No sponsored posts

I thought that l would clarify what Loving the arts on a budget is. Primarily it is a website that promotes affordable arts. I am a big supporter of community theatre as l believe these are the shows those of us on low incomes can afford. Local galleries, state galleries, occasional films(always seen on 1/2 price Tuesday) and other free events.

When l was putting this website together one of the first things l thought of was no sponsored posts. Everything that l review is something that l have paid for. Free tickets have been offered which l have politely declined as l don’t want anything to influence my reviews. I will be seeing 2 ballets this year, one is a present for my much loved sister’s birthday and then, a few months later, l am being taken to the ballet for my birthday. A very dear friend has bought me a ticket. I will not review either performance as l see these as very separate to this website.

What has that got to do with free tickets you may ask, well, who’s to say that that free ticket might not colour my opinion or make me feel like l have to like¬† the production. It’s not a chance l’m willing to take. I know other websites will happily take sponsored posts, but, not me.

So when you read one of my reviews read it knowing that l’m a punter like you who has paid for my ticket and l’m sitting in the cheap seats enjoying the show.

What's on in the suburbs

What’s on


It’s March already, where is the time going. Onto the week

The Drum Theatre

Strassman’s “TedE”, 03/03, 7pm

Peridot Theatre

Play in a day, 03/03

Monash Academy of Performing Arts

The King’s Singer Gold 50, 04/03 Clayton Campus

Fortyfive downstairs

Thousand Kisses Deep, 06-17/03, Tue-Sat, free admission

The Butterfly Club

Glutta Supernova: Bodymap, 06/03 8.30pm

It’s Not Easy Being Green, 07/03, 7pm

New Film Releases 02/03

Red Sparrow

Death Wish


They Remain



Dance Academy: The Movie

A shorter list this week, but, still some things of interest. I’m hoping to start listing local exhibitions soon, so stay tuned.

Hope you can all get out and enjoy the arts this week.


**Any companies wishing to have productions listed please submit details by 3pm Wednesday. Details on Contact page.


musical theatre

Thinking outside the box

The hit musical Beautiful is currently playing in Melbourne. It’s getting great reviews and looks fantastic. So does the ticket price; ranging from $70( with a restricted view) up to an eye watering $195. Good luck to those who are going, but, what about those of us who can’t afford to pay that much.

Well, that’s when you need to think outside the box.

On April 22 at 3pm there is a show called Tapestry Show playing at Frankston Arts Centre. A three piece band will play the music of Carole King, and others, all for the reasonable price of $25.00. Is it the story of Carole King, no, but you will hear her music.

Sometimes we have to compromise. I would like to see Beautiful, but, there’s no way l can afford those tickets. I like Carole King and, like many others have a copy of Tapestry. So l look for the next best thing. I’m not going to the Tapestry Show as l’ve already booked something else on that day but in a few weeks l’m going to a show like it, no full production, just the music and songs and l got that ticket for $19. It’s all about best value for money.

The big fancy stage shows will always get the publicity, but, for those of us on a budget they’re out of reach. Don’t worry about what you can’t see, think about what’s out there and the arts are thriving in the suburbs. All you have to do is look, or, leave it to me. I know quite a few little tricks to find affordable shows.

That’s why the website is called Loving the arts on a budget:)

What's on in the suburbs

What’s On


Okay, the arts scene is coming alive. There’s a mixed bag this week so here we go

Altona Theatre Company

Looking for interest from production teams for the July Pantomime. Closing date for applications is 01/03/03. Do you have a great idea for a pantomime?? Check the website for details.

Brighton Theatre Company

In the next room, 15/02-03/03

Bunjil Place

Casey Chamber Musicians: Beethoven and Poulenc, 04/03 2pm

The Butterfly Club

Glee Club, every Tuesday 6.30pm

Melbourne’s Best Burlesque, 28/02, 01/03, 02/03 7pm.

FortyFive Downstairs

None but the Lonely Heart, 02/03 7pm

Saray IIuminado, 28/02 6.30pm

The Ones by Peter Rose, 26/02 6pm, ticket price includes free glass of wine.

Frankston Arts Centre

Anthology of Tango, 03/03 8pm

Ben Waters with special guest Derek Nash, 03/03 8pm, Cube 37

Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria

Gold and Silver Operetta, 24/25/02-03/04, 2pm, Sassafras

National Theatre

A Little Night Music, 28/02-03/03

Alice in Wonderland, 03-05/03, 10am & 12.30pm

New Film Releases for 22/02


A Fantastic Woman

Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead

Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars

Finding your Feet

Game Night

Hibiscus & Ruthless

Operation Red Sea



Between Land and Sea, 23/02

Hope there’s something there for everyone. What about an idea for a pantomime to Altona Theatre Company. Did you notice that l’ve actually managed to list the companies alphabetically: at last. February is a short month so l have included some things starting in early March.

