Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Bullshit Kit Kats Review

I'm currently chowing down on one of the last Kit Kat Cookies n Cream in Australia. Well, they're still around in limited numbers, but there are to be no more produced, since Nestlé's new 'Kit Kat Chunky 3' campaign has eclipsed the old 'Chunky' market. The new Kit Kat Chunky 3 is an Australian creation consisting of 3 segments of fudge, crisp, and sauce.
The new 'Chunky 3' Bar
I was baffled, as I thought that we were getting one new flavour, not 3 new bars. Let me elaborate - as of May 30th, 2011, the only Kit Kat Chunky sold in Australia will be the delicious original. The Cookies n Cream and Caramel varieties are no longer available in their entirety, but now are available (along with a new double 'Chocolate' flavor) as bars segmented into three pieces - each with it's own 'texture'. Sounds very exciting, hmm? I'm undecided how I feel about it. When I saw them in Coles I think I was in shock, so I bought 2 of each new varieties, and the testing began.
From the top, Chunk 3 Caramel, Cookies n Cream, Chocolate
Kit Kat Chocolate
Discontionued in 2008, Kit Kat produced a chunky variety called Chocolate Overload. These pieces are essentially a variation on that flavor. The first segment is the 'fudge', which is a little misleading. It has the same texture and consistancy that the Cookies n Cream bar used to have throughout. It's okay. Nothing special, and very chocolatey. The second is the crisp, which is also okay, and the last is the sauce. The sauce tastes like Ice Magic or whatever it's called in this country - artificial flavoured ice cream topping. It's bizarre, and very sweet, though I guess it wouldn't be a problem if that's what you were after. Cameron tried one yesterday and declared it was "excellent". This is the only new variety that didn't replace the previous ones (which were impeccable). It is Kit Kat, and the chocolate is pretty good, but I can't get my head around this 3 Textures bullshit.
The 'sauce' third segment. Not so saucy after all.
Kit Kat Caramel
The Kit Kat Caramel original bar came around in October 2008, and was with us until just last week. It was excellent - a typical Kit Kat slathered in delicious caramel lashes. So good. The new bar is, again, very strange. It retains the great original design with it's 'Sauce' segment, so it's not a total loss. The middle segment is crisp, sort of like a hardened Violet Crumble, but with more caramel flavouring. The last segment is the fudge, which is strange. It's almost like the old Kit Kat Cookie Dough (!) but the flavour is a vey sweet caramel. Thom tried this one and said it was pretty good, but in my opinion it's inferior to the old design, which was flawless. Seriously, how could you do wrong? Who doesn't find chocolate and caramel interesting? Why over complicate it with these bullshit 3 textures?
Could have had Cookie Dough. But we ended up with this.
 Kit Kat Cookies n Cream
With the death of Cookie Dough (some bastard found plastic in it or something), we managed to gain Cookies n Cream, which was a pretty good follow up. Now it's been taken awaaaaaaaaay from us and we've got this new one. It's bad because it's taken away what wasn't broken. The 'fudge' bit is the original great recipe they had, the 'crisp' is stupid (similar in texture to the 'Top Deck' Cadbry chocolate) and the sauce just doesn't taste like Cookies n Cream. Nick himself commented that 'it was a party'. Although I can't really argue with Nicholas, I can say that I'm not at all satisfied with the destruction of this perfect bar and having it replaced with another 2 variations.
The crisp bit looks like the original, but is...crunchy.
So there you have it. The new Kit Kat bars, and how I review and feel about them. Everyone else seems to love them. I would quite like them, but I loathe them because they've taken what wasn't broken and tried to make it even better. And they've fundamentally failed. Fuck. The Kit Kat Caramel and Cookies n Cream were perfect, and now you have to essentially eat 3 chocolate bars at the same time. What the FUCK! I thought we were getting ONE new 'fun' bar, but our old bars have now been phased out. I don't know what the appeal Nestlé is trying to make with these bars - that chocolate can be fun?! Because we already knew that when you perfected it with Cookie Dough.

