A CONVICT’S HOPE REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Last Saturday I went to the Museum of Brisbane to attend the launch of a new interactive game they are showing there called A Convict’s Hope. The interactive performance is produced by Folly Games and is inspired by MoB’s latest exhibit Life in Irons: Brisbane’s Convict Stories. Think part escape room/part live performance but with a larger crowd and venue, it certainly was interesting to attend with Karen to review the show for Scenestr magazine.

Although we were on our feet for well over two hours and at some point I wondered how much longer we had to go. Essentially you go over clues in one room and then use those to help you look for clues and put together puzzles in the exhibit. By the time we were doing this for the 3rd or 4th time I was good. So it has to be said that kids attending, encouraged to engage by the performers straight away, overcame their initial shyness and as some of us began to flag they become more and more involved which I think is a strong testament to Folly Games getting the important things right. Building on their excitement the game finished strongly for all. The actors we saw perform too worked very hard to keep the energy up. If the point of the show is to bring to life the hopes and dreams of people who lived long ago and some of the struggles they had to have any sort of personal freedom then the show is very effective. You can read my published review here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/a-convict-s-hope-review-museum-of-brisbane-20180711

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland every month.

-Lloyd Marken

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COVER STORY ON CHUCK NORRIS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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Chuck Norris is coming to Supernova Comic Con & Gaming this month in Perth and Sydney and to celebrate Scenestr did a retrospective on the career of one Carlos Ray Norris. This was the Cover Story for the June edition of the Western Australian print issue and I was lucky enough to get the gig. This is my fifth cover story following on from my interviews with circus performer Jascha Boyce interview (WA DEC2017), Q&A with EDM legend Opiuo (QLD JAN2018), SNL superstar comedian Michael Che (WA FEB2018) and Adelaide Cabaret Festival Artistic Director Ali McGregor (SA MAY2018). I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have done these cover stories.

 

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There was a lot of freedom with the piece about Chuck Norris since it wasn’t a straight forward interview and he’s lived quite an interesting life. I’m really very happy with how it came together and hope you enjoy it too. You can read it here http://scenestr.com.au/lifestyle/chuck-norris-is-ready-to-roundhouse-at-supanova-sydney-perth

 

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland every month. The feature on Chuck Norris is the cover story for this month’s Western Australian magazine featuring on pages 10 and 11. You can read a digital version of the printed Western Australia edition here http://scenestr.com.au/read/WA/2018/15-WA/scenestr-WA-15.html#p=11

-Lloyd Marken

KISS OF THE VAMPIRE SQUID REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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The Anywhere Theatre Festival is currently running throughout my hometown of Brisbane. Act/React Theatre were doing their new show Kiss of the Vampire Squid as part of it at the Queensland Maritime Museum onboard HMAS Diamantina. HMAS Diamantina was the last World War II era ship to leave RAN service in 1980. The quarterdeck where the show was performed is where high ranking Japanese officers took part in surrender ceremonies of islands in the Pacific. This was such a unique setting for a venue from a group of performers I respect so much that I was really hoping I would get a chance to see the show.

I was even luckier than that, I got a chance to review it for Scenestr magazine attending the night of the final performance. I have seen shows from Act/React before including Love/Hate Actually and earlier this year one of the Convince Me comedy debates. I have also attended two shows by ImproMafia who share a lot of their same talent. In fact Kiss of the Vampire Squid was more similar to the comedy improv performances of Lord of the Thrones and Animated! from ImproMafia than say the thoughtfully prepared brilliance of Love/Hate Actually.

However you define it though, the show was excellent and Karen and I really enjoyed ourselves. You can read more of my thoughts here  http://scenestr.com.au/arts/kiss-of-the-vampire-squid-brisbane-review-anywhere-theatre-festival-20180521

I don’t want to belabour the point, some performances are better than others when it comes to improv but I really do marvel at what these people do and how well they consistently pull it off. To have them part of the Brisbane cultural scene means a lot and they travel too so keep your eye out for them appearing in your neck of the woods.

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

100 POSTS PUBLISHED

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After seeing Raw starting a tradition of Grilled Burgers while on assignment. Copyright Lloyd Marken

 

 

I probably wanted to be more Steven Spielberg than Roger Ebert growing up. Maybe Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford perhaps. But whenever I thought about film critics it just sounded like the best every day job you could have if you didn’t get to be a movie star. In 2004 in my final year of uni I had a film review published and it kind of made a dream come true but despite a few follow up efforts nothing really came of it. 2017 is many years on from 2004 so you can understand that when Scenestr published a film review of mine it was not something I took for granted. Suddenly things were possible, I set goals but remained scared this had been a fluke or I’d be found out. Since though I’ve submitted successfully to five publications, seen countless shows and films and interviewed some remarkable individuals. So I thought I would take stock because in April last year the idea of being published 100 times seemed very far away.

I’ve been published 9 times with Perth based X-Press Magazine recently, 8 times with Buzz Magazine where I mostly get to write about blockbusters, 25 times with Heavy Magazine, once with FilmInk magazine and I’m counting the review with Utopia from all those years ago. Rounding out the 100 is the 56 times (20 interviews, 16 reviews of theatre shows, 15 film reviews and 5 stand-up performances) I have been published with Scenestr magazine produced by the incredible team at Eyeball Media Enterprises.

This would maybe be the part where I tell you what some of the highlights were for me but they were all highlights so instead I’d like put it out to you gentle reader. Was there a review or an interview that you read over the past year that you still remember and think was kinda cool? It’s a tricky question I know, of those I regularly follow I couldn’t tell you their favourite posts. I liked when you got married or talked about Warren Zevon or waxed lyrical about Meg Ryan or said the Girl from Ipanema was a good song and quoted Frasier or wrote about your girl or hung shit on a bad teen comedy or relayed the sad facts of a long ago war. But maybe your memory is better than mine so who knows but I’d be interested to hear what you think.

