Nikki does Lola does Dietrich

Nikki Nouveau

Nikki Nouveau’s new show Kabaret Dietrich took me back in time to a place in my childhood when life was much simpler.

As a kid Marlene Dietrich featured in many of the old black and white movies on early TV and I always was fascinated by this vamp of a woman and her haunting voice.

She was a megastar of her era and very much against the politics of her native Germany. She was famously quoted as saying, “The Germans and I no longer speak the same language.”

Marlene lived until her 90’s and managed to reinvent herself continuously to maintain her career, sadly becoming a ‘hermit’ in the last few decades of her life. 

Nikki Nouveau brings Marlene to life on stage through the eyes of Lola Lola, one of Marlene’s characters, from ‘The Blue Angel’, in this short and sweet presentation of Dietrich’s life.

Set in a dingy club of the Weimar Republic Nikki nails the unique timbre of Dietrich’s voice and accent and tells us the story of Marlene’s life of which many aspects people would be unaware. The musical saw was certainly one of her talents of which I was unaware. It happens to be one of my favourite instruments and it was wonderful to hear it so deftly played in one of the songs.

You will love her renditions of classic Dietrich torch songs like ‘Falling In Love Again’, ‘Lili Marlene’, ‘La Vie En Rose’ and many more delivered in German, French and English with accompaniment by piano and musical saw. The pianist, Daniele Buatt, is also pretty fabulous!

Kabaret Dietrich is on at The Butterfly Club for the next few nights and very much worth the effort, especially if you are a Dietrich fan!

January 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st

Time: 7:00pm

Cost: $25-32

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne



St Kilda’s Alright: The Fred Negro Experience

St Kilda’s Alright: The Fred Negro Experience’ – an exciting and fun exhibition consisting of a visually rich pastiche of paintings, drawings, memorabilia, photos, history, film and music – celebrating one of St Kilda’s most iconic artists and residents (Fred Negro) at St Kilda gallery BRIGHTSPACE from 1 – 17 December!

Having had a career in the music and visual art world for close to 40 years, Fred Negro is St Kilda’s undisputed King of rock’n’roll as well as being its unofficial Mayor. A Living Legend in his own right Fred Negro, more than any other musician, has helped to put St Kilda on the map as a thriving live music scene.

‘St Kilda’s Alright: The Fred Negro Experience’ will therefore take an intimate look at the man behind the legend as well as showcasing the musical and visual history of Fred from his start in the 1970s St Kilda Punk scene until his present day incarnation – songs, illustrations, stories and laughs included!

Coordinated by Melynda von Wayward (Punk Journey: St Kilda + Beyond), the exhibition will include:

  • Band histories and artefacts
  • Photos of Fred taken in the heyday of the Greyhound Hotel’s Rock’n’Roll era by photographer Gary Hallenan
  • Many of Fred’s unique book reviews and Pub strips
  • A limited edition carpet designed by James Lomas featuring the artwork of Fred Negro
  • A never before seen series of acrylic and mixed media works/portraits on canvas, all based around Fred’s personal visual experience of St Kilda
  • And more…

Video footage of Fred will also be on display which will be edited by Filmmaker Andrew (Stumpy) Leavold, who is in the process of directing and producing a full length documentary based on the life and times of Fred Negro called ‘Pub’. Andrew will also be documenting the exhibition and adding this footage to the final cut of ‘Pub’.

‘St Kilda’s Alright: The Fred Negro Experience’ is a well-deserved celebration of a man who has helped to put St Kilda on the map as a thriving live music scene!

A series of Fredtastic events surrounding the exhibition will add to the overall calibre, artistic uniqueness and historical nature of this exhibition. This includes the anticipated launch of the Graphic Novel ‘Piranhas in Love’, illustrated by Fred and written by Elizabeth Reale.

A POP UP SHOP, including books, cards, cartoons and other items all relevant to Fred will also be a key component of this fun and exciting exhibition.

Special Events associated with this exhibition: 

 NB: (All Events are at BRIGHTSPACE except for the St Kilda Music Walking Tour)

Friday December 1, 6-9pm

  • Exhibition opens showcasing Fred Negro’s music history, artefacts, acrylic paintings, illustrations, book reviews, photos, video footage and more…
  • A separate audio visual room will showcase archival video footage of Fred Negro
  • Exhibition to be officially opened by acclaimed Australian musician Paul Stewart (Painters and Dockers)
  • Official after party at the Balaclava Hotel with DJ Brett

December 5 and 12

  • 2 x free cartoon workshop led by Fred Negro, with up to 20 members of the community writing group ‘Roomers’ – a quarterly magazine made by the people of Port Phillip. These cartoons will then be printed in the following Roomers publication
  • NB: (This event is not open to the public)

December 9

  • St Kilda Music Walking Tour showcasing many of St Kilda’s iconic music venues
  • Free by donation (Bookings essential)
  • Visit for bookings and for departure time and location

December 10, 2-5pm

  • ‘Piranhas in Love’ book launch – A Graphic Novel written by Elizabeth Reale and illustrated by Fred Negro
  • With a gig by St Kilda based band The Black Molls.

