Monthly Archives: March 2015

8 AUSSIE THINGS WE’LL MISS WHILE OVERSEAS

No, not the free beer, it's the sense of humour. Yes, every culture has its humour, but I'm Australian and I like our one best!

No, not the free beer, it’s the sense of humour. Yes, every culture has its jokes, but I’m Australian and I like ours the best!

We’re off on our travels again tomorrow, to places that I’m sure will be exotic, fascinating and beautiful.

But there are things we’re going to miss about Australia of course. Certain joys and simple pleasures are unique to our wide brown land. Continue reading

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HOW COME WE’D NEVER HEARD OF THIS NATIONAL PARK?

Minnamurra Rainforest, NSW.

Minnamurra Rainforest, NSW.

It’s only a short drive out of Sydney, a 400-hectare pocket of dense jungle at the foot of the escarpment. And it’s a little treasure. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Travel-Australia

THE PLACE TO STAY – when you’re a VIP in Hobart

The Atrium Tea Room, Hadley's Orient Hotel, Hobart.

The Atrium Tea Room, Hadley’s Orient Hotel, Hobart.



Roald Amundsen wasn’t happy in Hobart in 1912. Apart from being besieged by media wanting the scoop story of his epic trek to the South Pole, we’re told he recorded in his diary that his room in Hadley’s Orient Hotel was ‘miserable’.

Really? The man had just spent months sharing a tent with four smelly Norwegian mates and some huskies and he found a warm hotel room a bit squeezy?

It’s hard to imagine he’d have much to complain about in Hadley’s these days, especially if he stayed in the spacious suite that now bears his name. Continue reading

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ANYONE ELSE LIKE TO PRODUCE MY PLAY?

Rima Te Wiata (Mrs van Amersfoort), Patrick Carroll (Thomas) and Tim Carlsen (Jesus) in Silo Theatre's  THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING. Photo:

Rima Te Wiata (Mrs van Amersfoort), Patrick Carroll (Thomas) and Tim Carlsen (Jesus) in Silo Theatre’s THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING. Photo: Gate Photography.

My stage adaptation of Guus Kuijer’s wonderful novel The Book of Everything is enjoying a bit of a boom. There are at least two different productions being performed this weekend, with more to come during the year. There’s even a production planned for Finland.

I’ve just seen Silo Theatre’s excellent professional production in the Auckland Arts Festival in New Zealand, which has been getting rave reviews and wonderful ovations.

Next Mevrouw T and I will be driving south of Sydney to see Nowra Players’ version, which happens to star our friend and fine actor Peter Barley.

I wish all cast and crew members broken limbs for the rest of their seasons. And I know all the lines, should anything untoward happen!

Meanwhile, if any readers of this blog happen to be drama teachers, theatre directors or major Broadway/West End producers…or if you or anyone you know would just like to read the play, here’s where you can get the script: Continue reading

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EVERYONE’S IRISH ON ST PATRICK’S DAY – even in Auckland

If they say they're Irish, they're Irish.

If they say they’re Irish, they’re Irish. Don’t argue with the sousaphone player!


My path along Auckland’s Queen St was blocked today by a lot of people wearing green.

Not all of them looked Irish, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. The craic was foin! Continue reading

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WELCOME TO MY ROYAL THEATRE!

Hobart's Theatre Royal - destined for destruction in the 1950s, but saved!

Hobart’s Theatre Royal – once destined for destruction, but now saved and flourishing.

I hope I never get over the excitement of seeing a play in an iconic venue, particularly when I’ve written the play myself.

While The 26-Storey Treehouse was playing in the Sydney Opera House in January, I loved strolling smugly past the tourists taking their selfies outside, flashing my backstage pass at the Stage Door and walking through to chat with the cast and crew, then heading out into the foyer to mingle with the audience. It was my theatre for the month.

Now the play is on tour, this week in the oldest theatre in Australia, and arguably the most beautiful. Continue reading

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Filed under Theatre, Travel-Australia

MAKING CRIME PAY – thanks to the tourists

Visitors are encouraged to be convicts for a minute or two. Unbolt the door to the tiny cell, shut the door and experience the pitch darkness of solitary confinement.

Visitors are encouraged to be convicts for a minute or two. Unbolt the door to the tiny cell, shut the door and experience the pitch darkness of solitary confinement.

I didn’t think up the witty headline of this post. It’s the title of our historian friend David Young’s Ph.D. thesis, which examines how Tasmania turned its grim convict past into tourist dollars.

The village of Richmond, a short drive out of Hobart, is a prime example of this enterprise. Continue reading

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