There’s life in the Inner West!
Issue 270 | November 6th 2015
Palestinian Film Festival 99 Homes
Newtown and Glebe’s big shindigs
F O L LOW S! @ciaoma gazinesy dney /CiaoMa gazine U
What’s the ruckus?
Time is ticking for this local theatre ensemble
Sydney City Toyota
YARIS ASCENT 5 DOOR HATCH
COROLLA ASCENT SPORT CVT HATCH
36-38 Parramatta Road, Glebe T 02 9565 6313 sydneycitytoyota.com.au MD053160
Recommended driveaway pricing is applicable for Private, Bronze and Silver fleet customers, and primary producers only on vehicles purchased by 31/12/2015 unless extended. Recommended driveaway price shown includes 12 months registration, 12 months compulsory third party insurance(CTP), a maximum Dealer delivery charge and stamp duty. 2015 Corolla Ascent Sport CVT Hatch, only available on non-metallic models. 2015 Yaris Ascent Manual Hatch offer only available on non-metallic models. Roadside assist expires 4 years from the vehicle purchase date. Valid on new non-metallic Yaris Ascent Hatch Auto and Manual models purchased between 01/11/2015 and 31/12/2015. Toyota Extra Care is administered by Toyota Finance, a division of Toyota Finance Australia Limited ABN 48 002 435 181, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 392536.
Inner West whispers
Local gossip, rumour, hearsay and unsubstantiated fact...
Treasure trashed – Boarding house blues - Gelato scoop
WE ARE C!AO
Satire for the soul
the preposterous news that the management contract for Rozelle Markets had been tendered to Blue Sky Events rather than the event’s 20-year coordinator Jeanne Albrecht disgruntled locals made an online petition that has garnered the support of over 4000 people in six days and received masses of media coverage. Rozelle School’s principal, who was on the five-person committee that reviewed the tenders, has said they conducted the review correctly according to the Department of Education’s Parameters, where, “50 per cent of the weighting is for the financial return offered by the applicant.” Kristina Protopsaltis, the petition’s creator, said she will lobby for a community forum if the tender is not reviewed. With several large public school events happening in the past months, Ciao wonders how much financial pressure is on public schools to find extra funding and how this is achieved by schools in less affluent areas... you thought Eastern Suburbs residents’
responses to affordable housing were snobby, you obviously haven’t lived in the Inner West! A DA for a boarding house in Concord was met with chagrin, with over 34 people submitting to Canada Bay Council against the proposals and Concord’s community Facebook page also taking a stance against the proposal. While some residents were concerned about the paltry amount of parking provided by the development (because poor people don’t drive, right?), others were worried about increases in crime, loud noise and concerns that ‘renters’ didn’t fit with other residents who own their homes. NIMBYists have many battles ahead with planning well underway to increase housing in the area.
Righteous Rightie launches into an epic rant about Inner Westies embracing the wrong sort of US cultural imperialism
Dear RR – When did Halloween become a thing?! If memory serves, it used to consist of a couple of kids wandering the neighbourhood having door after door slammed in their face. Or being given apples filled with razor blades and cyanide-laced Wizz Fizz. Yet this year participation seemed to be mandatory, with marauding hordes of local youngsters brazenly demanding glutenfree chocolate cake and tofu ice cream. I can get my head around Inner West progressives culturally appropriating, say, Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations, especially if they involve consuming so-hot-right-now Tex-Mex food and artisanal tequila. But I never thought I’d like to see the day when members of our community would start carrying on like extras in a B-grade Hollywood teen flick. Gomez, Petersham RR replies: I suppose once they gave women the vote and allowed homosexuals ram their ‘alternative lifestyle’ down everyone’s throat it was only a matter of time until this once Christian nation devolved into full-blown paganism. But if we have to purloin one of America’s celebrations, why couldn’t it be a noble one? Such as Thanksgiving, which I believe commemorates the white man giving the layabout Indigenous population some worthless beads and smallpoxinfused blankets. I’m all for us importing American customs if it means I can pay my gardener $2 an hour and not have to worry about my tax dollars being directed into socialised medicine that needlessly prolongs the existence of povo malingerers. Or, indeed, it results in me having ready access to a semi-automatic rifle that can be used to mow down any heathen juveniles foolish enough to set foot on my property. But Australians turn their nose up about all that is great about the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave only to seize a Satanic bacchanal that gives license to fat, lazy kiddies to gorge themselves on sugary rubbish. What perversity!
n Email your dilemma to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sonya Madden email@example.com
Max Kobras firstname.lastname@example.org
Kassia Aksenov email@example.com
wildly popular Gelato Messina’s first Inner West store will be in Harold Park. Once that beachhead is established, we can only presume King Street will be next.
Melissa Leong firstname.lastname@example.org
This image, dating back to circa 1912, depicts the Oxford Hotel on the corner of Eliza Street and King Street, now the location of the ZanziBar Hotel. This hotel has been through many iterations, opening as the Daniel Webster Hotel in 1863 before becoming what you see in this photo in 1875. It remained the Oxford Hotel until the 1980s when it became the Oxford Tavern, which many Inner Westies will have fond latenight memories of. The venue was rebranded as ZanziBar at the turn of the millennium. Despite its various reincarnations, this building has remained a pub for the past 150 years.
n Image curtesy of Marrickville Council
Locals have been getting drunk here for 150 years!
Winsor Dobbin email@example.com
Paden Hunter firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor’s Golf Day
Fancy having a punt with Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas? The Council’s annual charity fundraiser will take place on Friday November 20th at Massey Park Golf Club in Concord, with all proceeds from the day going towards three local primary schools: St Ambrose in Concord West, St Mary’s in Concord and All Hallows in Five Dock. Canada Bay Council is on the lookout for golfers to join in a morning of golf and an indulgent social lunch afterwards. Registration costs $125 including hot breakfast, lunch and 18-holes. Last year’s Golf Day raised $37,000 for an all-access playground at St Mark’s Catholic school in Drummoyne. The playground was
built by Touched by Olivia, a non-for-profit organization that installs play areas that can be used by children with all abilities. The Council is also seeking local business sponsors this year to maximize the funds raised for the three local primary schools. Mayoral Golf Day has a rich history in Australia with councils from Cairns to Wollondilly hosting similar events. Massey Park Golf Club has a waterfront vantage over Exile Bay, and a generous 4.5 kilometre run. The pars and birdies are suitable for pros and beginners alike. n To register go www.canadabay.nsw.gov.au. If you are considering sponsoring the event please contact: email@example.com or call 9911 6555.