December 17, 2-5pm

  • A floor talk and intimate discussion with Fred Negro and Melbourne musician Dan Warner
  • St Kilda based Pop Punk band The Peptides to close the exhibition

This exhibition is not to be missed!

For more event info go to or P: 9593 9366 or email  

Exhibition and Special Events Details:

What: St Kilda’s Alright: The Fred Negro Experience’

When: 1 – 17 December, 2017

Where: BRIGHTSPACE – 8 Martin Street, St Kilda

Contact: P: 9593 9366 or email  

This project has been supported by the City of Port Phillip through the Cultural Development Fund            

St Kilda Rocks The Bowlo for SKAC

St Kilda Rocks

Friday 22 September

St Kilda Bowls Club

Doors 7PM

St Kilda has long been a stomping ground for dirty, take no prisoners rock n roll. Long considered the home of underground rock and the place with some of Melbourne’s most iconic venues, St Kilda Rocks continues the legacy of St Kilda’s claim to DIY, grassroots approach to putting on live gigs and getting things done.

Local live music champions Suzi Q Dhol and Mark Entwistle in association with St Kilda Arts Crawl have put together a bill, featuring musicians from St Kilda’s past and present, to showcase what St Kilda sounds like in 2017. It will take place at the St Kilda Bowls Club, a massive supporter of live music in this town. For naysayers that say St Kilda is dead, have a look at this line up.

On the bill are new comers Ghetto Blaster & the Finger Bangers and the Dead Amigos proving rock is still alive and well in St Kilda, punk tribute legends the Peptides featuring iconic names from St Kilda musical past and present, Stackhouse with their cigar box blue collar anthem’s, and internationally recognised The Mercy Kills. This line up as well as the other events as part of the St Kilda Arts Crawl show that live music is still alive in St Kilda and how important the arts and artists are in the community.

St Kilda Rocks is part of the inaugural St Kilda Arts Crawl, a local event promoting the wonderful art of St Kilda and its artists over three days. Lay claim to being a part of history by getting down to the Bolwo or one of the other venues showcasing this incredible event.

Catch St Kilda Rock at the St Kilda Bowls Club on Friday 22 September. Doors 7pm, $10 at the door

Espy Comedy Gala Pop UP Presented By StKilda Comedy Club & SKAC

ST Kilda Comedy Club at Gershwin Room

MC Brad Oakes

Pommy Johnson, Dave O’Neil, Bob Franklin, Elliot Goblet

Chris Wainhouse, Christine Basil, .C J Fortuna, Wayne Deakin and More

Music By
Mark Hugh’s and temple of blues as the St Kilda Comedy House Band

Back in the day

Remember back in the day when the Espy hotel was in full swing?
Back when stand up comedy ruled the Gershwin room every Sunday afternoon.

A glorious mix of new and seasoned comics would strut their stuff in front of a packed enthusiastic crowd.

Back in the day when Hughsey was on the dole, Rove was in a double act with his old mate Duff and Pommy Johnson’s song
Psycho Chicken could be heard bellowing through the sacred hall to an eruption of applause ,the punters getting drunk off laughter alone.

Those were the days. It was a comedy show with a rock’n roll vibe.Espy comedy was the best thing in town.

Imagine if ‘back in the day’ was back tomorrow or more specifically back on Sunday the 24th of September at 3pm.

That’s right the Esplanade Hotel along with the St Kilda Arts Crawl and St Kilda Comedy Club are opening the doors to the Gershwin room For a one off special POP UP event bringing back the glory days of comedy in Melbourne.

Book Now and don’t miss out.

Doors 2PM Show 2.30

Neat Casual Dress

Tickets $25 general admission,
limited seats , first in best seated

24 September at 14:00–18:30

Find Tickets

Ticket information

11 The Esplanade, St KIlda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3182




WORM FARMING – By Daniel Widdowson

Don’t miss Australia’s new One Act Black Comedy about the refugee crisis. Endorsed by Order of Australia recipient and
member of the Queen’s council, Julian Burnside, AO QC
Australian Premier Tour of WORM FARMING
15th SEPTEMBER at 7.30pm
“This is an hilarious play. It draws out two contradictory aspects of Australian culture. It shows the traditional, genuine Australian instinct for hospitality and concern for those in need; and sets that against the current hysteria about refugees and, in particular, Muslim refugees.And it captures the Australian capacity for hiding (and hiding from) our worst impulses and our worst conduct.” ~ Julian Burnside AO QC
A hard working farming couple, their egotistical daughter, and disregarded son, are taking in a Syrian refugee… At least they’re trying to. First they must impress the hard nosed representative from the Refugee Council of Australia. This will involve wearing pants, demonstrating a sensitive cultural awareness, keeping unwanted boyfriends, girlfriends, and neighbours at bay, and ensuring everyone stays alive.
“The morbid and farcical elements in this play fit the exact requirements for a black, and in many ways, disturbing comedy. Worm Farming is dead on the money.”

