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Date Night @ Kinky Boots

Everybody Say Share!

Date Night @ Kinky Boots

Date Night!

My wife and had a “date night” this week!  It’s been a long time since I’ve been out with Mandy, just the two of us, no kids.  We secured a couple of tickets to the Cyndi Lauper musical, Kinky Boots.  Not fancy seats, the second last row on the top level, but Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne is such a grand old theatre that every seat has a great view of the stage.

Simon and Mandy outside Her Majesty's Theatre for Kinky Boots

Golden Orchids, China Town

Before the show we wondered down China Town (Little Bourke St.) to find dinner.  As we passed Golden Orchids , Mandy remembered a friend had said that was a nice restaurant, so in we went.  I was really surprised how quickly we were seated and offered drinks.  An elderly couple on the table next to us struck up a conversation, they said they’d been coming to Golden Orchids for over 20 years.  According to them, the same owner (George) and chef had been there the whole time. We ordered the Banquet For Two, which was $60.  Not bad, I thought, for four courses. The satay skewers were really nice…. really, really yummy.  Mandy doesn’t normally eat satay anything, so I thought I was going to score extra, but not this time.  Not wanting to be late for Kinky Boots, we were keeping an eye on the time.  We didn’t have to worry though, each course was served quicky.

If you’re seeing a show at Her Majesty’s, Golden Orchids is just around the corner.  You wont be disappointed.

Kinky Boots Exhibition Street

Kinky Boots

After dinner, we made our way back around to Exhibition Street and Her Majesty’s Theatre.  Whenever we go to a concert or show, Mandy likes to get some merchandise, usually a souvenir booklet and t-shirt.  The crowd was starting to build, so Mandy didn’t waste any time and headed straight for the merchandise stand. Keeping with her tradition, Mandy bought a Kinky Boots booklet and t-shirt.

Mandy buying Kinky Boots merchandise

The show

Even before the show started, the crowd was laughing at the simple message to turn off mobile phones and don’t take any photos or video of the show.  Delivered by one of the lead characters, talking on the phone to the crowd.  This setting of the rules might sound boring, but it was done well and the message got through to the audience.

Kinky Boots was great!  The basic story line is a young man (Charlie) inherits his father’s struggling shoe factory and eventually turns the business around by producing women’s boots…for men.  I was a big fan of Cyndi Lauper in the 1980’s, and I can report she hasn’t lost it.  Naturally the music is sung by the cast, but the lyrics, arrangements and performances are certainly entertaining.

The Stage at her Majesty's Theatre

Everybody Say Share!

“Everybody say share!” #KinkyBootsOz Well, if you insist! #SocialMedia #share #socialmediamarketing

A photo posted by Simon Yeo (@simonyeo) on


In the foyer of Her Majesty’s Theatre there are signs the read “Everybody Say Share!” with the hashtag #KinkyBootsOz, so after the show I put a few pictures on Instagram.  Over the next couple of days, I was very surprised to see leading cast members and a producer had Liked some or all of my #KinkyBootsOz posts.  The actor who plays the lead role of Charlie, Toby Francis, even describes himself as “Writer / Singer / Producer / Instagrammer”.  Yep, being an “Instagrammer” is right up there for things to have on your bio.

See it before it’s too late

The Australian production of Kinky Boots moves to Sydney in 2017.  If you’re in Melbourne, get your tickets for Her Majesty’s Theatre before it’s too late.  Mandy and I both enjoyed Kinky Boots, it was a lot of fun to watch!



"Newsman" by Mal Walden

I’ve started reading THE NEWSMAN by Mal Walden.  I’m not much of a book reader these days, preferring magazine articles or online posts.  It’s just that books are long and can take weeks or months to complete reading.  Often I will either loose interest in a book over time, or forget parts of the story I’d read a month earlier and just give up.  Despite this, I was still motivated to order this part Auto Biography, part History of News Broadcasting in Melbourne.

Growing up as a teenager in the 1980’s, I remember Mal Walden reading the nightly TV news.  I specifically recall the emotions as he told Melbourne that four of his colleagues had been killed in the 1982 Channel Seven News helicopter crash.  Whenever I see or hear anything from, or about, Mal Walden, I think about how he held it together to deliver that horrible story before throwing to a commercial break.

As well as reading about Mal’s experiences, I’m looking forward to reading about the progress of the media industry and technology over 60 years.  I’ve had the book for two days now and have just finished Chapter 1. I’ve already been saddened, laughed and very surprised to learn that Channel 9 had a deal in 1963 to use the Sydney-Melbourne coaxial cable to share news stories, while Channel 7 where forced to send stories interstate by air or road.

I’ll write an update when I’ve finished reading the book.

Classified as a Memoir, THE NEWSMAN – SIXTY YEARS OF TELEVISION by Mal Walden, is published by Brolga Publishing.
My copy of the book was ordered online from Booktopia.