Things we love:
Phoebe Moloney firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors: Nigel Bowen, Lianna Taranto, Elise Bruem Publisher: Sonia Komaravalli Ciao loves you, and our photographers only supply photos for publication with consent. We try and make you look your best. No responsibility is accepted by Ciao Magazine for the accuracy of advertisements or information. We welcome unsolicited editorial and pictorial contributions. The opinions expressed in Ciao Magazine are those of contributors, indemnifying the publisher from inaccuracy or consequences arising from its reproduction. © All rights reserved. No material is to be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Ciao Magazine is a free publication. Distribution, advertising & editorial enquiries 460A Parramatta Road, Petersham 2049 email@example.com (02) 9518 3696. 0402 202 951 – Sonya 0405 509 805 – Sonia Ciao is locally owned and produced. Please recycle Printed by Spot Press, Marrickville James Penny, Chris Bunton, Digby Webster and Audrey O’Connor, are actors from RUCKUS, using crowd funding to get to Cambodia. Image: Ben Cregan
How to train your dragon
Paddle, paddle, paddle! Have you noticed people in boats flying down Blackwattle and Rozelle Bay? This team sport is Ancient Chinese dragon boating, of course! Unlike rowers, dragon boaters face forward sitting in two rows of 10, with a sweep who sits at the back of the boat steering and a drummer who sits at the front keeping time. Different Strokes, based in Blackwattle Bay, is a dragon boat club set up by Sydney’s gay and lesbian community. They have over 80 members from both genders aged between 14 to 60 years of age. Getting involved with dragon boat racing is a great way to gain fitness in a team sport environment, although this sport is not for the fainthearted – it really works out the entire body!
• Losing graciously • Movember moustaches • Doctors/nurses who help strangers on their days off • Team sports • Work Christmas parties in early November • Random acts of kindness
• Halloween and all things spooky. Time to be pleasant again. • Unpredictable weather • Craft Beer Week (unfortunately) • Books written by Donald Trump • Coal power
There’s life in the Inner West!
49a New Canterbury Rd Petersham (The old Majestic Theatre)
Phone: 8097 2222 Like us on Facebook/MajesticPetersham
Sydney ’s Inner West has an all new European Market
Fresh fish market - Majestic florist - Charcuterie and Fromagerie delicatessen Daily baked artisan breads - Fruit & Vegetables Nov 18 Majestic Harvest hosts chef - David Tsirekas Perama pop up - returning to Petersham for one night only! Open Monday - Sunday & now for dinners Thursday-Saturday.
Majestic Har vest restaurant presenting a seasonal menu har vested fresh from our European market. Phone: 8097 2201
R OA D T E ST
n Elise Bruem
Five ways to a miracle bod
I’m a very sceptical person. I love to be surprised by people but it’s rare that surprises happen. One trend I’ve been noticing recently is the growing rate of ‘overnight success’ stories, especially when it comes to fitness. How can this be true? Unless you’re a contestant on The Biggest Loser and you have a pregnant Michelle Bridges yelling at you to run, I refuse to believe (without solid evidence) that miracle transformations can happen in small amounts of time. I doubt this will work, but it’s nearly summer, so I figure it’s worth my while to see if anything can give me the body of Heidi Klum in just a few days.
Electrocute that spare tyre away!
A response to the Rozelle markets Tender
I am compelled to write this letter out of the deep sense of injustice I perceive from the recent decision to award the tender for Rozelle Markets to Blue Sky Events. My name is Miriam Waks. I am a 27-year-old professional singer and artist who went to Rozelle Primary School from kindergarten right through to the end of Year 6. Even after moving on to high school, my ties to Rozelle Primary School stayed strong through my attachment and involvement with Rozelle Markets. I would come here every weekend, meeting friends, buying books, clothes and records that I would not have been able to otherwise afford. And when I began singing professionally, Rozelle Markets was one of the first places to give me a gig. I was able to commence my professional music career, hone my craft and have paid work as a musician because of Rozelle Markets and Jeanne Albrecht's commitment to supporting not only local businesses, but local artists too. I now live in New York City and have travelled the world. Every year when I return to Australia it is still the first place I visit and perform. A devout marketgoer, I can say with 100 per cent certainty that there is no market quite like Rozelle Markets. If you go ahead with allowing a company that is driven solely by commercial and monetary concerns to take control of Rozelle Markets, you will be responsible for destroying one of the few examples left of what an integrity-based business model looks like. This is not simply a matter of one market, it is a question of values and ethics. What kind of world do you want your children to grow up in? What kind of community should we be striving to build and be members of? The growing obsession with purely financially based decision making is something I find disturbing. To think that a parent-based committee overseeing a public school could have come to such a decision is utterly despicable to me. You are depriving children and adults alike of a space and opportunity for community to exist, not enhancing or building one. On top of this, you are sending your children the message that a thing is only of value to a community if it is wrapped in the most appealing packaging and bought with the highest fee. I implore you with the utmost sincerity and fullness of heart to overturn this decision and be an example of what is fair and just. If you want to turn Rozelle Markets into yet another homogenous market full of elite prices and pretentious products, you will be depriving Rozelle and the wider Sydney community of a place where all are welcome.
There are countless gyms in the Inner West, not to mention parks and the Bay Run where you can exercise for free. With a very strict timeframe in which my body would be transformed, I chose to try out some cardio and go running. It felt good to be doing some real exercise and I enjoyed being one of those self-righteous fitness people (underwear selfie not compulsory). However, after only a few days I still didn’t notice any difference to the size of my thighs and all I was left with was a sore bum and a really strong desire to buy a bike so I could exercise while sitting down.
After my failed attempt at exercising it was time to get serious and that meant giving up my normal diet of pasta and wine while watching The Bachelorette. Being a Saturday, I headed down to the markets at Orange Grove for some vegetables for my new diet of salad. Just salad. After just a day I was bored and dying for some carbs and sugar. My mind was betraying me, “I’m still so hungry,” “But Gwyneth said this is how she keeps her body,” and finally, “Stuff this, I’m ordering a pizza”. Who knows whether a diet would’ve worked, because I chose food over thinness and always will. “Look great with no exercise needed? All for four easy payments of $29.95 plus postage and handling?” Tell me more, infomercial! Now, I’m not sure of the science behind a machine that electrocutes your stomach to give you stronger abs, but the ad sure is hilarious. I’m sorry reader, I wanted to try it and get fit like the people on the TV, but, firstly I’d rather spend the money on rent and, secondly, I spent all of my allocated exercise time watching the ads.
Aha! Just when it seemed that miracles don’t exist and that looking great takes time and effort, I was proven wrong. What better way to instantly get a shaped bum and thighs than by hiding it with fabric so tight you can’t feel your toes? Sure, you may spend the better part of ten minutes trying to pull on your Bridget Jones knickers, but ten minutes is a lot faster than the time it’ll take to look fabulous from exercise. Note: Shapewear is particularly useful if you’re wearing heels and don’t want to feel the pain in your feet.
Why train when you can use shapewear?
