Plugging My Friends

First up:  if you thought something rude when you read the title you are A:  childish and B:  reacting exactly how I wanted you to...to my childishness.  In fact I thought I might take this opportunity to talk up some of my friends who are producing some interesting and entertaining work that is definitely worth checking out. Strange Birds in Paradise – A West Papuan Story

One of my dearest friends from my days as a Bunta Boy in Adelaide is Charlie Hill Smith.  Charlie was the host at Boltz Café the night I performed for the first time and we have been pals ever since.  Charlie and his crew have been working on this amazing documentary for a long time and their efforts were rewarded with ripper reviews, 4 AFI award nominations and were also a winner of “Inside Film’s” best doco.  “Strange Birds in Paradise” tells the tale of three friends who gather in Melbourne to record outlawed folk songs while the Indonesian army continues to dominate the indigenous inhabitants of West Papua.  This is a subject I have been ashamed to admit a lack of articulate knowledge and Charlie has regaled me with informed and passionate stories over the many years we’ve hung out together.  This is a beautiful and fascinating doco that attempts to spread the word for peace and democracy in West Papua.  It is also worth checking out the album with music from the film produced and recorded by the incredible David Bridie.

“Strange Birds in Paradise” will air the 27th of September on SBS two at 8.30pm or you can purchase this documentary here.

The Legacy of Lord Regret

Sam Bowring is a friend of mine from Sydney that I see way too little of.  For some reason over the last few years my career has not taken me to Sydney and since Sam is against flying our catch-ups have been few and far between.  Luckily for me the Internet has been invented and I can live vicariously through Sam as he achieves his ultimate ambition of being a published novelist.  His latest book “The Legacy of Lord Regret” is out, a story about a great warrior who wanders the land doing his best to remain apart from the world.  When all hell breaks loose the warrior is called back to the life he has attempted to reject and he does return, with a vengeance.  When your main character has been renowned with the moniker “Skullrender” you know that what he’s very good at isn’t very nice at all.

I’m thrilled for Sam to be in this position as not only is he a published author but he has also been selected for the “Get Reading” campaign.  If you don’t know much about that check it out here.

If you enjoy fantasy then I encourage you to purchase Mr Bowring’s novel here and here.

Million Dollar Tegan – Round Two

I’m even more biased with this as I directed the first round for this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival but with a new director and some extra story thrown in for good measure, Tegan Higginbotham’s first solo festival show is coming back for a full run at this year’s Melbourne Fringe.  No one will ever truly understand what inspired Tegan’s desire to get her “Sweet Science” on but she not only followed through but also still managed to write a great show without any lingering effects from a punch to the head.  If you enjoyed it the first time you should check back in to see how it has changed and if you missed it at MICF then you should buy a ticket and find out why Tegan was deservedly nominated for best newcomer.  It is an excellent debut and will only lead to bigger and better achievements.  To learn more go right here.

Justin Hamilton

Fitzroy North

September 3rd, 2012