Saturday, September 26, 2020

More on James Packer

 Following reports on a complicate legal stoush in the US involving Aussie billionaire James Packer comes a new tale from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

As it's behind a paywall we'll quote the relevant part involving Packer. In a story about the revelation that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s habit of bringing bags of dirty laundry from Israel to the United States on official visits in order for the clothes to be washed by U.S government workers comes a snippet about Packer & Netenyahu:

"Soon, Australian billionaire James Packer also began to gift the Netanyahus with expensive gratuities. Bibi confirmed Packer invited his son Yair 'to vacation in Aspen and Ibiza' and knew Yair occasionally slept in a luxury TLV apartment Packer rented"

Netanyahu confirmed he asked Australian billionaire Packer to buy the mansion next-door. Packer bought it, and Bibi behaved in it almost as though he owned the place. Before his visits, the housekeeper was asked to stock it with cigars and champagne"


Trust the French- the top selling Champagne in Paris


James Packer in legal drama

Charlotte Kirk, Kevin Tsujihara and a Non-Consensual Sex Allegation That Sparked a Secret Legal Saga

The actress has filed an explosive petition to vacate a gag order that has kept her mostly silent amid a years-long battle with the former Warner Bros. chief as well as film moguls James Packer, Brett Ratner and Avi Lerner.

 On Sept. 10, James Packer’s $200 million megayacht IJE (above) was harbored in Tahiti, where it was scheduled to stay for three months. A bailiff attempted to board the luxury liner to serve the film producer and financier and was told to return the following day because Packer was not there. When the bailiff returned as scheduled, IJE was pulling out of the harbor and heading to Bora Bora with the Australian billionaire onboard. 

Meanwhile in Bulgaria, a process server was attempting to serve Millennium Films CEO Avi Lerner at his Eastern Europe studio, where the Megan Fox thriller Till Death was shooting. Simultaneously, disgraced film producer Brett Ratner and former Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara were being served at their homes in Los Angeles.


Below: Brett Ratner, James Packer &Charlotte KIrk 




Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Weekly Winner / Loser Awards

 Rivaled only by the Oscars for the sheer glamour: it's that time of the week we present glittering accolades for those who shone and those who didn't.

First up for WINNER OF THE WEEK is the fabulous comedy actor Rebel Wilson who posted pictures of her amazing weight loss. And doesn't she look sensational?. Her face is gorgeous. We hope Rebel leaves it at that. She looks perfect.

And (drumroll) LOSER OF THE WEEK is the wondrous Aussie tabloid Woman's Day which thudded onto our doorstop to announce that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are back living together.

Alas, as we thumbed through the pages and then turned to more sober publications we discovered on the very same day that said Brad Pitt had arrived in Venice with the new love of his life, 27-year-old German model Nicole Poturalski.

Oh well. you can't win them all.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Stuck in Italy

 If you have been lucky enough to dine in one of the Sydney restaurants run by star chef Stefano Manfredi you will know he is one of Australia's top hosts and about as good creator of glorious food that can be had in this land, quite apart from being an all round nice guy.

Stefano is currently hanging out in the famed La Cascina dei Sapori eatery in Rezzato, Italy. You only have to read Trip Adviser's rave reviews to know this joint is tops in a country of splendid restaurants.

Stefano has been interviewed today in the Weekend Telegraph and has described how difficult it has been for him to return home to Australia:

"There are quite a few problems getting back to Australia no matter what the Federal Government will have you believe.

It’s not just the restrictions placed on numbers allowed on each plane coming into Australia but in my case, Etihad has mandated a Covid-19 test within 96 hours before flying to Abu Dhabi to get my connecting flight. Ordinarily, that would be no problem as Rezzato has clinics that will perform these easily and quickly with results available within a couple of hours.
But @etihad want passengers to go to a facility approved by them, at a prepaid cost double to that which I would ordinarily pay.
The first clinic they referred me to in Bologna- a couple of hours south of here- is closed the week I need to have the test. Now, I’m waiting for them to contact me for an alternative arrangement.
They’ve promised they would! My flight is booked for the 30th August."

