Wednesday, March 7, 2012

fringe review - the lovebirds

As the first exquisite note is echoed, the audience’s attention is drawn to a large bird cage suspended from the top of the Spiegeltent. Glitter falls from the sky as a melancholy song is sung. The cage, swinging precariously above the crowd, gradually lowers towards the ground. A bird-like creature, with a fan of peacock feathers adorning her head, slides from the cage and makes for the stage.  It’s a subdued opening for the flamboyant, new breed of cabaret.  But before long three other bird-esque creatures join their kindred companion and the stage erupts into a whirl of feathers and sequins.  And so begins the story of The LoveBirds.

The audience plunges headfirst into a world of love, lust and sex as the LoveBirds emerge from the shadows of the mediocrity and mundaneness of contemporary life.  Deemed too joyous and delightful they were condemned to a caged life, cloaked in darkness.  These illusive characters emerge from their underworld as night falls on The Garden of Unearthly Delights to share their provocative and touching tales of wandering souls pining for love and affection.  Their songs express their reawakening, lustful urges and endless search for love. The LoveBirds’ affections are not restricted to the stage and unsuspecting audience members soon find themselves amidst the plumage. This is not a show for the prudish.

The costumes are superb, the songs are punchy and the interpretation is refreshing.  You cannot help but relate to the rare and illusive creatures’ heart-warming tales of longing, loss, jealously and elation. They are mesmerising and for 60 minutes the outside world seems a foreign place as you become drunk off their allure.
Written and devised by award-winning singer, cabaret artist and dancer, Simone Page Jones, The LoveBirds pays homage to 1930s Bohemia and psychedelic, sexually ambiguous San Francisco.  Jones is joined on stage by Samantha Young, Akos Armont and Aaron Tsindos.  The LoveBirds are backed by a live band with an original score, lead by Matthew Carey.

The LoveBirds is on at the Fringe in the Idolize Spiegeltent until March 14.  To book tickets visit

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

february 29

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when my colleague asked why a leap year was called a leap year  that I found myself wondering about the origin of February 29.  After a bit of research (thank you Google) I discovered leap years were first introduced by Julius Caesar more than 2000 years ago but were adapted with the introduced of the Gregorian calendar in 1582.  The extra day is added to the calendar in leap years as a corrective measure because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days.  It compensates for the fact that a solar year is almost six hours longer than a normal calendar year.  If we didn’t have leap years, our calendar would be off by about 24 days after 100 years.

The Chinese, Hebrew, Hindu and Iranian calendars also account for the extra time the earth takes to rotate around the sun but not in the same way the Gregorian calendar does.  For example, in the Hebrew calendar a 13th lunar month is added seven times every 19 years to the 12 lunar months in its normal years to keep its calendar year from drifting through the seasons too rapidly.
February 29 is also the day attached men quake in their boots waiting to see if their fairer half will turn the tables and propose. According to traditional folklore any man who refuses a proposal owes his lady a silk gown and a kiss.  Hardly compensation by today’s standards if you ask me.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

tuesday inspiration

The problem about taking holidays is that by the time you unwind you find yourself heading back to the office.  This is exactly where I find myself today.  I'm just over the halfway point of my fortnight off and I'm still wide awake at 7am.  So instead of lulling about in bed this morning, wishing myself back to sleep, I thought I'd share a little bit of inspiration for your Tuesday...

Will you live or will you just exist?  This is a question I find myself coming back to often.  Life's too short for regret and missed opportunity so instead of wondering what if, take a risk.  Book that overseas trip, enrol in that course, ask that guy or girl for their number, go skydiving, change careers, be bold.  Or if you need to take baby steps at least shake up your coffee order today and go for the mochachino instead of a latte.  Happy Tuesday x

Monday, February 27, 2012

adelaide fringe

In early February I'm like a kid before Christmas.  I mentally write up a wish list, circle things on flyers and start a countdown.  It's the same routine every year.  By the time the Fringe and the Garden of Unearthly Delights actually roll into town the anticipation has almost consumed me.

I always loved the idea of carnivals as a youngster and I'm sure my school teachers got sick of reading stories about a girl running away with the circus.  But the allure of performers, neon lights and a big red and white striped tent was powerful and something I apparently never grew out of.

As if to prove my dedication to the Fringe this year, I have taken two weeks off work to coincide with the festivities.  About 4000 artists will take part in 923 events during the festival which runs from February 24 to March 18.  Over the next fortnight I will bring you some reviews of the shows I'm seeing including Cantina, SOAP and I Heart Jack.  I strongly encourage everyone to grab a copy of the guide or visit and pick something that tickles your fancy.

And if anyone needs me between now and mid-March you'll find me in the garden amongst the burlesque dancers, musicians, freaks, comedians and sideshow performers.


Choosing the right name for a blog isn’t easy.  You want something that encapsulates everything you intend to write about; something short, sharp and shiny; and a title that says something about you.  I tossed around a few ideas (and had one sleepless night) before settling on Shades of Grey.  I arrived at this decision because this blog is going to be about life.  About things to do and see, places to visit, books to read and a blank canvas for thoughts to be shared.

I also envisage this blog to be a conversation amongst friends.  That’s one of the beauties about blogging – it unites people if only for the two minutes it takes to read a post.  People can engage across the virtual divide and share ideas, opinions, reviews and things that make them tick.  Too often technology and the internet are blamed for weakening social interaction, giving us unreal expectations and perpetuating negativities.  But used in the right way, it can connect people from all walks of life, educate minds, breakdown stereotypes and introduce people to something new.  Being part of the conservation enriches people’s lives.
So I hope by reading this blog you will learn something.  Something about yourself, others or the world in which we cohabit.
Life isn’t black and white – it’s shades of grey and if you’re lucky enough every colour in between.