/ Sunday Arts Magazine / Arts / Melb Fringe, True Love Songs, Blind Spot, Melb Sketchbook Exh


Today’s show focuses a lot on the Melbourne Fringe Festival (MFF) on for 2 weeks from 15 September to 2 October but first up we go straight into film reviews with Brendan’s latest viewings. He starts with Bridget Jones’s Baby which he had low expectations for but found that it’s a smart and very funny rom-com– 4 stars. Next is Captain Fantastic with Viggo Mortensen playing the patriarch of a large family living off the grid in the woods.  It is a non-preachy, very nuanced film–4stars.  Brendan later reviews the 3D IMax film– A Beautiful Planet– with incredible footage of earth taken from a universal spacestation. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, it shows the beauty of earth but also the damage done. It’s a wake-up call.  Brendan thought it worth seeing but had some reservations–3 stars.

Today’s special guests are:

12:42 to 30:09 mins– Simon Abrahams is the Creative Director of the Melbourne Fringe Festival (MFF) on from 15 September to 2 October and Benjamin Solah is the founder and Director of Melbourne Spoken Word (MSW). They’re here to talk about their backgrounds and events at MFF. Simon describes MFF as our city’s largest celebration of the independent arts comprised of 463 different shows/exhibitions across every possible artform (even a furniture exhibition) using about 170 different venues. There are laser light sculptures—Skylight from 15 to 18 September (in CBD) and White Beam from 29 September to 2 October (in Grattan Gardens Prahran). And also, to celebrate Melbourne as a UNESCO City of Literature, there’s a new Fringe program called Open Book with 9 different works celebrating literature in very ‘fringe-like’ ways. Simon details some of them. Ben explains the origins of MSW. The idea is to promote spoken word and poetry around Melbourne and raise awareness of the existing underground scene and community. He talks about another Open Book event, the popular Wham Bam Thank You Slam (one night only –23 September) which is pitting poets in a wrestling ring. Simon outlines other events at MFFSediment, Restrung, Immaculate (re Madonna), Late Night Letters and Numbers, comedian Bev Killick, musician Damian Cowell from TISM and Fringe Club.

30:33 to 44:51 mins–Martin Gladman is a JOY newsreader AND a singer who has a show at the Melbourne Fringe Festival (MFF)–with Michael Benhayon and 3 back-up singers–called An Intimate Evening of True Love Songs. It’s on 3 dates–16 and 17 September and 1 October at the Clover Club in Gasworks Arts Park. Michael wrote the songs and calls them inspiring songs whereas Martin sees them as love songs but of a more expansive variety than just romantic love. With each song they’ll be introducing the concepts and what the song is about and there’ll also be a sing-along.  Expect an evening of warmth, intimacy and connection. Martin sings one of the songs on air.  It’s called Just Take The Picture and Martin thinks it’s about Michael’s sister and the concept of us having a choice about engaging with the world in a loving/supportive way and letting things unfold rather than focusing on the disaster.

54:05 to 1:15:09 mins–Theatre director and arts manager Daniel Santangeli is here to talk about a Fringe show he directed called Blind Spot on from 15 September to 01 October at the Northcote Town Hall.  Daniel found his calling when doing skits at scout camps and from then gravitated towards theatre groups and studying drama. Blind Spot is an

immersive and interactive piece of theatre’ where ‘only 2 audience members go through the experience at a time’. The 2 people follow a crime and pick up clues and information via a series of events and come to their own conclusions.  It’s based on the autobiography of one of the men (Edwin Eastwood) convicted for the Faraday School Kidnapping in 1972.  This was where 2 men kidnapped 7 primary school kids, and their teacher, taking them in a van to the middle of a forest, demanding $1 million from the Victorian Government for their safe return. It all went wrong for them and their captives escaped to safety. The reason the production is called Blind Spot is because something in the men’s psyche prevented insight about important factors in their plan. Also, there are many gaps in the story.  The kidnappers were caught and spent 15-20 years at Pentridge and the production looks at the theme of captivity too–be it prison or a kidnapping. Daniel and our hosts discuss the production’s creation, theatrical methods and themes.

1:15:36 to 1:31:11 mins–Artist Paul Meehan and Artist & Melbournestyle owner Maree Coote are here to talk about Paul’s artwork in The Melbourne Sketchbook Exhibition at the Melbournestyle Gallery in South Melbourne from 12 to 25 September. Melbournestyle is a ‘publisher, gallery, store and design studio specialising in Beautiful, Original, Meaningful Melburniana, since 1994’. It has many products including Maree’s own publications such as The Melbourne Book and the ‘Letter Art’ picture book Spellbound.  Maree describes Paul’s artwork as these incredible, painstaking, pen and ink drawings on rag papers. The fine detail in it is amazing. They actually enlarged part of a work so that people could see what was involved.  He draws Melbourne architecture, buildings and statues.  Paul explains that he did drafting/mechanical drawing at school with pen and ink and he always liked it. Paul then went to art school and then fell into advertising, where he still works. All the work in his exhibition comes from his sketchbooks where he did the initial draft and later would re-visit it and redraw it, add missing elements, go back to the location etc. He uses photos to draw too, but more so for his clients in advertising.


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