Written by Australian of the Year finalist and ex Canberran Daniel Widdowson

Shows (Gold & Bronze Membership)
15/09/2017 7.30pm Australia/Canberra | Admin Fee $10.00 | Book Tickets

National Museum of Australia
Lawson Crs
ACTON, Australian Capital Territory

The Perfume Garden at Chapel Off Chapel

Rajendra Moodley’s story The Perfume Garden about the life of a typical Melbourne Indian family is warm and funny. In two parts with a 20 minute break this story entertains for the whole performance.

Moodley plays Anand whose use by date as a marriage candidate is quickly running out and his parents have sneakily introduced a potential suitor, Devi played by Sacha Joseph a cute but emotionally distant young woman seeking a new life in Australia.

Anand’s ambitious parents Satya and  Chitra (Vishwajeet Pradhan, Laura Lattuada) struggle to keep their spice shop viable whislt Chitra dreams of a tea lover’s cafe replace the spice business.  The father is peeved that he and his wife have to care for a distant relative, a stroke victim Ayah, and pressure Anand to spend his time helping with her care.

As implied by the name of the play, Anand also creates perfumes he believes are both fragrant and magical. After smelling this aroma the normally still Ayah springs to life as an incarnation of an Indian diva spirit and the humour oozes across the stage, and I mean ooze, I suppose Bollywood is larger than life and all the performers.

The Bollywood dance performances spring out through regularity during the play, I love the festive colour of it all!  Khema da Silva was the standout as Ayah and there were some extremely salient moments, but overall the performance was a tad disjointed, I am sure it got tighter during their season. Not quite there but still kept me interested and entertained during the two hours.

Australian Bollywood Productions, in association with What’s On Production Company, Ignite Bollywood and the Victorian State Ballet presents THE PERFUME GARDEN by Rajendra Moodley

Directed by Paul Watson

Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran

Season: 3 – 13 August 2017

Loktak Lairembee

Loktak is a lake that supports a fishing community that builds houses on floating biomass and fish from long canoes. A fully self-sustainable community that the Indian Government decided was polluting the lake their houses were destroyed. The Floating demolition rig is a monstrous looking machine boat loaded with armed military and the locals are scared and angry.

The story is told to us with an intimate look into lives of a terrified Tomba and his overworked wife Thombalsang after their home had been torched and living in a new hut on the lake. Tomba is so fearful he is frozen and his poor wife is so overworked and frustrated with his inability to function she warns of leaving him.

His mindset becomes more aggressive after he finds a hand gun in the bio mass, but his paranoia and fearful response to a late night visitor leads to tragedy. The film has no soundtrack and comes across as a reality protest documentary with a script.

LOKTAK LAIREMBEE may be slow going but is also mindful story and I am glad I am now aware of the indecency that is enforced on these people. 

Director: Haobam Paban Kumar Cast: Ningthoujam Sanatomba India, 2017
Manipuri with English subtitles

Run time: 91 minutes

LOKTAK LAIREMBEE is showing on Sunday the 20th of August at Hoyts. Forrest Hill for more info or to book your tickets click  here 

Djuki Mala are Fabulous

What a marvellous show at Map 57, Djuki Mala is one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had at any show this year.

The dancers from NE Arnhem land, Yolngu people, are also known as the ‘Chooky Dancers’ the comedic energy they bring to their dance when crossing cultural styles, their Zorba the Greek brings the house down.

It is an inspired meshing of traditional dance and modern concoctions, lending their talents to the various forms of dance dating back to the ‘70’s.

The show is backdropped with a huge screen that connects us to the story behind Djuki Mala, elder women explaining how dance was used as a diversion from drugs and alcohol and general misbehaviour on Elcho Island off Arnhem Land. Not only was the idea effective but now Djuki Mala tour the world showing their talents and exposing the world to the culture of their people and their communication with the broader community.

The entrancement of the traditional songs to highly ridiculous piss take humour this mob provide is so well supported by the audio visual, sound, lighting and effects in a seamless roller coaster ride of entertainment that leaves you feeling real good for such a long time, I am still cracking up at some of the poses for instance…

It is a wonderful story about how a simple and powerful idea can change peoples lives and end up a world wide sensation.

