Posts Tagged ‘sex and the city


Sex With Strangers


Sex With Strangers

Brisbane Powerhouse, Thomas Larkin & Troy Armstrong Management

Powerhouse Visy Theatre

February 11 – 21 2015


 Reviewed by Xanthe Coward




Thomas Larkin is Ethan, a sex blogger turned book author who falls in lust with Veronica Neave’s Olivia, a gifted and complicated novelist. When they meet at a writer’s retreat, romance and the digital age collide, as the pair confronts the dark side of ambition and the near-impossibility of reinventing oneself when the past is just a click away.


NOMINATED Silver Matilda Award – Best Independent Production


NOMINATED Silver Matilda Award – Best Male Actor in a Leading Role


NOMINATED Silver Matilda Award – Best Female Actor in a Leading Role


The Matilda Awards Night will be held on March 09 2015. See you there!


Laura Eason’s Sex With Strangers was one of last year’s hottest shows and it’s back! Well, only for another couple of performances, but I’m sure you heard about it already and went right ahead and booked! DIDN’T YOU? If you missed it last time, as I did due to Noosa Long Weekend Festival commitments, and you’ve missed it a second time, you’re a fool.


This is an incredibly neat and deep (as in thought provoking… THOUGHT PROVOKING. WHO ARE YOU?) little show that absolutely deserves the attention it’s attracted thus far. And if recent funding round success stories are anything to go by, it deserves not only this return season but a solid national tour. It’s been the most talked about show of 2014! If you do manage to catch it before it closes on Sunday,  you’ll need to stop by the bar for plenty of that lovely Rymill Dark Horse. If you’re not drinking, too bad; it will be like re-watching the first season of Sex and the City without cigarettes and coffee on hand. You may come away shaking. Just saying.




Coming away (without shaking, more like melting) from this one, I realised just how much I’d enjoyed seeing a “real” play, and not a musical or a comedy or a cabaret or any variation thereof, but a straight-up play, boasting a succinctly written, completely compelling and challenging story delivered by two terrific, totally honest actors bathed in beautiful light (Jason Glenwright & Tim Gawne) and sound (Dane Alexander) in a sharply designed space that actually serves the purpose and structure of the play (Troy Armstrong). Yep. I’m actually that easy to please. Get all the elements right and you got me. All the elements here are exquisitely balanced in simple, beautiful assembly, making this show a special little sexy treat, not unlike the goodie bag Sam brought home after the Fifty Shades of Grey preview event at Event Cinemas last week. (Edmo & Ash; I KNOW YOU ALSO HAVE GOODIE BAGS! BUT YOUR SECRET IS SAFE WITH ME!). Um. Thanks ever so, Totally Adult. Delightful. You can never be sure what will come out of the bag next! Experience it yourself!


It’s no secret that I love Thom Larkin. Like, I LOVE Thom Larkin. Is there actually anybody who doesn’t? (If there is they’re JEALOUSSSSS).


I ‘reckon we can safely say that Larkin is Australia’s answer to Alexander Skarsgard, with more than a passing resemblance given the right pool of luscious light, and, clearly, the same level of dedication when it comes to maintenance. He’s finally settled into his sun shy skin in Sex With Strangers (Is he goddamn GLISTENING? Like the OTHER OTHER VAMPIRE?). Larkin perfectly embodies the irresistibly brash blogger turned book writer, Ethan, who has made the title of show his, er, business…and pleasure for a year.


Paired with the slightly shy, sweet and suddenly sassy properly writerly character created by Veronica Neave, these two radiate the pure unadulterated joy and LUST you wish you’d discovered in Fifty Shades (don’t worry, you didn’t miss it; in Fifty Shades this brand of magnetic attraction doesn’t exist!).




Eason’s script has Neave’s complicated character stay quite cold towards Ethan Strange for some time, and Jennifer Flowers’ slick, unencumbered direction keeps Neave at some distance from him until we get to the inevitable romp and removal of shirts and pants and all of those boring inhibitions and what ifs and oh no; I can’t…but I could…oh wait I want to…okay I will! (She’s not silly, and she’s certainly not naive – well, perhaps a little – but she’s certainly conflicted. There is the age difference, there are Internet and IP issues…well, whatever. The thirty-somethings know what I’m talking about!). The frequent sexual interludes (in which Lisa Wilson has had a hand, no pun intended, obvs, but really, seriously; how does he flip Neave like that?!), are just glimpses of what you might imagine happens next, very tastefully, very artfully done. Each teaser is just enough to curl up the corners of your lips (and maybe your toes. WHO ARE YOU?) and inhale the quick, quiet breath you think you’ll have to hold…and then the lights fade and the deceptively simple plot continues with a beat change worthy of senior theatre syllabus inclusion. No, really! Is there a better, clearer example? (You’re right. There’s going to be a more appropriate one…). But wait for the twist! Not altogether surprising, it nevertheless comes as a shock, and we have to reconsider (or not!) our – a-hem – feelings for the sexy rock star blogger boy. Poor Olivia.










Warning: some viewers may experience several degrees of frustration by this stage of the play… Sex With Strangers is quite simply The. Hottest. Show. To. Hit. The. Visy.


