Posts Tagged ‘Perth’

Visual literacy and censorship

September 19, 2011

Spot the obscenity!

This image from the poster for the play Tender napalm recently caused controversy here in Perth and was banned by the Public Transport Authority:

Tender Napalm poster imageI find this poster for the film Friends with benefits is far more obscene (take a look at their fingers!):

Friends with Benefits poster

but didn’t appear to attract controversy.  I saw it recently at Darling Harbour in Sydney, (can anyone confirm if it was used in Perth?  I assume so as it’s the poster on Sony Pictures Australia’s site.)

Is it just me or is there something out of kilter in the way we define obscenity?  Or are the censorious not visually literate?

(And just in case you are wondering, I wouldn’t call for the banning of either poster)

Bye Bye Perth Entertainment Centre

August 22, 2011
The proscenium arch of the Perth Entertainment Centre exposed during its demolition

Demolition of the Perth Entertainment Centre

There seems to be a lot of demolition going on in Perth at the moment, and a lot of my childhood seems to be going with it. The Francis Street Museum building is going, the big shed on North Quay in Fremantle (we did a primary school visit to that one!)  But the demolition that evokes the most nostalgia is that of the Perth Entertainment Centre.

When it opened in 1974 it was the biggest  proscenium arch theater in the world, with a seating capacity of 8003.  It was also bright orange (good 1970s style).  An aside: who remembers the bright blue (Perth, now cream coloured Rydges Hotel) and bright red (Sydney) Flotta Lauro buildings of the same era?

It was a great building for spectacles, not so great for anything more intimate, even in its theatre configuration (where they closed off the upper tiers of seating).  That said, I’ve got lots of happy memories of many many shows there, starting with very first show, Disney on Parade, and ending with Phantom of the Opera in 1998 (four years before the Centre was mothballed in 2002).

What did I see there?  These are what I remember (with the help of a look through my programme collection), and yes, given the venue my list is skewed to big spectacles, most of them presented by impressario Michael Edgley.

  • Disney on Parade (1974/5, I think I remember some Disney on Ice as well but don’t have a programme to confirm the dates)
  • London Festival Ballet with Rudolf Nureyev (1975 and 1977)
  • The Mikado (1977, with June Bronhill, more on that later)
  • Siberian Cossaks (1976)
  • The Great Moscow Circus on Ice (1978)
  • Evita (1980, matinee, front row seats, confronting and fabulous)
  • 1980 or 1981 chaperoned a friend’s daughter to The Police, hated how loud it was (I’ve always been funny that way)
  • David Bowie,  Serious Moonlight (1983, nearly missed it as I was out sailboard racing and had to be brought in late by the rescue boat)
  • International Ice Spectacular with Torville and Dean (1984?)
  • Richard Harris in Camelot (1984)
  • Torville and Dean the World Tour (1986)
  • Rocky Horror Show (1988, with a VERY young Russell Crowe playing Eddie/Dr Scott “1988 looks to be a productive year for Russell” says the programme!)
  • The Great Moscow Circus (early 90’s, don’t have a programme but I remember going!)
  • Phantom of the Opera (1998)
  • Numerous church and school things…
The most memorable concert for me was The Mikado in 1977.  Just as the second act opened lumps of metal and scaffolding poles rained down upon the stage, knocking out one of the chorus.  The production was stopped, I’m not sure but I think the classic call: “Is there a Doctor in the house?” was made, and it was announced that the show would be postponed while they made the stage safe (we later heard that the frame of a projection screen up above the stage had disintegrated).  June Bronhill came out in front of the curtain, still dressed and made up as Yum Yum, and sang to us during the delay (for 20 minutes or half an hour, I don’t remember exactly how long, it was a considerable length of time).  She would say “this is a little art song by so and so”, lean over the pit and ask the orchestra to “give me an A” (or whatever note was appropriate) and sing.  Then, when everything was made safe, she went back into character and performed the second act of Mikado.  A real trouper, we were all her slaves for life!

