LIA LOVES... FASHION. FOOD. FAMILY. FUN.

Follow her adventures as Adelaide's expert shopper & theatre reviewer!

March 18, 2020
two-crews-at-space-theatre

Review: Two Crews at Space Theatre

I was lucky enough to gain a personal invitation by acclaimed director and choreographer, Nick Power to his third independent work, Two Crews. And who else better to come and witness this hip hop battle work for the Adelaide Festival, than my own little B-Boy, my middle son. Two Crews is the collision between France and Australia in the form of Parisian, all-women hip hop dance company, Lady Rocks, founded by choreographer and dancer Lea Cazauran. Representing Australia is Sydney based Riddim Nation, a collective who bring all styles of street dance fused with elements of their traditional culture into the ring. We arrive to see the vast open space, ready for the crews to battle it out. As they enter, they warm up in their respective corners, silently staring down their opponents. The way the stage was set, felt like the audience was pitted against each other! Clad in leopard print shirt with braids, Clairea is the first to take to the stage with a light-footed, almost lyrical popping and locking sequence, before the […]
March 11, 2020
the-artist-at-ac-arts

Review: The Artist at AC Arts

A typical artist’s studio. Paint splattered floor. A wooden, ricketty shelf with finished canvas’ tucked away. A window for natural light. A red table with a white chair. A red ladder leans casually against the shelf. We see a pair of yellow socks poking out from underneath the easel, where The Artist himself is hidden behind his canvas, deep within his creative process. So preoccupied that he often dipped his paintbrush in his cup of tea, and drank from his paint water! My eye, and ear, is drawn to a leak in the ceiling. I am a little concerned, as it is very close to the lighting rig, but my concern soon turns to relief as the annoying drip is all but part of the show. There is a chuckle-inducing scene involving the drip, his cup of tea, and a teabag. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination… Thom Monckton is a New Zealand born, Finland based physical theatre artist trained in circus arts at CircoArts in Christchurch and then at the famed mimodynamics school […]
March 7, 2020
how-to-succeed-in-business-without-really-trying

Review: How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the Goodwood Institute

‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert and Tony Award-winning musical with Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser, is a story about the triumph of the typical man amid the mockery of big business. Once again, March Productions brings a quite adult-themed musical to life with a young cast, and while the wordy and 1960s dated show proved a little challenging at times with some stumbles over monologues, producer Alice Kennett should be very proud of the modern and sophisticated end product. The stellar production team of Michelle Davy, Mark DeLaine and Brady Lloyd should be highly applauded for their fabulous work on this little gem. When a restless, ambitious and charmingly manipulative window washer named J.Pierrepont Finch (that’s spelt F.I.N.C.H) comes across a book entitled ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’, he decides to begin his climb up the corporate ladder. Guided by the Voice of the Book, and a dose of his own canniness, Finch begins his […]
March 6, 2020
luminarium-daedalum-at-rcc

Review: Luminarium: Daedalum at R.C.C, Adelaide Fringe Festival

Architects of Air (AoA) are really onto something. Alan Parkinson, founder and designer and artistic director has built and toured over 500 exhibitions in more than 40 countries, sharing his ‘sense of wonder at the phenomenon of light’. Inspired by natural forms, geometric solids, Islamic and Gothic architecture; each new creation is a maze of winding paths and domes where visitors may lose themselves in sensory bliss. A luminarium takes between 4 to 6 months to build entirely by hand by a workforce of around 6 people. Built entirely in AoA’s Nottingham workshop using a custom-made PVC unique to AoA. A luminarium will last for approximately 300 days of exhibition spread over 4 years, after which it is cut into pieces to be recycled. The luminarium structure is designed with functionality in mind as a temporary building to include portability, accessibility, stability and a modularity to allow the structures to be reconfigured for different sites. Daedalum takes it’s name from Daedalus. In Greek mythology, he was the father of Icarus and the architect of the […]
March 6, 2020
cold-blood-at-the-ridley-centre

