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There was an electricity last night at the Athenaeum Theatre that I haven’t felt in a live venue for a long time. Even before the cast of The Wedding Singer hit the stage the maskless, full-capacity crowd had a buzz going through it. Perhaps it was the blue carpet arrivals or perhaps it was the fact that the crowd seemed to be relaxed and having fun but it finally felt that was live theatre was back in a post-Covid Melbourne. Luckily for all of us there there was also a buzz amongst the cast last night and they were there to deliver there A-Game.

Based on the 1998 Frank Coraci film of the same name The Wedding Singer centres around Robbie Hart (Christian Charisiou) the lead singer of a well-loved New York wedding band called Simply Wed. And while Robbie is the perfect front-man his band-mates, Sammy (Haydan Hawkins) and George (Ed Deganos) dream of bigger and better things. And while he loves performing at weddings and making people happy even Robbie is starting to realise that he can’t live in his Grandmother’s (Susan-ann Walker) basement forever.

Then on the day of his own wedding to the very sexual Linda (Kirby Burgess) Robbie’s world is turned upside down when he is left at the altar. Suddenly Robbie doesn’t believe in love any more and certainly doesn’t want to be the front-man of a wedding band anymore.

Meanwhile two waitresses that work at the reception centre frequented by Simply Wed watch on and try to help anyway they can. Holly (Nadia Komazec) has recently broken up with Sammy and refuses to admit that he is right when he says that she is not over him, while her best friend Julia (Teagan Wouters) is waiting for the day that her money-hungry boyfriend Glen Guglia (Stephen Mahy) proposes to her so she can countdown to becoming Julia Guglia.

The cast and crew of The Wedding Singer really need to take a bow because everything came together perfectly for this show. As a musical The Wedding Singer goes far beyond your average show that just features covers of 80s and 90s hits. The original tracks here (with music by Matthew Sklar and lyrics by Chad Beguelin) are all memorable and I dare anybody to leave the theatre without humming either It’s Your Wedding Day or Grow Old With You. When it comes to actual stage presence Love The Green is a stand-out while the audience erupted into laughter during the classic I Want To Die.

When it came to the cast there were no weak links. Leading man Christian Charisiou was brilliant all night as he mixed comedy and emotional moments from start to finish while Nadia Komazec and Kirby Burgess sizzled all night… the latter bringing in some amazing burlesque moves. Teagan Wouters handled the more reserved Julia well while Haydan Hawkins and Ed Deganos stole every scene they were in.

Everything comes together amazingly well with The Wedding Singer. The songs are memorable, the cast sensational and even set moves add atmosphere to the show… as does the general staging and lighting. This is a stunning show not easily forgotten by its audience.

Rating Out Of 5 Stars:

The Wedding Singer runs until the 14th May at Melbourne’s Athenaeum. Tickets can be purchased here – https://athenaeumtheatre.com.au/facebook-event/the-wedding-singer-the-musical-comedy/

From the moment Fijian-born musician Adrian Narayan heard metal music he knew he wanted to be a musician. In the early days he grew up on a healthy diet of Limp Bizkit and Korn today Narayan has been wowing Melbourne audiences with his prog/metal style and he recently released a new single titled Fight Friend Flee.

Now Narayan sits down and talks to Dave Griffiths about his debut EP – The Reptile Mind EP – which is set to be released on June 11th.

You can take a listen to the full interview right here:

Following the release of the powerfully cathartic ‘Violent’ and introduction of new vocalist Oli Duncanson, THECITYISOURS announce their highly anticipated new album with it’s title-track ‘COMA’ out now. The album is set for release 22nd October 2021 via Arising Empire.
There is a palpable sense of loss that ties together the band’s sophomore offering. TCIO tackles the passing of loved ones, relationships, even personal sovereignty and self-control head-on. However, juxtaposed against their vibrant and fresh feeling, pop-centric arrangements, expertly interwoven with infectious hooks and crushing riffs; »COMA« breathes a perfect balance, radiating an underlying sense of positivity and resilience through an otherwise dark concept.»COMA« will be available as CD and special limited coloured vinyl!
“COMA is an honest account of how I was feeling trying to understand why I was spiralling into a void,” expresses TCIO founding member Mikey Page. “I wrote the song as a method of coping and catharsis. It embodies a period of self-loathing where, the love I had, no matter how strong, was not enough to save an important relationship.” Page recounts. “I wanted to produce an honest account, showing that it’s okay to be vulnerable, and to encourage others to speak up and take positive action instead of internalising them and struggling alone.”
»COMA« was recorded, engineered and mixed by long-time collaborator Oz Craggs (FEED THE RHINONECK DEEPMALLORY KNOX) at Hidden Track Studios and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic (ARCHITECTSPERIPHERYNORTHLANE) at Systematic Productions.‘Following the departure of long-standing vocalist Sam Stolliday (full statement HERE), the band unexpectedly found themselves in unknown territory. 12 months on, they are back with the introduction of new vocalist Oli Duncanson and ready to welcome a brand new era of TCIOOli recounts “I remember being shown some demos of some new songs prior to Sam’s departure and absolutely loving the direction and progression of the band’s sound… so as soon as Mikey told me about the opening in the band, I knew I had to take a chance!”

Page adds “Oli has been a part of our team for a long time. He is a very well respected entity in his own right amongst the music scene. We’d seen snippets of his capabilities over the years, so when he registered an interest in becoming a part of CITY, we knew we had to explore…and we clicked instantly.”

As the Australian live music scene starts to open back up after the dreaded pandemic lockdown Young Henry’s are helping things along by announcing new Best Served Loud shows featuring talent including Seaside, VOIID, FANGZ and Full Flower Moon Band.