If you want to see some pictures of the Entertainment Centre over the years, there are some treats in the State Library of WA’s pictorial collection!  I have more demolition pictures in this set on flickr.  If you want to read some other Perthites waxing nostalgic over the Ent Cent, have a look at this blog entry and comments from The worst of Perth.

Take a different path…

June 29, 2011

Sometimes I try to look at my city and my commute with the eyes of a first time visitor. How would I feel about my everyday vistas if I was seeing them for the first time? I’ve changed in the years since I first saw my daily landscapes (and so have they); so perhaps I’d see them differently if they were new to me.
Last year, when things were tough, the routine and familiar were a comfort (and about all I could cope with). This year I’m ready to re-embrace the new.
Taking a slightly different route, doing an old thing in a new way (such as blogging every day in June) and all of a sudden the dull familiar world is fresh and sparkling.
Today I took a different route home, heard a new (to me) islander version of “Wonderful World” in a shop and saw a city street in a (literally) whole new light.
Life isn’t so bad!

20110629-062631.jpg

[Wonderful world was by “Iz” Israel Kamakawiwoʻole and I bought it from iTunes on the way home!]

[Begun on the train, continued on the bus and finished on the couch on my iPhone!]

Battening down the hatches!

June 27, 2011

I’ve got a very busy week coming up so my final few blogjune posts may be a little sketchy!
If I go off air altogether it may be because we’ve got a very nasty weather event heading our way:

“IDW28001
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Western Australia

TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
for Damaging Winds with Locally Destructive Gusts, Abnormally High Tides and
Flash Flooding.
For people in parts of WA southwest of a line from Jurien Bay to Albany,
including Jurien Bay, Perth, Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River,
Bridgetown and Albany.
Issued at 4:40 pm on Monday 27 June 2011

WEATHER SITUATION

Winds are expected to become strong and squally in coastal parts from early
Tuesday morning as a cold front approaches. DAMAGING WINDS to 100 kilometres per
hour could result in DAMAGE TO HOMES AND PROPERTY.

HIGHER THAN NORMAL TIDES may cause FLOODING OF LOW-LYING COASTAL AREAS between
Jurien Bay and Cape Leeuwin, particularly in Geographe Bay. DANGEROUS SURF
CONDITIONS may cause beach erosion.

During Tuesday morning the passage of the cold front could result in DANGEROUS
GUSTS in excess of 125 kilometres per hour that could cause SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE
OR DESTRUCTION TO HOMES AND PROPERTY IN LOCALISED AREAS. Thunderstorms and heavy
rain may cause FLASH FLOODING.

The worst weather is expected near the Southwest Capes from 2am, extending to
Bunbury by 6am and to Perth mid to late morning. The strongest winds are likely
to be experienced in coastal suburbs and towns. Conditions will ease during the
afternoon as the front moves further to the east and weakens.

This type of weather event occurs about 3 or 4 times a year.

WHAT TO DO
For personal safety FESA State Emergency Service [SES] advises you to:

Trim branches around your home to prevent them falling on your roof or car
Clear gutters and downpipes so they don’t over flow after heavy rain
Store or weigh down loose objects around your home or work like outdoor
furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or
injury
Prepare an emergency kit with a battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries
and first aid kit.
Organise an emergency plan, including a relocation plan for your family and pets
in case your home becomes flooded.

For SES assistance call 132 500. For more safety tips visit http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au

The next warning will be issued by 8:00 pm Monday

This warning is also available through TV and Radio broadcasts; the Bureau’s
website at http://www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 213.”

So I’ll be pulling the plug on the PC and modem and making sure that the iPhone is charged up so I can follow the action on The WA Weather Group forum – or follow them on Twitter @TheWAWG.

Here’s last Friday’s front (45mm in my gauge) for comparison!

20110627-060115.jpg

Making friends through twitter!