Review: Cold Blood at the Ridley Centre

I don’t like to read about a show before seeing it. I much prefer to go in unaware and come to my own conclusion. With all the hype surrounding Kiss & Cry Collective’s Cold Blood, it was difficult to shield myself from the talk. However, I managed to observe opening night only knowing I was watching dancing hands in a tiny set. The brainchild of husband and wife creative duo, dancer and choreographer Michele Anne De Mey, and acclaimed director and screenwriter Jaco Van Dormael and texts by Thomas Gunzig, Cold Blood takes us on a whimsical and entrancing ride. It is the story of seven unpredictable and startling deaths through a multitude of scenarios, using human hands and tiny, child-like toys to demonstrate the silly but fading feebleness of life. This fascinating mix of art forms – dance, film, text – is true genius and is nothing short of original fantastical theatre. As we sit and see a large projection screen, below is the live activity of dancers, camera crew and technicians that create […]
March 5, 2020
frankenstein-how-to-make-a-monster-at-rcc

Review: Frankenstein: How to Make A Monster at RCC

Debating whether to sit in the elevated section or centre front upon arrival with my guest, I’m glad we decided centre front. We were up close and personal with all the action. Making it’s Australian debut at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) Beatbox Academy all the way from the UK, lead by the coolest cat Conrad, are a bunch of uber talented youth presenting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in an innovative and electrifying combination of beatbox, theatre and song – all live and all made from the mouth. We begin the evening hearing about BAC’s collaboration with our own youth arts centre, Carclew, and Conrad introduces three incredibly raw, but oh so adept kids; Ocean, T-Dog and Eemes, as a curtain raiser to the evening’s performance. They had been workshopping beats, jamming, raps and writing lyrics. Except Ocean. She had no lyrics and was going to freestyle with words the audience threw at her. Chicken, Madhouse, Rabies, Sausage. Yep, she killed it! Conrad then turned the audience into a Beatbox orchestra by […]
February 28, 2020
blanc-de-blanc-encore-at-the-fortuna-spiegeltent

Review: Blanc de Blanc Encore at the Fortuna Spiegeltent, Garden of Unearthly Delights

After seeing the inceptive Blanc de Blanc two years ago, my expectations were high. I was hoping this wasn’t going to be like a bad sequel following a great original. I wasn’t disappointed. Strut and Fret’s gutsy and uninhibited blend of comedic cabaret, dynamic dance numbers and awe arousing aerials will leave you applauding like mad and wanting for more. Seated in the round, the stage is set with champagne on ice, and large circles, or balls if you will, creating the backdrop. The opening Gatsby-inspired party really got the crowd fired up and in the mood for what lay ahead. Our incredible and wacky hosts for the evening, Felix …. and Remi Martin took us on a journey to Parisian glitz and glamour, transported us through vintage French flavours and fantasies and opulent times of the City of Light. Their interluding gag shows were an absolute highlight for me, as was their chemistry, banter and connection on stage together. Scenes of the cast lip-synching to various songs about drinking while a spotlight followed them […]
February 27, 2020
maho-magic-bar-review

Review: Maho Magic Bar at The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Set in a bespoke pop up bar, with all glittering, neon Tokyo lights on the outside and cool cherry blossom elegance on the inside, Maho Magic Bar will give you and your friends an intimate night of magic and illusion. Leave reality at the door, and be consumed by the wonders of magic and wicked delectation. Direct from Japan, Broad Encounters bring these four masterful enchanters and their zany host, for a world premiere in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. A brilliant celebration of Japanese culture – both contemporary and traditional, Maho Magic is a shimmering hour of delights, drinks and dazzling magic. We are ushered to our table where we join with another raucous group of four and are introduced to our first up close and personal magician, Shohgo Yamashita; a pioneer of eye-popping tricks (so says his business card). He takes our drink order then proceeds to perform a series of card tricks that will literally blow your mind. A sweet boy wonder of a charmer, don’t let his innocence fool you! As […]
February 26, 2020
the-will-to-be-at-the-bakehouse-theatre

Review: The Will to Be at the Bakehouse Theatre

I’ve always had a soft spot for The Bakehouse Theatre, having performed there myself many years ago. It is a casual, intimate space, perfect for the one man play, The Will To Be. Written, produced and performed by an incredibly creative and talented young man, Mark Salvestro, The Will To Be is a thought provoking, one act exploration of sexuality, societal suppressions and shame laced with the words of Shakespeare. We first meet the character, William O’Halloran, sitting atop his desk reading a letter to himself as we take our seats in the studio theatre. The eloquent, historical set implies this is the office of an intellect; with books, certificates and work scattered across the room. A carefully placed coat rack with jacket and hat strategically placed, and a melancholy late 50s early 60s soundtrack playing in the background. Salvestro articulates the nervousness, flustered and overwrought O’Halloran with such a befitting authenticity of someone dealing with an indecent homosexual discretion being discovered in the 1960s. He tells us he has been fired one month before […]
February 21, 2020
the-choir-of-man