As for me I just count myself very lucky to get this side gig and have it continue and that you here in my small blogging community continue to support me. It means a lot.

-Lloyd Marken

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Karen and I with the cast of Aladdin. Copyright Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ALI McGREGOR AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

Scenestr83I have been very fortunate to score the work of putting together another cover story for Scenestr magazine. Featured on the cover is cabaret star Natalie Gamsu who is bringing the highly anticipated Carmen, Live or Dead to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival but my interview was with the Festival’s Artistic Director Ali McGregor who additionally is debuting her new show Yma Sumac about the Peruvian songbird as well there. Scenestr86

We skyped and when it was over I realised I had just conducted my longest interview, at least since I started working for Scenestr. McGregor in addition to being a remarkable talent, was passionate about the art form of cabaret, full of praise for Adelaide crowds and came with her own fascinating back story about moving from a career in opera to one that is more diverse. It was a pleasure to get to speak to her and talk about the largest cabaret festival in the world. You can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/adelaide-cabaret-festival-explores-the-possibilities-of-the-art-form

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland every month. The interview with Ali McGregor is the cover story for this month’s South Australia magazine featuring on pages 8 and 9. You can read a digital version of the printed Western Australia edition here http://scenestr.com.au/read/SA/2018/39-SA/scenestr-SA-39.html#p=8

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A cover story interview with a person so creative and articulate you only hope to give some justice to them on the page. You can’t ask for a better gig than that and I count myself very fortunate.

-Lloyd Marken

 

RACHMANINOV SYMPHONIC DANCES REVIEW AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I was lucky enough to score another gig with Scenestr magazine going along to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre Concert Hall last Saturday to see the Queensland Symphony Orchestra perform. Karen’s sister performed in Queensland Wind and Brass for many years which I always enjoyed going to, so I was looking forward to this performance. However I do have to admit I am not well versed in these matters so set out to do some homework and was lucky enough to attend a pre-concert talk that was held. QSO was performing Intermezzo from Notre Dame by Franz Schmidt, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op. 14 by Samuel Barber and Symphonic Dancers by Sergei Rachmaninov. There was also a special guest in the form of violin soloist Chad Hoopes. I enjoyed the performance and you can read the review here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/rachmaninov-symphonic-dances-brisbane-review-qpac-20180516

Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

INTERVIEW WITH, THE GENIE OF ‘ALADDIN’, GARETH JACOBS AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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A  very cool thing happened a few weeks ago thanks to working for Scenestr. A call went out for people to interview a lead cast member from Aladdin – The Musical. Our Arts/Comedy Editor had already written a fantastic review of the show and so I was lucky enough to get the gig. So the next day on the 28th of February Karen and I went to see Aladdin – The Musical at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, an unusual occurrence for an interview since the magazine had already reviewed the show. I’ve seen some great shows in my day Les Miserables, Wicked, Avenue Q and The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Aladdin is a feat in live theatre, there is no other way to put it. Maybe the stories of those shows speak to me more but for sheer energy, pizazz and spirit you won’t find anything that wants to entertain you more than Aladdin. Moving props, forget it – moving sets, fight choreography, dance ensembles, glittering jewels and treasures, jokes and pyrotechnics galore and yes one beautifully moving magic carpet ride. Simply put, if Aladdin comes to your town – it is the show to see.

I went by now knowing I would be interviewing Gareth Jacobs who has taken over the role of The Genie from American Michael James Scott. Before we went in I was asked if I would like to briefly meet Gareth after the show in anticipation of our interview. After the show as adviced we waited patiently as everybody filed out, a stage hand came up to the row in front of us where two people had stayed in their seats and even a few metres away I could hear him ask “Are you Lloyd?”. “Nah.” was the gentleman’s reply which I think gives us all some advice for what to say when we’re in a similar situation. The stage hand came up to me next and I said yes and we were taken down to a stage door and brought through the wings onto the stage behind the now drawn curtains. On the stage stood Aladdin (Ainsley Melham), Princess Jasmine (Hiba Elchikhe) and Genie (Gareth Jacobs). We walked forward and shook hands with everyone and I introduced Karen to everybody who then shook hands. We were asked “If we enjoyed the show?” of  which we assured them all we had. We then posed for pictures before thanking each other once again as Karen and I left. As we reached the wings we heard the next set of VIPs (for lack of a better term) being introduced. Of course that was a nice thing done to give us a good feeling and part of my job is I like to think to be cool about such things and focus on the work. You can be the judge if I do but having seen the show and enjoyed it I was grateful for the opportunity and pleased to get to share it with my wife. The next day I interviewed Mr Jacobs who was great to talk to and you can read the interview here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/aladdin-the-musical-gareth-jacobs-takes-on-the-role-of-genie

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Every opportunity with Scenestr has been a privilege and joy that I do not take for granted and have gotten something out of that you can’t put a price on. Some have been highlights and this was one of them. Around about the time of the interview marked a year since my first published post with Scenestr.

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Celebrating 25 years in 2018 of publishing history they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane every month. This interview was published in print in the April Queensland edition of Scenestr which is always a thrill for a GenX guy like myself. A digital version of the print edition can be found here http://scenestr.com.au/read/QLD/2018/1103-QLD/scenestr-QLD-1103.html#p=45 with the interview on page 44.  If you’re into music they’re a great read but they do cover all of the arts including festivals, stand-up comics, fashion, theatre and film. I feel very fortunate to get to write for them.

-Lloyd Marken

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