Adapted from the 1975 documentary of the same FREE name, the Broadway musical Grey Gardens explores the dark and quirky relationship of socialite Edith TICKETS Bouvier Beale and her daughter Little Edie. The play follows these two women, the respective aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, from their heyday of wealthy and social aristocracy to their descent into poverty and seclusion in their decaying manor. Directed by Jay James Moody (Man of La Mancha), with musical direction by Hayden Barltrop (Sondheim on Sondheim) and choreography by Shondelle Pratt (Carrie The Musical), Grey Gardens has brought together some of Sydney's finest musical theatre talent for an undoubtedly amazing production. With a beautiful score and heartfelt, intimate lyrics to match, there is a good reason why the New York Times described this musical as, “an experience no passionate theatregoer should miss.”
n Thanks to Squabbalogic and the Seymour Centre, we have two FREE double passes to giveaway to the Wednesday 18th November showing at 7:30pm! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details to go into the running.
n Compiled by Max Kobras. Email email@example.com
Sunday 8th November
Community are en ev ts listings
I hope you take these words to heart and act in accordance with your conscience, not your wallet.
n Words by Miriam Waks
email info@ m.au ciaomagazine.co Attn: Max
chermoula for a seafood tagine. For more information go to: www. sydneyfishmarket.com.au
Saturday 14th November
will provide. Head to Camperdown Memorial Rest Park.
Wednesday 11th November
At First Sight
For more info, please visit Paying homage to Newtown's www.newtownfestival.org reputation as a hub for visionaries, innovators and luminaries, this year's Newtown Festival has been dubbed 'Newtopia'. As always, this festival will have an abundance of live music and entertainment, featuring great local acts such as The Laurels and Flowertruck, as well as plenty of other hot spots of interest. In for a read? Check out the Writer's Tent. Looking for a splash of colour? Visit the Live Art Hub. No matter what form of It's Australia's biggest hipster hoedown! creativity captures you, Newtopia
Sydney Seafood School
Jump into Sydney Seafood School's sizzling summer program of classes at the Sydney Fish Markets running from November all the way to February. Their line up of chefs are sure to tantalise your taste buds with Andy Evans from Spice Temple, Red Lantern’s Mark Jensen, Hamish Ingham from Bar H, and the mistress of spice, Christine Manfield, presenting another of her popular Saturday workshops. Next Wednesday's Morroccan class will teach you to prepare your own
Part record fair, part live gig, At First Sight is a day dedicated to everyone that still buys vinyl and basically anyone who just loves live music. Drop on down to Carriageworks and flip through thousands of records from a variety of the city's independent record stores, labels and private dealers. Once you have found that rare gem, sit back and experience the best Australian artists and DJs from all across the country in this musical utopia created by FBi’s Martin Doyle. For more information or to book tickets, please visit www.carriageworks.com.au
Too cool for school!
See page 8 for more what's on...
leichhardt bowling & recreation club
BAREFOOT BOWLS From Leichhardt Bowling Club!
Get a group together or just come along and enjoy a friendly game.
WE SUPPLY THE COLOURED BOWLS YOU SUPPLY THE FUN. WEEKEND BAREFOOT BOWLS NOW ONLY $10 PER PERSON PLEASE CALL TO SECURE YOUR BAREFOOT RINK
Get back to nature and feel the grass at...
WEEKLY WEEKLY EVENTS EVENTS @ @ LBC LBC
Mondays LIVE Hour SPORT ON THE BIG SCREEN - Catch Happy 4 - 6pm all the sporting events on our large HD 150 inch Tuesdays screen Ladies Bowl at 10am Line Dancing with Julie 10:30am L S BI Happy Hour 4 - 6pm Wednesdays Quilting group 11am Mens Triples commencing 1pm Happy Hour 4 - 6pm Trivia 7pm Thirsty Thursdays Monster Meat Raffles from 7pm Major Badge Draw 8pm Fabulous Fridays Monster Meat Raffles from 7pm Live Music from 7:30pm Major Badge Draw 8pm Savvy Saturdays Punters Paradise Mixed Social Bowls 1pm Barefoot Bowls Fun Day Sunday Barefoot Bowls - bring the family Fabulous Seafood Raffles 5pm Treasure Chest draw 6pm
LIONS DEN BISTRO & RESTAURANT
Where you’ll ﬁ nd a large variety of Bistro Style and Thai – Malaysian Food at very Reasonable Prices. Enquiries regarding Special Functions, Christmas parties and Birthdays etc. are welcome. A variety of set menus are available on request…
LUNCH: 12.00pm – 3.00pm, Wed – Fri. DINNER: 5.00pm – late, Wed – Fri. Sat & Sunday open 12pm till 9pm.
88-92 Piper St Leichhardt Ph: 9569 1936 / 9560 3574
n Local Gigs
Thursday 12th November
n Local screens
The Daughter's Agenda
This prog-rock slash punk band had me interested with a nice, if not unique, guitar line. But something's off (maybe the time signature?) that makes the notes feel cramped. Instrumentals are cool, but the vocalist doesn't work. Lewisham Hotel, $10
Friday 13th November
Win movie passes and DVDs
Dégradé: a homage to the women of Gaza
Palestinian Film Festival
The curator of this year’s selection of the very best of Palestinian cinema is Enmore local Dr Chrisoula Lionis and her stated goal is to challenge preconceptions, get past the headlines and share the stories of ordinary Palestinian people. Some of the films are confronting but the best are nuanced, offering a unique view into a culture largely unseen outside of the news. Typical of that (and festival highlight) is The Idol from two-time Oscar-nominated director Hany Abu-Assad (Omar), which follows the hopes of eventual Arab Idol winner Muhammad Assaf as he goes from a gutsy Gaza boy to a symbol of hope for Palestinians. It’s a real crowd-pleaser and has been compared to Slumdog Millionaire. Another must-see is Dégradé, made by Gaza’s “hipster twins”, Tarzan and Arab Nassar. It's an incisive and sardonic depiction of life under a permanent state of siege and set almost entirely within a beauty salon. n At Palace Norton Street– Thurs 19 Nov – Sun 22 Nov www.palestinianfilmfestival.com.au
This band is post-punk and noise and say they are committed to pushing the boundaries of music and what a band is. Usually, I hate that kind of approach, but it does hold water here. It's more like audio art than music. Monster Mouse Studios, Marrickville
Sunday 15th November
Simon Pegg has a run-in with a sausage
The BBC First British Film Festival is still going strong (until Nov 18), but as soon as it’s finished, many of its hits will turn up on regular release. First off is Terry Jones’ gleefully silly Absolutely Anything, which teams his former Pythons with Britain’s current funnyman-in chief Simon Pegg. The ex-Pythons (voice only) are a group of bickering aliens who, in order to determine if they should destroy the Earth or not, decide to place the fate of humanity in the hands of a randomly selected person, namely the miserable school teacher Neil Clarke (Pegg). They endow him with the ability to make absolutely anything he wants happen as a test – will he use his powers for good? Or, (naturally enough) to get into the pants of his beautiful neighbour (Kate Beckinsale) and (unnaturally) give his annoyingly demanding dog the voice of Robin Williams. In his last role, the world’s much-loved, perhaps greatest comedian, finally gets to say “I think I’d like to shag your leg.” Fitting, somehow. M from Nov 19. (Unpreviewed)
Can Julianne Moore be miscast? She seems lost here under a fake-looking Farrah Fawcett-style wig as a lesbian detective dying of lung cancer – fighting to get her police pension assigned to her partner (Ellen Page). The two women are awkward together and Moore seems to have more chemistry going with her male cop partner (Michael Shannon). Equally misjudged is Steve Carell as a flamboyantly garish gay activist. “Oh honey, I’d marry you, but I wouldn’t know what to do with your vagina.” Didn’t director Peter Sollet know how to say “Cut!”? M on now.