Review: The Choir of Man at The Moa, Gluttony

Entering the hustle and bustle of the fab venue, The Moa, with one of my all-time favourite nostalgic tunes, ‘You Call Me Al’ blaring, you know you are in for a good night when you are invited up on the stage to enjoy a beer as you walk in! The Choir of Man is the international success from the hitmakers, Andrew Kay and Nic Doodson. And what a hit it is! Put a pack of 9 twenty-something young, talented men together to sing, drink and talk for almost an hour and a half and what you get is incredible adrenalin, high voltage energy and pure, undiluted entertainment! A cast of seemingly ordinary guys will blow you away with their incredible choreography, tight vocals, sweet poetry and dynamic instrumentals featuring songs from rock, folk, pop and Broadway! The scene was set with the opening number ‘Welcome to The Jungle’, which also happens to be the name of the pub the show is set in. After this bolt of lightning initial scene, we get to meet the […]
February 19, 2020
frank-woodley-king-clown-at-the-factory

Review: Frank Woodley – *@#!KING CLOWN at The Factory, The Garden of Unearthly Delights

When you walk into a theatre set with a banana on a ladder, a bunch of balloons in one corner, two microphones stands and an array of costumes set on either side, you know you are in for a traditional Woodley treat. Known as the goofy half of Lano & Woodley, Woodley has carved an incredible career for himself with his slapstick, slightly innocent persona. After working together for almost 20 years, Woodley and Lane decided to part ways in 2006, which led to Woodley performing a number of solo stand up shows, leading to his latest offering, *@#!KING CLOWN. Directed by Bob Franklin with sound and lights by Benny (well done sir), *@#!KING CLOWN (I love writing that), is the story of Woodley’s journey to France to present at a 3 day masterclass with European clown royalty, Balzakov (cough, cough). Here he finds he is demoted to only speak for an hour, as ‘comedian’ from Australia, Franc Woodle, not the 3 days, and then becomes a student in the workshops of mime and funny. […]
February 16, 2020
brass-monkeys-at-the-factory

Review: Brass Monkeys at The Factory

What a start to the fab Adelaide Fringe season! Beautiful weather, an afternoon out with the family to see the spectacular Brass Monkeys. Presented by Circus Trick Tease, this powerhouse trio of performers Kyle Raftery and April Dawson [under the pseudonyms of Jason and Kylie – love the Neighbours reference] and director Malia Walsh bring their new quirky, action-packed, comedy and circus show to Adelaide. After seeing their award-winning 2019 show, ‘Children Are Stinky’, I knew this was going to be a great spectacle. Walken in to the pre-show tune of ‘Weapon of Choice’ by Fat Boy Slim [see what I did there? Walken…], we are greeted by a set of giant coloured circles with musical notes; a nice bright stage to capture the youthful audiences imagination. Jason and Kylie are engaging, clever and highly energetic and have the young crowd enthralled from start to finish. So much so, that the children could not contain themselves in their seats and just had to join them on stage! The premise of the show had Jason and […]
February 3, 2020
seussical-jr-the-musical-arts-theatre

Review: Seussical JR (Adelaide Youth Theatre) at the Arts Theatre

You’d think after seeing the older cast members perform Seussical, I’d be all ‘seussed’ out, but no, I’m back for more fun and frivolity with the younger performers in Seussical JR! Again, by rehearsing both shows at the same time, in the same time frame and performing in the same theatre, I’m surprised founders and producers Emma Riggs and Kerreane Sarti are still standing! Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all your favourite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in Seussical JR., a fantastical musical extravaganza from Tony-winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Well done to the talented production team of Director Ned Baulderstone, Musical Director Kate Neville and choreographer Teagan Fisher for navigating such elocutionary and rhetorical lyrics with such a young cast! Seussical Junior is a sung through musical based on the many children’s stories of Dr. Seuss, with most of its plot being based on ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ while incorporating many others such as Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!, McElligot’s Pool, The Butter Battle Book, If […]
February 3, 2020
seussical-the-musical-arts-theatre