Well keep readers posted if and when he gets home. Meanwhile, I'm sure there are worse places to hang out during the pandemic!

We Return

 Whispers takes "lock down" seriously so we really haven't been able to attend events recently. OK there have been no events to attend..but we shall be updating with some tales in the next 48 hours.

Bet you can't wait !!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Attack of The Clones

Whispers feels a Silly Season may be upon us with the claims Hollywood Heart throb Zac Efron has been "spotted in Byron Bay". The claim emerged in the MailOnline, renowned for it's reliability (hey- they nick stuff from us !).
They claim Zafron has been tooling around the "hippy paradise". Hippy paradise?. Perhaps 30 years ago. Byron Bay is a Millionaire's Paradise these days with a run down house (if you can find one ) in the Hinterland going for $2Million.

Fortunately a "social influencer" ( what that?) was on hand as a witness claiming "'Don't mean to alarm anyone but Zac Efron was literally eating at the same cafe as me when this was taken,' she wrote." To prove her point she took a snap, so easy these days of smart phones, of the Hollywood star herself.

Only just a couple of years ago the star of Aquaman  Jason Momoa was also spotted in Byron Bay, errr except it was in fact some geezer who appeared on The Bachelorette - Nathan Favro, as our screen shot from the always reliable Daily Mail shows. Well they're both very hairy so easy to confuse.

It was maybe 15 years ago Sydney's media went haywire and descended upon the          Woollahra Sailing Club when word spread like a bush fire that Sex & The City star Sarah Jessica Parker was spotted sipping cocktails at the bar. The TV show was at the height of it's fame and yes- Whispers went as well.  It was pretty obvious it wasn't Sarah Jessica but someone who did look remarkably like her. No matter how many times we told the assembled paparazzi and scribes their dreams would be dashed they were having none of it and the Daily Telegraph's Sydney Confidential gossip column snared an exclusive interview with the young lady ( a UK tourist) about her reasons for slipping into town. She played along loving every moment and it took 2 days for Sydney Con to back down and admit their mistake.
Bette Midler                             John Denver                    

              left: Hugh Grant      Rupert Everett                        
Whispers knows what it's like. Around 30 years ago while peering into a Harrods window in Knighsbridge we became aware we were being stalked. Finally the man built up the courage to come over and said "you are John Denver yes? Can I have an autograph? ".  "Of course" we replied grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled To my adoring fan- signed- Bette Midler thrust it in his hand and jumped into the nearest taxi. Actor Rupert Everett related a similar episode that happened at Miami Airport when a fan came up and said " I love your work Mr. Grant can I have your autograph?" Rupert obliged by writing in the man's paper back book "Fuck you- regards Hugh Grant".
Some years a go in Sydney Whispers was on a visit and attended a party at an Oxford Street nightclub only to be introduced to "the famous UK New Romantic star Steve Strange". Famous indeed and we had no idea who this Steve Strange was as we had left "the very famous New Romantic" Mr Strange to look after our little Mews flat in Notting Hill Gate 3 days earlier.

Friday, June 12, 2020

In Defence of Alan Jones

Broadcaster Alan Jones was arrested in a Piccadilly toilet in 1988 and charged with 2 offences: 'outraging public decency' and 'committing an indecent act'. Appearing in the Marlborough Street Magistrates Court the following day the more serious charge was dropped and Jones plead Not Guilty to the other.
Within days the Metropolitan Police dropped the other charge. Jones eventually received £70 in legal costs.

So many people have used the episode to batter Jones without knowing the facts behind the story. Whispers was working at the time on a London "listings " magazine with a 250K circulation. The magazine LAM was popular with ex-pat Australian & New Zealanders as it was one of the few publications readers could find news from back home. The editor dispatched us to find out more.

We had actually never heard of Alan Jones having lived in London for so long but we knew the West End and Soho like the back of our hands. We worked around the area and partied there in the small afternoon drinking "clubs" like Muriels where artist Francis Bacon held court most afternoons. One thing we knew you never ever did- was use the infamous Piccadilly Circus toilets for a call of nature. The toilets were notorious and many a hapless man had been nabbed by police for similar alleged offenses as Jones was.

