Sunday, August 28, 2005

Deadly Nightcap

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We had a few days of culture this week. On Friday we went from a bookshop via the Cafe 73 restaurant to the art galleries and then on to the theatre.

This month's play at The Playhouse was an old Francis Durbridge whodunit "Deadly Nightcap".

After a deceptively quiet first few minutes, the plot begins to thicken rapidly with an amazing twist at the end of Act One. From there on we had enough red herrings to stock a seafood restaurant before the mystery was resolved at last.

Leonie Adams starred as the much put-upon Sarah Radford -- a very different part to her role in Away earlier this year.

A gripping piece of entertainment from the creator of Paul Temple.

The final attraction for the year is a double-feature of two one-act plays, including the amusing The Real Inspector Hound which I remember seeing at the Theatre Royal many years ago.

And while I think of it a big Thank You to the ushers at the Playhouse for letting us in after I left the tickets at home.

Unfortunately we missed the fact that that Friday was the annual Gallery Crawl bus trip around the city's galleries for Tasmanian Living Artists Week. We usually take the tour round the city, but this time we had to settle for a hasty walk around the art gallery belt in Salamanca Place before the theatre.

We'll try to get to some of the other exhibitions while they're on.

The Hobart Jazz Club has been talking about holding a jazz festival in North Hobart for the last five years. This year they finally got it off the ground under the title Hot August Jazz, spanning the pubs and restaurants between Burnett Street and Federal Street.

Sunday we spent the afternoon going up and down the main drag, sampling all the attractions. It was a mixed bag, with all different sorts of bands, styles and venues.

The venerable Ian Pearce Quartet were playing to a capacity crowd at the Queens' Head hotel when we arrived, followed by Mei Wei Lim and the Hobart Jazz Chorus.

Across the road, we looked in on Kaye Payne's Eklektika band at the Trout Bar [the old Commercial hotel] but someone had decided to amp up the volume and the blaring speakers were unsympathetic to her style. I've seen her in a more intimate venue and enjoyed it more.

Down at the Republic Bar [formerly the Empire Hotel] the Late Bloomers trio were better served by their sound system, bowling along nicely with some old favourites. The venue also boasts a nice collection of Art Deco bric-a-brac and antique travel posters.

Julie and Jan took a few minutes out to study the window of the St Vincent de Paul shop. "Look at that lovely twin set. Do you think they'd hold it for me if I phoned them on Monday morning?"

Of course not all venues were really sympathetic to things. The La Porchetta restaurant featured Mei Wei Lim playing a selection of George Gershwin and Cole Porter, but it was only for the diners with no options for anyone else to hang around and listen.

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