Friday, 20 January 2017

Celia Pacqoula: The Looking Glass

Last night at the Sydney Festival 2017 we enjoyed an hour with Celia Pacquola.

I really like Celia in her television comedies such as Utopia and Rosehaven and also her serious work such as The Beautiful Lie.

In her standup presentation, 'The Looking Glass' Celia revels in explaining her relationships, friendships, loves and life as a contented single.

Very funny.


Thursday, 19 January 2017


The true story of the Indian boy lost from his mother and siblings in the 1980s who ends up in faraway Australia, adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty years or so later, armed with only the sketchiest recollections of his origins he utilises new technology to track down his birth family.

'Lion' is an extraordinary story all the more so because it is true. Performances are excellent with special mention of the youngster Sunny Pawar who is stunning.

It is a powerful story with emotional moments. Keep a handkerchief handy.


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A touch of Versailles

The second exhibition we visited whist in Canberra was Versailles: Treasures from the Palace at the National Gallery of Australia. The marketing of the exhibition states it is the first time the treasures have been displayed outside of France. If so, it is an honour for the Gallery and Australia.

It is a spectacular display, highly recommended for those who can make the trip to view it.

Some photos I took;

The King instructs La Perouse on his forthcoming journey to the great south land, Australia

Madame du Pompadour
Menu from 21 June 1751

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Some Vietnamese Tucker

Last night we met up with local friends for dinner at the Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant. It is reasonably priced middle of the road restaurant with a generally favourable reputation although an internet search shows mixed opinions about the food. We enjoyed our meals and would return happily based on that experience.

Apart from the quality of the food, the other main claim to the restaurant's fame is that it is frequented by many of Australia's Federal politicians often around their work breaks from the nearby Parliament House.

The walls are covered with handwritten testimonials from those dining Pollies. Here is a photo downloaded from their Facebook page.

Should you not enjoy your meal, the walls may still prove entertaining.

Monday, 16 January 2017

100 objects

I've had my first visit to Canberra in quite a few years. Not sure how many years, perhaps 5 but probably more. A bit surprising given that the nation's capital city is only a 3 hours drive away. The lure was two rare exhibitions and a long overdue catch up with friends resident there.

The first exhibition visited this afternoon was A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum at the National Museum of Australia.

A small sample of the 100 objects displayed;

Well worth a visit.

Sunday, 15 January 2017


'Jackie' focuses on Jacqueline Kennedy and her actions in the short period from the day of her husband's assassination to about a week following the funeral. Clearly this is a period when Mrs Kennedy would have experienced trauma, shock and confusion.

Natalie Portman delivers a strong performance in the title role certainly sounding and looking like the public recollections of the former First Lady. All the performances are fine.

The film blends historical footage effectively to add realism to the depiction.

On the negative side I found the film slow at times and the musical soundtrack persistant and intrusive.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Ladies in Black

The musical 'Ladies in Black' is currently playing a short season in Sydney as part of the 2017 Sydney Festival.

The musical is adapted from the book of the same name which was inspired by Sydney's prestigious department store, David Jones, whose sales staff, mainly female, were dressed all in black. Set in the 1950s the plot is set against the era of post war migration to Australia and the early, tentative days of women's liberation.

The musical is by no means perfect. The songs contain simple rhymes and the characterisations are mostly soft stereotype targets.

This matters little. The songs are tuneful, the book is very funny and the performances are vibrant. I enjoyed it from start to finish.