There might be a few bewildering mixed messages for our younger viewers, but let’s not examine too closely the free love/tap that/blog this/steal that/Tweet this/Facebook that/publish this/claim that/consensual v non-consensual content. Let’s just dive on in and enjoy the STORY and the CHARACTERS and the PASSION, shall we? (And there is well-matched passion on many levels). It’s much more fun that way, like enjoying while it lasts, an illicit affair with a gorgeous someone who has a thing for very public places. What?


If you think there’s a more electrifying connection between two actors on stage during the love month of February you must be at the Lyric Theatre. Larkin and Neave need to fly with this one, and take it everywhere. It’s too hot to keep here. Share the love! Don’t we all desire theatre as thrilling as sex with strangers Sex With Strangers?!


Final Performances:


Today (Friday) at 7pm


Tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm & 7pm


Sunday at 4pm




Grease Media Launch

Meredith spoke with Rob Mills, Lucy Maunder and Anthony Callea on Monday night! Sorry, it’s taken a couple of days to let you know…


What a start to the week! Poppy and I haven’t been 100% so this week turned into early holidays for her (poor honey, not much of a holiday so far!), and on Monday our dear friends, Min Swan & Grant Goodrum, brought their darling baby boy SMITH into the world! At home! With Midwife Mary! I tell you what, I met Mary and if any further baby craziness ever happens in our house, Mary will be the first second third to know! I know, it sounds like I was totally there but I didn’t meet Smith (or Mary) until 2pm this afternoon (and then I couldn’t leave!). And yes, I did mention Samantha’s SMITH (you knew I would!), which was a reference I hadn’t dared put across social media in case it was taken by others to be an insensitive, shallow comment! Yes! Judgement! On Faceboook! Yikes! If you’re a BIG fan (see what I did there?) of Sex and the City, you’ll understand that this reference is a compliment and, well, IF ONLY there were more SMITHS in the world!



Anyway, you know that life gets in the way sometimes, of deadlines and shows and press launches, etc so on Monday night it was our pleasure to send Meredith McLean to the Grease launch event at QPAC. I’m just going to take this opportunity to thank Meredith and Michelle, who between them, get to everything we don’t! What an amazing couple of gals, to be studying, working, teaching, keeping up with family and friends, taking time out for themselves AND taking the time to share with us their thoughts about what they see! THANK YOU GIRLS! Also, a big thank you too, to Andy, Matty, Emilie and Reb who have covered so much for us.


Look, it might seem like yesterday’s news here sometimes but as we continue to cover as much of the arts industry near us as we can, and work towards creating a website that looks the way we want it to, and works the way we want it to, we are still working. That’s right. If you’ve found us already on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (with Pinterest currently proving to be the other other other work-in-progress), you may have noticed the occasional clue about our day jobs, and a heap about where we like to hang out and what we eat and drink too, because we are living, as much as we can, the entertainment lifestyle we love so much!


I was thinking about it again today, holding the baby and chatting away with Min for several hours; I was thinking, “Min, omg, you could totally blog all of this!” and at the same time I was thinking, “Or you could enjoy being with your brand new baby! Idiot!” (me not Min, obviously). If you’ve been with us for a while now, you will have noticed that we’ve lived this philosophy far longer than it’s taken me to realise it! Even if it’s a bit hit and miss, even if I feel guilty for delaying posting something that the girls have filed right after an event (sorry, girls!), I usually choose to live – and sometimes to sleep – first. That’s why you’re not seeing at the top there yet. That’s why you’re not seeing a full story about something here, despite the fleeting references about it via Twitter, or photos on Instagram. Seriously though, how good is Instagram?! (Social media is why I don’t have a manuscript yet!). But it’s all happening, eventually, and sometimes it’s when too much is happening that we feel nothing is getting done. WELCOME TO MY WORLD. I struggle with the focus part (and prioritising), but I’m trying harder to focus (and prioritise) here.


I’m excited about this year, not least because I’ll be attending Darren Rowse’s Problogger event (#PBEVENT) in September. I can’t wait to meet and to hear from a heap of the country’s best bloggers, at QT Gold Coast, where I have an OCEAN VIEW ROOM waiting to be shared with another blogger. Check this place out! Awesome! Of course, without a roomie I’ll need to do a few more days teaching or copy writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the teaching and the writing, I’ll take it! But I’d love a roomie too! If you’ve snapped up an early bird ticket and no accommodation, or if you know you’ll secure a new release ticket in May and you’re interested in sharing a funky room with me that weekend (the same weekend as Sam’s West Side Story is opening at Noosa Arts Theatre… Sorry, honey!), let me know! I figure I have a few more weeks to play around with the website, and get serious about what the hell else I’m doing (monetising it, starting a new blog, writing a book, writing a thesis, whatever) before the conference in September. What do you think? Is that fair?


Otherwise, dear roomie, please give me a good shake and tell me, “NO! NO, NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”



Right. I’m glad I told you that. Actually, that’s just the half of it. But now here’s Meredith’s sneak peak at Grease as promised!




Exciting things are coming to QPAC this August! I’m sure you’ve heard the word but I just love saying it – Grease is the word. When the cast sang that number I couldn’t help smiling.


