Don’t miss The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls in Melbourne

Loved this show! Lucky enough to attend as a guest on Opening Night and just loved it. Mix of fairytales, mystery and enchantment. The darkness of the tales is broken up by the well-timed comedy throughout. Talented actors and a brilliant set. Just a few nights left in Melbourne so get down to see it!

The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls opened in Melbourne on 19th May 2017. Not knowing what to expect, I can honestly say this is an exceptional piece of independent theatre, one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Well produced, brilliantly acted and totally engaging.

The storyline is:

Once upon a time, in 2005, 20-year-old Annie is sent by her mother back to her native Russia to brush up on the language, and lose her American accent. Underneath an opulent, neon-lit, post-Soviet Moscow she discovers an enchanted motherland – teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches, and ravenous bears.

The dynamic nature of the play means there is never a dull moment. The fairytale stories have been intertwined and you keep guessing throughout, what will happen next. I loved the tailoring of the stories to the Russian setting and the actors captured that grim side to the fairytale’s well, as did the set.

I don’t want to give too much away but I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how the story would unfold. You can get a feel for the show here in trailers and imagery for the show here at Boutique Theatre’s website. : https://boutiquetheatre.com.au/season-2017/russiangirls/ 

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The actors are all brilliant and perfect for their parts, however I must point out that Felicity Steel is a stand out. Her stage presence and physicality is spectacular and her delivery of the character will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Some of the players performed multiple roles which added a great dimension, and made the cast seem much larger than it was. A great diversity amongst the players too.

The Irene Mitchell Theatre is a lovely little venue tucked away in the backstreets of South Yarra. There’s a bar at the show – but make sure to eat before you arrive as there aren’t so many food outlets close by. What they’ve done with the set is incredible and it was the perfect space for this back streets fairytale play.

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Trust me, don’t miss this show. The details are:

19 – 27 May, 2017
Tues – Sat, 8pm
Tickets: $32 Full, $28 Concession, $25 Grps 6+
Bookings: online only at www.boutiquetheatre.com.au
Enquiries: 0403 937 529 or boxoffice@boutiquetheatre.com.au
Venue: St Martins Youth Arts Centre (Irene Mitchell Studio) – 28 St Martins Ln, South Yarra
www.boutiquetheatre.com.au 

Thank you to Boutique Theatre for having me!


Review: The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls

Loved this show! Lucky enough to attend as a guest on Opening Night and just loved it. Mix of fairytales, mystery and enchantment. The darkness of the tales is broken up by the comedy throughout. Talented actors and a brilliant set. Just a few nights left in Melbourne so get down to see it!

LovellyCommunications

We were invited to the Opening Night of The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls in Melbourne on 19th May 2017. Genuinely I can say, this is not a show you want to miss.

Not knowing what to expect, I can honestly say this is an exceptional piece of independent theatre, one of the best I’ve seen in a while. Well produced, brilliantly acted and totally engaging.


The storyline is:

Once upon a time, in 2005, 20-year-old Annie is sent by her mother back to her native Russia to brush up on the language, and lose her American accent. Underneath an opulent, neon-lit, post-Soviet Moscow she discovers an enchanted motherland – teeming with evil stepmothers, wicked witches, and ravenous bears.

The dynamic nature of the play means there is never a dull moment. The fairytale stories have been intertwined and you keep guessing throughout, what will happen next. I loved the…

View original post 275 more words


Help us Launch Raspberry Ripple Productions

I’m really excited to be working on this Pozible campaign. To see an organisation officially launch and give people with a disability access to the arts. Helps us Launch Raspberry Ripple Productions!! I’ve been working as Publicist for almost a year through Lovelly Communications and am so excited to see this campaign LIVE.

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Raspberry Ripple Productions is a Disability Led theatre company. This campaign will help to build a fully accessible website, officially launch and put on many more brilliant performances that are inclusive. We aim to raise $9,500 – and hopefully more.

Raspberry Ripple aims to create compelling theatre of a professional standard using disabled and mainstream performers, writers, directors, designers and technical artists.

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Celebrating the milestones – $9,500 is the goal!