Former lead guitarist of The Specials, aka the goddamn king of British ska music, is coming to Sydney. He has also promised to play Specials' hits, so I'm going to have an awesome time bouncing to 'Do Nothing' and 'Too Much, Too Young'. The Vanguard, $25.80
★ We have five double in-season passes to festival films to
give away. Details below.
WIN FREE TICKETS
★ Thanks to Icon Films we have ten double
in-season passes to give away. Details below.
Ellen Page would know what to do
In the real estate killing fields
For most, dance is not considered a form of exercise. You may build up a sweat while doing it, sure, but it usually is an activity solely for fun. Well Xtend Barre is trying to change all that, making dance into a modern, adrenaline-fuelled workout and, of course, keeping it fun while they're at it. Xtend Barre has found clientele from all across the world with what they call “dance amplified”, a fusion of ballet, pilates and yoga that enhances flexibility, improves balance and challenges the core. From slow, relaxing classes designed for new mums to short, high-intensity workouts, there is a lot of variety on offer so as to cater for every crowd. At its core, Xtend Barre is about creating workouts that are both challenging and exhilarating so that people can leave the classes feeling confident and refreshed.
n Thanks to Xtend Barre, we have several FREE two-week passes to giveaway! To go in the running to win 14 days worth of workouts, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details.
WIN FREE TICKETS
So on point
99 Homes’ tag line, “Greed is the only game in town” could well apply to the housing market here in the Inner West. But Ramin Bahrani’s searingly angry morality play is actually set in the Florida sunshine. Michael Shannon has the task of channelling Gordon Gekko as capitalism’s most despicable bastard. He’s Rick Carver, a real estate mover and shaker, profiting from the property bubble crisis by evicting defaulters and on-selling. And true enough (this actor is good!) you’ll hate him from the very first devastating scene. Denis (Andrew Garfield) is one of his victims. But he makes a Faustian pact and becomes Rick’s offsider, hoping to earn enough through Rick's scams to regain his mum’s (Laura Dern) family home. Of course it all ends badly and the slow-burn climax will have its critics. Some won’t like the ambiguity… but if Florida is anything like the Inner West, Rick is still there. Just massively richer. CTC from Nov 19.
★ Thanks to Madman Entertainment we have 5 double
passes to give away. Details below.
Saturday 14th November
Round She Goes
Round She Goes is an award-winning indoor fashion market that promotes the idea of 'upcycling', passing on unwanted items as a whole rather than recycling the materials they are made of. Their next exciting event will be held at Marrickville Town Hall from 10am and will feature 60 different
stalls, and only costs $2 entry. Once inside, peruse the greatest collection of preloved designer labels and quality vintage clothing, jewellery and accessories to your heart's content. For more info, please visit www.roundshegoes.com.au
Sunday 22nd November
Find some vintage treasures
The Italian Village of Sydney is gearing up once again for their annual festival, a day of great entertainment, dozens of of local and specialised exhibitor stalls and absolutely fantastic food. Much like last year, expect a supercharged gallery of the hottest Italian cars at the Ignite Cars display, which will be raising funds for Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation. Or roll the dice with the raffle and contribute to local schools in the process. Haberfield
celebrates 10 years of its Blooming Arts program and International Day of People with a Disability. This standout art exhibition will feature a diverse range of fine art practice by Sydney-based artists with a disability, taking place at Leichhardt Town Hall. The exhibition will have its official opening, with prizes awarded, at 1-3pm on November 28th. The exhibition will end on December 6th. For more information go to: www. leichhardt.nsw.gov.au
Get your dance on!
Festa will be a wonderful day where everyone gets to be a little bit Italian. For more info, please visit www. haberfieldvillage.com
Sunday 28th November
WIN DOUBLE MOVIE PASSES
Blooming Arts Festival
Join Leichhardt Council as it
To be in the running to win double in-season passes to Absolutely Anything, the Palestinian Film Festival, or 99 Homes email your name and postal address to info@ciaomagazine. com.au telling us where you picked
Only at the movies Nov 19
up your copy of Ciao. You can enter them all in one email, but please give us a preference. n Reviews – Russell Edwards
5 BLOW-DRIES FOR
INCLUDES AN INTENSIVE
TO MAKE A BOOKING PLEASE CALL
VALUED AT $30
(02) 9565 2111
TONI&GUY NEWTOWN | 188 KING ST
GLEBE.COM.AU, CITY OF SYDNEY AND MOTHERSHIP EVENTS PRESENT *TERMS & CONDITIONS Must be used with-in 6 months of purchase date. Monday to Friday only 10am to 4pm. Only available at TONI&GUY Newtown.
GLEBE.COM.AU, CITY OF SYDNEY AND MOTHERSHIP EVENTS PRESENT
GLEBE.COM.AU, CITY OF SYDNEY AND MOTHERSHIP EVENTS PRESENT
glebestreetfair.com #glebestreetfair Gold Coin Donation to glebe.com.au volunteers
Catch public transport
Bike Valet Parking all day
Uber discounts available coupon code GLEBE15
LONG TABLE DINING, LONG TABLE DINING, LOCAL TALKS LOCAL TALKS & HISTORY & HISTORY
BLOCK PARTYWITH WITH LIVE LIVE BLOCK PARTY MUSIC,ART, ART,FOOD FOOD MUSIC, TRUCKS& &BAR BAR TRUCKS
250+ 250+ STALLS STALLS km OVER 1 kmROAD ROAD OVER A A1 CLOSURE CLOSURE
Glebe Street Fair
Sunday 10am-5pm Glebe Point Road
n GLEBE STREET FAIR
Straight from The Source
interactive way to shop. If you are looking for a welcoming smile, quality food, great prices and some good oldfashioned customer service, go straight to The Source. We will be celebrating the Glebe St Fair by offering free tastings of our most delicious products! 183 Glebe Point Road, Glebe p: 8065 0598 www.thesourcebulkfoods.com.au
The Source Bulk Foods opened its doors in Glebe in December 2014, giving Sydney foodies a taste of good old-fashioned bulk shopping with a modern twist! Finally, there is a place where you can buy as little or as much as you like. Choose from a wide range of cereals, nuts, seeds, grains, rice, legumes, honey, oils, health foods, chocolate, protein powders and a whole lot more. With over 250 products to choose from and half the products certified organic you will be amazed at all the lovely things you can cook and create. You can even make your own fresh peanut, macadamia or almond butters using the nut butter machine. The owners, Tim and Taye, are passionate about supporting Australian produce where possible and care about the environment. The store is proudly plastic bag free. You can bring in and recycle your own containers or use their great selection of bottles, jars and paper bags. Tim and Taye, were inspired to open The Source in Glebe after visiting and developing a partnership with the original store in Mullumbimby, NSW. “We instantly fell in love with The Source and what it represents’,” Tim says. “We thought that Glebe would be the perfect location with its village atmosphere, diverse range of people and eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and cafes. The locals have really embraced the concept and we look forward to providing the Glebe community with healthy and environmentally sustainable products!” Located on the corner of Glebe Point Road and St Johns Road, right near Galluzzo’s Fruit Market, this simple, clean, modern store layout is truly an exciting, fun and
Get down to the Inner West’s funnest fair
Gather in Glebe and make merry! The Inner West’s biggest street party is coming back with a bright and bustling agenda. Glebe Street Fair will be bringing international sensation Ngaiire to the Inner West to headline Glebe’s very own Block Party. It’s held on the Peter Forysth Basketball Court and has a licensed
area and its own pop-up art gallery! The day will feature 250 street stalls representing Glebe’s gourmet food and alternative style. Kids are sure to have a blast with an inflatable rides arena, pony rides and craft workshops. The 2015 Glebe Street Fair promises to showcase the best of Sydney’s last bohemia.
