NFSA shows contrasting views of the season

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A still from “Christmas in Australia” directed by Richard Mason… part of the NFSA’s festive content.

THE National Film and Sound Archive now has festive content, viewable at, showing contrasting views of the season, from Nicole Kidman in 1983’s “Bush Christmas” to the destruction of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Day 1974. Its advent calendar of Australian Christmas music has Archie Roach and others serenading, while a nostalgic film, “Christmas In Australia”, directed by Richard Mason for the Commonwealth Film Unit in 1958 may be viewed via YouTube.

TEMPO Theatre, according to veteran member Mike Weston, has “not just sat down wringing our hands over shutdown and lamenting about no stage shows”, and will go ahead with the company’s sixth annual Christmas radio presentation, “Captain Christmas: A Pirate Christmas Story”, co-written by Weston with Jo Jones. It will go to air at Radio 1RPH on Christmas Day, with exact times to be posted on Facebook.

FOUR Canberra artists from a record 1,200 entries – Justine McLaren, Martin Paull, Anna Madeleine Raupach and “CityNews” art writer Caren Florance – have made it to the finalists’ list for the 66th Blake Prize, coming to the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in February.

PETER Coleman-Wright, director of our fledgling National Opera has announced that the company will at last open, with semi-staged versions at Llewellyn Hall and conducted by Dane Lam of Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” in April, directed by Coleman-Wright himself and Puccini’s “La Rondine” in October, directed by Gale Edwards.

“Wind in the Willows”… Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, January 6-24.

ACTORS are gearing up in Glenn Elston’s outdoor production of “The Wind in The Willows” at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens for the 18th year running. Head Chief Rabbit, Ratty and Mole join a dangerous mission with the Rat Pack and Badger Patrol to rescue Portly the Otter from the Wild Wood. Royal Botanic Gardens, harbour side of the main pond, January 6-24, book here, here or call 9011 7704.

Grandma’s Knicker Tree… new book by Canberra writer Barbie Robinson and illustrated by artist Ian Robertson.

YOU know it’s the silly season where you hear of a new children’s picture book called “Grandma’s Knicker Tree”. The book by Canberra writer Barbie Robinson and illustrated by artist and former school counsellor, Ian Robertson, focuses on the importance of families and the relationship of grandparents and their grandchildren. Order here

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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