Utterly bizarre. Not satisfied. My Kit Kat consumption will be limited from now on.

ETA (1/6/11): Just in, the new ad campaign sucks too! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Uh oh.

Spelt David Berthold's name wrong.

I have no excuses.

That will do.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The ultime scene!
Okay, let me start by saying I love the ladies, but I have never liked any piece of performance directed by a woman, until now. My faith in women directing was obliterated by Deborah Colker and the disgusting mess she named 'Ovo'. However, I didn't approach 'Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness' with any trepidation, because it's La Boite. And nothing from La Boite ever gets a bad writeup. Hoho. Aside from it's dreadful promotional artwork (not gonna lie, I straight out told David Bertholt last week that it looks like the kind of picture quality you get when your printer runs out of magenta ink, and tries to compensate with lots of cyan. Craaaazee.) there isn't much to complain about Edward Gant. The cast are the best ensemble that I can recall presented at La Boite, the set, lighting, and music are all evocative and incredibly enhance the performance, and the direction by Sarah Goodes is pretty good.

The evening started pretty disappointingly - if you're not a connoisseur of food, skip to the next paragraph. I only had $2.75, so the usual tastebud delight of my BWC muffin was out of reach. I resorted to some red licorice. The guy who served me at Woolies said he wanted to try it, and although I offered some to him, he had to turn it down. lucky guy, I've gotta show up and warn him not to. It's dreadful. I can't remember who makes it, but avoid it all. I offered some to the nice lady at the box office who flat out refused because she hates licorice - another soul saved. Finally, Tyronne walked past and said hello, and also declined to sample. 3 people saved. I can't remember how I described it, but it's socially unacceptable. I'd rather do something less painful, like stick my dick in an oven, than eat it again. Burrrr!

The cast of the show are supremely talented. Paul Bishop plays the titular role of Edward Gant, and portrays him as a charismatic and enigmatic paragon of mystery. My one complaint about Bishop in Julius Caesar was his projection when not facing you - in tonight's performance he was facing us the whole time and was a delight to watch, and although his character is quirky at times, he keeps the audience grounded when the stories verge on alienating. My beloved Emily Tomlins returned also, portraying once again an ensemble of characters by herself. I can't get over how great this woman is - she effortlessly transitions between roles and her acting is perfection. Just when I thought I may start to get tired with the show, she pops up and commands my attention with her conviction and dedication. Lindsay Farris and Brian Probets also portray a multitude of characters, Farris excellently portraying his character whose aggressive cracks progressively appear and wreck havoc within the play. Probets is also great, his timid character acting naïve, impressionable and apologetic at the same time. He truly shines as his role in the 2nd story. I'm running out of adjectives to describe this troupe, but they're top quality.

The play text itself is slightly underwhelming. The context isn't communicated well, although the characters are explained who they are at the beginning, theres so mich going on and you're in awe, you'd have to read the progamme to get the whole picture. The interjections of breaking the 4th wall feel really unnecessary and sort of forced, the moments before the teddybear scene were so forgettable and disengaging that I started fantasizing about machine gunning the person who stole my wallet to death. The ending is really abrupt and just as it starts getting interesting (the fighting is a little grating and is pulled out too long), it's all over. The lack of an intermission did not help, I've been to 80 minute shows that have had at least a 10 minute break.

The comedy of the play didn't click for me, but it works. The script is smart - it's funny, and for most of it you don't need to laugh out loud to enjoy it. However, there are a bunch of slapstick-esque moments were a little boring, along with the gross factor moments. There was this girl in front of me that produced a hybrid of guttural chokes and a quack of a duck who butchered the mood most of the time. Très terrible. Sort of like listing to Diamanda. The play is crackling with these delightful throwaway politically incorrect comments - the sort that would render the stereotypical audience member so aghast that their monocle would fall off. They were really witty but apparently most of them (with the exception of the 'dirty Indians' stab) fell on deaf ears. Don't get me wrong, they weren't hilarious and I would never have laughed unless I tried, but they were the jokes that *should* have gotten the lulz.

