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. : 

russian girls

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.


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
Enquiries: 0403 937 529 or
Venue: St Martins Youth Arts Centre (Irene Mitchell Studio) – 28 St Martins Ln, South Yarra 

Thank you to Boutique Theatre for having me!

A Sunburnt History at MICF – You’ve gone and done it again!!

These incredibly talented performers are at it again with the third instalment of A Sunburnt History. This time it’s “NOT Galipolli.”


This was one of the most thoughtful, creative and entraining shows I saw at MICF… in both 2013 and 2014. As former clients of Lovelly Communications, I am proud as a mother duck to see them kicking butt out there in comedy land!

So, what’s it all about?

We’re back!
ASH is bringing a BRAND NEW show to this year’s Comedy Festival.
It’s Charlie and Spanky addressing the big questions, it’s sweaty, naked (literally) and it mentions the war.
But it is definitely NOT Gallipoli.

“Has the audience rolling in the aisles” Stage Whispers

“I literally, audibly gasped for air!” In Batmania

“Don’t miss ‘the exciting next wave of Australian comedy” ★★★★ Herald Sun 2014

“Comedy Gold” ★★★★ The Pun

Venue: Trades Hall, The Whitlam Room
Dates: 28th March – 19th April (No Mondays), Previews Thurs 26th – Fri 27th March
Tickets: $24 Full, $20 concession, group, laugh pack, $16 Tight arse Tuesday
Times: 20:30 Tuesday – Saturday, 19:30 Sunday
Bookings: Ticketmaster, at the door

Join the boys on Facebook:

Twitter hit them up at @wegotburnt

Darkness and Light at MICF 2015, Incredible Comedy show not to be missed

My favourite show of Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2015 is on again and I’m so happy to catch it in the last week of the comedy festival, Darkness and Light. The show is on 7.30pm at

This show is powerful with comedians speaking openly and honestly about REAL issues and matters. IT’s fun and entertaining because they are talented artists, but there stories are also moving. It’s a show of ups and downs, laughs and light, and always entertaining!

Fall down seven times, stand up eight. And tell some jokes about it! 

Comedy gets real as the cream of the Festival’s funny people (and some very special guests) share some very personal postcards from the edge in a show that will make you laugh and cry, but mostly laugh! 

A combination of hilarious stand-up and stunning storytelling, each night is a collection of stories about being human, including tall, true tales about love, loss, coming out, growing up, losing their minds, and the times they nearly didn’t make it. 

It’s not a show, It’s an experience! 

Don’t miss Darkness and Light! 

Some fab reviews!

‘Uplifting. See this show.’ Glass Wings

‘Darkness and Light is no downer. ★★★★’ Herald Sun

‘Surprisingly refresghing.’ Crikey

Get more details here: 


The line ups for the next week!
Cath Styles, Danny McGinlay, Chris Franklin
Cath Styles, Urzila Carlson, Michael Bowley
Cath Styles, Becky Lou, Richard McKenzie, Daniel Tobias
Cath Styles, Wizard Sandwiches, Jon Bennett, (maybe) Greg Fleet
Cath Styles, Jodie J Hill

International Day of the Girl

I am thrilled to be supporting the first ever United Nations’ International Day of the Girl  on 11th of October 2012.


Funds raised from the lunch and networking event will support Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign and help break down further barriers to educate millions of girls, moving from poverty to opportunity.

Event details are below and attached:


When: Thursday, 11th October 2012

Time: 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Lunch & Networking: 12:00pm for 12:45pm

Speakers : 12:45pm to 1:30pm

Raffle Draw: 1:30pm to 1:40pm

Networking: till 2pm

Where: Our Venue Sponsors – PITCHER PARTNERS

Level 19, 15 William Street, Melbourne


This will be a fabulous event and celebration of girls and women!

Traveller Profile – Photographer, Cam Cope

Travel writing has led me to meet many wonderful and interesting people. I had the pleasure of bumping into Cam Cope at the Melbourne Writers MeetUp and I was so impressed with his travel tales.

Cam has recently launched his amazing exhibition at the Melbourne Museum in Victoria, Boorun’s Canoe. This is a must see in Melbourne as a beautiful representation of Aboriginal Cutture and a modern appreciation of a great history.

I loved reading Cam’s interpretation of his Australia.  Some great info and advice here so travellers read up!