This was a pretty nasty aspect of British "policing". A younger good looking constable would hang about in plain clothes and spot a likely candidate. Perhaps a look in the wrong direction, lingering just a little to long at the urinal. Perhaps like Jones, wearing one of his beloved pink pullovers. The PC would signal his pal waiting outside who would enter and the 2 would bust the unfortunate candidate with both claiming to have "witnessed" an immoral and illegal act.
Truth wasn't necessarily a factor. Many a suburban businessman, gay, straight, bisexual or closeted had been nabbed over the years.

The suspect was then bundled off to a police station, charged and bailed to appear the following day in a Magistrates Court with a friendly warning from the desk sergeant that it was their right to plead innocence although pointless with two police witnesses and "wouldn't it be a shame" if their local newspaper was informed that a prominent citizen had been arrested for such a sleazy act in a toilet. Why not just cop the fine and a brief lecture from the Magistrate and return home where no-one would be the wiser.

No-one knows if any claimed innocence- until Jones was arrested. To the Powers That Be in The Met, alarm bells rang. Jones had support. Rupert Murdoch for one and a Minister of State Lord Jeffrey Archer and the cat was out of the bag publicity wise. Not that that would prevent that section of UK policing that loved to prosecute a pop star, a celebrity, an MP (preferably Tory) or a member of the House of Lords. If the charges could stick they would proceed.
 An unknown (in the UK) Antipodean shock jock would have little chance.
But there was a problem. With Jones top lawyers and a brief would be brought into the matter to defend as Jones was adamant at pleading Not Guilty.
This meant a top QC, the sort of one who would easily vivisect a couple of  hapless constables and rip to shreds their so-called "evidence" let alone what was usually a false claim by both that they had both witnessed an illegal act. A Not Guilty result was not how it was all meant to go. This was someone who was not going quietly to his fate and slink off into the shadows.
And the media: while Jones' arrest was big news in Australia it hardly touched the sides in the UK. But Jones had pals. Rupert Murdoch for one. With two top newspapers in Britain, The Sun and The Times.

And thus the matter was shelved.

While the clamor died down an undercurrent in British politics began. A group of MPs started to demand more information on this so-called practice which looked for all the world like a nasty act of "policing" by The Met's notorious Vice Squad- a squad already believed to be riddled with corruption and involvement in Soho's sordid sex and pornography trade. How many men had been arrested? How many had plead guilty or not guilty?. Had any officers perverted the course of justice by giving false statements?. A really bad Pandora's Box was about to be opened as MPs demanded a formal inquiry. This was a matter that was not necessarily going to work to The Met's advantage.

The Met caved in.  The West End Vice Squad was disbanded and the practice of "pretty policeman" hanging around toilets and busting hapless gents ( a practice banned in NSW in the 1960s after several scandals) was banned for ever. And that really was all down to Alan Jones. His enemies really should think twice when they snigger about this episode in his life. He was after all legally innocent and charges had been dropped within days. And he possibly saved a lot of innocent men from future illegal arrests.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Sale of The Century

Former politician and Liberal Party heavyweight Michael Yabsley has put his collection of Australian ephemera up for sale at Lawson Menzies auction house. Yabsley's Wombat Hollow, an estate in the beautiful Southern Highlands has been his home for years now but for personal reasons the whole shebang is for sale and can be viewed here.
Whisper's favourite is the 1937 Chev pick-up truck with an estimated price $25,000 - $35,000. Dozens of rather wacky looking lamp stands and shades are up for grabs along with a quite extraordinary collection of old surveyors tripods and vintage tools, dozens of old oil cans and Mulga wood bits & pieces- Yabsley must have been collecting for years.
It's bound to be a popular sale in the local area where so many city elites have hobby farms. The Southern Highlands is also home to a number of notable characters including Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes currently touring Australia for an ABC TV special and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban who snapped up the former Governor's mansion.

Michael Yabsley was an MP and Prison's Minister in the distant past who hitched his fate to former NSW Premier Nick Greiner when Greiner was the subject of  an ICAC investigation over a complicated matter which eventually saw him resign along with Yabsley in sympathy. No problem- both went on to become Liberal Party heavyweights behind the scenes.