With a stellar and versatile cast coming there are some old favourites as well as rising stars. From the King of Television Bert Newton to the young (and cute) Anthony Callea. Legally Blonde’s Rob Mills is set to the play the lead of Danny Zuko. This is his first chance in a lead role too but I have a good feeling about him. Gretel Scarlett is rising in her first leading role too as Sandy. But see, I’m not surprised they’ve cast mostly new stars.



The way I see it, theatre is moving forward and it needs some new energy.



The new generations are stepping up the stage and I’m glad for it. Grease is such a classic and well-known musical that they simply can’t rest on the laurels of the show. The actors need to give it new life, and I think they will.


After seeing the promo and hearing the tunes I got to speak with some of the cast too. Anthony Callea was beaming when he talked about playing the role of Johnny Casino.


He mentioned at the press launch that he didn’t do much theatre and was actually rather selective of his roles. I asked him to elaborate and tell me why Grease made the grade. Anthony said, “I grew up with Grease…who hasn’t heard of it? The show is just so much fun. I get to play such a great role, and it’s really easy too (laughs) don’t tell anyone I said that.” (Sorry Anthony!).


Lucy Maunder gets to have the real fun as Rizzo in this production of Grease. Her main reflection on the show was that she can’t wait to dance again, even if it means getting fit. I asked her if she’s getting on with such a versatile range of stars and she replied “It’s been a great crew. Don’t you think Rob?”
Rob, who had been intently listening instantly jumped in and said, “I hate her.” Before laughing and kissing Lucy on the shoulder.

It’s easy to see there’s already a family unit growing with these guys. I hope that energy comes out on the stage. The night was so relaxed and welcoming. Champagne went around as well a costume contest for the best Pink Lady and T-Bird.


I was too shy to dress up but I did take note that there will be some fun group discounts for the show.


The premiere is not until 27th of August 2013 but the early bird specials are rolling out so get excited and get ready to book!



It’s time to dust off your leather jacket and your poodle skirts because Grease is on its way to Brisbane!




For the Girls: Luxury Emporium Package

Girls just wanna have fun IN STYLE at Emporium Hotel

sex and the city

Girl’s Night In luxury package announced ~

There is no better treat for the girls! Ladies everywhere are relishing in the glamorous new trend that is high-end girls’ nights and hens’ parties. In true sex-and-the-city style, the modern day girl’s night in calls for a truly elegant touch, and so, Brisbane’s ever-elegant and indulgent Emporium Hotel has announced the Girl’s Night In luxury package, offering everything decadent, elegant and celebratory to make style a staple at the next ‘ladies only’ rendezvous.

Emporium Hotel’s Girls Night In luxury package includes features such as overnight luxury accommodation in a King Suite twin room, a bottle of French sparkling and chocolate dipped strawberries delivered to your room, luxurious Molton Brown bathing gift per person plus access to the sophisticated Emporium Cocktail Bar, famous not only for its Cocktails but the famous High Tea. Think French Champagne and exotic cocktails, macarons from the Belle Époque Patisserie and custom designed Hotel Suites. There is even a luxury Pillow Menu that gives guests the option to choose from eight different pillows, including everything from classic ‘feather down’ to the ‘pregnancy pillow’.

Every luxurious detail has already been attended to at the Emporium Hotel so girls can just, have fun, in style!

Added to this are a rooftop lap pool, sauna and gym, overlooking Brisbane’s Emporium Precinct and sophisticated New Farm area. Downstairs, adjoining the lobby, the hotel features a stunning Cocktail Bar incorporating a fusion of vintage and custom-designed pieces, flown in from exotic locations round the world. Everything about the Emporium Hotel is designed to pamper. There are a stunning range of exquisite experiences guests can order through Concierge, from massages to shopping, dining and more. Located in the heart of Brisbane’s stylish Emporium Precinct, the Hotel is just minutes from the Brisbane CBD.

For bookings and more information on the Girls night in package, visit the website at

         Emporium Hotel- Girl’s Night In luxury package

Priced from $379* per room per night.

*Subject to availability, per room rate twin share, inter-connecting rooms available

High Tea bookings are required in advance and from only $35 pp. To book phone (07) 3253 6914

1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006  Phone: (07) 3253 6999 or 1300 883 611

emporium hotel high tea

Winner: Best Boutique Hotel, HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence 2011, 2010 & 2009

Winner: Best Queensland Hotel Caterer, Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence 2010

Winner: Best Small Luxury Hotel, Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards 2010 & 2009

Winner: Best Luxury Accommodation, Queensland Tourism Awards 2008 & 2009

Winner: Best Boutique Hotel, Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence 2009

Winner: Best Marketed Hotel, Australian Hotels Association National Awards for Excellence 2009

Winner: Favourite Qantas Frequent Flyer Hotel, The Australian Travel and Tourism Awards 2008

Named one of the world’s best new hotels in the International Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List 2008

Winner: Best Deluxe Accommodation 5 Star, Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence 2008

Winner: Favourite Qantas Frequent Flyer Hotel, The Australian Travel and Tourism Awards 2008