Hope you can out and enjoy the arts in the coming week.




musical theatre



We’re in the car winding our way to Pakenham. It’s that strange juxtapostion of urban meeting rural and then being urban again that occurs in the outer suburbs of Melbourne. We’re heading to The Cardinia Cultural Centre to see the Cardinia Performing Arts Company(CPAC) perform Annie.

Here she is, Maya Corbett for this performance.

IMAG0306 (2)

There were a few missed notes, but, overall in was a great performance for someone so young. You know that old stage adage, don’t work with children or animals, well, this was a child with a misbehaving dog. I take my hat off to young Maya for being able to keep singing while the dog tried to climb all over her, proving another old stage adage, the show must go on.

The standout for me was Greg Whitehead in the role of Oliver Warbucks, what a voice. Libbie Rogers played the mawkish drunk Miss Hannigan to perfection, along with Joel Norman-Hade as her greasy deadbeat brother. Overall the standard of singing was high, the costuming and staging good. It was a little disconcerting hearing, but not seeing, the orchestra. If l looked up and over my left shoulder l could see the musical director Samuel Looms on a tv screen; not all suburban theatres have room for an orchestra pit in front of the stage. Wherever the musicians were they played well and l love hearing live music. One of the ensemble was slightly out of time with the others, but, this is amateur theatre and there will sometimes be an uneven standard of performance. There can also be happy surprises.


This is Tristan Cullinan-Smayle. I first saw Tristan perform a few years ago, and, to be honest, didn’t think his voice was that good. This is the second time l’ve seen him perform in six months and l have to congratulate him; his voice is so much stronger and has more quality to it. I’m assuming he’s had lessons and this is one of the things l love so much about amateur theatre. Tristan works full time, like many of his fellow performers, and doesn’t get paid for the theatre work. They do this for the love of theatre and l’m so grateful for the time and effort they all put in so people like me, on low incomes, can come along and enjoy the arts.

So thank you CPAC. It was a good afternoon’s performance and l’m looking forward to their next show.

**I’ve been told that the rest of the season has been sold out, a good result for CPAC.

**Apologies to Maya Corbett for the smaller photo; there was other children standing near her and l had to crop the photo to protect their identity.

What's on in the suburbs

What’s on in the suburbs


It’s that time of the week again and off we go.

Whitehorse Centre

Royal Australian Navy Band, 16/2 7.30pm

Four seasons in one night, Feb 23/24 2pm

Cardinia Performing Arts

Annie, Feb 10-24

Bunjil Place

Emergent 2017: VCE Graduate Showcase, 9/2-18/3. Showcasing the work of young artists from the City of Casey.

Daytime Music Theatre, Silvia Paladino-On My Own, 16/2 11am

Anh Do: The Happiest Refugee Alive, 22/02 8pm

New Film Releases

Black Panther,  15/2

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 1 – Initiation, 15/2

Detective Chinatown 3, 15/2

Lady Bird, 15/2

Stronger, 15/2

The Monkey King 3: Kingdom of Women, 15/2

Monster Hunt 2 ( Mandarin Version ), 16/2

Intimissimi on Ice: With Andrea Bocelli, 17/2

NT Live: Follies, 17/2

A few new entries this week. I’ll have a review of Annie on the website on Monday. If any of you are near Narre Warren in the next few weeks why not drop in and support the young emerging talent of the area.

Enjoy your week


.**Any companies wishing to have productions listed please submit details by 3pm Wednesday. Details on Contact page.







Booking fees and transport


Tickets, tickets and more tickets.

You’ve done your budget, looked at What’s on in the suburbs and found a show you’ld like to see. You go onto the website, choose your seat and proceed to checkout only to find that the ticket now costs more; booking fees, there is always a booking fee.

The last ticket l bought had a $3.00 booking fee and, if l had chosen to have it posted to me, there would have been a postage charge as well. Whether you’re buying tickets to the theatre or a concert or an exhibition, you will always pay a booking fee.

Next, what session are you going to see, how are you going to get there. If the performance is at night will you drive there, catch the train or catch a taxi/uber. Do you feel save travelling on public transport at night, is the venue accessible by public transport, do you have to pay for parking; all this will add to the cost of a ticket and determine which session you see. I see a lot of shows on my own and don’t drive so l tend to stick to matinee performances.

It might seem that l’m stating the obvious, but, when you are on a budget and only have x amount of dollars to spend you have to consider all these costs. It’s all coming out of the same account. When looking at shows to see, and don’t l love doing that, l always factor in another $5-10 on top of the advertised ticket price. It helps me budget correctly and l never leave myself short or let the account get overdrawn.

Another way l continue to keep loving the arts on a budget.