Sunday, April 4, 2021

Blocking the Writers Block!

 So we're just over 12 months along since the pandemic was declared and it's been a tough year for everyone - especially those who work in the Arts.

For me, not only did all my gigs, shows, choruses, concerts, music networks come to a grinding halt in March last year, so did my social networks, incomes, and creativity!  My inspiration, imagination, and artistic vision walked out in protest.  I was feeling pretty low until I discovered that I was in an enormous lifeboat with a world of artists - and Arts-related workers - all experiencing the same thing.

Fortunately, one of the Music Industry platforms  I belong to - an International group which supports independent artists -is  proactive in its approach.  Eventually it flicked a switch which resonated with me and I took up their "Songwriters Challenge"  in March this year. 

It worked.  I blocked the "Block" and now have a heap of new material I'm working on to produce another album mid year.   No CD's though anymore.  This album - still under wraps - is going to be produced on USB for easy download to your devices.

I'll be happy to share more about the new music in the next month or so ...stay tuned.  And if you haven't joined me yet on Facebook, I encourage you to send a friend request ...it's where I'm most active with news, updates, and events.        #note tho'...I tend only to 'friend' people that I know, or have met.  So if we haven't met yet, leave a message with your request and here's your password to let me know you're a genuine friend:  Mozmate

 

Settle in with a good read

 If you haven't had a chance to pick it up yet, Table Manners is worth the effort.    

You can order your copy -      direct from the Publishers: https://pegasuspublishers.com/books/all/table-manners    

or most online booksellers such as:   https://www.booktopia.com.au/search.ep?keywords=Table+Manners+Maureen+Brien&productType=917504    

or ask your local bookstore or library to order it in for you.

Below are just a few of the reviews that readers have written after finishing the novel;

  • .."it felt like a holiday by the seaside, I wanted to stay longer, to dine at la jazz, to walk in the bush, soak up the harbour...."
  • "...It was hard to put it down when I should have been doing things, in fact I often succumbed to what I call the "Just one more chapter" syndrome, which often developed into several more chapters."    
  • "What a little gem this delightful book is. Originally a stage production, Maureen O’Brien has transferred the story from stage to page beautifully. The characters are engaging and relatable. You find yourself reluctant to let go of the book as you are drawn to discover a little more of the goings on at La Jazz." 
  • "...Above all Table Manners is a tale of people becoming themselves and understanding what they need to do for both themselves and for their friends.  These are serious stories told with a humorous and light touch that will keep the reader enthralled to the end. An absolute delight, highly recommended.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Covoid Bounceback!

 After more than 12 months in the wastelands, accompanied by undelivered shows and concerts,  we're treading the boards once more in Newcastle.

With a small troupe - just 4 of us - we'll be delivering the UH! OH! REVIEW:  When the things you planned don't go to plan   ..... on  Saturday 20th February, 7.30pm  at the Royal Exchange Salon Theatre, Bolton Street Newcastle.   A ONE NIGHT ONLY  comedy review of songs, sketches, and confessional tales.

As Covoid restrictions are still with us, tickets are limited and the show is likely to be booked out.  We recommend that you get in early to secure a seat.    Online bookings can be made via

www.trybooking.com/BOIVR   or phone the theatre direct - 4929 4969   [more information on the booking link too]

 


 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

A CHILL IN THE AIR!


Get ready for the 4th - and final - series of 
The Wireless Chronicles
A little rehearsal fun for I SPY

I SPY - opening 11-15 March. ##PRODUCTION DEFERRED DUE TO COVOID19 ...Stay Tuned

   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, through to the 50s.  Each episode comprises a Cast delivering the Radio Play  - The Devious Digit of Destiny – (aka the Fickle Finger of Fate) as if in a radio station, live.  Hence the episodes are ‘read’ and using props and sound effects to enhance the audience experience.
     I SPY is set in the 1950s,  the era of the Cold War -  a decade which saw the birth of rock and roll, and the arrival of television in Australia. 

    The Players for Series 4 are;  writer/producer Maureen O’Brien; Stevi Cannon; Grant Bailey; John Dickeson; Amanda Broberg; David Benge, and guitarist/sound effects wizard Peter Sesselmann. Maureen will share a plethora of anecdotes from the era and the cast will perform a selection of the great songs from the 50s.

   Devotee’s of the series will no doubt be waiting to hear the fate of the characters in the DDoD which is a wacky gangster-cum-spy farce that includes some riotous antics including a car chase... (yes! On live radio!)    .......

  4 shows only and booking is recommended for those performances which include catering and can be made on 0421 072 444  OR via emailbookings@maureen.com.au

  ##MARCH SEASON CANCELLED  DUE TO ILLNESS - STAY TUNED FOR RESCHEDULED DATES 

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