June 25, 2011

20110625-052928.jpg
You read so many stories about the downsides to social media – bullying, identity theft, obsession, disconnection from the real world …
Today I experienced the upside. A retweet on my twitterfeed announced a tweetup of Perth library types at 2pm today at Koko Black in Claremont. Good chance to meet some of my fellow blogjune participants, and meet some library people from outside my workplace too. Took the train up to Claremont and soon found Koko Black (packed out) – had to take the plunge and guess which table as I’d only met most people through their blogposts!
Great afternoon, discovering names and faces and personalities and talking tech and libraries and dogs and birds. (And eating and drinking chocolate).
Only library geeks would head out afterwards to look at iPads and eReaders in JB HiFi ignoring the boutiques of the western suburbs fashion central!
I’ve added a whole raft of new contacts to my twitterfeed too!
Thanks also to @libsmatter for the lift home!

20110625-052843.jpg
Posted from my iPhone

Nocturne: Silver and Gold — Roe Street footbridge

June 14, 2011

20110614-105522.jpg

Come let us remember the joys of the town:
Gay vans and bright buses that roar up and down,
Shop-windows and playgrounds and swings in the park,
And street-lamps that twinkle in rows after dark.

Doris Gill

A dreamy nostalgia engendered by the sight of a wet road at dusk!

Catching up on local culture

June 9, 2011

A surprising number of films have been made in WA, and I’m rather ashamed to say I’ve seen very few of them. Some I’ve only seen a few scenes from, whilst channel surfing on late night TV.
Now I’m getting the chance to catch up, with the State Library of WA’s contribution to the City of Perth’s Winter Arts Festival:WA films @ the State Library

It starts tonight with Nickel Queen

and continues with the windsurfing film Windrider (nostalgia! I used to windsurf in the 80s), Under the lighthouse dancing and concludes with Lucky Miles

Lots to look forwards to!

20110609-092824.jpg
Me (in pink), windsurfing in the 80s!

Say Yes Australia! – a World Environment Day photo essay

June 6, 2011
Say Yes to Climate Action!

Say Yes to Climate Action!

Yesterday I joined about 3000 others at the Say Yes Australia rally in the Perth Cultural Center.   We were expressing our committment to government action on climate change.  Here’s the story of the rally in pictures:

Get Up!

Get Up! heading to "Say Yes Australia"

Crowd at the station

Crowd at the station - many heading to the rally!

Rally Crowd (and others) Perth station

Growing crowd as we walk through the station

Flyers for all!

Flyers for all!

A big crowd turned out

A big crowd turned out

Crowd in the James St Mall

...spilling into the James St mall

Crowd in the garden

... and filling all vantage points

Press coverage

Press coverage


And stirring speeches!

Banners large and small, organisational and individual:

Clean up Australia

Clean up Australia

Socialist alliance banner

Socialist Alliance

Our climate our vote

Our climate our vote

Great big new chance in futures

Great big new chance in futures

Price on pollution

Price on pollution

No CO2 tax will cost the earth

No CO2 tax will cost the earth

Business as usual

Business as usual

Yes!

Yes!

Urban Wilderness – a World Environment Day photo essay

June 5, 2011

Today is World Environment Day and to celebrate I’m posting photos I’ve taken within the Perth (Western Australia) metropolitan area that show our beautiful urban wildernesses and wildlife.

Canning River Reflections

Canning River Reflections

Swan River Brown Jellyfish - phyllorhiza punctata

Swan River Brown Jellyfish - phyllorhiza punctata

Blackwall Reach

Blackwall Reach

Salter Point Lagoon

Salter Point Lagoon

Eroded tree roots

Eroded tree roots

Henderson Cliffs

Henderson Cliffs

Bridled Tern

Bridled Tern

Manning Park

Manning Park

Pigface

Pigface

Pelican at Woodman Point

Pelican at Woodman Point

Australia Day on Penguin Island

Australia Day on Penguin Island

Let the songs do the talking…

December 13, 2010

Most amused by this quote from the review of The Eagles concert at NIB Stadium Perth:

If it wasn’t for the hall-of-fame-quality collection of songs and pristine playing, the show would’ve been tearfully dull.  The Eagles barely move, make the odd joke but ultimately let the songs do the talking.

Peaceful easy feeling / Ara Jansen The West Australian 13 December 2010  Today p. 6

Well Ara, that’s what’s called a concert, and the guys on stage are musicians… They don’t have to use flashy production because their work is good enough without it!


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