When I went to Hamilton a wee while ago, I checked out Milk & Honey, a beautifully thought through cafe created to bring great coffee to the H-Town CBD workers and achieve a few other community minded things.
The cafe is a a place I’d love to hang out, just based on the decor. Knowing a couple of the people involved in the project, I could be sure that the coffee and food are also extremely good.
There are always great cafes to discover, even south of the Bombays, but Milk and Honey is a little bit more. For starters, payment is by Koha, and it makes money for the TALKINGtech Foundation – supporting community projects near and far – near meaning Fairfield College and far including a school in India.
I love the concept and I love the delivery. There’s no reason why good works and good times can’t go together.
Find out more on their super cute website.
These carpet roses are from my mother. They’re lovely for several reasons:
1. They’re from Mum
2. They’re beautiful in that simple and unfussy way that I love things to be
3. They’re the great great great grandchildren (if such a thing exists in botany) of a rose bush that I remember from my Granddad’s garden in Raglan – in fact, the plants belonged to my Grandmother first, and Granddad looked after them for many years after she died. I don’t remember her at all so there’s no sadness thinking of her, but these tiny buds make me feel sweetly nostalgic. I don’t think the most expensive bouquet in the world could outdo this little arrangement at this particular moment.
Another thing I’ve dug (garden pun alert!) today is this proverb:
Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul
and healing to the bones.
Auckland’s boutique theatre company Silo has been going from strength to strength in recent years, outgrowing what is now the Basement Space a few years ago, spending a few years at the Herald Theatre and now using different performance spaces depending on the show. I’m very much looking forward to Brel at Auckland Town Hall in November, but it’s Tribes that everyone is talking about right now. It’s a critical and popular hit, every review is glowing and my friends and I have had multiple discussions about it since opening night last Friday night. This is a play about family and communication. It features brilliant young actor Leon Wadham as the profoundly deaf Billy alongside an excellent cast including Michael Hurst as the obnoxious dad Christopher. This play is hilarious and infuriating and thought provoking. I wrote up a my response to the play a few days ago here. The play is on all this month – don’t miss out!
It was announced on Sunday that MARY POPPINS will be heading to New Zealand in October. The show has been hugely successful in Australia – it was completely sold out in Melbourne for nine months and had extraordinarily successful seasons in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth as well. The show has an extraordinary creative team – Producers are Cameron Mackintosh – the man behind Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Cats and Les Miserables and Thomas Schumacher for Disney Theatrical who has worked on shows like The Lion King and Beauty and The Beast. The stage show was written by Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes. The best way to describe MARY POPPINS is classic musical meet Disney magic. There are many wow moments – the production values back up a brilliant script and cast. There are moments when you really can’t believe your eyes – sometimes thanks to the talented cast members and sometimes thanks to technical wizardry. Add to this a timeless story about family and values and the songs that just won’t get out of your head and you’ve got a hit! You can join the Facebook event to keep up with all the news. Tickets go on sale on 21 June at www.buytickets.co.nz.
I’ve been to quite a few of Silo’s plays in the last few years and know to expect memorable performances and some kind of emotional response to the works. The ones that that get to me (I can only assume it’s the same for others) are the family stories. Whether you can relate to the particular scenarios played out before you or not, there’s something about watching family interactions that seems to get to you. The Brothers Size and When The Rain Stops Falling were two of my favourites. They are the kind of plays that stick around in you mind long after the lights come up in the auditorium (I can’t say curtain falls, because usually there isn’t one.
Tribes is play that embeds itself in your brain. Not that it’s a slow-burner. It only took moments establish the fact that the script was going to be brilliant and that I really wanted to punch Michael Hurst’s infuriating Christopher in the face for being a complete $&@# (you can decide on the word once you’ve seen the play). I liked and loathed this family and wanted at least some of their dysfunctions to be sorted out – or at least acknowledged.
It is a story about family and communication. It’s hilarious, infuriating and sometimes confronting. The cast of six all gave stellar performances. We know to expect a lot from the experienced Michael Hurst and Catherine Wilkin, but the four younger members of the cast were more than up to the task. Leon Wadham is undoubtedly a find – his portrayal of the profoundly deaf Billy was brilliant, and Jodie Hillock was also completely believable as the ‘outsider’ Sylvia. I thought Fern Sutherland and Emmett Skilton were also extremely good. It’s clear that this cast has been selected with extreme care and they and Director Shane Bosher have worked extraordinarily hard together.
I’m not going to tell you what happens, but I am going to you to get to the Maidment Theatre to see Tribes. The audience on opening night were gripped by this play and I think you will be too. This is not just a play I appreciated – I liked it too!
Read more at The Big Idea
Hint: Take a tissue and someone who appreciates colourful language.
If you like melodramatic storylines on television soap operas then you should check out The NBR New Zealand Opera’s Rigoletto, which opens its Auckland season on Thursday night. It’s got a crazy storyline and features a soaring score – including one of the most recognizable tunes in the world of opera la donna è mobile – you might remember if from the Rigoletto pasta adverts! Here’s an indepth Q&A with Baritone Warwick Fyfe. It has already been in Wellington and is on in Auckland from 7-17 June. Personally I’m very excited about the NEXT opera in September. The Bartered Bride is comedic, sung in English and features fabulouskiwisopranowhoisdoingawesomethingsoverseas Anna Leese.
Rock the Ballet
I like it when classical dance gets mixed up with contemporary music, and Rock the Ballet promises to do just that with music by Michael Jackson, Prince and Coldplay. It’s on in Welly right now and at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna next week.
Auckland Festival of Photography
Auckland Festival of Photography is on all this month and it’s FREE! There’s a very extensive programme of exhibitions, talks and workshops at venues across the breadth of Auckland. Find out more at http://photographyfestival.org.nz/.
But wait, there’s more. I’m super excited about checking out Silo’s latest on Friday night. It’s a family one so I’m expecting to find it gripping, funny and challenging. Looking forward to seeing Emmet Skilton on the stage too. Do yourself a favour and visit one of the prettiest websites there is.