Whisper's exclusively alluded to Yabsley's move from the Highlands and his new living arrangements in Wollooomooloo. Today Michael "outed" himself as gay in a daily newspaper. Better late than never!.
There seem to be some important moves for a small social group that includes top broadcaster Alan Jones who announced his retirement (at age 79) and the former well-liked social butterfly and top publicist Glen Marie Frost who has been down on her uppers of late for various reasons. Glen-Marie announced she had moved into a Housing Commission flat in Wooloomooloo and all we can say is : location, location, location. It has to be one of the most desirable suburbs in Sydney so well done Glen Marie !
And now that Lock Down measures have eased up lets hope Glen Marie's new business as a Marriage Celebrant goes into full flight. Honestly if you are planning to get hitched whether straight, gay or otherwise, Frost is the lady to make that special day even better.
You can contact her here at Glen Marie Frost Celebrant.

So all's well for this trio who often partied in the Southern Highlands where Jones has a rather splendid farm and where Glen Marie apparently lived for some time in a  cottage at Yabsley's Wombat Hollow- now they're all within a stone's throw of each other with Yablsey & Glen Marie in residence at The Loo and Jones who is just a hop step and jump away at his Harbour-side apartment at Circular Quay.
Speaking of Alan Jones, please come back in a few days when Whisper's will reveal some never published before facts about Alan's infamous arrest in a toilet in Piccadilly in 1988.
Many so-called "left leaning" pundits like former broadcaster Mike Carlton have been quite malicious about this event, often smugly inferring all sorts of impropriety despite the fact Jones was never prosecuted and had no intention of pleading guilty to a stitch up and despite ridiculous gossip that Jones' powerful friend (then) Lord Jeffrey Archer, a Minister in Margaret Thatcher's government somehow pulled strings. It shows an extraordinary ignorance on their part especially Carlton who was a broadcaster on a London radio station and should have known that Britain's Metropolitan Police wouldn't give a stuff about an Antipodean "shock jock" if they thought charges would stick as surely demonstrated when they eventually prosecuted  Alan's good pal Jeffrey Archer for perverting the course of justice.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hot off the presses

We too have been social distancing which isn't that hard to do when Society distanced itself from us and the rest of Sydney some time ago for many reasons apart from a pandemic.
We pray for small mercies so when this snippet fell upon our desk we felt it our duty to pass it on.
We are happy to announce that a well known former politician has departed the family home in the country leaving the trouble and stuff behind and moved in with a handsome chap of Lebanese extraction in trendy inner Sydney. OK it's not nearly as glamorous ss the announcement by UK TV host Phillip Schofield that he is gay and leaving the familty home for an exciting new life in gay London but beggars can't be choosers.
# We can't even run a snap of our man as it would reveal who is and we would never "expose" someone's new living arrangements unless he decides to "come out" which is a very stylish thing to do these days. I'm told

Nil By Mouth.
Whispers made a move as well- into a ward at Sydney's uber smart St. Vincent's Hospital. It's been 5 days now and we can report  that 1) morphine isn't nearly what it's cracked up to be and 2) needles sting 3) many patients are possibly mad and 4) oddly one does begin to look forward to jelly for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yum.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

For your entertainment..

Whispers knows you are all going crazy with "isolating" yourself. There's only so much television you can watch, so many dodgy recipes whipped up by desperate tabloids to keep you entertained.
Fortunately a video lands upon our desk.
Sydney party personality Sharon Sargent has been featured in our pages many times, usually for naughty but nice adventures. All very innocent of course such as posing in LA'S Rodeo Drive while appearing in her own reality TV show and as above with the English Rugby team at a lunch at Sydney's uber smart Otto's Restaurant at the Wharf in Wolloomooloo.

We still can't understand why one of Britain's top tabloids the Daily Mirror went a bit crazy over this episode. Sharon was merely waving the team goodbye as they headed off on a Sydney Harbor cruise with a bunch of scantily clad lasses who, if anyone had experienced Sydney's summer heat would understand the gels were sensibly dressed for the climate.
 Or undressed in this case. All healthy harmless fun.

