Arts & Culture

Cunard British Film Festival 2022

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As my partner and I walked across from Northbridge into the Perth CBD and headed towards Palace Cinemas in Raine Square, we watched the hustle and bustle of the daily grind come to the end of the day as workers scurried home on foot, e-scooter, train or bus.

We were looking forward to watching the preview of Fisherman’s Friends 2: One & All as part of the Cunard British Film Festival (BFF), which celebrates its 10th year anniversary this year.

Here is our review of Fisherman’s Friends 2: One & All and Perth Walkabout’s favourite picks for BFF22 :

Fisherman’s Friends 2: One & All

Heart warming and funny best describes Fisherman’s Friends 2 One & All which follows the adventures of a singing group of grizzled Cornish fishermen who are on the brink of a breakthrough with their second album – if they can get it released!

No pressure at all as the band’s big label demands all sorts of PR and appropriate behaviour from the band if they wish to rise to stardom!

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Barracking for the Umpire by Black Swan State Theatre Co

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I have a somewhat complicated relationship with Australian rules football.

I was obsessed with footy during my teens and early 20s. I spent many a weekend at mud soaked WAFL grounds, running on during the quarter time and three-quarter time huddles to listen to the coaches, and yelling incomprehensible encouragement (I think) until my throat hurt. As time went by, I developed other interests, became a more rounded person (I hope) and started to realise that there were people dear to me who probably wouldn’t be safe at a footy club.

Which brings me to Barracking for the Umpire.

Early on, we’re introduced to AFL player Ben (played by Ian Wilkes) and his teammate Eckhart (Joel Jackson) in an over-the-top cacophony of blokeyness. We soon find out they are secretly in a romantic relationship with each other – something Ben is not keen for the world to know. Footy has always been his safe space… and coming out could well ruin that for him.

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Blue Orange by Theatre 180

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The chilly night air seems a world away as we enter Burt Memorial Hall and take a seat around the edges of a stage, like hungry spectators at a boxing match.

In Joe Penhall’s award-winning play Blue/Orange, we meet Christopher (played by Tinashe Mangwana) – a young black man who’s spent the last 28 days in a psychiatric hospital in London. He’s supposed to be getting out tomorrow, but trainee psychiatrist Bruce (Jarryd Dobson) doesn’t think he’s ready. After all, Christopher thinks oranges are blue and that his father is Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

On the other hand, senior consultant Robert (Andrew Lewis) – the ultimate bureaucrat – is keen for Christopher to return to his community, wherever that may be. They don’t have enough beds, and besides, what if Bruce is just applying a white lens to Christopher’s behaviour and calling it schizophrenia?

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The Glass Menagerie by Black Swan State Theatre Company

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Coming in to the warmth of His Majesty's Theatre after the biting cold of a wet and wintry Wednesday night in Perth, my partner and I were looking forward to thawing out while watching an American classic performed by the always professional Black Swan State Theatre Company cast and crew.

Having only a passing familiarity with Tennessee Williams' work (I've watched Newman and Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the Black Swan State Theatre Company production of A Streetcar Named Desire), I didn't know anything about The Glass Menagerie other than the fact that it was set in the American 1930's.

Coming in cold(!) to a play does allow you to settle down and enjoy the production as a fresh new experience, without any preconceived ideas or expectations, at the risk of not knowing what is going on for a while. Fortunately The Glass Menagerie is easy to follow

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WALK at The Blue Room Theatre

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Well, that was different.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I went to see WALK – and as it was happening, I wasn’t quite sure what I was watching.

It was certainly captivating – I couldn’t look away and had the sense that I was seeing something incredibly profound, even if I didn’t fully understand it. Maybe that’s the point. After all, this isn’t my story – it’s Bobby’s.

WALK is the brainchild of Bobby Russell – an intimate journey through their mind that began as we entered the dark theatre through a sweet-smelling corridor with gorgeous clouds directly above us. From there, my night vision and light sensitivity were tested in a bewitching performance that combined theatre, interpretive dance, fine art and intense flashes of light.

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The Villa - Maison de retraite - at Luna

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 ...inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.” - Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures.

Milann Rousseau (Kev Adams) is a twenty-something orphan who can't get his life together. Aimless, behind in his rent, owing money to loan sharks, and unable to hold down a job, he is dependent on his best friend for a place to stay.

Milann's life takes a steep downward turn after a temper tantrum in his latest short-lived job, when he is sentenced to 300 hours of community service in a retirement village for injuring a senior citizen. He is only allowed three warnings for workplace infractions before being sent to prison instead. Can the self-centred and irresponsible man-child survive 3 months of his worst nightmare, being a dogsbody for old people?

Worse still, the residents at the retirement home don't take to Milann and his bad attitude, and their secret committee decides to teach him a lesson or two. The home's director (Antoine Duléry) and head of security (Ludovic Berthillot) don't like him either, and only want him there for the government funding. And the loan shark wants his money back now, resulting in Milann being kicked out of his wrecked apartment by his fed up friend (Oussama Kheddam).

At rock bottom in life, Milann is forced to take desperate measures to survive.

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Peter Cumins at the Perth International Cabaret Festival

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My partner and I were looking forward to our Friday evening at the Perth International Cabaret Festival – this time we were seeing performer Peter Cumins in his show “There is Nothin’ Like A Dame” at Downstairs at The Maj.

Downstairs at The Maj is a lovely downstairs den – perfect for cabaret shows – with drinks and a light menu available, and small clusters of tables all with a good view of the stage with a nice, cosy, intimate atmosphere.

Peter Cumins' on-stage presence is second to none across multiple fronts. His singing voice leaves you mesmerised and gives you that wonderful feeling of having touched your heart and soul, along with having a very fun and engaging persona between numbers.

This evening we were in for a treat as Peter had selected songs made famous by the dames of musical theatre in Broadway and the West End over the last few decades, including Ethel Merman, Patti LuPone, Julie Andrews, Gwen Verdon, and Judi Dench.

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