Renée Mulder's set, Steve Toulmin's music, and Damien Cooper's lighting blend in impeccable harmony. The opening of the play is phenomenal. I actually got goosebumps - the crescendo of the music paired by the lights and the charisma of Bishop were a treat. The absolute highlight is this gorgeous scene about 30 minutes in, when a music box turns and the lighting projects stars all over the stage. Squeeee STARS. The talented Toulmin has written a score that complements the show entirely. It's eclectic and eccentric, but if you'd ask me to sing a motif I couldn't do it. But it was my first viewing. There are lots of lovely sprinklings of string and piano. Much and deep respect for associating music so heavily into the show.

I didn't think much of the costumes. I wanted them to be the highlight but they were pretty underwhelming. I've been spoiled by Zarkana (although I'm also sort of underwhelmed by them) and Zed (best). They just weren't out there enough, and I wanted them to be fantastical and opulent and unbelievable.

The theatre was about 30% full tonight, which is disappointing since it's much better that boygirlwall, which was continuously selling out. Im not sure why people are so tepid about this one.

So La Boite and STC's meeting on Edward Gant is pretty spot on. As a final verdict I'd say it's them fantastically presenting and making the most of good material. It unfortunately wasn't le best La Boite show that Im searching for, but pretty excellent. Look at that - women can direct good theatre. Harharhar.

Tickets for 'Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness' range from $28-$48 (or if we're besties, $18), and is showing until June 12th. Book by visiting La Boite's website or by calling (07) 3007 8600. Photos on this page by Al Caeiro for promotional purposes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Reflections on 'Monochrome'

For the past couple of weeks, I've been writing the score for Markwell Presents' 'YAiR' project, titled 'Monochrome'.

The play is about a class of highschool teenagers making websites to explore and communicate their most profound fears, dreams, and desires. They basically aim to recreate the stereotypes of highschool - the brooding quiet sociopath, class joker, annoying philanthropist, etc. The characters are played by a cast of 15-18 year olds, and they're all nice kids and good actors.

I was brought into the creation period a little late - the project has been running for 10 weeks, and I've been here for 2. Over those two weeks I've been drafting music which practically revolves around one motif. I call it 'Emma's Candle', and it's this soft, sweet tune which reemerges all over the place. The audience probably won't hear it, but it was in the trailer, appears in 2 darkroom scenes, once at the end, there's an ambient track with the same chord progression, and it's played backwards as the 'antagonist's theme.

Aside the main theme, there's a 'Victims' tune which emerges to add sympathy to characters. The songs the directors love are the piano tune, a specific dark drone for a character, and this gothic/tedious piece which starts with a single chime which evolves into a grotesque clash of guitars and piano. Its the only song which made them go 'Wow', and they've pointed out several times how it enhances the scene wonderfully. I'm very happy that they appreciate at least a couple.

My influences for this have been really varied. I had to create a piece that was bittersweet - soft and thoughtful, since there had to be a sound which reminded me of school days. The rift itself was inspired by Dupéré (of course) and my recent infatuation with The Banquet OST (Tan Dun with Lang Lang). The electronic effects were influenced by The Social Network and Black Swan. The recording quality was directed at Balmorhea's 'Constellations' album. A really strange blend of sources.

The process has been a little tricky. I actually recorded all the piano pieces on my iPhone, and although we discussed possibly using a recording studio, we ran out of time. The other music is frustratingly, and obviously, synthesized. I need to get a new program, and/or a new microphone that cancels out noise. The only tune I didn't write was the hip-hop frog music theme which plays when the actors introduce themselves and the characters.