  1. Name: Cam Cope


  1. Occupation: Photographer and travel writer


  1. Country of Residence: Australia


  1. Country of Origin: Australia


  1. email/contact/ website: / / / /


  1. Why do you love Travel?

My Dad (Andrew Cope) really inspired in my siblings and myself a sense of curiosity about the world and a strong sense of adventure. He was an outdoor education lecturer at Monash University so we all grew up surfing, skiing, hiking, kayaking, camping, abseiling etc. But Dad was the kind of person who would also stay up late reading Greek mythology or books about Aboriginal culture. His sense of wonder for the world was a great gift that I’m still thanking him for. For me travel is a vehicle to keep inspired by exploring what I value most: the world’s natural and cultural diversity. That’s why I love travel and I definitely consider myself lucky to be able to share my passion from behind the lens and in writing.



  1. Favourite place in your home country and why?


Wilsons Promontory National Park in South Gippsland, Victoria. It’s in my home region and it’s where I discovered a love for the natural world, hiking and surfing. So there’s a touch of local pride in my choice but I reckon it’s got the best beaches in the country. You can even trick people into thinking it’s tropical with it’s white sand and turquoise waters (in photos that is). The best beaches there are also a bit harder to get to, you have to hike in (unlike the coastal asphalt that most tourists experience when they visit the Great Ocean Road on the other side of Melbourne). There are no busloads either and the surfing is uncrowded so I hope I don’t send too many people down that way.


  1. Best place for tourists to visit in your country?


I think what is truly unique about Australia is Aboriginal Culture and the epic sense of space you feel in the landscape. Our cities are great too, but they are not what make our country truly unique. I think this is part of the reason why our identity is so linked with the coast and the outback, despite being one of the most highly urbanised countries in the world. So I always recommend people to get away from the cities and experience the low-key places, the enormous national parks, the bush, the rainforest, the desert, of course the beaches but also the mountains that are usually overlooked. I also say to visit local Aboriginal Cultural centres and look up local guides. You don’t have to go to the desert to experience it (not that you can really miss central Australia, it is amazing) but there is incredible diversity in Aboriginal culture all over the country.




  1. What other country would you live in if you had to leave your country?


If I had to go anywhere else it would probably be Brazil. The relaxed atmosphere, beaches and friendly people remind me of home, but where our culture becomes a bit stiff (music and dancing) they become even more relaxed and somehow go nuts at the same time.


  1. Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?


I think the most amazing travel experience I’ve had here in Australia was sailing for five weeks from the Gold Coast to the Whitsunday Islands in 2009. We were able to visit so many amazing places that are way off the tourist trail and totally out of reach unless you have a boat. It’s a reflection of Australia in general I think, the further you get from the beaten track the more you can experience how epic this country really is.




  1. Favourite activity when around your city?


When I’m back in Melbourne (where I’m based at the moment) I like to explore the many bars and restaurants. There is so much variety you can just about eat any kind of world food if you look for it. I love when I find a new favourite place, and they always seem to be opening up, which is usually bad news for my wallet. I also can’t help keeping tabs on every footy (world’s greatest game) no matter what I’m doing.


  1. Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?


I think I know it quite well, hosting visitors has given me great excuse to explore over the years. However there are still some big gaps, Tasmania and Western Australia are next on the list.


  1. Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?


Australians don’t like whingers. If you’re bothered by the insects put some repellent on and then practice some Zen. We don’t want to hear about it. Don’t complain too much about the price of living here (unless it’s alcohol in which case fair enough) or the price of getting here. Or the heat, or the sun, or the crappy ads on TV (warranted), or that it gets cold in Melbourne in the winter (you can google our climate before coming) we’ve heard it all before. Understand that you are in an isolated place and that it’s expensive for us to travel away from here too. The current high value of the Australian dollar is a modern phenomenon, we are well travelled and have visited places like Europe and North America when it was in the doldrums, so understand the coin can fall both ways (pun intended). Besides, if Australia were cheap and easy you probably wouldn’t want to wake up next to it in the morning.



  1. Must see movie featuring your country and Why?


For Aboriginal culture check out Ten Canoes. For an insight into the cultural differences between our cities check out He Died with a Felafel in his Hand. For a sense of our humour check out The Castle. For a brutal but realistic depiction of the Australian frontier check out The Proposition. For a shocking, hilarious and existential masterpiece (everything an Australian movie should be) check out Bad Boy Bubby.


  1. The best book to read before visiting your country?


I recommend the same book to Australians and foreigners alike. It’s called Why Weren’t We Told by Henry Reynolds and gives incredible insight into the colonial history of Australia and contemporary race politics.


  1. The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?


Being a recent migrant nation Australia is still searching to define its cuisine. You will find amazing variety and quality of all food styles here (in urban centres at least). Where we are starting to find identity is in native ingredients. Don’t be squeamish, eat kangaroo, it’s lean, delicious, high in iron, low in cholesterol and a better alternative for the local environment than beef. -Our wattle seed tea is another unknown gem.

