Friday, September 13, 2019

NEW!

SIDESTEP COMEDY

is another YouTube channel I've established to share many of the many many comedy pieces I've written over the years for various shows and reviews.  These are short clips - some have already been recorded and others will be filmed over coming months with various theatre friends.
The channel is a work in progress and I strongly encourage you to subscribe now to be notified when a new work is uploaded.  You never know WHO you're going find up there!

Subscribing is free and it simply means that when a new video or videos are loaded up on the channel, you'll automatically receive a brief notification.
I can guarantee that there'll be clips on this channel that you will never have seen before!  Even if you've been to every show or review I've produced over the past 15 years.

Go here to view:  YouTube laughs 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Chillin'!

Ooooops!  I'm in winter hibernation mode and I'm sooo chilled out, I forgot about ... well .... everything!
So I've just updated the website, updated Reverbnation, about to update the blog...and if there's any motivation left, I'll update YouTube too.

Since my last post I've trialled my Lounge Room Concert Series - "The Soiree"s ...you may have got an invitation to one of those.  If not, let me know if you're interested for the next series.  [These aren't open to the public but are exclusively for members of my mailing list].  To say they had a magical ambiance would not be an exaggeration and I've decided that these are so enjoyable, I'll give them preferential performance in the future.   Especially because this format is perfectly suited to an intimate audience that prefers Music with Meaning.

Last Chance to catch this show
On the commercial front, I'll be delivering the final performance of the Andrews Sisters show [the knockout trio of the 40s] at the Buttai Barn on October 21. It's been running now for 5 years and along with Diva Fever [also 5 years] and the Patsy Cline show [6 years and 9 seasons!],  it's time to lay them to rest and make way for 3 new shows next year.  The Barn does a great job, providing excellent value for $45 a head, including a devonshire morning tea and 2 course lunch, so I'll be heading back there for a series of shows next year.

I'm hoping, though, to repair the 'disconnect' with my Original music which has been happening over the past couple of years.  That occurs when you spend more time delivering other people's music than your own.  And as an award-winning, established songwriter it's time I paid more attention to my knitting -  since I'm no longer touring, nor doing festivals [which is the birthing place for new music] this is when the threads begin to unravel.

Sunrise by Janelle Karbowiak
Now one might ask..."why bother, what's wrong with the 'old' music?".....and my answer is this: 

Music - as one stream of the Arts - is the soul of our society; it reaches in to lift our spirit; it comforts us through memory; touches our heart through emotion; it inspires us to dream, encourages us to aspire.  New music offers new comfort, inspires new thinking, different perspectives, stimulates new ideas.  We aren't the same person we were 10, 20, 40, 60 + years ago, so while it's pleasurable to revisit the past, it's not where we live anymore and it's not where we'll ever live again.  Music can change us as individuals, and as individuals we can change the world.  I want to be part of a world that is moved by music ...instead of by greed.   How about you?

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Back to the 40s

Save the date - May 31st is the opening of Series 3 of The Wireless Chronicles -  Armed and Languorous.  Opening at the Royal Exchange Salon Theatre (ReX) in Bolton Street for an 8pm start.

The Wireless Chronicles is an evening at the wireless - a Live Radio Play interspersed with the music and stories of the decade.  There are 4 in the series - set in the 20s, the 30s, the 40s and the 50s.  The show is delivered in the setting of a radio station with OUR audience forming the live-in-studio radio audience.  The shows are an evening (or sometimes an afternoon) of pure entertainment with plenty of laughs.

In Series 3, our Radio Play has a change of name to the Devious Digit of Destiny.  Our characters are gathered for the announcement of the end of the war, reflecting on how they survived those tough years, and - in the case of our bumbling gangsters - how they turned a quid, illegally of course! We've said goodbye to Hank the Yank Tank, and to Maurice, Enzo, and Dazza.  Now wait til you meet the incomers - oh my!  Our bent bunch will be playing both sides of the fence and in some pretty dicey buildings, like; parliament house; the Duck for Cover Club; and a dubious pie shop.  

