working on this one and it's basically going to be the same kind of vibe, same realistic tracks talking about real life and real life situations,” he explains.

“We have a lot more to talk about this time though because with our first album we rushed it because we really wanted to just get something out there, so with this one we're really taking our time.

“I don't wanna sound clichéd but it really is just about real life and just basically telling the truth. We're not trying to act like we have heaps of money, not like a lot of other groups, but even then I think we would still talk about the same things.”

Next up for the Fundamentalz will be performing “an original, not your typical hip-hop show” alongside other hip hop acts and friends, The Dronetree, Tenda and Neph.

Fundamentalz play the Globe December 18.

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