Moon Dance_by_Cam_Cope

  1. The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier? E.g. How much? Too expensive or Hello.


Master these three and the rest will follow:

  • G’day mate.
  • No worries mate.
  • Cheers mate.


  1. Best time of year to visit?


Being a continent of many climes it all depends on where you go and what you’re after. If you want beaches and sunshine, avoid the south in winter (yes our winter, commenting on how amazing it is that the seasons are reversed in the Southern hemisphere will set Aussie eyes rolling faster than mentioning shrimp and barbecues in the same sentence). But a safe bet anywhere is always summer, we’ll be on holiday and disposed towards having a good time and including you in it.


  1. The 4 words that best describe your country:


Ancient, relaxed, remote, irreverent. 



Shannah Kennedy: Simplify, Structure, Succeed

I’ve introduced a new section to my blog called Business Profiles. In this category I would like to highlight the businesses I love and the people who inspire me. It’s my pleasure to have Shannah Kennedy as my first business profile.

Shannah Kennedy and I met recently at the Melbourne Writers Group where Shannah was the guest speaker. She has recently published her first book “simplify, structure, succeed” and it was inspirational to hear her talk about the process. I’ve got 4 books in my mind and with Shannah as an example pathing the way, I may actually get them out there one day.

Shannah has a lot to say about life, business, and the world and she shares this through her life coaching business and now her book. Read about how she runs her business and what’s important to make it successful.

  1. Name: Shannah Kennedy
  1. Occupation/ business: Professional Life Strategist
  1. Position: Owner
  1. Country of Residence;  Australia
  1. Email:,


6. Twitter:



  1. Give us your elevator pitch. What does your business do?

I consult to business’ and people on their personal and professional strategies.  The outcome is living life optimally both personally and professionally

  1. When did you start your business?


  1. What’s your passion?

My job, I love it!  I love structure that has purpose that leads to results. I am passionate about people not wasting life, passionate about my health both physical and mental, about my family (married with 2 kids), about my business and my future.

  1. What do you love most about running your business?

Flexibility, control, profitability and choice.

  1. What are three difficulties you face in running your business?
  1. Becoming insular is very easy to do, when you work at home for yourself you need to set yourself goals to get out and keep getting out of your comfort zone or you don’t grow.
  1. Self motivating the whole time, to do all parts of the business – there is no team around you to have the ‘water cooler’ talk.
  2. No accountability – so you have to be honest with yourself. I employ a coach so I am accountable and just have to be 100% authentic. I believe as a coach you need to be 100% authentic and doing it yourself before you can assist others.
  1. What are three pieces of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
    1. Clarity clarity clarity – why are you doing what you do, what is the real purpose.
    2. Foundation and systems and structures to make it easy for yourself, you need to really invest in the setting it up like a real business not a hobby.
    3. You need a champion/coach/mentor to call upon. You need support, doing it alone is a long touch road and not much fun!
  1. Tell us, with an anecdote, why your business has changed your life?

My business definitely changed my life. I never dreamed it would be this big, go this well and take me to where it has, but I believed totally in what I was doing and where I was going. I always focus on what is critical in the business and feel the rest will follow.  The business has made me grow, challenge myself as the buck stops with me and no one else! There is more responsibility, which makes me feel like I am really living!

  1. How do you manage a work/life balance?

I love to challenge this all the time. Work life balance I think is partly time, and partly a state of mind. We can be busy, but if we understand the purpose, the clarity and the vision and have a good structure, we should be able to breathe through it all. Busy does not equal stress.  I book in my diary time to work on my diary – sounds strange but I do. I spend at least an hour preparing the next 4-6 weeks – thinking through the days and preparing myself to be organised enough that there is minimal stress. I book in some fun, exercise, time for finances, friends and family. I book in the date night with my husband and some kids activities, I book in the massage and all I need for the next 6 weeks…..once I am covered then where is the stress – then it is down to state of mind…..  work life balance is about knowing what you need to feel good and in control and making it happen and that is entirely our responsibility. We can get curve balls thrown at us, but ultimately we choose how to handle it all.

  1. The best book to read before starting a business or when running a business?

The E Myth by Michael Gerber

  1. Your favourite inspiration/ motivation/ business quote?

“It is not so much what you get from achieving your goals, but who you become in the process.”

  1. The 4 words that best describe your business?

Inspiring, structured for results, a process for optimal living, clarity about you.

Shannah’s wonnderful book

For more business profiles stay tuned.

Traveller Profile: Craig Lawton

Introducing Craig Lawton. Talented writer. Global Traveller. Well versed in Australian travel and culture. And funny down to earth guy.