 The 1940s had some beautiful music and some fascinating stories to share.  Be part of the fun over the May/June weekend.
3 shows:   May 31st 8pm + June 2nd 5pm at the Rex theatre  +
 June 1st 2pm at the Dungeon.
Email for bookings:  bookings@maureen.com.au
GO TO THE WIRELESS CHRONICALS  PAGE FOR A REHEARSAL MINI-CLIP

Thursday, March 21, 2019

THEY'RE BACK!

Yup, those whacky characters Squiffy Naylor, Fat Freddy, Insp. Faulkner and Fifi la More are returning this year for the THIRD series of 
.......THE WIRELESS CHRONICLES
But before I release the frantic antics of their latest escapades, there'll be an encore showing of Series Two: Bottoms UP!  (for those who missed it last year - OR - who saw it last year and want the opportunity to see it again!)  You can catch just 2 performances of Bottoms UP!  on May 3/8pm and May 5/5pm at the Royal Exchange Salon Theatre.  Book tickets on 4929 4969
 ............In the third series - Armed and Languorous - we see some new characters joining the farcical flock which has been finding innovative ways to turn an illegal quid during the war years.  We meet up with the bent bunch at the announcement of peace and discover that there's been quite a few changes.  And some devious new doings.  As we traverse between parliament house, police headquarters, the Duck for Cover Club, and - the pie shop?! - we meet a 
few new characters playing both sides of the game.  Get ready for a new batch of laughs.  
May 31, June 1, June 2  at the ReX and The Dungeon.
..........................................
The Wireless Chronicles is a series of four live shows set as a live broadcast from a radio station during the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. Each show comprises: Music and stories of the people and times from each decade; interspersed by 6 consecutive episodes of a Radio Play set in Sydney during the decade – a Crime Farce based around the ongoing escapades of Squiffy Naylor [4th cousin 6 times removed of infamous Melbourne gangster Squizzy Taylor] and his gang of misfits, local brothel and bar owner Fifi La More, and her paramour Faulkner of the Constabulary, along with various questionable characters.
Written by local Playwright and Author Maureen O’Brien, delivered with a troupe of 6 players and musicians, all sharing the various voices. Audience participation is encouraged.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

5 PRECIOUS GIFTS


THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXTRACT FROM THE SHOW DELIVERED AT NEWCASTLE FOLK CLUB ON SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER 2018. [minus the ad libs and the songs]

Some people can’t wait for Christmas to arrive –it’s their favourite time of year .... others can’t wait for it to finish.  There are those who find it emotionally exhausting and others just plain exhausting.  There are those who sell their soul for the next year to BUY the fairytale Christmas this year.....and those who just don’t get the whole thing at all.
    We’re bombarded with Hollywood movies to show us how it’s supposed to be done, complete with 
  - bauble-decorated trees cut down in their prime, 
 - sexy elves in skimpy see-thru costumes  or 
 - big fat jolly blokes in santa suits  magically squeezing down chimney’s 
 - extravagantly gift-wrapped presents sufficient to fill a jumbo jet   
 ...AND...the perfect Christmas spread with sufficient food to feed the starving thousands for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert!!.........

We’re terrified  that we’ve bought the right people the wrong presents and ticked off that we’re expected to buy the right present for the wrong people and people we don’t even like for 364 days of the year  And when it’s our turn to open the presents that have been bought for us we get anxiety attacks in case our reaction isn’t as excited as expected – .....   We watch other people’s reaction as they open OUR gift to them  - ‘do they like it? ...Have I spent enough?.... Will they think I’m a stingy bastard? .... Will they think I’m bragging cos I spent more money than they spent on mine?    
No WONDER we have nightmares about the whole bloody thing!        ....... BUT-  Every Single One of Us – regardless of age, gender, financial position,  belief, background, - every single one of us have 5 precious gifts in common and it’s worthwhile reiterating these gifts at this time of year.