Now Sharon has penned a song and put it to film. It's a pleasant little ditty and describes her feelings under "social isolation", the latest craze sweeping the world. In Sharon's' video she is pictured touring a Sydney almost devoid of any traffic or even people! It really sums up what we are going through today. Collectively-ie: no-one else is having a good time so stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Real Fake News


Beach bums! Sydneysiders ignore social distancing rules as they flock to Bondi to lap up the final days of summer.

 While we've become quite used to the UK Daily Mail tweaking their tales that often say the opposite to what is really happening, today they just published a complete load of balderdash and a real example of that infamous Fake News.

Sydney's Bondi Beach has been closed for 10 days now. Whispers should know as we currently live there.
The beach itself is closed off with barriers and there is a large police presence. While some members of the public manage to occasionally make it to the rocks surrounding both ends of the beach they are soon warned off by vigilant coppers and for at least a week now few have bothered. But not a soul has set foot on the sand nor is able to get past the barriers erected along with huge blinking neon signs stating the beach is closed and police vans parked at all entry points with their lights flashing.
Indeed for at least ten days, the suburb has been like a ghost town. While some walk the boardwalk for exercise they are also warned by numerous police officers to practice "social distancing".

How did the Mail manage to publish this obvious complete fake tale along with photographs purportedly taken last Friday (an overcast day with intermittent light showers). The snaps could not possibly have been taken last Friday nor within the last fortnight.
We know tabloids bend the truth but this is a load of claptrap. Comments on Mail Tales can be interesting. Most on this story indicate the readers actually believe the story is real !

Sunday, March 29, 2020

They doubted us..

Several loyal readers doubted Whisper's tale that they encountered a very young James Murdoch asleep at a party at the home of the late Lady Mary Fairfax, Fairwater in Sydney's Double Bay.
But it's true and we now show a pic we snapped at the event.
From left to right is billionaire James, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Primrose Dunlop and well known News Ltd photographer Frank Viola.

Young James was just 15 a the time and doing "work experience" on his father's newspaper The Sunday Telegraph and accompanied the other two to Lady Mary's. At the time Primrose was writing a social column for the newspaper.
We told how Primrose met the Qantas Trolley Dolly and Egyptian royal Prince Lorenzo Giustinian at the shindig.
Often known as Prince Montesini, Lorenzo says his title is a very old one from the Ottoman Empire.
Sometime later the pair decided to get married and organised their nuptials to be held in Venice as half of Sydney and Melbourne's high society travelled to the canal city for the wedding.
Alas, Prince Lorenzo got cold feet and decamped the night before they were to be married and ran off with his best man Richard Straub while assorted media searched Europe looking for the errant bridegroom.
Meanwhile Primrose, heiress to a considerable stockbroking fortune in Melbourne nabbed a European noble and is now known as Countess Zofia Krasicki v Siecin.

Making a Killing

As New York City goes into lock-down, Whispers' pal America's top social photographer Patrick McMullan has sensibly gone into seclusion in his house in Long Island.
NYC's famous night life has gone into meltdown- it's non existent at present so McMullan isn't missing much (he often attends up to 5 parties in one night).
Never fear. As a chronicler of America's and importantly the scene in his home city Patrick knows everybody and has photographed them for posterity. As the great artist Andy Warhol  once said "if you don't know Patrick you need to go out more".
As a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and with regular columns in a number of society magazines like Ocean Drive along with numerous TV appearances and his own NBC TV show under his belt there isn't anyone with a flicker of fame that hasn't been captured by his camera lens.
                                         So it's no surprise to see that every since the scandal broke about the late Jeffrey Epstein and his pal Ghislaine Maxwell, McMullan's snaps of the late billionaire have been published hundreds of times around the world and keep getting re-published with every new mention.
Such as today in the UK's Daily Mail and no doubt dozens of European and American publications.
It definitely pays the bills while society has gone into a government mandated shut-down.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

From The Vault: The Day Hollywood Came Calling

so many Marilyns

Dear reader, cast your mind back some decades. 1980 to be exact.
Whispers was living in a small but cute Mews flat just off London's famous Portobello Road. To be exact, where the real antique shops began and before the bits & pieces stalls started. Saturday was always a joyful day as the Portobello Market began in full swing early in the morning.