Hear what he has to say about Melbourne, his home city, and Australia, the land he calls home.

  1. Name  Craig Lawton
  1. Occupation  Infrastructure Architect Telstra Pty Ltd.
  1. Country of Residence Australia
  1. Country of Origin Australia
  1. email/contact/ website

  1. Why do you love Travel?

I have a difficult relationship with travel. Dave Graney song is my reference. Mt Gambia. Gave his memoirs.

“You want to go there, but you don’t want up travel.”

When you’re moving it’s not stressful, but it’s the planning and the preparation and thought of it that daunts me.

To go to places that you don’t know anything about can be scary and exciting. Act of travel is stressful. Not knowing where you’ll sleep? Not knowing layout of city?

I like going to places that friends don’t know. Something different.

The Trans Siberian is def one.

  1. Favourite place in your home country and why?

Stretch of coast from Cairns to Cooktown. There is a trail up there. Only bout 1000m or something but it’s laid back and reminds me of being on the frontier. Cooktown is great. Looking out over Endeavour River, can see the country going all the way North from there like it could go forever. It’s like going wild, back to the wilderness. You get the sense up there that you can imagine what it used to be like.

Giant fishes in the water. Very chilled out. I just keep going back.

You gotta go for the drive, it’s one of the great drives!

  1. Best place for tourists to visit in your country?

People come so far and travel so long to get here it’s a shame if they don’t explore. In Victoria visitors must go to Wilsons prom, it’s totally under appreciated.

South West of WA is also a little undiscovered but beautiful. Pemberton and Margaret River.

  1. What other country would you live in if you had to leave your country?

Have lived in England for a couple of years. And I would choose that. Great location. History. Friends there. Easy to travel to virtually anywhere from there including Asia, Europe and the Americas. First-world country so easier with kids and a family.

  1. Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?

Time at Wilson’s prom, on windy saddle a few hours into this walk, all the travellers sitting, elderly couple sitting on other side of the Grassy clearing, head of brown snake came out from behind a man, and then behind the woman. Sat there watching and just went in slow motion. The snake went right around them and then went back into the bush and they were none the wiser.

Another story,

In eastern Kimberley on my honeymoon at Emma Gorge. Semi luxury tents, El Cuestro , hotel cabin, tent roof, en-suite. Wife wanted to go for walk , something wrong with toilet, went to use shared ones. I stood around looking dazed in the sun. Heard a scream but was off in the distance….. my wife, who had screamed, then laughed, waited for aftermath, then she started laughing.

Wife picked a toilet. And frog jumped up and out into the air then felll back in and slid down the toilet bowl.

  1. Favourite activity when around your city?

In city everyday for work but I love walking through the city through the lane ways. Trekking through city and never going on main roads. State library is a must see and jus to enjoy the reading rooms.

Explorer!!  City safari man!

  1. Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?

I know the country and it’s people. I think on one level we’re quite shallow so not so hard to understand. Local peculiarities you forget when you’re away.

In terms of the whole country, you could travel your whole life and still not see the whole thing. Open spaces. Nothingness. Because we don’t know what’s there?

Something terrifying and haunting about the Australian interior. Memories of Lindy chamberlain, Falconio.

Aboriginals history.

Dark side of it.

Sense of the country that would be hard to understand now, the aboriginal side,

Maybe do a tour like that and learn more about the indigenous heritage.

  1. Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?

Don’t go to the interior. Who knows what’s there?

Shit stirring stories just for fun i.e. Drop bears, spiders, then brown snakes

Seriously – around the coast, beware of the water. If we put up warnings, we mean it!!

Snake stories. Ran straight over a red belly black snake once. Just another day in Oz.

  1. Must see movie featuring your country and Why?

The hunter

William de foe

Tassie wilderness, myth of Tassie tiger

Lantana – captures Sydney suburban without the trite.

Mature and honest look into suburban Sydney and Australian life.

  1. The best book to read before visiting your country?

Dirt music. By tim Whitton.

For Melbourne – photo book.

  1. The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?

I wouldn’t say anything. All exciting stuff is blend of Asian and European.

Come to Melbourne. Go to Vic market and get fresh produce.

  1. The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier? E.g. How much? Too expensive or Hello.

– How ya goin mate?

– No worries

– Get ya hand off it.

– Ya dickhead

I reckon I’m less passionate about Australia then I am about Melbourne.

Love being Sarcastic

  1. Best time of year to visit?

Melbourne. Autumn. Or spring. The changing seasons.

Tropics – June / June

  1. The 4 words that best describe your country:

Young, clean, open, conservative

Make sure to check out Craigs blog:

Photos by