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Entertainment/Theatre ian 3/4/2014

I'm looking forward to catching my favourite living author, Bill Bryson in Australia with Ray Martin in a show called Many a True Word.

William McGuire Bryson comes across as being hugely intelligent, keenly observant, wickedly witty, cuddly, shy, outgoing, humble, hilariously funny, thought provoking and extremely entertaining. Can’t wait to get along to a show!

After reading Notes From a Small Island (1995) I became more than a fan – it was more an addiction – just couldn’t get enough of this man’s writing. I sought out his earlier books, The Lost Continent and Neither Here Nor There and kept an eye out for new releases. He never let me down with great diversions like A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Big Country and his epic on Australia, Down Under. In 2003 he gave me a world that made much more sense and much less sense in the beautifully crafted A Short History of Almost Everything and thoroughly entertained in 2006 with a memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. I am yet to seek out his latest history, One Summer: America, 1927 (2013).

Anyone who doesn’t already know, and have a great fondness for Mr Bryson already, they will do if they drop into be thoroughly entertained by this ‘everyman’ of our times. Besides, Bill already likes us – this quote from his book on Australia called Down Under (titled In a Sunburned Country in the USA)

“The people are immensely likable— cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted, and unfailingly obliging. Their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water. They have a society that is prosperous, well ordered, and instinctively egalitarian. The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn't get much better than this.”

But it’s not all flattery – he is also quite observant – again, from Down Under:

“Australians are very unfair in this way. They spend half of any conversation insisting that the country's dangers are vastly overrated and that there's nothing to worry about, and the other half telling you how six months ago their Uncle Bob was driving to Mudgee when a tiger snake slid out from under the dashboard and bit him on the groin, but that it's okay now because he's off the life support machine and they've discovered he can communicate with eye blinks.”

All shows commence at 8:00pm and the tour dates and venues are:

  • Friday, March 14, State Theatre Sydney (SOLD OUT)
  • Saturday, March 15, Concert Hall QPAC
  • Wednesday, March 19, Riverside Theatre, Perth
  • Thursday, March 20, AEC Theatre, Adelaide
  • Friday, March 21, Royal Theatre, Canberra
  • Saturday, March 22, The Plenary, Melbourne


If you are travelling from out of town to be part of this special evening, Rydges can look after all your accommodation needs. In Sydney, there’s Rydges World Square, Rydges North Sydney or, if you are flying in, Rydges Sydney Airport… in Brisbane, Rydges South Bank is just across the road from QPAC… in Perth there’s Rydges Perth, in Adelaide, Rydges South Park, in Canberra, Rydges Capital Hill and in Melbourne, Rydges on Exhibition St in the CBD or Rydges on Swanston.


Photo: Julian James


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