Review: Seussical the Musical (Adelaide Youth Theatre) at the Arts Theatre

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Adelaide Youth Theatre. In it’s tenth year, founders and producers Emma Riggs and Kerreane Sarti have created an incredible platform and learning ground for Adelaide’s young musical theatre talent; fostering the craft and building the foundations for a potential professional career. This summer school holiday show, Seussical, was put together in 2 ½ weeks with a cast from the ages of 12 to 21. Just read that again… Two and a half weeks. The incredible music of Stephen Flaherty and lyrics of Lynn Ahrens, based on the works of the formidable Dr. Seuss, was brought to life by the AMAZING production team of dual Director and Musical Directors Serena Martino-Williams and Jesse Budel and fabulous choreographer Nina Richi. Seussical takes us into the world of Dr Seuss, where we visit his beloved characters including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and JoJo. The Cat in the Hat guides us into the Jungle of Nool where we meet Horton, the kind hearted […]
January 1, 2020
billy-elliot-the-musical-at-the-festival-theatre

Review: Billy Elliot the Musical at the Festival Theatre

Billy. Elliot. Those two simple words fill my body with feelings of nostalgia, acceptance, tenacity, forgiveness and perseverance. When I first saw the film in the early 2000s, it made a lasting impression on me. Imagine my excitement, when Elton John wrote the music and Lee Hall provided the book and lyrics to turn this coming of age dance drama film into an award winning and global phenomenon musical. While Adelaide missed out on the original 2008/2009 tour, Universal Theatrical Group, Working Title Films, Greene Light Stage, Michael Coppel Entertainments and Louise Withers Presents are now bringing the 10th Anniversary Australian Tour to Adelaide for a limited run after a hugely successful Sydney season. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, the plot revolves around Billy, a motherless British boy who begins taking ballet lessons, which is polar opposite to his coal miner father and brother’s working class, union fighting beliefs. His ballet teacher, Mrs Wilkinson, recognises Billy’s potential, and suggests he audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. The story of his […]
March 18, 2020
two-crews-at-space-theatre

Review: Two Crews at Space Theatre

I was lucky enough to gain a personal invitation by acclaimed director and choreographer, Nick Power to his third independent work, Two Crews. And who else better to come and witness this hip hop battle work for the Adelaide Festival, than my own little B-Boy, my middle son. Two Crews is the collision between France and Australia in the form of Parisian, all-women hip hop dance company, Lady Rocks, founded by choreographer and dancer Lea Cazauran. Representing Australia is Sydney based Riddim Nation, a collective who bring all styles of street dance fused with elements of their traditional culture into the ring. We arrive to see the vast open space, ready for the crews to battle it out. As they enter, they warm up in their respective corners, silently staring down their opponents. The way the stage was set, felt like the audience was pitted against each other! Clad in leopard print shirt with braids, Clairea is the first to take to the stage with a light-footed, almost lyrical popping and locking sequence, before the […]
March 6, 2020
cold-blood-at-the-ridley-centre

Review: Cold Blood at the Ridley Centre

I don’t like to read about a show before seeing it. I much prefer to go in unaware and come to my own conclusion. With all the hype surrounding Kiss & Cry Collective’s Cold Blood, it was difficult to shield myself from the talk. However, I managed to observe opening night only knowing I was watching dancing hands in a tiny set. The brainchild of husband and wife creative duo, dancer and choreographer Michele Anne De Mey, and acclaimed director and screenwriter Jaco Van Dormael and texts by Thomas Gunzig, Cold Blood takes us on a whimsical and entrancing ride. It is the story of seven unpredictable and startling deaths through a multitude of scenarios, using human hands and tiny, child-like toys to demonstrate the silly but fading feebleness of life. This fascinating mix of art forms – dance, film, text – is true genius and is nothing short of original fantastical theatre. As we sit and see a large projection screen, below is the live activity of dancers, camera crew and technicians that create […]
March 17, 2019
16-3-grand-finale-at-the-adelaide-festival-centre

Review: Grand Finale at the Adelaide Festival Centre

Knowing nothing more than the title and its origins prior to the performance, Hofesh Shechter Company’s Grand Finale is a spectacular blend of electronic soundscape, live classical musicians, evocative lighting and choreography that is part contemporary, part trance and part traditional. We open to a bleak, dark stage, where huge black blocks, which resemble tombstones, shadow the musicians playing in the background. Ten culturally and artistically diverse dancers portray the survivors, if you will, of the sinking Titanic; while the quintet of musicians continue to play in sweet harmony, oblivious to the disaster that surrounds them. The mini orchestra is seamless as they move around the stage, inconspicuously and almost magically, with as much grace as the dancers themselves. The dancers. Oh the dancers. I’ve never seen an ensemble interpret the idiosyncrasies, nuances and manic silence of choreography quite like these incredible artists. Their language of movement, authenticity of storytelling through their bodies..it is quite the experience. One I’ve not felt like this before. While Shechter’s choreography has repetitive phrasing, it never feels monotonous. Quite […]
March 17, 2019
14-3-ulster-american-at-dunstan-playhouse