Organic granola? Get in me.
Children and fun seekers
Cnr. Bridge Rd & Glebe Point Rd If you head into Glebe on your velocipede (a fancy word for bicycle) you’ll be treated to a luxury bike valet, where your bike will be watched over for the day, fed and watered, so you can enjoy the fair concern free! (Remember to head into the fair via Bridge Road.)
Ponies and Rides
Foley Park and Glebe Point Rd Could there be a better way to spend a Sunday than riding a pony? Gallop down Glebe Point Rd to find rides and jumping castles galore!
No plastic bags allowed!
183 Glebe Point Road Glebe
mobile eats to one central location – a veritable line-up of hotdogs, waffles, vegetarian goodness and gelati on St Johns Road.
After three years of selling at the Markets, Glebe’s favourite purveyor of gemstones, jewellery and fossils has made the leap and opened their own, full-time store... Mineralism, which launched on the 24th of October, is a family run business, owned and operated by Jess, her husband Jed and her parents. Their pedigree is astounding; Jess and Jed are third and second generation jewelers respectively. The two met at a minerals trade show in America! While opening a permanent shop front was always part of the plan, Jess says it ended up being really quite hard. After three years at Glebe Markets, they had grown attached to their market business. However, their large collection of gems and jewellery gave them the conviction they needed to open a store. “We just couldn’t find a way to take it all to the markets every week anymore!” Jess said. Due to all the work involved preparing the store for its opening day, Jess and Jed were forced to take a yearlong hiatus from the Glebe Markets. By the time their grand opening came around last month they were incredibly nervous, thinking they might have lost their connection with the Glebe community. These fears were quickly alleviated. Jess says she has already seen so many old customers again, many who have been following them closely on social media and waiting eagerly for their return.“I was so anxious,” said Jess, “but by the end of the first week my face hurt from all the smiling.” The sheer amount of gemstones and jewellery Mineralism has on display far exceeds their old Glebe Markets stall. The thing is, a lot of this stock they’ve had for years but due to a lack of space and a fear of theft they have been unable to display a lot
of their products, especially the higher-end and rare pieces. Mineralism now has the space and freedom to exhibit their top-of-the-line jewellery and minerals. This is especially true of their fossils, sourced from Madagascar and Morocco, which are Jess’ personal pride. Drop in and take a look at their bedazzling range. Mineralism is located at 31 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. Visit Mineralism during this year’s Glebe Street Fair or check them out online at www.mineralism.com.au
Tram Sheds at Harold Park
Richard in your suburb!
Poets and musicians
12.30, Be You Block Party Slam is a mash of rap and poetry techniques, with strong rhymes and an even stronger message. The Inner West is home to some of Sydney’s best slam poets: they’ll get you revved up, emotional and passionate about issues you may not have dedicated much thought to.
Mitchell St A long dining table will be set to entice festivalgoers to try out the look and feel of Harold Park’s new Tram Sheds development, a veritable gourmet’s paradise. Gelato Messina will be showcasing the arrival of their first store in Sydney’s Inner West!
Loco Project Pop-Up
Be You Block Party Loco Project will be exhibiting the works of 30 artists from inner Sydney – all in a shipping container! Just some of the artists included are Felicity Palmateer, Cheeky Observer, Maggie Mackenzie and Baki Kocaballi.
Richard in your Mind
1pm, Be You Block Party This local psychedelic pop band won Triple J Unearthed in 2007 and has just been getting better and weirder ever since. They mix ’60s psychadelia with modern hip-hop influences making them the perfect accompaniment to a cool drink on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Opposite Francis St The organisers of this year’s Glebe Street Fair have worked extra hard to ensure that handmade and unique objects of beauty are on display. Expect to find a few treasures amongst this curated selection of Glebe’s home-crafted gems.
Rare crystals and minerals at your fingertips
3pm, Be You Block Party Bless your lucky stars because one of Australia’s most sought after acts will be making her way down to Glebe Point Road to perform on the fair’s main stage. Neo-soulstress Ngaiire will be headlining the Be You Block Party after arriving back from her US tour.
Bon Vivants and Gourmands
NRMA Food Truck Alley
St. Johns Rd It’s never too late to jump on the bandwagon of that global hipster trend, the food truck! Glebe Street Fair will be bringing the best of Sydney’s
Put a gem on it !
31 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, Phone: 02 9571 9179 Hours : 10AM-7PM, 7 days
www.mineralism.com.au @mineralism_aus /Mineralism. aus
Suppliers of a large range of gemstones, jewellery and fossils from all over the world.
n Your say
n Local news
What’s your favourite summer drink?
