Reading’s now even more rewarding

In its seventh year, the Frankston City Libraries Mayor’s Reading Challenge supports early literacy development by challenging parents and carers to engage in regular reading experiences with their child or children in a fun and rewarding way.

Australian research has found that children who are read to six or seven times a week have a literacy level almost a year ahead of children who are not read to at home and that they will learn more when they start school.

Reading experiences can be as varied as reading a book together, singing a rhyme, pointing out signs and names of objects or reading snippets to your child from a magazine, newspaper or book that you are reading.

The challenge is open to children up to the age of five and runs during August to tie in with the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year celebration.   Children and parents collect prizes for every 20 reading experiences, and after a month of happy reading the participants can collect a reading rewards pack, including a certificate signed by Mayor Brian Cunial.

The Mayor’s Reading Challenge kicks off on July 31, with Cr Cunial hosting a ‘Special Storytime’ at Frankston Library at 10.30am.

You can register at all Frankston City Libraries branches. To learn more, phone 9784 1020, visit library.frankston.vic.gov.auor drop into your library.

FRANKSTON CITY LIBRARIES
T: 9784 1020
W: library.frankston.vic.gov.au/

Merchant a masterful production

Money makes the world go around. Portia has it. Bassanio wants it. Shylock lends it. Antonio

owes the value of it. Love also plays a part. Portia offers it. Bassanio wants it. And Antonio may lose a pound of flesh for it.

This uncompromising and dark production explores the tense relationship and prejudices between those who have and those who don’t. Dark in its humour and bawdy in its romantic hijinks, The Merchant of Venice takes audiences on a journey of love, mercy and justice. Featuring three-time Helpmann Award winner Mitchell Butel (Janet King and Rake) as the defiant Shylock, and Jessica Tovey (Wolf Creek and Wonderland) as Portia, the production will be directed by Anne-Louise Sarks (Belvoir’s Jasper Jones and Medea). This masterfully envisioned production tackles the prejudices and preconceived notions of one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays.

The Merchant of Venice will be performed at Frankston Arts Centre on Saturday, August 19, at 7.30pm. This is a captioned performance. Bookings: thefac.com.au or 9784 1060.

FRANKSTON ARTS CENTRE
A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston
T: 9784 1060
W: thefac.com.au

Wonder Woman

Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston

Fourteen years after Patty Jenkins' directorial debut Monster nabbed Charlize Theron an Academy Award, her second big screen effort serves up a win for the DC Extended Universe.  In what’s sure to be a breakout performance for Israeli model-turned-actress Gal Gadot, 
Wonder Woman is an origin story that recalls the playfulness of Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman.

The action begins with Princess Diana living peacefully on the hidden island of Themyscira, until American spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) draws her into World War I.  Apart from setting the scene to deliver a tale of female empowerment, the transition into the world of men also embraces darker themes, questioning whether mankind truly deserves heroes.

As with any number of superhero films in recent years, the villains are woefully underwritten. The excellent Danny Huston, unfortunately, fails to be given any dialogue worthy of an actor of his calibre, and his partner in war-crimes scientist Dr Maru (Mesrine’s Elena Anaya) would have benefitted from some backstory.

That said, this is Gadot’s film, and her Diana embodies many memorable characteristics; soft and naïve, warm and charming, smart and confident.  It will be interesting to see how her character develops in further films.

SCOTT JACKSON Three (3) stars

For the chance to win a double pass to Hoyts Frankston recliner cinema, keep an eye on Frankly Frankston’s Facebook page @FranklyFrankston

‘Up There’ Mike’s here

Mike Brady, the man behind two of footy’s most enduring anthems, is on his way to Frankston.

Mike Brady, His Life in Music will feature Up There Cazaly and One Day In September as well as a host of songs and stories tracing his career from the 1960s to his current album, Bloodlines.

Mike will be performing with his eight-piece band, including Geoff Cox (Coxy), Tony Naylor, Adrian Scott, Phil Collings, Roger Maclachlan and Emma Malone, with special guests Michael Cristiano and Nina Ferro.  He’s at the Frankston Arts Centre on Friday, June 30.

Visit thefac.com.au for tickets.

The kids would be unbearable if they missed this

"We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. We're going to catch a big one," chant hundreds of pre-schoolers in this impishly cute adaptation of Michael Rosen's award-winning children's picture book, with illustrations by Helen Oxenbury.

From Australia’s leading producer of high quality entertainment for kids and families including Possum Magic, Wombat Stew, My Grandma Lived In Gooligulch, Stripey – The Emu Chick and the latest sensation There’s a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake comes the international touring production of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with an all Australian cast.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is the wonderful story of a family out for walk and on the lookout for a growling bear - they have to march through long swishy grass, wade through thick gloopy mud and even battle a snow storm before entering a big dark cave where maybe they will finally spot the glinty wet eyes of a slobbering, gigantic bear winking at them through the blackness.

