The Shakespearean drama taking place in your street

September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment


Of all the unique things about Melbourne, here is one of the strangest: our city is devoted to a pastime that is all our own. Yes, it might be followed half-heartedly in other cities, but only here has it reached the fervour of a religion, the passion of an obsession. During the season, no Saturday is complete without it. The Age has an entire section devoted to it, full of intelligent expert commentary, and just by looking at the crowd you can see the breadth of its appeal.

Melburnians of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances jostle for a better view, staring at the proceedings with rapt attention. For children, their first attendance is often a rite of passage. They watch, wide-eyed, while the big men in their uniforms flay their arms and try to rev up the crowd. I find the sight of fathers with small children perched on their shoulders or mothers rocking prams incredibly touching, these parents gently initiating our next generation into the mysteries of the greatest game of all.

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Robin Williams set for first ever stand-up comedy tour of Australia

September 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

After three decades as one of the world’s most renowned comedians, Robin Williams will finally embark on his first ever stand-up comedy tour of Australia in November.

The Weapons of Self Destruction tour will play arenas in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

The Oscar-winning star of Good Will Hunting and Insomnia has been a frequent visitor to Australia to promote films but he has only ever performed a couple of one-off club shows here, including an impromptu performance at The Sugarmill in Sydney in February.

Earlier this year, Williams, 59, created a storm of indignation after joking that Australian’s are “basically English rednecks” on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shot back that Williams should “spend a bit of time in Alabama” before calling other people rednecks. Mr Rudd’s widely reported comments sparked anger in America’s southern states.

“That was pretty bizarre,” the comedian told the Herald Sun.

“I was like: Wow! I’ve started an international incident! I don’t want to cause a war between Alabama and Australia – please no!”

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