Monday, February 19, 2018

This is what I do

Things are about to get really intense as we move into production week and then we commence performances. I tried to cram in some sunshine and fresh air on a few bike rides and runs in the great outdoors before I am tucked away in the theatre for a month.

Drake Brockman Drive
Shepherd's Lookout
The Pinnacles

Exercise companions
I met a friend for coffee at the National Library and we admired some of the artwork while there. The Australia for Tomorrow poster was part of an immigration campaign in the 1940s. The rural setting is vibrant and spacious with a European Alpine feel, aiming to evoke feelings of cheerfulness and optimism among those refugees who would recognise such scenery - there is not a koala, kangaroo or desert in sight. There is an interesting article about this artefact here.

Australia, Land of Tomorrow by Joe Greenberg
Hanging in the foyer are Three Tapestries by Mathieu Matégot from 1968. For some reason, I only took pictures of two of them. In the second tapestry, there are depictions of Australian flora and fauna.The middle tapestry depicts Australian flora and fauna. The two-metre parrot represents ‘Terra Psittacorum’ or ‘Land of Parrots’—a name given to the Australian region in early navigational charts.

The other one has a multitude of themes. Starting from the top, it shows a blue area symbolising the Great Barrier Reef. The pineapple evokes tropical Australia and the riverboat and the outline of the Sydney Opera House represent urban life. The ram’s head stands for wool, Australia’s major export at the time, with the brown area at the bottom representing the land.

One of Three Tapestries by Mathieu Matégot
Another of Three Tapestries by Mathieu Matégot 
Fountains outside the National Library of Australia
And the rest of the time I have been in Theatre 3, working on this:

The Pierrot puppet scene from Oh, What a Lovely War!
The cast of Oh, What a Lovely War!
And some photos from the dressing room.

Meanwhile, I'm still working - managing the bottle shop - and hosting tastings from the likes of Hamish Young with his newly released Mada wines. I thoroughly recommend the Sagrantino - a grape originally grown in Umbria with one of the highest tannic levels of any variety in the world; this expression is elegant and earthy with hints of plum and cinnamon.

Hamish Young with Mada Wines
And after all this work and play, it is wonderful to come home to a rare night off and find that Him Outdoors has cooked me a delicious roast lamb, even if it does mess with my mind a little to have a Sunday roast on a Saturday.

Roast dinner with Him Outdoors

Monday, February 12, 2018

There was literally cake

Him Outdoors and I were both going to be busy on Waitangi Day itself, so we celebrated a day early by going to Dawat-e-Punjab and having a curry and a BYO bottle of 2007 Pinot Noir from Brennan

Palak papdi chaat
It's still very hot as summer continues. Chester is being careful not to over-extend himself.

Our friend, Dr Kay, had a significant birthday, which means a party, which means party food...

...and cake. This extravaganza was modelled on a set that Dr Kay designed for a production of Pride and Prejudice. I had to leave before the cake-cutting ceremony, but I believe it tasted as good as it looks. 


Monday, February 5, 2018

Cricket, clouds and rehearsals

Views from a morning bike ride around Umbagong District Park and West Belconnen Pond.

'There can never really be justice on stolen land'

I haven't seen this lovely lady for far too long, so we caught up over breakfast burgers and eggs Benedict at A Bite to Eat.

Little b at A Bite to Eat
Rehearsals continue for Oh, What a Lovely War!  These scenes are from Hitchy Koo and The Biggest Profiteer. 

'It's the cutest little thing'
'Don't you ask me what it means'

Female ensemble taking a break
'You must understand, my dear fellow, that war is a political and economic necessity.'
'Do you stumblebums realize that there have been two peace scares in the last year?'

'We've six of the family at the front, sir.'
One of the perks of the job is tasting products to see if we will stock them. This is a range of vodka and gins from New Zealand, made with manuka, saffron, cardamom, rooibos and cacao.  

Sacred Spirits
We tried once more to go the cricket at the Manuka Oval, this time with more success. We saw a 20/20 between the Prime Minister's XI and England. England won, which was great, and we got to see David Willey hit 34 off an over bowled by Nathan Lyon. Now that really was spectacular: five sixes in a row, and then everyone booed the final boundary because it was 'only' a four. 


Clouds were gathering and a storm was forming as I went for an evening run. I took a couple of pictures on my phone and then played around with an app to make new images with painterly qualities and turned them into a collage. 


Monday, January 29, 2018

Mainly Inside a Theatre

Canberra got to host a BBL game between the Sydney Thunder and the Melbourne Renegades. We were quite excited as Canberra has not got a BBL team and we think it's rather fun. So we headed to the Manuka Oval to see the game... only to find it was all sold out (it's a tiny ground with capacity of 13,550) and of course we had not been organised enough to buy tickets in advance. While this was not great news for us, it is hopefully great news for the future of the tournament in the town. So we repaired to The Durham where we had a paddle of beer and watched it on the television instead. 

l-r: Hope Brewhouse God Save the Queen; HopDog Beerworks A Feat of Stevens; Feral Brewing Company War Hog
We drove home that night through a cracking storm. These are not my photos, but they are so good I thought I would share them. 

Photo by Theresa Hall published in The Canberra Times

Photo by Matt Tomkins published in The Canberra Times
As I have been spending most of my time outside work inside a theatre, here are a few snaps from rehearsals of Oh, What a Lovely War!

Last year we watched the Australian Open final drinking BentSpoke Crankshaft IPA, which had just come eighth in the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers Poll. This year we watched the Australian Open final drinking BentSpoke Crankshaft IPA, which has just come third in the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers Poll. Not that we're creatures of habit or anything...

BentSpoke beer goggles