Arts & Culture

Juniper at Perth Festival


On a cool summer’s evening, my partner and I eagerly headed to UWA Somerville to watch Juniper under the stars.

The movie tells the story of how a family, whose members are emotionally distant, are brought together by challenging circumstances.

Teenager Sam (played by actor George Ferrier) has been in boarding school since his mother died. He is not close to his father, and is suddenly tasked with looking after his grandmother from the UK who is unwell and spending some time at his home in scenic New Zealand.

The movie portrays well the terse relationships between the different family members as they navigate unknown territory during unsettling times and unearth some painful memories along the way.

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Lingui - Sacred Bonds at Perth Festival


On a balmy summer evening, my friend and I headed to UWA Somerville to watch Lingui – Sacred Bonds as part of the Perth Festival movie season.

The story line of Lingui – Sacred Bonds is simple enough – teenage Maria gets pregnant and wants an abortion and once her mother Amina finds out, she tries to help her daughter navigate the system to get it done.

But simple would definitely not be the appropriate word to use in this context – where the religious and social structures underpinning what is deemed proper conduct and behaviour are less than straightforward as Amina and Maria face challenge after challenge in a country where abortion is illegal and considered immoral.

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The Tempest by Black Swan State Theatre Company


On a cool spring night with a fresh breeze blowing around the UWA grounds, the scene was set for Black Swan State Theatre Company's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Fortunately the Octagon Theatre proved to be wind-proof, as otherwise the audience would have ended up covered in grit, since we were greeted by the cast prowling a sandy beach and venturing into the uncharted waters of the audience in search of additional props.

As the later arrivals continued to filter in, those of us who were already seated were treated to a few sea-shanties by the cast, who all seemed to be in good humour and poised for action. And then the final stirring notes faded away and the play began in earnest.

As somebody whose exposure to Shakespeare amounts to suffering through Macbeth in high school and recognising a few of his more famous quotations, I wasn't sure how I would go with listening to an hour and forty minutes of old style English.


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Some Happy Day at Backlot Cinema Perth


What is it like to be homeless?

One can only imagine its difficulties if you have never been in such a situation.

In Western Australia, according to the organisation Shelter WA:

“ It is estimated that 9000 people experience homelessness on any given night, 1000 of which are sleeping rough and

Nearly 30% of WA’s homeless population are First Nations People with 39% of these people under 18 years of age. “

The making of the movie “Some Happy Day” by director /writer Catherine Hills was inspired by her own twenty years of experience working as a social worker with rough sleepers.

Tina meets Frances over the course of one day.

Tina is homeless and doing it rough whilst looking for her boyfriend, whilst Frances is a social worker who helps others get back on their feet. On the surface, Frances seems to have it all together, but behind the scenes she is facing her own serious relationship challenges.

Some Happy Day is a confronting movie that exposes the harsh realities of homelessness - where the basics of shelter, food and warm clothing cannot be taken for granted.

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Bite the Hand by The Last Great Hunt


What is so special about dogs ? - their unconditional love for a start and much, much more.

Where do we begin? As avid dog lovers – my partner and I heading off to the Subiaco Arts Centre – with a dog-owning friend in tow to watch “Bite the Hand” by The Last Great Hunt.

In Australia according to the RSPCA nearly 1 in 2 households own dogs and this trend is on the rise. We love our dogs and couldn’t do without them for many and varied reasons.

Human and man’s best friend – our relationships with our beloved dog is an important one – simplex and complex all at once.

The Last Great Hunt takes us on an interesting journey to explore what might happen if our favourite canines had more intelligence, and thus more power and the ability to express and exert their will. Would we be better off in terms of strengthening our bond through greater understanding between human and dog ?

Would the human be better off ? The dog as well? Both parties ?

We often say “If only they could talk to us” - but what are the implications if they really could?

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Animal Farm by Black Swan State Theatre Company


George Orwell’s Animal Farm is one of those classics that many people know about it, regardless of whether or not they’ve read it. It’s a satirical take on the Russian Revolution, the birth of the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin’s rise to power – in which animals revolt against human farmers and set up their own Communist utopia. But as Van Badham’s adaptation shows, there are plenty of parallels to modern day politics in the Western world.

Inspired by prize-winning boar Old Major’s dreams of an egalitarian society, the animals of Manor Farm overthrow Mr Jones and establish their own nation state, Animal Farm, led by pig revolutionaries. As time goes by,

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Every Brilliant Thing by Black Swan State Theatre Company


Written by playwright Duncan Macmillan and comedian Jonny Donahoe, Every Brilliant Thing has been touted as a funny play about depression – a description that certainly got my attention even before I went to see it. And what I got was… well, a funny play about depression. And so much more.

Every Brilliant Thing has only one cast member – in this case, Luke Hewitt – playing an unnamed character who narrates the story of his life, beginning with his mother’s first suicide attempt. The then-seven-year-old child begins writing a list of the brilliant little things that make life worth living. Over the years, he revisits the list, as he grows into adolescence and adulthood, and his mother makes further suicide attempts.

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