UPDATE; December 2016

I’ve finished reading Mal Walden’s THE NEWSMAN.  I was surprised, it was really hard to put down.  Laughing one  minute, crying the next, as I re-lived news stories from my childhood, while learning about the human element behind the scenes.

If you grew up in Melbourne during the 70’s and 80’s (or even earlier), with a modest interest in news and current affairs, then I highly recommend this book!

Classified as a Memoir, THE NEWSMAN – SIXTY YEARS OF TELEVISION by Mal Walden, is published by Brolga Publishing.
My copy of the book was ordered online from Booktopia.

Speedway bikes at Etihad Stadium

Speedway bikes at Etihad Stadium

Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, at Docklands, is a great venue for AFL football.  It also hosts soccer, Big-Bash cricket, concerts and other major events.  My 13 year old son, and I, went along to see the Speedway GP at Etihad.  Yep, motorbike racing at an undercover sporting venue!  I was really surprised, obviously a mountain of dirt had to trucked in to transfer the stadium, but they did a really amazing job of creating this temporary dirt speedway circuit.

The Speedway Gran Prix is actually a series of short heat races and finals, so you don’t get bored like you can with longer motorsport races.  It’s loud too, I expected that from the bikes, but not from the crowd and their hooter horns.

As with other events at Etihad, the caterers make a killing, with two burgers, drinks and chips costing over $40.  But what the heck, it’s not like we do this everyday.  This was a great father-son evening out.

I didn’t want to deal with security by taking my good camera, so the photos and video you see here are from my iPhone.

Speedway GP bikes at Etihad Stadium Melbourne

Brock TV mini series

Brock TV mini series

I’ve just finished watching the Brock TV mini series.  It aired on Channel 10 last Sunday and Monday, but thanks to working night shift I had to watch it on the catch-up service TEN-PLAY.  The two part mini-series is based on the life of Aussie motor racing legend Peter Brock.

I was a big fan Brocky as a kid, and continued to follow his career right up to his sad death ten years ago, so I was always going to watch this drama about his life.  There was a positive preview of the mini-series on DeciderTV, so I was really looking forward to enjoying the story about Brock.

This program (Brock) is a drama, not a documentary

Unfortunately, any Australian motoring enthusiast, motor racing fan or Brock idol would have found this mini series frustrating to watch.  I understand why the producers of this drama need to show a disclaimer stating that it’s not a documentary. I understand they had to use some artistic licence to squeeze over 45 years into 161 minutes.  However there are some big chunks of Brock’s life missing, some inconsistencies and poor attention to detail.

  • The producers have removed any evidence of Brock and the racing team’s long term major cigarette sponsorship.  They’ve even removed the Marlboro brand from actual race footage used in the show.  I’m not sure if this is a legal requirement these days or just political correctness.
  • Peter Brock was a long time anti drink drive advocate, yet he is shown drinking beer behind the wheel while being chased by police.  Obviously political correctness doesn’t apply to drink driving on TV.
  • Brock’s first race car was a home built Austin A30.  I understand the replica used in the filming of this mini series was built by Brock’s son in the late 1990s or early 2000s with some minor Mobil Oil sponsorship.  The original car raced by Brock in 1969 didn’t have any such sponsorship, so you would think the producers would cover the Mobil decal while filming scenes recreating those early races.  They didn’t.  This lack of attention to detail really stands out for enthusiasts.
  • Does anyone really believe Peter Brock practised his driving with a frisbee in his bedroom?
  • While practising with a frisbee in his bedroom, the mini-series Brock talks about changing into 5th gear.  Most gear boxes in the early 1970s were 3 or 4 speed.  There were no 5 speed gearboxes at the time.
  • There is no mention of Peter Brock’s epic win in the 1979 around Australia rally.
  • There is no mention of Dick Johnson’s long time rivalry with Peter Brock.  If it wasn’t for the use of original race footage, you’d be forgiven for thinking Allan Moffat was Brock’s only competitor.
  • Some of the replica or restored cars used in the filming of this mini series displayed modern number plates.  Surely retro plates would have been an easy fix, but again there is poor attention to detail.
  • The replica “25” car used in the filming has a very large bonnet scoop, but when the vision cuts away to original race footage the real “25” car has a standard flat bonnet – yep, attention to detail.
  • The 60 year old Brock portrayed in the mini series looks exactly the same as the 20 year old Brock, except his hair has been brushed with a few grey streaks.  Surely the make-up department could have aged him better than that?

I have read somewhere that Brock’s longtime partner, Bev, distanced herself from the mini-series after previewing the script.  That must say something about this production!

Younger viewers, or non motor racing fans, may have enjoyed the Brock mini-series.  I hate to be critical, but I think any motoring enthusiast who grew up watching Peter Brock winning motor races, and anyone who knows their Australian motoring history, would have been disappointed.