My picks for this weekend

February 28 and March 1 2015

John Darnielle: Sydney Writers Festival Event

Carriageworks

Julian Morrow interviews John Darnielle, writer/composer and guitarist for the band The Mountain Goats whose recent novel “Wolf in White Van” has been long listed for the 2014 USA national book awards. Tickets $35. Wednesday 25 February 7.30pm

Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens

Griffin Theatre Kings Cross

Produced by Performance 4a and Griffin Theatre Company. This is a an extraordinary glimpse into the life of an Japanese/Australian man Yasukichi Murakami, who lived in Broome and Darwin and was known for taking beautiful portrait photos of people and families in the local comunity. During WWII he was interned in Cowra. This play traces Murakami’s life from when he learnt photography from an older Japanese widow living in Australia whom he married, through his second marriage to a much younger women and the birth their 9 children. His care and skills in his photography and the impact he had on the lives of his community reveals a live well lived. Part of the delight in production is Mick Gruchy’s video installation which includes many of the photographs taken by Murakami, scenes of the townships he lived in, and spoken narratives of Murakami’s surviving relatives. It is a documentary play written by Mayu Kanamori , Sydney based photographer and is performed by Anisa Yura. A beautiful story telling and part of the Asian/Australian story.

Gaybies

Eternity Playhouse Darlinghurst

Playwright and director Dean Bryant set out to answer the question “but what about the children?” when people debated the issue of same sex marriage and put up arguments against it. This play is a series of funny, tender and poignant responses he received to very personal questions asked of many children of gay parents in interviews Bryant conducted. 7 actors play the roles of children of same sex relationships and in a documentary style series of vignettes, they talk about their childhood, the reaction of friends and relatives to their parents being gay and how it impacted their lives. An incredibly life affirming play which celebrates the universal reaction of live and let live. Starring Steve Le Marquand, Cooper George Amai, Rhys Keir, Sheridan Harbidge, Olivia Rose, Georgia Scott, Zindzi Okenyo.

Geraldine Turner: Turner’s Turn

Hayes Theatre Potts Point

As part of the Sunday performances at the Hayes Theatre, Australian showbiz icon Geraldine Turner will perform on Sunday 22 February, 1 March and 8 March in a show featuring cabaret songs that she has performed throughout her career. Produced by Enda Markey (also producing Blood Brothers which is currently on at Hayes). Tickets $50. www.hayestheatre.com.au 8065 7337.

Dream Home

Ensemble Theatre

Another David Williamson play for Sydney written and directed by him. Dream Home starring Guy Edmonds (Paul) as the new spunky but very put upon owner of one of four apartments in a suburban Bondi block. Paul and his wife Dana (played by Haiha Le) have just moved in to this apartment, spending every dollar that they had and looking forward to the impending birth of their baby. Within a very short space of time they realise they are in a block full of nutters including obsessively jealous Sam (Justin Stewart Cotta) a self proclaimed member of the Lebanese lions and his wife Colette (Libby Munro) who just happens to be Paul’s ex girlfriend. In another unit the disastrous marriage of Cynthia (Olivia Pigeot) and Henry (Alan Flower) is played out with Olivia suggesting that Paul could assist her in a number of ways, none of which are particularly enticing to him. The final owner of the apartments in this block is Wilma (Katrina Foster) a kleptomaniac busybody who is also up for any delights that Paul may be throwing her way. This is apartment living at its worst – but possibly at its best as Paul and his wife Dana through some sheer luck endeavour to bring the apartment block to a more harmonious footing.

The Japan Foundation Gallery, Level 4, Centra Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale, Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm, Friday 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm. Free admission.

An exhibition of photographs by Brett Boardman, Sydney based photographer who travels the world photographing architecture and landscape. This exhibition is a series of photographs captured in Kyoto in 2011. Contrasting the 17 century imperial villa and luxury homes with the makeshift shelters of homeless people. The exhibition design is by architect Andrew Burns. There are public talks by Brett Boardman on Thursday 5 March and Friday 6 March.

Poets Picnic 2015
Blackburn Gardens Double Bay

The annual Poets Picnic at the Woollahra Library will be compered by 702 ABC Radio’s Simon Marnie with poets such as Les Murray performing. Other guests include Miles Merrill, Fiona Wright, Theo Ell and Nikki Gemmell. Jazz starts the evening and there are kids activities and roving performances throughout. Free

Australian Centre for Photography: New Exhibitions
Artist Christian Thompson has a new exhibition Mystic Renegade: The Promise of Return. This is a mixture of performance photograph and text based works as well as videos performance. Other exhibitions include Dear Sylvia which is a selection of works by nine female photo media artists about representations of the female body. Works are featured from Alma Hasser, Polly Penrose, Jessica Tramp, Marlous van de Sloot. Curated by Claire Monneraye. The title of the exhibition comes from an invitation to converse with poet and novelist Sylvia Plath who considered themes about body, self, motherhood and social norms. See other works by Lin Wei (Body Form #5).
When and where: On now. 257 Oxford Street, Paddington

Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective
Fifty original art works by New Zealand children’s author Dame Lynley Dodd with free story time and craft under fives on Wednesday mornings from 10.30 am to 11.30 am. Free.
When and Where: On until 15 March 2015, Level 1, Mitchell Building, State Library.

