MonthJanuary 2021

Laura Bloom – The Women and the Girls

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2021

Set in the seventies in Sydney, The Women and the Girls is a tale of female friendship which invites us to define what it is that constitutes ‘home’.

Three women, quite different in their circumstances and nature, come together, along with their children, to create a household when each decides that her marriage is not meeting up to expectations.

Barbie spoke with Laura Bloom about The Women and the Girls
Continue Reading“Laura Bloom – The Women and the Girls”

Lotte Möller – Bees and Their Keepers

First published in Great Britain by Maclehose Press, an imprint of Quercus Publishing Ltd
Published in 2020 in Australia by Hachette

This is a charming and informative book. I loved it.

Lotte Möller is a Swedish journalist, writer and bee-keeper. This work, while full of classical and literary allusions, is a readable little text about the complexities and social implication s of bee-keeping.

Continue Reading“Lotte Möller – Bees and Their Keepers”

Mick Doust – Moving On

Bungendore Fine Art
2b Ellendon Street Bungendore NSW
Friday 29 January to end February 2021
10am to 4.30pm. Closed Tuesdays and Thursdays

Paintings from travels around the South Coast and other local areas – natural bushland scenes, coastal shorelines, magnificent mountains.

Mick Doust’s interest in painting started in his mid-20s as a plein air painter. He lived in country NSW and there wasn’t a lot of help around for an aspiring painter.

Mick painted every Sunday for many years and during this time an artist friend opened a gallery in town. He started painting seriously after he retired.

More about Mick Doust:
Bungendore Fine Art:

Image – Thistle, pastel, courtesy Bungendore Fine Art

Interrobang – Warehouse Theatre

Belconnen Arts Centre
30 January – 6 February 2021
7pm nightly and also at 12.30pm Saturday 6 February

55 mins, suitable for all ages

Featuring acrobatics, juggling, aerials, comedy and dance, this is an energetic, family-friendly, all-in circus celebration of the 30th anniversary of  Warehouse in Canberra. The young circus performers have devised a work that explores the weight and richness of legacies.

Continue Reading“Interrobang – Warehouse Theatre”

Kath Engebretson – Nineteen Days

Atlas Production, Australia, 2020

Readers have looked on in 2020 as the publishing industry has come to grips with COVID-19 and writers have worked hard to get their stories not just published but then publicised.

Who would have anticipated that a novella set on a cruise ship would be one of the stories to emerge in that year, its author finalising her edits at the close of 2019 before so many things changed.

Barbie spoke to Kath Engebretson about Nineteen Days
Continue Reading“Kath Engebretson – Nineteen Days”

Phil Page – Melbourne Fragments

Gallery 3, M16 Artspace until 31 January
Wednesday to Sunday 12 noon to 5pm

The works in this exhibition clearly and beautifully demonstrate the artist’s architecture background. Phil Page is interested in the way cities develop in layers, built one upon another. His works are created in the same way, documenting his memory of place and change.

Barbie visited M16 to talk with Phil Page about Melbourne Fragments
Continue Reading“Phil Page – Melbourne Fragments”

Peter Rodgers – Beethoven’s Tenth (and the Journey which saved the World)

Green Hill Publishing, Australia, 2021

This is a wonderfully funny, wonderfully clever social-political satire that takes a swipe, albeit not a vicious one, at almost every aspect of contemporary life.

Former diplomat Peter Rodgers aimed to write a book with a laugh on every page, and he has succeeded. There is a serious intent and much research in this work, but the humour is what the reader carries away, demonstrating that a skilled hand has directed it.

Peter Rodgers visited Living Arts Canberra to talk about Beethoven’s Tenth
Continue Reading“Peter Rodgers – Beethoven’s Tenth (and the Journey which saved the World)”

The Elfkins – Baking a Difference – Film Review

Palace Electric and Hoyts cinemas from 14 January 2021
Family CG-animated feature, 78 min
Parental guidance recommended for younger children

The legendary HEINZELMÄNNCHEN of Cologne were gnomes secretly finishing craftmen’s work at night until they were ousted by a tailor’s malevolent wife 200 years ago.

Ever since then, the Heinzels have been hiding in a secret underground habitation where any contact with the upper world – and, most of all, with humans – is strictly forbidden. But one day, lively Heinzel girl Helvi decides that she cannot stand the restriction of this little world any longer.

Continue Reading“The Elfkins – Baking a Difference – Film Review”

Folk Dance Canberra – Beginner World Dance Classes

Day and evening classes, from 3 February 2021
Folk Dance Canberra Hall
114 Maitland Street, Hackett ACT 2602

With music from countries around the world, you can enjoy the travel currently not possible in real life by attending a class at Folk Dance Canberra. Classes are suitable for all ages and all levels of dance experience.

Folk Dance Canberra is a welcoming community providing physical and social well-being through world dance. No partner necessary (socially distanced Covid safe dancing).

  • Wednesday nights, 7.30 – 9.00 pm – phone Lesley on 6286 6401
  • Thursday mornings, 10.30 am – 12 noon – phone Rebecca on 0420 524 412
  • Cost: $10.50 per class (discount for term payment)
  • Email [email protected]

Image: Advanced class with participants from 16 to over 70, courtesy Folk Dance Canberra:

Joanna Beresford – Every Year I am Here

Atlas Productions, Australia, 2020

This debut novel set in Brisbane in the 1890s provides the perfect vehicle for an author with the twin passions of history and social justice.

Joanna Beresford chooses for her heroine Lilian, a young working class woman from an immigrant background, who is forced to fend for herself in the quest for education and improved social standing – and often merely to survive.

Barbie speaks to Joanna Beresford about Every year I am Here
Continue Reading“Joanna Beresford – Every Year I am Here”

Dreambuilders – Film Review

At Palace Electric, Dendy and Hoyts in Canberra from 7 January 2021
81 minutes, rated PG – Family

The premise of this originally Danish film (with American voicing) is that our dreams are a kind of sound stage managed by a group of benevolent creatures ensuring we wake in time to avert disaster.

The now rather common story line of a family blending with unlike children having to cope with a sudden unannounced coming together in a home setting, unprepared by previous meetings or outing, feels rather too derivative for my liking.

Continue Reading“Dreambuilders – Film Review”