Friday, November 21, 2014

GASP!

Ben Elton (Blackadder, The Young Ones) has written a play so full of biting satire and witty sarcasm you will alternate between laughing so hard your cheeks hurt, and literally gasping in shock at the words coming from the stage. GASP! was first staged in 1990 starring Hugh Laurie, but has obviously been heavily researched and rewritten to be relevant to Australian audiences. 


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Remember when that crazed loony, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, head honcho of Nestle, wanted to privatize water? I know, what a psycho! GASP! takes this premise one step further by exploring in hilarious fashion what would happen if big industry privatized the very air we breathe. I loved that the story continues to it's natural conclusion while showing the big industry players for the wankers that they are. 



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A small, brilliant cast directed by the super talented Wesley Enoch (Artistic Director, Queensland Theatre Company) take us on this journey of market greed, from the first inspiration to the top of the bell curve and beyond. The bloated, amoral, cash crazy characters take swipes at Asians, the poor, and the size of Julia Gillards rear end to name a few. Market expansion, attacks from competitors, PR spin; it is all fuel for an incredibly entertaining production. 


GASP! is on at The Playhouse, QPAC until 7th December 2014. 

More information including ticket sales can be found here. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Movie Review: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Have you ever felt like everything that could go wrong, does go wrong? I've been feeling a lot like this lately, so when the Chaos Family was invited along to the movie preview of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day I packed my bag with tissues in case some of it hit a bit close to home. Then I also took a pile of napkins from the concession stand, just in case. Don't be alarmed, the movie is excellent; really really good. Most of my tears were tears of laughter, promise.


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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (lets just say Alexander, OK?) the movie is based on the much loved childrens book of the same name, authored by Judith Viorst. It tells the story of Alexander (played by Aussie actor Ed Oxenbould) who has the absolute worst day of his life - gum in his hair, some embarrassing cyber bullying, the discovery that the coolest kid in school is hosting a birthday party on the same day as his, setting his crushes lab book on fire - you know, the usual. When he complains to his family they don't seem to understand, so he uses a little birthday wish magic to guarantee they do, with hilarious results.

My boys laughed and laughed at this movie, like honestly, their sides hurt. They had tears running down their faces. They thought it was super funny that Alexander's brother spectacularly fails his driving test, is forced to wear a powder blue tux to his prom, and is suspended for damaging school property in a freak accident. They almost wet their pants watching Alexander's sister have an adverse reaction to couch syrup and take to the stage as a drunk Peter Pan in the school play. They loved watching Alexander's Dad (Steve Carell) take the highlighter-munching baby brother along to a job interview, set his sleeves on fire over tepanyaki, and get flattened by a kangaroo. As for Alexander's mum (Jennifer Garner) racing on a pushbike to stop Dick Van Dyke from reading a very funny typo laden book to a room full of toddlers, well....they where howling with delight.

The premise of the movie is that you need to have the bad days to appreciate the good ones, and in true Disney fashion the ending is a happy, satisfying, heart expanding finale.

I highly recommend it if you need a good laugh yourself.




Opens in cinemas everywhere, December 4th 2014.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween in a Hurry

I love Halloween, and I am thrilled that it is gaining popularity in Australia. Not just he ancient Pagan festival of Samhain, but the modern commercial festival of Halloween. Read last years rant about it here, if you like; the short version is that I love a festival that brings families and communities together in a bit of fun. (Not to be confused with Samhain, which is more about bringing families and communities together in a bit of fun while we give thanks for the harvest and also have a chance to chat with the rellos that have passed on. I'm sorry, what? You are religiously intolerant? GTFO my page!)


This year I barely had time for either! Mr BC has a new job with long and changeable hours, so I feel like I'm flying solo a bit, which is a rude shock after having him work from home for the last dozen years. This Halloween I had a square tonne of laundry, some writing work, grocery shopping, and about 6 different errands to get through before school pick up, and then we had an away game of baseball followed by a long drive home in peak hour traffic before a Halloween feast and then, THEN I was off to drinks with some friends, before coming home and lighting a candle for the departed. Exhausting!



I had no time for decorating, and we wouldn't have been home to appreciate it, so I picked up this Haunted Gingerbread House from the supermarket. The kids LOVED putting it together, and it put them in a Halloween frame of mind. I also picked up some costumes for them - no trick or treating this year but the baseball game was to be a dress up event, and it was a lot of fun watching my little Ninja bat some great balls, and scoot around the bases. The other little axe murder victim wasn't so active, but he did manage to enjoy the Halloween Candy that the baseball mums had bought along. As for the traffic home, it was truly horrendous.



Friday night is normally pizza night in the Chaos household, so I made a few pizzas extra spooky for the boys to dig into while they watched a mini mildly spooky movie marathon of Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice. The recipe is here, but it's dead easy (Ha! Pun!), just use your favourite pizza dough and get creative with the toppings. This year Dead Man was heartless, but had his usual bacon skin and capsicum ribs, this year he also had spaghetti guts for some extra gore.




I loved the way the Sugar Skull Pizza turned out. I bought some rotisserie chicken to tie in with a voodoo theme, and it worked because although it's delicious, I think it's one of the grossest things you could possibly eat. If I had more time I would have gotten a bit detailed with the toppings. These photos are before I covered them in cheese, after that they looked like they had the worst skin condition ever!



This was such a no brainer, and I think it was the favourite of the day. Lollies + Jelly = Happy Children, at least in this house.



I bought these tarts from the supermarket, topped them with a chocolate marshmallow and used some leftover black icing from the haunted house kit to make legs and eyeballs. Cost less than $5 and took about 5 minutes. Yummy!

After this I took off for a well earned cocktail, and had the best time people watching with a bunch of girlfriends while Mr BC watched movies at home with the boys. It was fantastic to see so many adults dress up, and everyone seemed to be having a blast. There where witches, dark angels and white angels, werewolves, vampires, witch doctors, goth fairies and zombies all over the dance floor. I think Halloween is so fun because it allows people to dress up in ways that they feel they should dress every day. Looking at the witches and goth fairies in particular, there was almost a sigh of exultant relief about them. It's a shame people can't just be themselves, isn't it?




The next morning I woke up to find the Haunted Ginger bread house looking like this, which is fine because it is just what I wanted for breakfast anyway. How was your Halloween? Hope you had a good one. 

xx



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