Circus Factory
Power House Museum Circus Factory is an exhibition of vintage toys and novelties, live performance and side show stories. It is a hands on interactive exhibition which also includes over 60 circus costumes and props and some of the costumes are over 100 years old. A vintage carousel is also on display. Have a go at the side show activities such as the Strongman Game, the Laughing Clowns
When and Where: On now at the Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Towers of Tomorrow with Lego bricks
At the Museum of Sydney is an exhibition of a mini metropolis of skyscrapers from Australia and Asia. Built by Australian Lego obsessive, Ryan McNaught, the Lego towers include the Tokyo Skytree, the Twin Petronas Towers, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands and Sydney Tower. Kids can also make their own towers with lots of loose Lego bricks. Tickets $15/Family tickets $45.
When and where: On now until 19 April Museum of Sydney Cnr of Phillip and Bridge Street Sydney.

Pop to Popism
The Art Gallery of New South Wales big summer show Pop to Popism starts this weekend with over 200 works by famous pop artists. Get your fill of David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Brett Whiteley, Martin Sharp, Martha Rosler, Peter Blake, Maria Kozic and heaps of others.
When and where: On now Art Gallery of New South Wales

Notorious Criminals and Breakers
The Justice and Police Museum has a new exhibition about a grandmother Caroline Grills who baked cakes and slices but included just that added extra ingredient – rat poison! The story of Mrs Grills and many other infamous criminals is told in this exhibition as well as the clever criminals who were experts in safe breaking and other criminal endeavours that may not be practised as much these days! Tickets $10/$5
When and where: Weekends only on now from 10am to 5pm Justice and Police Museum, Corner of Phillip and Albert Streets, Circular Quay

2014 Moran Prizes
The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize will be displayed as part of the Moran Art Prizes Exhibition at Juniper Hall in Paddington.
When and where: On now till 15 February Juniper Hall, Oxford Street, Paddington

Harry Seidler: Painting toward architecture
Presented by Sydney Living Museums, this exhibition looks at one of Australia’s most famous architect’s pioneering and distinctive career and his work in office towers, houses, apartments and public buildings. This exhibition is curated by Vladimir Belogolvsky and Sydney Living Museums’ Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon. It looks at his journey from Austria to England and his work in Australia including collaborations with Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Oscar Neimeyer, Sol LeWitt, Lin Utzon, Dick Dusseldorp and Max Dupain amongst others. There are family photographs and personal effects.
When and where: Museum of Sydney, cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney from Saturday 1 November ($10)

The City of Forking Paths
This is a magical twilight walk listening to an audio narration accompany a film on a smartphone of the area that you walk from Customs House to the Quay and then to The Rocks. As a local, re-discover your own city and the amazing buildings and stories that have that built the city especially in The Rocks area. As a foreigner or from other parts of Australia, delight in this guided tour of a special part of Sydney. A specially commissioned artwork for the Biennale, Canadian artist Janet Cardiff together with George Bures Miller came to Sydney last year and spent several months in The Rocks, living and experiencing the area. They set about making a film (at night) which immerses you in your surroundings and introduces a soundscape, music and noise that accompany you on a delightful journey. So while watching the film and listening to the narrative which includes fictitious scenarios and confusing sounds, you are directed on this walk wending your way through laneways and streets, pausing to look at places you may normally just rush past and not notice. You take this walk on your own leaving space in between the next person to allow a gap to experience it yourself – indulging in an hour of aloneness and art. This film makes Sydney look like part of a noir film – moody and edgy but fascinating and historic. Given the proposed changes to The Rocks, this may soon be a historic record of the area. This audio video walk is a permanent gift to the city and is downloadable onto your smartphone or you can borrow a phone (leaving your credit card and photo id at Customs House). Suitable also for kids but from age 8 and above. Flat shoes recommended as it takes just over an hour – and then you need to walk back from the Rocks to Customs House to return the smartphone. Free! and on forever! or as long as technology will allow.

When and where: On now (and forever!) after sunset. Customs House Circular Quay.

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