Drama, drama, drama.

I’ve been blessed with being part of a wonderful team to perform in the first Australian “Mark Drama” Here’s some thoughts from Laura Graham

laukate

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I don’t know what I was expecting of The Mark Drama, but it wasn’t this. After years of hearing about a performance – part recitation, part summary – of the gospel of Mark doing the rounds in Europe, it was exciting to be in the audience tonight for the Australian debut. Yet primarily it shocked and unsettled me, house lights up for most of the performance, no place to hide unbidden emotion.

Like the emotion of the scene where Jesus enters Jerusalem, the crowd screaming in excitement for long, so long a time. And it occurred to me that he knew what they would scream only days later.. that this triumphal entry was not only tinged with sadness in hindsight. Jesus, as he heard the praise, knew it would turn to murder. Who could bear it?

Like the emotion of Peter weeping after the rooster crows. Impetuous, eager to please Peter…

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Book Wonder

Greetings all. It’s been a glorious month of post-school freedom which is why I have unfortunately neglected posting articles and such. In the lead up to Christmas, book-shopping is a regular adventure, and I found some titles along the way which proved to be both funny and fascinating!

Merry Christmas, one and all! God bless and have a safe and happy holiday! 🙂

Sculpture By The Sea ’13

Bondi in October and November is all abuzz with displays of creativity, artistry, and oddity. Faces in rocks, sky-high stairways, mattress towers, bottle-top blankets, wandering feet, technological graveyards and the human form at its strangest made up some of the weird and wonderful installations for the annual Sculpture By The Sea. The walk from Bondi Surf Club to Tamarama Beach was scattered and sublime with 107 exhibits from artists worldwide, entertaining and curious, as always.

Return of the Time Lords

It’s a beautiful tragedy; a destructive war ends two of the most powerful races in the universe. And the one responsible for their destruction also just happens to be the most fantastic man known to humankind and every other species around. His name is the Doctor- last of the Time Lords.

Or is he?

The Time Lords are a fascinating race, made only more mighty and mysterious by their collective extermination sometime in between the Doctor Who telemovie of 1996 and the 2005 return series. And after some extensive research (i.e. excellent procrastination), it is my firm belief that despite the devastation of the Last Great Time War and the Doctor’s status as “last of the Time Lords”, the people of Gallifrey can and should return to the television series and back into the Whoniverse. This isn’t a new argument of course; we’ve seen the Master return time and time again, fulfilling the Face of Boe’s prophecy from Season 3 that the Doctor is not alone. Might this prophecy still be viable? If so, it would be the ideal means for the Doctor to reunite with former companion and Lady President, Romana, and give new audiences a proper onscreen introduction to the Doctor’s elusive brother, Irving Braxiatel.

Reason #1: The Doctor is not a sole survivor.
Our knowledge of the Last Great Time War has increased thanks to the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctors, but there is still plenty of speculation surrounding the War’s course of events. And despite the Doctor bearing full responsibility for the deaths of Gallifreyans and Daleks alike, it has now been made clear that he did not destroy everyone. The Dalek Cult of Skaro survived through the Void, and have since made several appearances in the return series. The Doctor’s other arch enemy, the Master, also survived, abandoning Gallifrey before the war had ended (this being the reason he was surprised when the Doctor informed him in “The Sound of The Drums” that they were the last of their race).

It is, therefore, also reasonable to suggest that other Time Lords or Gallifreyan companions (such as Leela and Narvin who continue to feature in the “Gallifrey” Audio series) survived the Time War through parallel universes. The canon of all this is complex and doesn’t fit well together, but due to the War’s catastrophic flux-like nature spanning across time and space, it’s absolutely possible that Romana, Leela, Narvin and eventually Braxiatel were not present at the end of the War. They were definitely around when the conflict began, but it can be suggested from the prose novels, audio dramas, and passing references from the comics, that the four characters were settled on one of the alternate Gallifrey’s or in Braxiatel’s Gallery at the time the Doctor ended the War. And as travelling through parallel universes has been used more than once in the Doctor Who return series, there is no reason why a crossover by the Doctor or Romana’s company couldn’t occur. Additionally, and this is where canonicity also becomes fragmented, it was recorded that Romana herself was in possession of a functional TARDIS during this period (but was unable to use it due to the closing up of the universe they were in). So, from a canon perspective, no matter how Romana and Braxiatel may have survived another few centuries, the current writers of Doctor media do have previous material to base current theories on.

 

Reason #2: Opportunity for Character Development
It is generally agreed among Whovians that while the majority of Doctor’s recent human companions have been engaging; it’s about time Moffat and his team shook things up- i.e. bring back alien companions. The Doctor is not a xenophobe; he loves the universe and the amazing things it contains. Why wouldn’t you use such a wonderful means to reintroduce alien companions?

And despite the fact that “humans look Time Lord”, according to the 11th Doctor, Gallifreyans think and act very differently the typical naïve human. For one thing, Time Lords share a deep knowledge and appreciation of the galaxies and the fabric of time. The audience can still be educated without the Doctor always explaining to his companion in layman’s terms where and when they are, and what those strange creatures are. Storylines would carry more intensity and drive if a group of higher-thinking time-travellers found themselves in an unusual situation.