Because of that this week Dave Griffiths sat down and had a chat with the boys from FANGZ to find out what they have in store for fans and how they managed to survive the lockdown blues.

You can take a full listen to the interview right here:

The last couple of months have been a busy time for Byron Bay’s favorite sons In Hearts Wake. The band have finally been able to hit the road and continue their postponed tour, they have released new environmentally friendly vinyl and now the band have been added to the bill for the Full Tilt Festival alongside some of Australia’s premier heavy acts.

Recently Dave Griffiths had a chance to sit down and chat to Jake Taylor from the band to find out about everything that the band has been doing and to see how he feels about being able to play at Full Tilt.

You can listen to the full interview right here:

1. Q. How did you come up with the idea for Wrath of Man?

A. The idea came to me over 10 years ago after watching the French movie Le Convoyeur, and then one day I decided to stop talking about it and go ahead and make it.

2. Q. Then what happened?

A.  I wrote the script and called Jason Statham, who is my mate, and we ended up having a lovely time making it together.

3. Q. Your career as a filmmaker took off precisely with Jason Statham on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. And although you haven’t worked with Statham for quite a while, was it easy to fall back into the same dynamics you had with him years ago?

A. Oh yes, it was just like the old days. We are all a bit older now, and probably not any wiser, but it’s always fun to work with him.

4. Q. How similar is your movie to Le Convoyeur?

A. That film represents only about a quarter of what this one is, which is basically just the premise of how the guy finds out who the inside man is. In the original movie he was an ordinary man that had no skills, but here there is some irony involved in the investigation and a reason for whom he is and why he was where he was when the first robbery happened. And I think it’s fun.

5. Q. So, how would you explain the plot of Wrath of Man?

A. Well, it’s a revenge action movie with some interesting hooks in it that I like quite a lot. There are different layers that reveal themselves during the process of unpacking this particular narrative. So, the story twists and turns to the point where you realize that nothing is what it first presented itself to be. And precisely those twists and turns are what interest me the most about the story.

6. Q. It seems like it is one of your more dramatic films to date.

A. That is true. Actually, I am trying my hardest not to laugh or make it funny. I just hope it feels fresh to the audience, because that’s how it feels to me at the moment.

7. Q. The mysterious man working at a cash truck company known as H – the main character played by Jason Statham – reminds us a bit of those great 70’s antiheroes.

A. I agree, I think he has a 70’s tacit antihero feel to him; although I believe H has a bit more to say in this final incarnation of the script, now that we are more into it. And that’s because I like to pretty much let these characters come alive on the day, rather than overworking them before. Jason is definitely the right man for this job.

8. Q. How have you seen Jason Statham evolve as an actor over the years since you started working with him?

A. Well, as we can all see, Jason has star quality. People just love him and relate to him. Quite a lot of those lads from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels have cracked on.

9. Q. But did you already see that star quality in him back then?

A. Yes, I did. Jason is structured like an old-fashioned leading man, and there are not a lot of those around.

10. Q. After making a movie of the size of Aladdin, you are now shooting Wrath of Man for a much lower budget. Do you enjoy working on all kinds of genres with different budgets?

A. I like trying different things and never want to feel I’m stuck in a genre. And the budget doesn’t affect me, because I always know what I am getting into. I like expensive and inexpensive movies, the same way I like foul-mouthed and family friendly movies. In the end what you want to have as a filmmaker is a broad experience of genres.

11. Q. But what movies or genres inspired you growing up?

A. I loved Spaghetti Westerns and all those Clint Eastwood movies. And I actually have his kid Scott in this film. He has a proper role as quite a naughty boy.

12. Q. Music plays an important role in your films. Should we expect another unique soundtrack for Wrath of Man?

A. Yes, I hope so. I am looking forward to doing something interesting with it.

13. Q. Your movies also have a cool look and style to them.

A. It’s hard for me to be objective about either what my style is or what is stylish. I can only put things in there that are esthetically pleasing, but I can say that every movie I make is one I would like to watch, although you are always nervous before a film comes out because you want to be able to make the next one.

14. Q. Are you more nervous while you are shooting the film or after you have made it?A. Always after I have made it because every movie has three components: the actual movie, the marketing and the day it is released, and I can only really control the first one.

Wrath Of Man hits cinemas this Thursday.

Umbrella Entertainment will release filmmakers Andrew Traucki & David Nerlich’s critically lauded survival-horror BLACK WATER to Blu-ray in a feature-packed edition on May 5th.

After blazing the international film festival circuit around the world including London’s FrightFest and Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, BLACK WATER was released to Australian audiences in 2008 and quickly became a genre touchstone in local cinema, surpassing the reputations of both ROGUE and DARK WATER.

Heralded by the BBC as “short, sharp and refreshingly nasty” and Time Out as a “scary horror movie [that] makes effective use of one striking location and one strong idea“, BLACK WATER is without a doubt an Australian genre classic worthy of celebration with Umbrella Entertainment’s global Blu-ray debut.

Special Features

Audio Commentary with filmmakers Andrew Traucki & David Nerlich
The Making of BLACK WATER
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer

Synopsis

Grace (Diana Glenn, HARROW), her boyfriend Adam (Andy Rodoreda, CARGO) and younger sister Lee (Maeve Dermody, THE SECRET GARDEN) decide to take a river tour whilst holidaying in Northern Australia. As they drift into a mangrove swamp, their boat is suddenly capsized and their guide disappears. Realising they’ve been attacked by a crocodile, Adam drags Grace to the safety of a tree whilst Lee clings on top of the overturned boat. Adam and Grace frantically try and manoeuvre Lee and the boat to the tree but it is firmly stuck. Stranded in the flooded mangrove swamp, the three holiday makers must work out what to do to survive.

BLACK WATER on Blu-ray from May 5th.