Why is a company like Raspberry Ripple needed? Because disabled performers have been excluded from mainstream performing arts for too long.

Raspberry Ripple operates around the Social Model of disability, which says that the barriers put in place by a world designed for ‘normal people’ disables us far more than our bodies ever will. Disabled people are excluded from work, education, recreation – and of course, the performing arts.

As a small team and a start up, we have limited funds to operate on. We rely upon grants and income from our productions to continue. Such an undertaking as an accessible website has to date been beyond our grasp but we know without it, we cannot grow and fully offer the services to those who need them.

We ask you to help support us by donating to our campaign and helping us to raise awareness for disability in the arts.

Pledge here: https://pozible.com/project/launch-raspberry-ripple-productions 

goal $9,500


Dragon at Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017

Melbourne! I am here! And tonight, I’ll be going to Dragon! Come with me. Nat Harris is awesome and I’m so excited to be going to her new show. See you there!

LovellyCommunications

Natalie Harris had a stellar 2016, performing her solo show Good Grief to sold out crowds at MICF and Melbourne Fringe and being awarded Screen Australia Gender Matters funding to develop the show into a web series. Now, Nat returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her brand new solo stand up show Dragon.

‘Dragon’ is the nickname Nat proudly gave herself at the age of 19 and persisted with until even her own mother finally started calling her ‘Dragon’. Now 31, she’s got an RSA under her belt, body corporate on her tail and two online dating profiles to her name. Her third solo show is filled with honest, divergent and hilarious tales of what it is like to be a self-made ‘Dragon’ in a modern world.

Natalie Harris (The Vagina Diaries ABC2, Twentysomething ABC2, , Fancy Boy ABC2) was a RAW State Finalist in 2012 and made…

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Exploring the Gold Coast with a Food and Wine Tour

When you’re new to an area, visiting or living, it can be hard to know where to go and what to do! It can be even harder when you have to start recommending places to visitors and guests who join you – and you have no clue! That’s why when I met Karen from Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours I was relieved! Someone who has done the research and can share it!

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Gold Coast Food and Wine Tours is an exciting addition to the Gold Coast food scene, with walking tours of Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise. Tours are proving popular for birthdays and hen’s parties as well as guests visiting the Gold Coast. I’m excited to have my first one booked in for Saturday 29 April as a guest of Karen’s and I cannot wait!

Accredited tour guide and business owner Karen Inglis-Turner launched the food tour company to cater for the rapidly growing interest in the region’s food and wine.

“High quality dining experiences have put the Gold Coast on the map as a foodie destination, with food tourism one of our fastest growing markets,” says Karen.

karen gc food and wine

Taking on the challenge of showing locals and visitors around the secret gems of the coast’s food industry, her business could not have come at a better time.

“Food is on trend right now, with dining rating among the Gold Coast’s highest tourism drawcards. Thanks to popular programs like Master Chef, people are more aware of the provenance of food, and the time and effort that goes into its preparation.”

So what can you expect on a food tour?

You’re going to get insider knowledge of the industry and see the hidden gems and foodie secrets that only a local would know. You’ll also get to meet the people behind the food – bakers, baristas and brewers who are really passionate about what they do and are happy to share their knowledge.

Karen says “Our tours evolve as the hospitality industry changes. Venues open and close, so even if you’ve been on one tour. It’s definitely worth coming back to take another.”

I’m really excited to explore more of the Gold Coast and try amazing food and beverage offerings (see above!) The tour I’m going on will take me to Burleigh Heads, a place I haven’t visited much but I hear it’s amazing! People often opting for the chill vibe a bit further away from the tourist hot spots. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to try all three of these amazing tours and expand my Gold Coast knowledge.

To book your tour visit goldcoastfoodandwinetours.com.au. Yummy things, come at me!

gold coast wine and food tours


Girls Night is back at MICF 2017

It’s all begun! Get your tickets and don’t miss this fab show as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017!

LovellyCommunications

Expect witty. Expect wicked. Expect wonderful. Grab your girlfriends and get ready to giggle, Girls Night is back for Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) 2017! Shows will run from 29 March to 9 April 2017 at The Upstairs Lounge @ Little Sista in the center of Melbourne.

cath-styles-girls-night Producer and MC Cath Styles

Cath Styles is bringing together the cream of the festival’s funny ladies in a night to celebrate all things female and funny. This festival favourite is big on value and even bigger on laughs.