“Corona with lime.” Patch “Pina colada – hakuna matata” Ari “T2 Iced Tea, Strawberry and cream with turkish apple sugar. To die for!” Rhiannon “Gin and tonic. Yes, I'm an old lady, I know.” Vanessa “I've decided after being in England I'm drinking Pimms and lemonade this summer. Just have to find out how my sister-in-law mixed it.” Sheena “Aperol Spritz, it's all about the colour and it’s so Italian.” Anke “Milk was a bad choice…” Dave “VB.” Pj “Rosé when I can convince the hubby that it's a classy afternoon.” Amelia “MOJITO! Mint and citrus? What's not to love!” Denise “Gin, elderflower and soda. For when I’m on the veranda, arching an eyebrow at those dreadful arrivistes next door.” Ash “7/11 slurpees.” Alistair “I love L&P (a New Zealand pre-mixed drink) because it taste like lemonade and ginger beer but I’m unable to find it anywhere except for exclusive locations.” Gavin "Anything that can be made into a float with ice-cream." Paden
Meat Well Done
Laura Darymple has made waves in the meat industry with her and her husband's organic whole-animal butcher, Feather and Bone, based in Marrickville. We talk Laura's food ethos... What pushed you to set up a different kind of business in food retail? Our business developed organically - literally. We didn’t intend to set up a business, it happened accidentally out of Grant’s interest in provenance. He worked in restaurants running the floor and as a sommelier and he couldn’t understand why we want to know all about where our wine is grown, what the grapes are and how it’s made - the terroir - but we don’t insist on the same degree of transparency and understanding when it comes to our food. He started searching for rare-breed sheep and discovered that there were a small group of farmers growing heritage-breed animals using sustainable farming practices. He was inspired to see if chefs would be interested in supporting these farmers by providing a market for their produce. For those who cannot afford Feather and Bone's products, what do you recommend? Our certified organic or bio-dynamic meat is a little more expensive than the supermarkets and a lot more expensive than the standard meat products at regular butchers. But the reason that meat is so cheap is because it’s intensively produced, which means the animal is incarcerated, it’s food is probably medicated to prevent the diseases that proliferate when animals are raised in close quarters. Our response to the issue of cost is to say that maybe it’s time for us to change our behaviour. It sounds crazy for a butcher to say this but the solution for all of us is to eat less but much better quality meat. What is your view on vegetarianism? Whatever you eat, whether or not you’re vegetarian or carnivore, we are all responsible for informing ourselves so we make the most
New Skate Park causes a stir
Sydney’ skating community is abuzz with the promise of upgraded skate facilities at Jubilee Park in Glebe. Preliminary designs for ‘The Crescent Skate Plaza’ were released last month, opting for a classic design with lots of street skating elements. Jubilee Park’s much loved ‘mini ramp’ will be relocated to the Plaza, which will interweave under the viaduct arches onto new parkland being opened up around Johnston’s Creek. Some members of the Sydney Skater Association have expressed their disappointment at the lack of bowl and transition elements. n City of Sydney is still seeking submissions and comments on the design, which is available at: www.sydneyyoursay.com.au/the-crescent-skate-space
Feed the man (ethically produced) meat!
appropriate, mindful and compassionate decisions about what we consume. Over the years we’ve learned from the farmers we work with that each part of our natural system is interconnected. So we believe that while you can debate the best way to deal with a single element in a system, the solution to any problem must be arrived at with the whole system in mind. What are the main challenges your suppliers face in the agricultural industry? One of the hardest things for our suppliers is the consolidation of the meat processing industry. Until fairly recently, there were many small abattoirs dotted across rural Australia. Now there are a smaller number of large abattoirs that are mostly geared to the export market. The smaller farms we deal with have very little control and this can be very challenging because the options are very limited. How much meat do you eat a week? I eat meat at dinner time four to five times a week and fish usually once a week. n Laura Darymple will be in conversation with Cornersmith's Alex Elliott-Howery on November 15th at Marrickville Library, 2.30 -3.30pm. Reserve your place at www.marrickvillelibrary.eventbrite.com.au
Who killed the video stars?
Gnarly new park, dude!
The last video stores
With closure of Leichhardt Civic Video last week, the Inner West’s home entertainment pickings have slimmed down to two Civic Video stores located in Five Dock and Newtown, both owned by James Price. While the Leichhardt Civic Video closed as the shop's landlords planned to develop the site, Price was adamant that business was still going strong in video rentals despite the rise of online streaming services. “Our real competitor is piracy, it’s a real issue. But Netflix can’t compete with us because they don’t have new release films; where they have hundreds of films we stock tens of thousands in each store,” Price said. “We’ve got no plans to close,” he said. “We’ve been here for 30 years and we’ve kept our business viable.”
Balmain Fun Run
Noticed an increase in the amount of ‘active wear’ on Darling Street lately? Balmain is gearing up for the community’s fifth annual fun run, which attracts thousands of people to the Bay Run every year. This year’s event will have three runs to get involved in (two, five and ten kilometres) with all proceeds going to Balmain Public School. The Foster family, who have children at Balmain Public, will be demonstrating their fighting spirit across three generations. Natasha Foster will be running the five-kilometre course and her two sons will be working up a sweat on the two-kilometre run. Natasha’s mum will be exercising her muscles on the challenging ten-kilometre course. She picked up running as a hobby five years ago and is now one of the fastest 70-yearolds in the state. Dad Paul Foster is also volunteering on the big day. “It’s a great way to enjoy a morning out as a family,” Paul Foster said. “I’ve seen the benefits of the money raised in keeping up-to-date technology in the kids’ classroom and it will also be going towards a state-of-the-art playground.” Over a hundred local community members will be volunteering this year to oversee the event, which also involves a sausage sizzle, rock-climbing wall and free face painting. The record for the 10 kilometre run is currently 32 minutes (held by Harry Summers) and has survived unchallenged since 2013. Time to get your joggers on! n The Belle Property Balmain Fun Run is on November 22nd from 7am-12pm at Callan Park. You can register to run at: balmainfunrun.com.au
Designation of Peace Park
Marrickville Richardson’s Look Out, located near Mackey Park on the Cooks River has been named Marrickville’s Peace and Reconciliation Park, following a request from the Gallipolli Centenary Peace Campaign last year. The rocky outcrop was a vantage point for the Cadigal people who fished the river. In WW1 a mansion on the site was used as an artillery encampment and it was later used as housing for returned soldiers. The official launch of the park will be taking place Sunday November 8th at 11am.
Run for the school kids!
n Visit www.gcpc2015.org,au for more information.
Come in for a New
Look and Colour!
Have you lost the joy and romance of a happy marriage or relationship?
It’s a drag and no longer as it was? Not knowing the basic principles of a good marriage can be very costly – financially and emotionally. It has ramifications that can be lasting. Family relationships can be a strain. OR perhaps you know someone who is in need of help to repair their marriage/relationship! Learn the basic principles which are the key to all successful relationships.
Special from $50 - $80 Seniors $ 40 Ladies’ Cut $30 Men’s Cut $30 Seniors $25 Primary school $22 Unders fives $19
Improve Relationships Seminar
Monday 16 November 7:00–9:00pm Delivered by professional counsellor, Henry Blumenthal Church of Scientology, Mission of Leichhardt 79 Renwick Street, Leichhardt $15 includes refreshments and booklet
We Love Kids
Formerly Pixies Hair Salon
N. James Hair Salon
88 Norton St Leichhardt 2040 Ph: 8068 1888
Call 9518 3442 or email email@example.com to reserve your seat.
in the kitchen
Salted chocolate shortbread
with Olivia Mackay, n www.scoffandquaff. wordpress.com
For as long as I can remember, every year my mum would make hundreds of these delicious little Eastern European biscuits to give as Christmas gifts. By February we would be experimenting with the last few lingering leftovers by incorporating them into other dishes; whilst wonderful on their own, they are the perfect cookie for sandwiching with vanilla ice cream or even crumbling into a bowl of it. It seems an appropriate time to share this recipe given that the practice of using biscuits as ingredients has taken hold of our imaginations of late, with things like Oreo cakes and Tim Tam milkshakes popping up in cafes all over the Inner West. These biscuits will last for months if stored properly and you can freeze the uncooked dough until required.