Djuki Mala play at Map 57 on the St Kilda Triangle site until Friday July 28, so if you want a great time and a huge belly laugh, get along to this show!

Next Fall

Darrin Redgate + Mark Davis
Darrin Redgate + Mark Davis

Opposites attract they say and Peter Blackburn’s direction of Geoffrey Naufft’s hilarious and poignant tragi-comedic exploration of an oddly matched gay couple throws light on the current discussion about the issues of marriage equality, acceptance and openness in a well-paced, humorous and  challenging performance.

Set in New York this complex story crossing between the present and flashbacks to 5 years of a loving relationship between Adam played by Darrin Redgate, a 40 year old atheist and Mark Davis plays Luke, a much younger devout Christian.

Their relationship has been hidden from Luke’s devout Southerner parents, Butch his father played by Paul Robertson as the brusque, grieving father and his eccentric mother, Kaarin Fairfax as Arlene. Such a fine performance from both actors!

One of the flashback scenes is the de-gaying of their apartment in preparation for Luke’s fathers soon arrival and Adam’s will to confront the issue of their relationship with the father. This causes some stress as Luke wants Adam to be invisible for a couple of hours but as luck would have it dad arrives as Adam swings into the lounge room carrying the picture of a large naked black man’s buttocks…it is amazing what some people choose not to see or process sometimes!

Luke lies in a hospital bed after an assault leads to brain damage. The play starts in the stark waiting room of the hospital with the couple’s bestie Holly (Sharon Davis) and Brandon (John Biasetto), Luke’s ex love interest setting the scene for the many dramatic waiting room scenes in the two act play.

The set design is an inspired use of the space, the use of the huge green draw curtains to signify the hospital and opening up to cleverly used stage props that take us through the couples 5 year relationship leading up to this tragedy.

Loved this play, a very strong statement about where society still struggles to accept equality today.

Cast:  James Biasetto, Mark Davis, Sharon Davis, Kaarin Fairfax, Paul Robertson, Darrin Redgate
Director: Peter Blackburn
Set and Costume Design: James Lew
Lighting Design: Megz Evans
Sound Design: Linton Wilkinson
Original Music/Score: Claire Healy
Stage Manager: Jacinta Anderson

12-30 July 
Time: 8pm Wednesday-Saturday, 5pm Sunday
Tickets: $39.50 Full, $29.50 Concession, 33.50 Group 8+ (+transaction fee)

Duration: Act 1: 50 minutes (20 minute interval) Act 2: 55 minutes



THE Les Twentyman Foundation is teaming with award-winning Australian musical theatre director and composer Warren Wills this month to run a new six-month community drama program, Embrace, in Melbourne’s West.

Physically and intellectually disadvantaged young Teens, from Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, are encouraged to join in the socially inclusive this program which culminates with a world premiere performance on October 12 at Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s theatre.

Embrace, a free musical theatre program for secondary school students, is based on similar projects Mr Wills has led in Shepparton, Victoria, and several outer-London boroughs to a socially inclusive program  to find a cultural common ground.

Over the past 15 years more than 10,000 young people from socially isolated communities and under-privileged backgrounds have played a part in musical theatre projects that Melbourne-born composer Mr Wills has led.

In the rural city of Shepparton, Mr Wills and fellow West End musical theatre producer Yamin Choudury ran a short pilot program of performing arts for 60 young people in 2011 with the backing of Latrobe University.

Youth outreach worker Les Twentyman attended a performance of the work they created, Ghost Gum High, at Shepparton’s Shepp Shed and expressed his interest in bringing an extended version of the program to Melbourne’s west, where Les Twentyman Foundation works with troubled youth.

Embrace Warren Wills, Les Twentyman and crew

Embrace rehearsals begin this month at two venues, Caroline Chisholm Catholic College in Churchill Ave, Braybrook  and community Centers in Footscray, Sunshine and Braybrook

Mr Wills said although he will be writing the score for the production the ideas for the storyline, roles and staging are completely in the hands of the 100 teens he hopes will commit to Embrace.

“I want the kids to be engaged and as creatively involved in the development of the show as possible,” Mr Wills said.

“My mantra is diversity, inclusivity and quality. This work with youths of different backgrounds is genuinely transformational.”

Mr Wills has worked as an award-winning musical director and composer of West End and Broadway shows over the past 30 years with credits on more than 50 productions.

He has worked closely with actors Pamela Anderson and Woody Allen, and has played and composed for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK.

Splitting his time between London and Melbourne, this year Mr Wills will also direct the world premiere of his new musical Bowie and Mercury Rising at Chapel off Chapel from July 26 to 30.

As a performer in his own right, he has recorded eight albums and his range as a pianist encompasses cabaret, classical, opera and jazz.

Mr Wills will perform on June 8 with special guests at Dizzy’s Jazz Club during the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.