Girls Night features an exciting mixed bag of stand-up, storytelling, sketch and musical comedy. The line-up changes every night and features: Mandy Nolan, Bev Killick, Nikki Britton, Alice Fraser, Diana Nguyen, Tessa Waters, Lauren Bok, Sally Kimpton, Georgie Carroll, MC Cath Styles and many more.

Always hilarious, Girls Night is hands down the ideal start to any night out at The Festival.

cath-styles Cath…

View original post 72 more words


Leaving Cherrapunjee and onto the next stop, Delhi!

We have loved our time in Cherapunjee so much. Exploring the state of Meghalaya and all its beauty has been an experience of a lifetime. The travel however, not so pleasant. Be prepared in this area for long drives, winding roads and a lot of down time in the car.

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We started our journey early from the hotel as it was at least a six-hour trip by car to the airport in Guwuhati. We did it in exactly six hours on the way. Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is on our route and it can sometimes take more than one hour alone to get from one side of the city to the other. Our flight wasn’t until 5pm but it’s not worth risking it.

I had planned to spend the car ride diary writing and blogging. The scenery and my sleepy head wouldn’t allow me that. I just happily stared out the window and observed the daily life of the people in this region. It was so nice to just let my mind wander. It’s something I miss about commuting by public transport at home, the time spent gazing out the window pondering the world at large.

As always with me, a toilet stop was required. Fortunately, it also offered an excellent view and was an activity point we had passed many times but never stopped. Click the photo and back in the car.

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Random cows were spotted out the windows – spot the cow is a fun and fruitful game to play when driving along the roads of India.

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We made good time and were able to stop for lunch much closer to Guwuhati, giving us more time for the airport if we needed it. We went to a traditional restaurant filled with Bamboo scaffolding, furniture and even table mats seemed to follow the natural theme.

When ordering, I’m trying to mix up the dishes so Matt gets to try a wide variety of cuisines. We decided in the more rural parts to go veg only and stuck with that theme. Veg Pulao (a  rice dish), malai kofta (dumplings of sorts in a crème sauce – my friends absolute favourite so I ordered in honour of her) and aloo ghobi (potato and cauliflower curry). I over ordered, or perhaps they were too generous in their servings. Either way, all was delicious and the service, as so often it is in India, was wonderful! We also got to try Thumbs Up (I love the sugary indian version of coke) and water…. Fosters water!

 

We reached the airport well ahead of our 5pm scheduled flight. We farewelled our lovely driver Bablu and began the hustle bustle of the Indian airport experience.

Our flight on Jet Airways was wonderful. I’ve flown them so many times over the years and I think they have to be my Indian airline of choice. Lovely service, delightful food that comes around very quickly, and comfortable seats. It doesn’t look that great – but it tastes good!

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We reached Delhi and it was nice to see the familiar arrivals hall. I haven’t been to Delhi for quite some time but used to spend a large majority of my trips here staying with friends in their homes. I got to see the day to day life of Delhites. We only have one quick night here but I’ve arranged to do a half day city tour which our tour company Take Me to India kindly obliged. I think it’s nice for Matt to experience the history of the capital of India.

Our lovely tour operator Pankaj from Take me to India met with us. I cannot recommend them more highly and will continue to mention their wonderful service throughout my blog. If you would like to see a sample of my AMAZING itinerary, please do email me via the contact page. It was nice to meet face to face after so many emails and calls.

take-me-to-india

We were put up in the Holiday Inn near the airport for convenience. It happened to also be a 5-star hotel. I am not complaining! We enjoyed a bit of luxury after our humbler, yet wonderfully serviced, hotel in Cherrapunjee. We dolled ourselves up and enjoyed a few cocktails and snacks at the hotel bar for an exorbitant fee. Go on, splurge a little! We collapsed into bed, ready for the Northern part of our adventure to begin!

(Yes, the pillows even said FIRM and SOFT! Luxury!)