Wine with Winsor
Cheap and cheerful
Angove 2015 Long Row Sauvignon Blanc
The Long Row range offers some of the best value to be found at the moment; the riesling and merlot from the same range are great. This is a fresh and lively “drink now” style of sauvignon blanc with tropical fruit and ripe banana notes, hints of green herbs and a zingy, refreshing acid finish. A terrific wine for enjoying after work, it would pair well with some spicy chicken or Thai whole fish. Try Dan Muphy’s. $10.
1. Preheat the oven to 150C. 2. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor. 3. Sift and mix the flour and cocoa in a large bowl then add the creamed butter mixture. Work together with your hands to form a dark, crumbly dough. 4. Lightly grease two non-stick baking trays. 5. Take a heaped teaspoon of dough and roll into a smooth ball. 6. Place on tray and flatten slightly with your hand. Repeat until all the dough is finished. There’s no need to space them out as they don’t expand whilst cooking.
Nothing beats milk and cookies
Hancock & Hancock 2014 Shiraz Grenache
This is one of the first batch of wines from veteran wine industry figure Chris Hancock and his brother John, made using fruit from their McLaren Vale vineyard La Colline. I thought this just edged out the Cabernet Touriga blend, but both offer extremely good value, as you’d expect from a key figure at Penfolds, Rosemount Estate and Robert Oatley Vineyards. This is lip-smackingly fruity and supple. Pair it with red meat dishes or a rich pasta dish. You’ll find it at Amato’s. $24.
• 250g plain flour • 250g salted butter
• 250g white sugar • 100g pure unsweetened, best quality, fair trade cocoa
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Small cracks will appear in the surface; this is normal and a good indication that they are nearly done. They will be soft and delicate while still warm, so let them cool on the tray. 8. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Logan 2015 Weemela Riesling
A lovely, and lively, white wine for spring and summer enjoyment from Inner West resident Peter Logan, who produces excellent wines from vineyards in Mudgee and Orange in Central Western NSW. This is a bright and fresh riesling from the cool climes of Orange, full of citrus aromas and flavours (from tangerines to lemon and lime) with a crisp, zesty finish. A dry white for enjoying well chilled with whitebait or some pan-fried snapper fillets. Try Shorty’s in Ultimo. $20.
n Fruit: Say hello to cherries and apricots, arriving at most grocers just
around now. The cherries will be dear, but worth the expense. Avoid expensive lemons and passionfruit, while all stone fruits are easing.
n Veggies: Globe artichokes aren’t at their best at the moment, look to other
varieties. Expect a rise in price for white onions and eggplant over the next week or so, but nothing too major. Black radish has ended for the season. Courtesy of Murdoch Produce
Cherries are ripe
AT HOME with Matteo and Michele
After founding a zesty restaurant and small bar, the boys from Capriccio Osteria – Matteo Galletto and Michele Rispoli – could represent the future of Leichhardt.
How did you know that you wanted to work on your own restaurant together? What do you look for in a partner in crime? Matteo: We started working at Lucio’s together over five years ago and quickly became good friends. After a year or so Michele was planning to go back and visit the family in Positano and invited me to come along. Upon our return we started to reflect on how many new styles, aesthetics and flavours were cropping up in Italy and not being represented yet over here. Michele: A good partner in crime is simple: someone as capable and passionate as you. What is the best thing you have learnt from each other? Ma: How to become more of a morning person, which hasn’t worked out too well yet. Mi: From Matteo, mostly wine. You both come from families of restaurateurs, what do your parents think of Capriccio? Ma: My parents are our greatest supporters and our greatest critics. When they come in and don’t complain, I know everything is going smoothly. Mi: It’s still early days for us and my family hasn’t had the
In defence of being uncool
I’m not that cool. I like staying in on Saturday night to roast a chicken and drink wine in my pyjamas. You’d sooner find me at the farmer’s market than you would stiletto-clad at the cocktail bar du jour. However, my job requires (to some degree) that I know what’s going on in the world. That involves knowing what’s cool. In Sydney, the word ‘cool’ usually equates with ‘new’ and this is where Cool and I are not in the same gang.
The men bringing 21st century Italian food to the Inner West
opportunity to come out and see us in person but they’ve seen photos of the food, videos and I’ve walked them through the place. They’re immensely proud, they’re already sending us customers from Positano! You set yourself a challenge of serving no Pinot Grigio and no Chianti. Why was that? Ma: There are over 350 documented grape varieties coming out of Italy. Pinot Grigio and Chianti are just two, but in restaurants you see them make up an overwhelming number of sales. I thought the best way to showcase all these new varietals would be to eliminate the two easy options. Now we have something for everyone and can introduce some great new varietals to our customers. What is the best Italian food to snack on sweltering summer days? Mi: Melone Ripieno: a rockmelon cut in half horizontally and hollowed out filled with fresh fruit salad and dressed with just a squeeze of orange and lemon juice.
Scialatielli ai Gamberi
Scialatielli is a thick ribbon pasta from the Amalfi Coast.
350g flour 1 egg 200g Wild Rocket (coarsely chopped)
Pinch of salt 50g pecorino cheese (grated) 100ml milk
The fact that new eateries are constantly opening in our city is excellent. It’s a sign that our economy is in a reasonable state of health and brave people continue to go for their dreams. However, why is it that us Sydneysiders are so quick to eschew things we know are tried, trusted and truly good, for the latest and greatest? After all, established, er, establishments need to survive too, no? The other day, a friend of mine invited me to dinner. When discussing where to go, it occurred to me that we’d both gone straight for listing every new (i.e. cool) restaurant in town, but when none piqued my interest, I began to think of all the places that hold fond food memories Very few opened in the last year or two and most don’t have hats. I suddenly felt bad that, like my friend, I had neglected restaurants that had treated me so well over the years in deference for a hot new thing (how very middle-aged crisis of me). In the end, we went to a hot new thing and I found myself wondering why. The room was so populated with hard surfaces that every high-pitched hyena laugh and clanging pot (open kitchens are cool right now too, btw) echoed off the uninsulated Scandinavian furniture. While we were treated to a seriously delicious bottle of wine and some lovely service, the food tried too hard and I immediately wished we had gone with substance and soul over cool. Let’s not mistake ‘not cool’, for ‘uncool’. They’re two very different things. While these not-new-but-excellent purveyors of dining aren’t crammed full of man buns, chances are they’re patronised by loyal customers who know what they’re getting themselves into when they dine there. So the next time date night comes up, make two lists: the hot new places and the ones who have, like a good friend, never disappointed you. That’ll make things interesting.
Mix the ingredients. Knead till the dough is smooth. Leave in fridge for 30 min. Roll out the dough using a pasta machine into three sheets, 3-4mm thick. Then cut into 5mm wide strips.
Extra-virgin olive oil 400g cherry tomatoes, halved 600g peeled green 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley prawns, tails on (shells kept for stock) finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin 1. Place a frying pan over medium-high heat. Heat olive oil and add the garlic and half of the parsley. Cook until the garlic changes colour. Add the tomatoes, cook until they start to break down. 2. In a saucepan, cover the shells with water, bring to a boil and keep reducing. Add prawn stock to the tomato sauce until you’ve got a thick consistency then add the prawns. 3. Boil the pasta for 3 minutes in salted water. Strain the pasta, add to the sauce and toss to combine.