In our quaint street we were always awakened by the sound of a Tuba on a Saturday around 10am. A neighbor taught the instrument and it really was the most pleasant and reassuring way to be awakened and one always knew it was market day,
Whispers had a pal staying. His name was Ben and he worked in films organizing transport. As a bonus he would take a side job of driving around whatever star was in town at the time and filming at Pinewood Studios. While he lived in the country, Notting Hill was far more convenient for obvious reasons.
I had also moved in the legendary rock manager Kit Lambert who had fallen on rather tough times and who I was working with attempting to revive various music projects. Kit had discovered and nurtured one of the most famous and enduring bands on the planet, The Who along with legends like Jimi Hendrix.
This was the era of The Blitz. A Tuesday night club in London's West End, operated in a small restaurant by a budding entrepreneur named Steve Strange (pictured). The Blitz Kids had grown out of the Punk era and the kids wwo flocked to the club called themselves the New Romantics with their colourful and inventive outfits. It was really just kids from the suburbs dressing up. Innocent but a lot of fun
I had convinced Lambert that there were bound to be future stars and musicians to come out of the very creative Blitz scene. And they surely did. Boy George with Culture Club was one. Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet began there as did Strange himself who had a huge hit with his band Visage. Another was Phil Collen, my personal discovery who I hired for a band and who later went on to join one of the biggest groups on the planet Def Lepard. I took Kit to The Blitz once and he was hooked. Together we decided there was a gold mine of talent there.

Living in Notting Hill had distinct advantages because of it's close location to central London. Most of the teenagers who went to the Blitz on a Tuesday night, after planning their exotic outfits, lived in the outer London Suburbs. George O'Dowd ( Boy George) was one. Peter Robinson who called himself Marilyn and styled himself after the Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe was another, Inevitably half a dozen or so would choose to flop on my Mews flat floor having missed the last tube home.

And so it was on one such night when we had been partying at The Blitz that around 8 souls descended upon my tiny flat, along with flatmate Ben who had accompanied us to The Blitz for his first visit. Ben was now working on a film called Saturn 3 staring two Hollywood greats - the late star Kirk Douglas and the former Charlies Angels star Farrah Fawcett Majors. Ben had also nabbed me a job as Kirk Douglas' "gofer". Such an easy job although one had to be available at all hours. Douglas was popular with film crews. He had a reputation as being easy going, very professional often only needing one shoot of a scene, treating the crew respectfully and a great tipper when a project had been completed.

Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett Majors in the Sci Fi flick Saturn 3


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Tales From The Vault

Our invite never arrived..
A new series: as the deadly  coronavirus COVID-19 sends the world's capitals and countries into lock down, we've decided life must go on although of course, we well be Social Distancing (literally now that the town's high life has dried up) with tales from the past decades.
Whisper's invitation to the launch of Noah's Ark was lost in the mail, as is our wont to claim. We have been around that long.
So a new series begins of memorable moments from the past in Sydney, New York, London Paris and Rome and elsewhere.
Tidbits never told before and it includes a cast of famous characters like Andy Warhol, Kirk Douglas, Boy George, Richard Branson , Peggy Guggenheim, Mick Jagger, Malcolm Forbes..the list is endless.
Starting from tomorrow (Monday in Oz) - get the Ipad warmed up while you social distance..snuggle up with your pet (stay away from your other half until tested !) and please check back for some juicy tales.

Life Has Been Cancelled

Whispers was looking forward to the annual Silver Dinner, a charity that aids the Children's Hospital
Justin Hemmes
but we figured it may be cancelled and thus, it was. This year it was to be held at the home of billionaire nightclub mogul Justin Hemmes, his amazing family pile The Hermitage (pictured) in Vauclause with it's commanding views of Sydney Harbour. It was not meant to be. The city's elites which includes a considerable number of top medicos could hardly be seen quaffing fine champagne and canapes while the deadly virus raged all around us.
So we'll leave you with some memories from twelve months ago when the dinner was held at that other historic and impressive Eastern Suburb's mansion- Swifts.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Important Message

As Whispers woke up this morning free of the deadly virus sweeping the world we can only put it down to having watched this. That bloody Devil- trying to give us the Flu ! We sent him packing.