 

If you would like to follow our journey on Instagram, please check out @Lovellyem and search the #tag #EmmaMattyIndiaSing2017.

Written on Day 10 of our 24 Day trip in India with stopover in Singapore.


Caves and waterfalls in and around Cherrapunjee

Sleep in!! After a few early mornings and busy itineraries, we were given a luxurious departure time of 9.30am. Though we struggled to sleep past 8am, the rest was welcomed. We didn’t really know what today had in store – generic sightseeing of waterfalls, caves and viewpoints was the description from our tour guide before he departed, so we’ll see!

We’ve been going to bed so early here, it’s been awesome catching up on the sleep. But when you wake, you’re famished and eagerly awaiting the breakfast buffet at Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort!

Off in the car again. Poor Matt. He’s been such a trooper with all this driving around for someone who gets really quite motion sick. Today would be shorter stints in the car so that should help. I did ask the driver to stop on the way past this beautiful little town. It was actually the place we started our walk to the Living Bridges but from high above on the cliffs it looks like a little toy town and it makes me smile.

 

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First stop was the Mawsmai Cave. As often happens in India, we went to look at a tourist attraction and became one. I knew people would LOVE Matt’s hair and they sincerely do. He always gets asked for photos first and as I stand back and giggle they say “Maam, Maam you please” and I’m also included in the picture.

We managed to get a break from the big group and had the narrow caves to explore all to ourselves. Unfortunately, this cave was really rather… well… dead! It has been touched, poked and walked on so much that it’s no longer living and growing. It still looked interesting but Matt explained it should be a lovely white colour and that, it certainly was not. It was wonderful having a science buff with me to explain a lot of what was going on.

We did find one other small cave which still had living parts and was a lot whiter and more vibrant. It’s nice to share these sights with people but it’s hard to ensure they are adequately respected and cared for.

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Our next stop was the Eco Park. The name baffled Matt as strewn all around the place, including down waterfalls, was rubbish. It’s a big problem all over India and although the messaging from communities and local Governments is “Care for the environment”, it’s not really practiced or enforced.

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Sohra, near to Cherapunjee and where many of the sights we were visiting, is one of the wettest places on earth. We just happened to be there in Winter aka the dry season. We were also informed that due to environmental changes they are not receiving anywhere near the amount of water they used to and hence some of the sights look quite different to what is advertised.

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One such site was Seven Sister Falls. This is all that there is of the waterfall at this time. We weren’t too disappointed as we had been forewarned not to expect much. It’s definitely inspired me to come one time in September, soon after the monsoon to see it in its true glory.

We walked all around the park. There were some amazing views of the valley and we could see where the waterfalls and rivers would usually flow. It was kinda cool walking across what would usually be a gushing waterfall and is currently a trickling stream. There were lots of locals nearby washing their clothes in the river. Always a fascinating sight to me.

We continued on to the next attraction, another cave. Arwah Cave. Each attraction had a bit of a walk which was good to stretch the legs (though we are still in so much pain from our epic trek to the living bridges). It was a beautiful winding walk around the valley under a thick canopy of jungle greenery. We spotted another waterfall as we walked and some lovely water features along the way.

It was definitely the big cave. We climbed down into this cave which was lit in parts along the way. Matt said this cave was definitely still alive and active. There was water running through the bottom and some of the features were clearly growing. We climbed up stairs and crawled along passages. We walked quite deep into the cave and at one point I did feel a little short of breath, we were inside the hill after all. Although bigger, I liked the intricacies and shapes of the Mawsmai caves better. But interesting to visit all the same.

Our final stop for sightseeing on this day was the Nohkalikai falls. I’ll share another blog on the interesting history of the naming of these falls and some more about this area. In short, Noh Ka Likai means “Leap of Likai” after the woman by the name of Likai leapt off the falls. Grim but interesting tale. We wandered around the grounds and I did actually LOL when I saw this sign. The irony!!!

 

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This was probably the most active of all the falls we had seen and we could only imagine how impressive it would be in the height of monsoon season. A beautiful turquoise pool of water formed at the bottom that was ever so enticing – apart from the epic hike down to the bottom. We found a small lookout which offered a better view of the falls. It also had some stairs, which we assumed led to another and better viewing platform. So we walked. And walked and walked. Instantly regretting our decision on this never-ending quest for better views.