Weekly specials, delicious produce, excellent value
MarketPlace Leichhardt, Cnr Marion and Flood St Leichhardt. Located next to Aldi Tel: 9572 6886
Cabbage Gnocchi 500gm Barilla assorted pasta
4 for $5
Mutti Inventa Sugo 6 x 580ml
3 for $5
Rosa marinated artichokes 170gm
3 for $5
99c a bunch
Trims fresh ricotta
99c a punnet
Mini yellow roma tomatoes
Leonardo double smoked ham
Mild casalinga salami
Sign up to our newsletter for a 10% discount voucher
*Specials until Wednesday 11th of November
RUCKUS theatre ensemble based in Erskineville: Photos by Gerome Pearce
“I am excited about the campaign because I am very lucky to be in this campaign with all my friends. It’s like the world come true – it’s like the world is better quality. This campaign is the future of not just grown-ups, we are people with Down Syndrome who are learning to take our own control with drama and we want to do this with the people we know and love, and who trust us. We are building our own ways up of helping other people with a disability.” -Digby, 28 Digby Webster is a painter, potter and actor. He has been hung across Sydney, including twice in Leichhardt Library. Last week it was announced his bold landscape ‘Amphitheatre’ would be part of an exhibition travelling from Osaka to Hong Kong. Digby is also an actor with RUCKUS. RUCKUS is a professional theatre group now based at Erskineville Town Hall, after losing their previous home at Riverside Theatre a few months ago. The RUCKUS ensemble is made up of six members: Rachel Sugrim, Audrey O’Connor, James Penny, Chris Bunton, Gerard O’Dwyer and Digby. They all have Down Syndrome. Would that stop you from going to see one of their performances? “It’s about changing preconceived prejudices people have about people with disabilities,” Chris Bunton says. “Not just people with intellectual disabilities, but all disabilities.” Chris has two jobs. He is an administrative assistant and a gym coach; he also represents Australia internationally in gymnastics. Chris studies business and health at Sydney University as part of their Inclusive Education
Program. Rachel is a singer/songwriter and committed dancer. Audrey is an auteur. James is a master of slapstick, learnt from his love of old British comedies. Gerard is a theatre buff and serious Bold and the Beautiful fan. He won Best Actor at Tropfest in 2009 for his work in Genevieve Clay’s film Be My Brother. If you only see this theatre group for their disability, well, as they say, it’s your loss. But it’s also part of the problem facing the ensemble, where operating as a side note to large mainstream arts programs has left them with unstable funding. Their former home at Riverside Theatre’s Beyond the Square Program, an accessible arts initiative, has been lost as the program has come under review by Parramatta Council. RUCKUS’ state funding ends in December.
highlighting what RUCKUS has to offer is one way of ensuring its members’ talents are not sidelined in Sydney’s own raucous happenings. “What do we do to keep pushing ourselves out there to be visible?” Alison asks. “Many of the members of our group are high achieving and achieve high visibility in their personal lives. In our collaboration it also often comes back to creating links with other people and sharing a sense of community.” Two weeks ago RUCKUS launched an online crowd-funding campaign to sustain their activities. Alison says having to locate funding to stay afloat is both frustrating and motivating. “It is a struggle because no matter how good you are, it doesn’t guarantee that you are going to be funded. They are a strong ensemble and have been together for four-and-a-half years now, which goes to show they are very committed and passionate about what they are doing. And so are their families.” “It would be nice to think that after you have dedicated a big part of yourself to something you are recognised for it and funded, but unfortunately that’s not the case in Australia. I guess it puts a fire in your belly to keep going,” she says.
since the campaign launch, through enormous social media efforts, the ensemble has managed to raise over $9000 towards the trip with an aim of raising $50,000 more. Development Manager Kris Tito at Accessible Arts, the peak disability arts program in New South Wales, says that RUCKUS’ independence from Riverside Theatre will be a positive change if they can achieve financial sustainability. “We don’t have enough independent ensembles in New South Wales that are led by artists with disabilities, creating their own content and doing their own thing. Its exciting that RUCKUS can be on a trajectory to real independence.” On the night I join RUCKUS for their weekly rehearsal at Erskineville Town Hall, they are running through a skit in which Gerard tells a story into a giant inflatable microphone. It’s an anecdote from Gerard’s past job at McDonald’s when two customers started making fun of his manner of speech. “They were imitating me, my stammering and stuttering. I can’t help stammering and stuttering because I was raised like that; I have Down Syndrome.” “The other day I was at Guilford Station and a boy came up to me and said, ‘Excuse me? Why do you always say ‘e-e-e-e’, when you speak.’ Well, I do the ‘e-e-e-e’ because I can’t help it, it’s part of me and who I am.” After Gerard finishes his monologue, the ensemble turn around to face the audience (RUCKUS’ graphic designer and myself), all holding giant microphones that are bright pink and green. They tap the top of the microphones lightly. ‘Testing, testing…” “Can you hear me?”
n You can contribute to RUCKUS’ crowd
“Everybody should be given a voice in the arts”
Being visible enough to not fall through the cracks is one of the ensemble’s core creative themes. Their first major work, See in Me, told the story of Natalie Wood, the woman who infamously died in her Surry Hills apartment only to be found eight years later. Gerard says her story disclosed poignant concerns for the group. “She went unnoticed,” Gerard says. “And that led us to the theme of isolation, people who are isolated, and invisibile. “Everyone should be heard and seen and given a voice in the arts. Everyone wants to make a difference, if given the chance.” Alison Richardson, the group’s facilitator, says
“they are passionate about what they are doing”
The group has pushed their expectations one step further, seeking funding to collaborate on a new show called Speed of life with a sister accessible arts program in Cambodia. “I don’t think we are going to get there,” says Rachel Sugrim, understandably sceptical. But
“I got acting from my grandma, when she died she said ‘I want my grandson to be an actor like me.’ Art is the best way of expressing yourself.”
“It’s part of my life, I enjoy everything we do together. I think the campaign is going good, we are getting ourselves out there.”
“When I heard my name called, I got a bit emotional - it was the best night ever! I can’t believe it actually happened, I won Best Male Actor. “
funding campaign at: www.indiegogo.com/ projects/speed-of-life-sydney-to-cambodia#/ Or find out more about RUCKUS by visiting their website: www.ruckus.org.au n Words by Phoebe Moloney with assistance from Henriette Tkalec, Jacklin Kim and Justine Manzie-Brewer.
“We see whose abilities we can focus on, which we build up into shows. These break down the barriers of exclusion.”
“I just want to get out there and be known, show my talents and do what I do. I love acting, singing, dancing and I love writing as well.”
“RUCKUS is very important because everyone wants me to be in it and we do all sorts of entertainment. If we go to Cambodia we need to get loads of cash.”