Tag Archives: theatre

Weekend in Detroit: Saturday Self-Revelation

img_8536After all this time in Washington DC, I get to get out of town, finally. Intentionally, the first city I’d like to visit is Detroit. That’s for some good reasons—to get the sense of changing urban landscape and to see Sigur Rós concert. It turns out to be one of my self-revelation peaks.

Saturday in the Detroit is actually quite short. It is almost 6pm when I get to downtown to walk around the city whereas the show starts at 8.30pm. So, there isn’t much time to explore the famous urban decay. Although there are many abandoned buildings, it is not as dramatic as it sounded years ago.

Probably, the city is slowly in reincarnation phase. You get the sense of city’s rebounding from local creative business like local breweries such as one I have at Detroit Beer Company. It has a long history of art and music scene. I can see it now from Fox Theater. The over-the-top Art Deco interior just amazes me. I wish I could explore more and more.

While waiting for the show, the combination of the theatre’s visual stimulant and the meditative walk-in music put me to process the whole experience so far. My head keeps chanting ‘I’m in Fox Theater in Detroit to see Sigur Rós’. An intense journey I haven’t had for a long time kicks off.

During the first half of the show, my emotion gets so overwhelmed by self-reflection that I start to sob.

I’ve been soul searching since I made the big move to this current job in DC last year. (That includes the trip to Sydney in May-June this year and I should blog about it later.) And lately, I have convinced myself as an INFP. It ticks the boxes I question about my own decisions in my life. The evening with the mantra ‘I’m in Fox Theater in Detroit to see Sigur Rós’ has just put a nail on it.

Understanding myself as an INFP processes me why I wanted to visit Detroit before anywhere else in the States and why Sigur Rós. For the first time in many years I think I’m clear why I’m here, hence, where and how I’d like to go further.

It’s a short day with a long internal journey in Detroit. In the end, it gets you the feeling of self-discovery. Everything seems to make sense now. All effort is worth it and the rest of the trip is the bonus. I shall move forward and explore.

Liberty Theatre

On the trip to Yass, Pia Waugh took us to this Art Deco venue, Liberty Theatre. Her parent bought it to renovate and make it active for the town again. We were also told that this place was often used as a wedding reception. That gave us the impression that it must have been very significant the community.

At the moment a local drama group uses it and the ground floor foyer is converted into a gift shop. Whereas the upper level foyer is the store room and upper seating needs a lot of work to do. The most amazing thing is the control room which has no electricity. The only light source is from the windows which illuminate like stained glass. It is beautiful and creepy at the same time.

Liberty Theatre



Black out



It reminded me how the landscape of social entertainment changed. For examples, Thai folk theatres, Likay, are struggling for a living, let alone conserving the craft or old cinemas are abandoned in Southeast Asia. The world seems to be moving on too fast that we neglect to look back.

Blowing Whistles


Out of the blue, I am contacted by Focus Theatre and asked for my photography of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Party in their production of Blowing Whistles in Sydney, Adelaide and London. I say why not. Blowing Whistles is about contemporary gay culture. Two men is celebrating their tenth anniversary relationship on the eve of Mardi Gras and cruising for another guy online. That changes their lives forever.

I have not seen the show and am curious how my photographs are put in the show. London show is adapted for the local scene but they could not find suitable London gay party scene images for it. So they use mine which you cannot really identify specific scenes anyway. That makes me think how you put yourself into what you see and photograph.

For the past couple of years, I believe that we, a group of Flickr’s Sydney PhotoBloggers and photography students, has brought a new level of how the events can be documented and expressed on photography via Robert McGrath of Darlinghurst ArtSpace. However, they still choose happy snappy shots and publish them on their photo galleries after all. I take my viewers to explore the other side: up-close, candid and chaotic. Of course, they will not appear in a place that tries to sell you party tickets.

I always ask questions about being a queer. It seems too easy to be who you are these days. We almost have everything that we have been standing for: acceptance, equality and so on. What next when we have all of those. What are we going to fight for when we get the rights as any other people. Although we have passed the point that no one gives a damn of your gender, age, race or sexual preference, there still is discrimination agianst everything at some level even within gay & lesbien community itself. It is time to see ourselves and stop asking for those rights but start acting as we deserve them with respect. Yes, respect. If we want one, we have give one also.

Blowing Whistles is showing in Sydney until 15 November at Darlinghurst Theatre and will be a part of Feast Festival 08, Adelaide, at Bake House Theatre, 18-23 November. And it is showing in London until 29 November at Leicester Square Theatre.

The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show

It’s dark, kinky and funny. The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show is the Aussie extreme adaptation of this classic puppet show. This medley of sex and murder scenes portrays the violence and turns into cabaret as if out of this world. On the other hand, they could be found in the news every day: wife beating, child raping, gay bashing and so on.

No wonder why I felt very intense after the first time visiting this play as a photographer on the final run-through. While I was concentrating on visions through the camera, the violence came straight into my brain without diluting with punch lines. It is a comedy, anyhow. Once I saw it again as an audience on the opening night, I could laugh with its wits and outrages. The surreal tone went along perfectly with the wacky performances. Especially, the cover version of Aussie pop classic was the most adorable.

The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show is a part of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival 2008 and currently playing at Cleveland Street Theatre until 29 February.