This mini-musical has the essence of fun and frolics of a father who is clearly still a child at heart, his three children including a tiny intrepid bear hunter in the making – baby is strapped to dad’s back plus the family dog and of course...a BIG BROWN CUDDLY BEAR!

This West End and international touring production originally directed by Sally Cookson (UK) with an original score by Benji Bowers (UK), captures the mischievous quality of the popular book and has everything you need for family entertainment: a gently adventurous narrative, recognisable characters, singable songs and fun participation.

To join the hunt at Frankston Arts Centre on Wednesday, July 12, at 10am or 12pm make sure to purchase your tickets ($17.50 members, tickets from $20, or a family of 4 $90) via thefac.com.au or 9784 1060.

A tail not to be missed

Peoples Playhouse, under the direction of Joel Norman-Hade and Adam Nash, is staging The Little Mermaid in the July school holidays.

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and Disney’s classic animated film version, The Little Mermaid is a compellingly beautiful love story for the ages.

Peoples Playhouse was inundated with an unprecedented number of talented performers auditioning for this very popular musical and had a hard job choosing the cast, which includes about 55 adults and children from across the Peninsula and beyond. All your favourite characters will be part of the production, including Ariel, Ursula, Prince Eric, Flounder, Sebastian, Scuttle and many, many more.

The sets and costumes will not disappoint. An array of sea creatures will be brought to life in a display of magic and colour.

Rehearsals began in February and there will be six fabulous shows from July 7-15 at Cranbourne Community Theatre featuring a full orchestra of extremely talented musicians.

Peoples Playhouse is an amateur theatre company that is committed to developing people’s theatre skills both onstage and backstage, giving them the opportunity to perform and learn the theatre craft.

Tickets are selling fast and people are coming from across Melbourne to see The Little Mermaid because it is such a much-loved show.  It promises to be a special one that you won’t want to miss. Book your tickets now at http://www.peoplesplayhouse.com/current-production before it’s too late.

200 artists converging on Frankston South

From July 21-23, a stunning range of work from over 200 talented Australian artists, craftspeople, jewellers and sculptors will be displayed at the annual Derinya Art and Craft Exhibition. DACE is a pop-up art gallery that has been operating for 42 years, thanks to the efforts of volunteers committed to raising money for Derinya Primary School.

The three-day event begins with opening night on Friday, July 21.  It’s a social occasion not to be missed, filled with great art, fine food and wine, good vibes and a creative community spirit that continues into Saturday and Sunday. There’s art to suit every taste and budget, and it’s the perfect place to stock up on unique gifts for family and friends. Visitors can stroll at leisure through the gallery and watch resident artists create their masterpieces. After feasting your eyes, feast your stomach and enjoy a freshly prepared light lunch, a barista-made coffee, or any number of the delectable home-baked treats from Ruby Tarts Cafe.

Mark the dates on your calendar now.

DERINYA ART & CRAFT EXHIBITION
JULY 21 – JULY 23
Tix: Online or at the door
W: www.derinyaartexhibition.com
A: Overport Rd and Derinya Drive, Frankston South

Autumn Shimmer of Ensemble Liaison

Gold was the sound resonating from great master J S Bach's Sonata BWV 1034, brilliantly arranged by David Griiffiths for clarinet and continuo, hosted by the Peninsula Music Society at the Peninsula Community Theatre on Saturday, March 18.

Timothy Young (piano) and Svetlana Bogosavljevic (cello) superbly partnered David's clarinet, in a distinguished Ensemble Liaison recital. Rich justice was done to Bach's composition, with mellow but vibrant and lively melody, and perfect timing paced with sweetness. There followed Emil Hartman's Serenade Op 24, moving with perfection into a warm passion.  The trio then held their audience spellbound with astounding and world class virtuosity in delivering Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Timothy's piano bringing special captivation.

Svetlana and David then carried the show with rhythmic ease into the Argentinian nostalgia of Astor Piazzolla's tango:  Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, arranged by David for clarinet, cello and piano followed. Culminating the recital was Bizet's Fantasy on themes from Carmen, again gripping an audience enthralled. In all, a wonderful evening, its outset with the opening of the concert season generously mellowed by a tasting of excellent Bittern Estate wines. Next concert Firebird Trio and Friends, Saturday May 13, bookings www.pmsmusic.asn.au

BY CATHERINE GODONY

Get Out

Showing at Hoyts, Wells St, Frankston

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out isn’t your run-of-the-mill horror.

Hard-core aficionados expecting to find a 104-minute blood-letting will find a different film. 
While its opening scene has the hallmarks of classic suburban slasher Halloween, working from his own screenplay Peele playfully subverts genre conventions with a thoughtful mix of suspense, humour and social commentary.