All in all, when I finally heard the score tonight, paired with the video, acting, and lighting, it was delightful. I'm thrilled to have been in the project, and it will look great on my resume. The preview is tomorrow night and Monochrome plays until Friday night at Judith Wright. Great to finally have something off my chest. Now, still need to finish Process and get started on Creative Indistries. =|

Markwell Presents and the YAiR ensemble present 'Monochrome' at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Tickets are $15, and is showing until May 27. Book by visiting Judith Wright's website or by calling (07) 3872 9000.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


The Duchess of Malfi was one of the worst productions I've ever seen. It was so boring. I didn't understand the plot. I actually went on Wikipedia during Malfi to look up the plot. =|

Friday, May 20, 2011

La Boite on Wednesday Night

So, Wednesday was badass. I had to skip Edward Gant because of Process Drama, but we were walking to Room 60 at about 8pm, and I realised we could stop by at La Boite and schmooze with the other ambassadors so we could get some free booze. Interestingly, there was a huge bucket with wine and beer but no-one seemed to be in sight, even though we had just passed a lot of people leaving the theatre. We stood awkwardly in the lobby for a couple of minutes, before Liz popped out of the elevator (and could tell we just showed up for drinks). We sheepishly followed her outside, but got right into the drinking. Yey. Just what I needed. Next time when I don't have so much work I WILL GET WASTED AND CONFRONT MY FEARS.

As it happened, David Berthold joined us. I think I was at Beer #2 by then, so I was more than happy to tell him that the new promotional artwork for Gant sucks (I'll butcher it in my review of the show... tee hee...). Tilly and I chatted to him for about half an hour, before we were joined by the cast. By #4 I walked back over and accidentally trashed Dralion to a former sound operator. It also turned out that Paul Bishop is Stephen Bishop's (the clown from Varekai) brother! I shook his hand (hey, I was a little tipsy) and told him I really loved Stephen and Joanna's act. But I had nothing to say about the show at this point since I still haven't seen it. Har har.

So then after that, about 10 of us heading down for drinks at Room 60! Liz and David came too and we were talking about the book and loads of other stuff. Mr. Berthold said "crash the opening night" and I said I would have, but I had to go to the last rehearsal of Yair. Should have gone afterwards though, since the trains were cancelled from a bombscare. Oh well. Anyway, was an awesome night. Missing my Thursday night drinking sessions, but Wednesday after Process seems to be the ticket.

Nick did the honours on the latest task, which was to 'ask a friend to do something destructive'.
I love the 'etc' thing in the corner!
 Anyway, I've wasted my entire day just fucking around. I've got too many assignments to do, and I'm auditioning tomorrow for a play I've never heard of, and I need to finish Process tomorrow. Heading into uni.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Rant About Doctor Who

I'm bored of Doctor (Dr) Who. More specifically, I'm bored of its settings.

I started watching it in 2005 when the series was re-newed and we had Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, and before it was cool to watch Dr. Who. I think I remember being made fun of because I said I watched it. Whatever, I enjoyed it a lot back then. One thing I remember my brother saying was 'Do they ever go anywhere other than earth?'. Of course my brother usually pisses me off when he remarks at everything on TV. But he has a point.

Since the (new) Series 1, I can't really recall that many episodes where the show isn't based on Earth. They're veering down the 'Star Wars' path of not ever going anywhere except for well established places...except Star Wars confines itself to about 10 worlds. Dr. Who only has one, with rare exceptions.

Dr. Who is typically set on:
  • Earth (eg. New York)
  • An older version of Earth (eg. New York)
  • A new version of Earth (New New York)
  • Under the surface Earth
  • The Moon (above Earth)
  • A Space Station (above Earth)
  • An alternate reality (usually on Earth)
  • A post apocalyptic Earth
  • A comet/mining area above Earth
  • Things that resemble Earth (A space highway, the Titanic, a magic library)
The alternative is that the episode is based in some generic, unidentifiable area of space (though, usually in the vicinity of Earth).


FUUUUUU. Call me old fashioned, but I liked the old (retro) Dr. Who, when they had romantic doctors and his sexy companions gallavanting around other planets. It was actually a good novelty at the start, since it was fun to see Cardiff and London on TV, but fuck me dead it shits me off now to no end. In Season 5, 11 out of the 13 episodes were based in/around/on/under/fucking Earth. The two that weren't were cash-ins on the Blink episodes (which were originally based on Earth).

I'm not bothering with the new episodes. They're probably based on Earth.