Review: Ulster American at Dunstan Playhouse

Theatre. The area in which something happens. And by god does it happen. Opening night buzz of the most talked about, and shocking, Ulster American was palpable; excited theatre goers packed Dunstan Playhouse to the sounds of 70s funk music, ready, or not so ready, to take in David Ireland’s extraordinary satire. Set in an apartment in London, an English director, an Oscar-winning American actor and a Northern Irish playwright meet to rehearse a West End play. Sounds like the beginnings of a good old fashioned joke, right? Well, the joke is on us. As the three converge to discuss the play’s challenges they will face when rehearsals begin the following morning; historical accuracies, national identity, politics, misogyny, feminism, Princess Diana and Brexit become the topic of debate in this contemporary, yet classic three-hander. No sooner do the actors hit the stage, one would not dispute their undeniable talent to hold the audience in the palm of their hand. Jay Conway (Darrell D’Silva) the boisterous, egotistical, contentious American box-office movie star, is equal parts intimidating, […]
March 4, 2019
4-3-palmyra-at-ac-arts-main-theatre

Review: Palmyra at AC Arts – Main Theatre

Palmyra. A desecrated but still majestic city in Syria that was once one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. Destroyed by ISIS soldiers during their first occupation in 2015, the locals stood in disbelief, clapping their hands to their mouth when they saw the rubble, an act intended to terrorise the Syrian people. Look what they’ve done. And this is how we are introduced to Palmyra, the inventive oeuvre conceived, created and performed by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas. Lesca and Voutsas are quite the pair. Working together since 2015, it is difficult to draw the line between reality and theatre; and this is what makes Palmyra so thrilling, applaudable, palpable, captivating and at times, uncomfortable. Performance art at its best. The stage is set with two black chairs, each with a plate by the legs. Except one plate is broken into pieces. ‘Llook what they’ve done’ to ‘they have really gone for it’ Voutsas utters. At the start, their relationship is playful; waltzing and spinning, dashing around the stage on […]
March 3, 2019
3-2-blaas-at-thomas-edmonds-opera-studio-adelaide-showgrounds

Review: Blaas at Thomas Edmonds Opera Studio, Adelaide Showgrounds

Blaas. Where does one begin? Quite simply, it is an experience like no other, one in which words cannot do it justice. Schweigman& present their Australian exclusive performance of Blaas, and it will delight, confuse, charm and ignite intense thought long after you’ve left the space. Blaas means ‘blow’, ‘breath’, ‘bubble’ and ‘bladder’ in Dutch and is a concept devised from the minds of award-winning director Boukje Schweigman, fashion designer turned visual artist Cocky Eek and performer Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti. A study of space and time, wind and air and movement; this is theatre never encountered before. We are asked to leave our shoes and belongings at the door, and put scrub slippers over our feet. Already some theatre goers are uneasy. Upon walking into the stark, white room we sit on the white bench, and look out onto the large mass of white fabric at the back of the stage. Static noise is played through the speaker; an edgy sound that can be interpreted as almost cicada sounding. Slowly, we see the fabric rise […]
February 28, 2019
28-2-sex-and-the-musical-at-treasury-1860

Review: Sex and The Musical at Treasury 1860

Walking into Treasury 1860 on a hot Adelaide night, a Cosmopolitan was just what I needed to cool me down. And the cosmos were indeed flowing, in this perfect venue for Sex and the Musical. Taking our seats to the theme music that took me back, it’s hard to think that the show actually ended in 2004. But with 2 movies and reruns still going, this iconic and cult series still has a huge following. We are taken back before the action starts, a prequel, when Carrie’s boss tells her she’s losing her edge, so she goes on the hunt for a posse of friends ‘sweet, smart, sassy and sexy’ to help her get her mojo to write her successful columns again. Carrie’s opening song, The most interesting woman, is a hilarious send up introducing us to the main character, but also questioning how she affords her luxurious lifestyle on a columnists wage. A question we have all asked ourselves! Stefanie Rossi has the hair, the body, the look and the tutu to bring musical […]