Get Out tells the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya),  a young man meeting his girlfriend Rose’s parents for the first time (a terrifying prospect in itself), made moreso for Chris when he asks Rose: “Do they know I’m black?”

Despite proclamations that her parents “are not racist”, Chris remains skeptical, especially after discovering on arrival that her parents employ a black groundskeeper and housekeeper.

“I would’ve voted for Obama for a third term,” Rose’s neurosurgeon father tells Chris, while her psychotherapist mother offers to help Chris kick smoking by way of hypnotherapy.  As their hospitality veers from awkwardness to something more unsettling, Chris finds support at the other end of the phone line from his best friend, TSA officer Rod.

A slow burn, Get Out rewards those viewers who have paid attention to the clues on offer building to the final acts reveal.

SCOTT JACKSON Three and a half (3.5) stars 

Jazz and blues to warm up your winter

The fifth Mornington Winter Jazz and Blues Festival is kicking off in just a few weeks, and with a fantastic line-up of Peninsula and national artists pegged to play you have every excuse to throw on your winter woollies and head to the Mornington Peninsula for a weekend of great entertainment.

Mornington’s bars and restaurants will come alive with the sound of swingin’ jazz and smooth blues from Friday, June 9-Sunday, June 11 across the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.  In addition, this year sees a return of the ever-popular Main Street Festival Market on Saturday, June 10, plus historic walking tours of the township and rides on the steam locomotives of the Mornington Railway.

You’ll find a variety of performances on offer this year, including the supremely talented Olivia Chindamo at The Rocks Mornington on Friday, June 9. Best known for her effortless ability to improvise or ‘scat’ and as the 2016 Bell Award winner for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, Olivia has firmly cemented her place in Australia’s flourishing jazz scene.

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and educator James Morrison will perform an intimate show at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery on Saturday evening. A Mornington favourite, this Celebration of Jazz performance will be everything you want and more. Closing off the festival celebrations on Sunday evening at the Grand Hotel is the amazingly talented and exquisite Kate Ceberano with All That Jazz, a must-see for every festival-goer.

Of course, crowd favourite performances are back with the Mornington Library After Dark Series and Back2Back Blues at Beaches on Sunday. Gods Kitchen has a host of free performances all weekend, and for something a little bit different Casa De Playa will be home to a sassy jazz line-up. If foot-stomping blues is more your style then Double G Saloon has you sorted, or you can plan a weekend of restaurant hopping as you choose from the wide variety of entertainment on offer around town.

Artful comedy not to be Mist

Miracles happen, don’t they?  Starring John Wood and Julie Nihill, Bakersfield Mist is a provocative and hilarious look at what makes art – and people – authentic.

Based on a true story, Bakersfield Mist is a comedy set in the present day.

Maude, an unemployed bartender, has bought a painting for a few bucks from an op-shop. Despite almost trashing it, she now thinks it’s a Jackson Pollock worth millions.  In fact, she’s certain it is.  But when world-class art expert Lionel Percy flies over from New York and arrives at her trailer park home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, he really has no idea what he’s about to discover.

Bakersfield Mist will be performed at Frankston Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 6, at 7.30pm. Tickets are $27-$55. To book, phone 9784 1060 or visit thefac.com.au

Glam up for a Great Cause!

The Rotary Club of Frankston Sunrise is the proud sponsor of the 7th annual Children of Ghana Charity Ball on June 17, 6.30pm at the Frankston Arts Centre.

This fabulous night, started just seven years ago by local family Tony and Cheryl Carter, has become an important date in everyone’s calendar.

The Carters started raising funds for children living in poverty in Ghana after their daughter Aimee Braganza spent more than 12 months volunteering at a children’s home in 2005. It was an experience that changed her life forever, as it did for Tony and Cheryl after their visit in 2010. With the help of local Rotary clubs, they have been working tirelessly to raise awareness and help provide the children and babies with a happier future.

Funds have been generated into supplying school uniforms, education, medical services, food and clean water. Aimee returned to Ghana in September 2016 to visit the children, visit local Rotary clubs and look for worthwhile projects for the Carters to support.

This year the funds raised will help provide fresh drinking water to a remote village with help from Disaster Aid International and the Sky Juice Foundation. The Carters also hope to arrange concreting of a school yard at the Offin Children’s Centre in Kumasi. This area, used by the school children and children from the home, changes from a dust bowl in the dry season to a muddy mess in the wet season, making play time almost impossible.

The Days for Girls International project, which was very well received on Aimee’s recent visit to Ghana, will be the Carters’ last project for 2017. They will be seeking a local Rotary club in Accra or Kumasi to help implement this and the other projects.