Since the Time War, Romana’s experiences would have matured her greatly, and as her incarnations took on new appearances, so too did her personality. Surely she still longs for another adventure with the Doctor in his TARDIS? Braxiatel on the other hand, has only been mentioned in passing in the TV series, but his portrayal in the DW comic and audio series has proved that he too is a seasoned traveller, with several triumphs and hardships of his own. And although on the surface he may seem of a very different ilk to the Doctor, the fact that his first departure from Gallifrey inspired his younger brother to seek the stars, immediately creates a vital connection between them. As a sidenote, although I am generally opposed to the constant unrequited love stories/friendships that always end in some sort of heartbreak, think of all the potential tension amongst the three Time Lords in constant travel with each other. Untold stories of war, secret romantic attraction, and longing for company are all emotional themes that could be factored into future scripts. The possibilities are endless.

Reason #3: Opportunity for Perfect Casting
Similarly, ideas of how these Time Lords would appear and behave would be largely influenced by the actors portraying them. At this point in time (no pun intended), it would seem very appropriate to get the Doctor-Romana-Braxiatel reunion ball rolling during the 12th Doctor’s reign. Peter Capaldi’s anticipated Christmas debut after the 50th Anniversary special marks an important period of change in the show’s history and the Doctor’s characterisation in general. In July 2013, it was announced that American actress Juliet Landau would play a new incarnation of Romana in the final instalment of the “Gallifrey” audio series. In addition to audio and stage work, Landau is very experienced in film and television, notably among younger audiences as Drusilla in the Buffy/Angel series. Not only that, but she is only a few years younger than Capaldi, which prompts the potential for an onscreen chemistry Doctor Who viewers haven’t seen before. As for dear Braxiatel, no word on whether Miles Richardson has considered bringing his character to life onscreen, but the brotherly relationship between Brax and the Doctor would be an interesting one to see played out in the TV series canon.

In summation, the need for alien companions on Doctor Who is great; experimenting on the show will not please all its fans, yes, but after 50 years, an aging Doctor needs companions who can keep up with him for an alternative sort of adventure. If the Master and Rassilon can return, and the show approaching a new era, the return of other Time Lords well and truly appears imminent.

**To share, make sure you’re hashtagging #dwrevolution or #timelordreturn

The Final Countdown- Zero

The essays have been written. The awards presented. The farewell speeches made. And the finish line finally crossed. Year 12 is over!

Huzzah, I say, HUZZAH!

After an exciting final week of school, our colourful cohort have experienced many “last” moments together. Hearing the bell ring at 3:12pm for the final time on Wednesday afternoon signified that our 52 minute classes were now a thing of the past. Uniform codes went out the proverbial window as daily dress-up’s  took over, making us stand out even more than usual. Food and music and dance became strong bonding ties as we celebrated each other as a peer group. Relationships with teachers eased considerably as they willingly allowed themselves to become the butt of jokes for Muck-Up assembly, while still giving us last minute tips on equation theory, historical content and essay structure. A whirlwind of a week has now come to an end, and so too has our secondary education.

When I started this series of blogs back in March (was it really eight months ago?!), I didn’t think I’d really cope with all the stress associated with Year 12. I didn’t think I’d get all the marks to succeed for the first half of the year, and I wasn’t sure what I’d preference for my further studies. Together with my friends, we’ve done the hard yards, survived the tears and the drama, stressed over deadlines, and applauded our triumphs.

I, personally, am quite proud of what I’ve managed to achieve this year. I’ve worked for the marks I’ve received, survived petty conflicts, and exploded with all the spontaneity and passion possible on stage. Now, as I leave behind the academic community and creative family that is high school, I am practically bursting to move on. Just like the tears that were shed at our farewell, the sadness of leaving fades pretty fast, replaced now by the anticipation that comes with moving on to something bigger and better.

As I am currently mixed between the elation of graduating, and the grudging determination to power through the next few weeks of revision and exams, there’s not much more to say.  The finish line has been crossed. Like any athlete, there’s room for relaxation, but maintaining discipline is key. We’ve jumped the hurdles, made the sharp turns, endured the marathon, burst through the sprints, and completed the course! Well done Year 12! 🙂

18ths

Greetings!

One of the main reasons I haven’t spent as many nights glued to the computer is due to an ongoing PARTY SEASON!!! With someone’s 18th birthday on nearly every week, it’s all happening for celebration and fun times!

So here’s a compilation on the various themed nights from recent 18th birthdays. It’s been great to make the most of, because after all, you’re only 18 once!

Father’s Day

Hello all,

Well, Spring has sprung, and so too has another Father’s Day. I can only imagine the many dads waking up today to kids jumping on their beds and trying not to spill full mugs and plates of overcooked brekky. For many in Australia, this lazy Sunday seems to amount to a relaxed and low-key affair, but no matter how the day is celebrated, it’s still a wonderful time to celebrate the authority, protectiveness, daggy jokes, cooking and gardening skills (or lack of), and everything else about fathers. At church, we were encouraged to invite dads along for some time with God and each other to celebrate fathers and father-figures.

Despite all the joys that can come with this occasion, Father’s Day can be hard for some who have recently lost father figures, or have not had that particular joy to share in. This, however, does not need to make the first weekend of September a sad affair all the time. Encouraging one another as friends and family is not a lost cause. Make the day special! I know my dad appreciated the unusual occurrence of breakfast in bed and some extra spoils 🙂

Here’s a great video from the Skit Guys (Check out more of their work on YouTube or http://www.skitguys.com) on a snapshot of fatherhood.

Until next Sunday!