       GIFT NUMBER 1 .......Family....
 now you might say, I don’t have any family (left) ....  but consider this; 
.....some families are born  some are made  and some are acquired ....what we might call a 'Tribe' 
 .....  Some families and members are a blessing – others are a CHALLENGE ...
 .... and just like in a tribe we don’t like/enjoy the company of every member of the tribe and so we become  selective in who we share our time with  but it takes a SERIOUS breech of rules/boundaries to make us eject them from the tribe
 So FAMILY is a gift...treasure it......just like relationships, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all,  you can create your own

   GIFT NUMBER 2........Memories .........these are the treasures that we carry through life.....not all of them are happy BUT we get a choice and that in itself is a gift  .... we can choose to let go of the bad memories and focus on the sweet ones, the ones that give us joy.
 .....and the good thing is that while we’re still breathing we can still make more memories .....  the older we get, the more precious these memories become because they’re the footprints on our journey through life,  they’re the Art Gallery in our mind ,  they’re the things that sustain us when our body starts to fail, and our friends start to die off,

    GIFT NUMBER 3 ......Humanity   ........Once Upon a Time, in the Lucky Country, we lived in a society where we made room for newcomers from foreign lands, even those who couldn’t speak our language, - we might have introduced them to the great Aussie game of ‘take the mickey’ but generally they were accepted......
....we lived in a society where we had compassion for those who were doing it real tough and we lent a hand.... and where we grieved for those in other countries who were experiencing hardship,
......we lived in a society where those with different beliefs, different cultures  were allowed to live and let live as long as they didn’t try to convert us or take away our freedom to also live as we chose.....
.....and now, we may feel that the great god of Greed is converting our society to an inhumane, uncaring individualistic civilisation.   And that can be scary .......
....HOWEVER, Humanity is defined as “the quality or condition of being human”  .... and by it’s very nature begins within each one of us – it’s not someone else’s responsibility – it’s a precious gift that each one of us has, and ONE individual – like a pebble in a pond – CAN begin to spread the ripples of humanity which can become a tidal wave if each one of us exercises our gift .......it starts with one human being to another human being 

GIFT NUMBER 4. ....  Love ... we automatically think of romantic love , but *comes in many forms, 
*spouse after the romance has gone!  .....*parent/child + sibling  ....*friend  .........*animals  ........*stuff     .......*passion eg hobby:  cooking fishing
....if it makes you happy and gives you something in return, it counts. BUT...y’ don’t have to have a  partner to make you happy.....however  Y’ DO have to give it out to get it back
......the price of LOVE is the pain of  LOSS  and it hurts  when someone leaves /dies /moves on ...so whether the pain is pure grief or based in anger at their going or someone taking them, or disappointment get an illness and can’t follow you’re passion eg? ..accepting that it’s part of the cycle of life is the key to moving on and opening yourself up to the next love experience
 #LOVE is a gift ....in all its forms....don’t turn your back on it, treat it as the precious gift it is, we need it in our lives – and when y’ can’t have what y’ love, love what y’ have

 GIFT NUMBER 5 ....we’re all still breathing, so we’ve all got it!  It’s the gift of  Life/and for those of us  in this country we get a bonus buy on this one, the GIFT OF Freedom        
if you’re over 60 – you have the ADDED bonus of LONG LIFE – and that’s a gift that far too many of us humans didn’t get, so be thankful......if you’re a young chicken or you’re in a mid life crisis – take heart, with a bit of luck you’ll get the long life blessing too - ..BUT of course if you’re a bloody misery guts in your middle years, however long you’ve got it’s gonna feel like an eternity – especially to those that’ve gotta live with you.......be kind to yourself and those around you - we're all sharing this journey of life.

Merry Christmas
from Maureen