Jaysus Hale Me from Sam Best on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Exclusive: Dame Edna Everage Revelation !

Theater greats who worked with Zoe Caldwell: Christopher Plummer * Vanessa Redgrave * Charles Laughton * Laurence Olivier
Last month the Queensland born Actress Zoe Caldwell OBE (pictured) passed away at the grand age of 87 in Pound Ridge New York where she had lived for the past 30 years. Caldwell was born in Melbourne in 1933 to a working class family. She longed to be an actress and was offered a permanent part in1954 in the Union Theater Repertory Company in Melbourne. As Zoe quickly became an accomplished thespian her reputation spread and in the late 1950s she was invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK. At times she would return to Australia to appear in a variety of plays.
Caldwell had a sort of "quiet" career but became one of the most sought after actresses particular on Broadway after she moved to the USA. When the name 'Zoe Caldwell' appeared in lights at the front of any New York theater the production was basically assured of success.

The list of theater greats who Zoe worked with are legendary: Charles Laughton, Vanessa Redgrave, Dame Edith Evans, Christoper Plummer and Sir Laurence Olivier among them. While Caldwell appeared in a few movies. the stage was her first love and over her career she won four Tony Awards in the USA, the ultimate accolade in live performance.

One budding actor who appeared with Zoe Caldwell in repertoire was a young Melbourne comedian Barry Humphries. Whisper's impeccable source relates to us a tale of a conversation between the two greats.
Humphries turned up at a Melbourne theater early one evening and regaled Zoe of a new project he had embarked on. He outlined the brief script he had written and the character he had invented: a  Melbourne housewife who in her ordinariness would encompass every terrifying aspect of Australian suburban life. Barry, in fact, wanted Zoe Caldwell to consider taking the role of Edna Everage which he explained to her, would be a cabaret ongoing performance that Humphries hoped to flesh out as the character developed. He correctly believed that the general public, including those he basically mocked with his suburban housewife would grow to love Mrs Everage of Moonee Ponds.

Alas, although Caldwell thought the project was absolutely brilliant  and that she could also see it could easily become popular, the role was not for her. She just didn't want to commit to a project that may be years in development.
As a disappointed Humphries retreated from her dressing room Caldwell had one last word for him : " Barry, the character is a  brilliant invention and you are a superb actor- why don't you play Edna yourself?".
So there you are: the inside story of the creation of the world wide, nay Galaxy-wide megastar Dame Edna Everage.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Exclusive: Win your very own Picasso for just a few $$$

 A few years ago Whispers attended an exhibition of paintings by the legendary Pablo Picasso at the Art Gallery of NSW. What struck us at the time was so many of the more famous ones were actually quite small.

Who owns a Picasso in Sydney.? Well the late famed Sydney architect Harry Seidler (right)  had one on the wall  just outside his bathroom at his amazing apartment at Kirribilli overlooking Luna Park as Whispers discovered at a party there many moons ago. (That was a small one as well.)

Now you too can own a Picasso by buying a ticket for 100 Euros or approx $A163 in this ambitious lottery. 
And it's all for charity by   who will use funds raised to build and rehabilitate wells, washing facilities and toilets in villages and schools in Cameroon, Madagascar and Morocco. 
# Or you could just donate to the charity but remember- 
You Have To Be In It To Win It !!
Below: some snaps from the Picasso exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery including Ros Packer with MP Simon Crean.

### Pablo Picasso's  Nude, Green Leaves and Bust  (right) sold for a mere  $106.5Million in 2010.
To buy a ticket to win your own Picasso go here:

# Whispers has been unwell but has crawled back from death and defeated The Devil (or was it God?) and thus has sadly disappointed so many of our 1000s of readers especially in Russia and the USA with our intermittent reports on Sydney Society (intermittent itself at the best of times)  
But we are back with a vengeance !