Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Archive for May, 2006

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Posted by redkoireviews on 24/05/2006

The Vampire Lestate BookcoverI read ‘Interview with the Vampire’ by Anne Rice years ago, and thought I’d read it again a few months ago. Then I followed on with the second book in the trilogy ‘The Vampire Lestat‘. It’s a great, dark, mythical tale that delves into the ancient past of vampires, but it’s main strength is the vivid character development of the various vampires. Wikipedia has a better synopsis of the story than I could write. I think that vampires make interesting characters because they are monsters created from human. They allow Rice to create something that simultaneously intrigues and horrifies the reader.

Having said that, Lestat is an almost entirely different character in this book to the Lestat we grew to hate in ‘Interview with the Vampire’. Rice makes a very clumsy attempt to patch up the obvious gaps in the epilogue. I’m keen to read the third book ‘Queen of the Dammed’ but not if Rice changes the personalities of they lead characters again. Fingers crossed.

My Rating: 3 Stars


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“The Hanging Man” by Improbable

Posted by redkoireviews on 21/05/2006

The hanging manThe Hanging Man” is an great theatre production by UK based Improbable, showing at the Opera House as part of it’s “Adventures in the dark” series.

While not quite as good as ‘The importance of being Ernest‘, this was still an impressive, funny and serious play. The play tells the story of an successful architect who comes believe the Cathedral he is designing will be a failure even before it is built, and so hangs himself. However death is not happy with this sudden departure from the world, and so refuses to take him. he lives on, hanging from the ceiling of his half finished cathedral.

The personification of death as a sharp, angry woman reminds me of Terry Pratchett’s death. With a persona, death can explain that she refuses to take him because she barely knows her. He took his life without any real understanding of death. Suicide by hanging in a half finished cathedral was is indulgent memorial to himself, and a quick escape route.

Various segments of the play are totally improvised, in keeping with the risk taking mandate of theatre company Improbable. I barely noticed the change from scripted to improvised until my partner pointed it out.

The play is very physical, right down to it’s false floor that contains all manner of theatrics and demons. It’s also funny – although not nearly as witty as the immortal lines of ‘the importance of being Ernest’. Given the subject matter there is a surprising lack of black humour. I’d happily invite a friend to see this one.

My rating: 3.5 Stars

Posted in 3 Stars, Reviews, Theatre | 1 Comment »

Yachting on Sydney Harbour

Posted by redkoireviews on 08/05/2006

Yachting on Syndey HarbourOn the 8th May, I had ‘the big one’ – my 30th Birthday. When I thought about what I wanted to do to mark the occasion, I lost interest in big parties and lot’s of drinking, or restaurants and picnics. So I thought I’d take a few of my best friends out on a yacht on Sydney Harbour.

After some calls I hired a ‘Jarken 35‘ yacht from Sail Australia. It was skippered by a nice guy called Eddie and although deemed to be a lowly ‘budget’ yacht by the hire company, was perfectly fine for my purposes.

We had a lovely picnic lunch at Balmoral beach beforehand, then got onto the ‘Balmoral Star’ and slowly puffed past ferries and the truly beautiful Sydney Harbour. The weather was great and everyone got along really well.

It really was a great way to spend my 30th. Of course, there are a few other things I’m doing as well, like taking my actual birthday off and going to Brooklyn, and having dinner with my family.

So if your sick of the usual birthday celebration guff, I’d recommend spending the day out on one of the best harbours in the world.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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Jazz meets the Symphony with Lalo Schifrin

Posted by redkoireviews on 08/05/2006

Jazz meets the SymphonyLalo Schifrin has been doing ‘Jazz meets the Symphony‘ for a while now. In this case, he’s brought together James Morrison (trumpet), Christian McBride (bass) and Gordon Rytmeister (drums) together with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Schifrin either wrote or arranged the whole performance, and he’s done a great job. The Orchestra can feel like a bit of a support act when the soloist’s get carried away, but generally the Jazz musicians and the SSO work well together. I really liked the first half, but thought the Tribute to Bix in the second half was just too long, and too brassy for my liking.

The audience seemed to contain a lot of James Morrison fans, who seemed to think the Opera house was joking when they said no cameras. I thought Christian McBride was a better, more interesting performance than Morrison.

Despite the music being full of rhythm, the audience stayed stock still for the entire performance. Maybe it’s the effect of the concert hall, but I think I would have enjoyed it more in a smaller, more jazz friendly venue. Something serving wisky, and with red velvet.

Apart from the Mission Impossible theme at the end, a great night out:

My Rating: 4 stars

Posted in 4 Stars, Music, Reviews | 1 Comment »

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