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Matt was in pain from the trek and his muscles ached so he decided running down like a lunatic would help that pain… ok.

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We gave up after a while and settled for q pretty incredible view. Not too shabby. Then we walked up, and up, and up… again!!

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Our sightseeing day ended at the famous Orange Roots restaurant. It’s the partner restaurant to our lovely hotel, Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort. They appear to be the most esteemed tourist venues in this area. We opted for a thali as you get a little bit of everything and we were rewarded with a tasty meal and excellent service.

They even have a bell so you can tell them just how good you thought it was. “Ring if you liked it”. So I rang it!

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That brought a close to our lovely day of sightseeing. I think in all honesty we could have crammed the one extra day into the others and had two days of travel and two days of sightseeing. However, it’s also nice sometimes to have down time – something my itineraries often don’t allow.

One last sunset. One last delicious buffet meal with our gorgeous Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort staff. I just had to have a photo with these gorgeous women. Again, Athiti Devo Bava.

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If you would like to follow our journey on Instagram, please check out @Lovellyem and search the #tag #EmmaMattyIndiaSing2017.

Written on Day 9 of our 24 Day trip in India with stopover in Singapore.


Biking around the Gold Coast

Last year I got a new bike! I feel like a five-year-old at Christmas! It’s all shiny and new and ever so pretty. As soon as I found out we were heading to the Gold Coast, I knew I wanted my very own bike. I’ve borrowed bikes from family and purchased second hand bikes, but this time I wanted it to be all mine.

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Cycling as a mode of transport is a delightful concept. I have dreamed of a time where I can be a bicycle commuter. I aimed to do it in Sydney, but the fast paced streets are not safe for my cruisey style. I did it in Melbourne for a few months, but then my work shifted to the suburbs and my crusty old mountain bike was no match for the massive roads and busy commuters. But now, being on the Gold Coast! A city that is flat as a tack with bike paths as far as the eye can see. It’s the lazy bike riders dream!

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I feel safe and secure on the road and actually, I can get to many places on bike paths or even through bike trails in the Broadwater Parklands. I’m enjoying the rides for pleasure and seeing my new area by bike.

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My partner is commuting to his work at Sea World Australia and so I’ve made a deal that I’ll ride with him at least one way, and possibly both. That’s a 40 minute round trip and it’s a great way to start or end my work day. I’ve also been extending my bike ride to go past Sea World and explore The Spit and marina area. It’s so lovely having the bush on one side and the bay on the other.

I’m yet to venture along Main beach and all the way down to Surfers Paradise, but I promise I will. As much as I can, I want this bike to be my mode of transport. Especially with the lovely basket in the front, it’s very achievable.

 

On your bike. Bing bing!


I miss writing for me!

Reality check – I travel as a lifestyle and I am fortunate to do a lot of it! 

My job is on my computer. My desk is wherever I am (it’s generally my lap.)

I love people telling me I can’t earn a living and continue to galavant. Or that I can’t buy a house and travel. Ummm watch me! 

I work to travel. To explore. To experience. 

I build my life and my career around my adventures. I’m loving that I can have a rewarding career, loving boyfriend, goals of investing in my future and still see so many amazing places.

A lot of work I’ve been doing in the past year has been around writing content. So much content. I’m so busy writing posts, articles, copy and more, that there is no room for my creative writing.

I’ve been to SO many places and I get asked all the time for my advice and guidance. It’s all stuck up in my head. I haven’t had, or I haven’t MADE, the time to share it. It’s my goal this year to blog in real time and to also re-live some of the wonderful travel moments I’ve had. Such as this, sitting at the top of a waterfall in the tropical jungle of Xilitla, Mexico.

waterfall-emma

Travel is a part of me. It’s not something I do. I live for it!

I love that this blog is a platform where I can share my stories and those of the people I meet and places I see. I hope that people can feel inspired to take on their own adventures. Writing about travel transports me to exotic lands and wonderful places. It’s a blessing to get to have these experiences in real time, when writing, and later again when I read back over the adventures.

This year, I will write! For joy. For me.


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