Tickets to the 7th Annual Children of Ghana Charity Ball include a four-course meal, start-up drink package followed by drinks at bar prices, pre-dinner entertainment, guest MC BRODIE HARPER from Channel Nine, auctions, raffles and BIG CITY BEAT back by popular demand - one of Australia’s favourite show bands.

For tickets and sponsorship enquiries, call Cheryl on 0400 516 265.

Fun for everyone at Snap Fitness Open Day

Enjoy free fitness classes, membership specials for new sign-ups and family fun at Snap Fitness Patterson Lakes’ Open Day at the end of the month.

This 24/7 mecca for all things fun and fitness is holding a free Open Day on April 30, 10.30am – 4pm, and everyone is invited!

Enjoy group fitness classes for all ages, beautiful locally produced food, health supplements and protein samples, a jumping castle for the kids and more. You can also go in a draw to win a 12-month membership, personal training sessions, massages and beauty vouchers!

Snap Fitness Patterson Lakes is open 24/7 and offers affordable memberships, state-of-the-art equipment, group classes, outdoor fitness and much more!

*SPECIAL OFFER - Show this article on the Open Day and get your first month of membership free!

SNAP FITNESS PATTERSON LAKES
A: Level 1, Suite 1, The Glades Shopping Centre, Gladesville Blvd, Patterson Lakes
W: snapfitness.com.au
FB/ Snap Fitness Patterson Lakes
M: 0411 539 385

Europe’s the goal for young soccer stars By Kate Sears

Langwarrin boys Jack Geddes and Arjuna Surya-Peddell have been offered the opportunity to travel to Germany and the Netherlands with Futbal First School of Soccer on September 23 with a select team of 14.

This amazing opportunity will enable them to train with and play against some of the best youth soccer clubs in the world, including Ajax and Borussia Dortmund.  The Ajax club in the Netherlands is the best youth academy in the world and would provide the motivated boys with huge exposure, which isn’t something to be missed.

These 11-year-old best mates have played together since their first soccer game at Langwarrin Soccer Club when they were five, but this is their first year playing for the Springvale White Eagles.

Jack’s mum, Leanne, and Arjuna’s mum, Kristy, are proud as punch and couldn’t imagine their boys missing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity due to a lack of money. Both women are single mothers with three kids each and always put their children first, but at $5700 per child this trip is a little out of reach for them.

Kristy says: “I’m never the one to be organising fundraisers, but I always help others’ efforts.” She hopes that her good karma will be returned in this case.

Jack and Arjuna are already focused on their future careers, and at such a young age that is to be applauded.  Jack’s recently faced tough times, losing his father and grandfather in the past year, but that hasn’t stopped his training. It would be a dream come true for both boys to take up this opportunity.

If these dedicated young stars make it to Europe, their parents feel they’ll learn that if you work hard, anything is possible. Kristy admits the boys will be the only kids on the team travelling without a parent due to the financial constraints on the two women and their other children requiring care. “They’ll be okay; they are very close with the coach and they have each other.”
Let’s get these boys on their way!

To donate to the boys’ Go Fund Me cause, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/jack-arjunas-journey-2-germany

To follow Jack and Arjuna’s journey on Twitter: @jackarjuna2

Steezy riders take on the best By Kate Sears

Get up off your cakes and make tracks for Braeside for the Australasian Scooter Association Championships.

Peninsula young guns Charlie Stamp, 11, Bill Hunter, 12, Huddy Rigg, 11, and Vince Kinna, 18, will line up against the best riders from Australia and New Zealand at The Bunker Indoor Skate Park on Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30.

The free-to-watch event kicks off with the under-7s, under-10s, under-13s and girls’ rounds on Saturday, with the under-16s, Open and Pro rounds on Sunday.

Pro division rider Vinnie will be vying to become the 2017 Australasian champion and earn the chance to go to Barcelona to compete in the International Scooter Association World Championships on June 17 and 18, while Charlie, Bill and Huddy will be taking on the best under-13 riders in a bid to be crowned national champion.

All four competed in the Australian Scooter Association’s Victorian State Titles on Sunday, March 19.

The Australasian champs will be live streamed (livestream.com) on Sunday with highlights from Saturday’s competition, so scoot on down to watch the fun.  You’ll have a chance to meet the best riders around and there will be loads of giveaways too.

Follow the competitors on Instagram to keep up to date with their journeys!
Charlie Stamp @chache_stamp

Bill Hunter @hunnitdollarbillz

Vinnie Kinna @vincekinna

Huddy Rigg @huddy.rigg

For more information:

AUSTRALIAN SCOOTER ASSOCIATION
W: ausscooter.com.au
F: @AustralianScooterAssociation
INSTA: @ausscooterassoc
E: [email protected]

THE BUNKER INDOOR SKATE PARK
A: 15 Century Drive, Braeside
W: bunkerskatepark.com.au
F: @TheBunkerIndoorSkatepark
INSTA: @bunkerskatepark