Back in 2018, Queensland Police sent out an alert after she went missing for a spell in the Gold Coast Hinterland. According to the alert she attended a residence on Gold Coast-Springbrook Road at Neranwood on the morning of July 5 and hadn’t been seen leaving the property. A mobile and foot search was conducted to locate her. Fortunately by the next morning she was found safe and well in the bush.
Over on Farmer Neil Seaman’s property in Crookwell, NSW, is 36-year-old Kimberly (also from the Gold Coast). Her show biography describes her as a fitness instructor, but on Facebook she describes herself as an actress, and she has managed to appear as an extra on everything from Home and Away to Doctor Doctor.
Meanwhile, one show insider unkindly described her as an “absolute fruitcake”. Kimberly doesn’t make it to the final four on Neil’s farm, but that doesn’t seem to have mattered – she wrapped up filming in late January and by June she was engaged to someone else.
The show, which Seven resurrected after Nine abandoned it in 2016, returns next Sunday.
Carlotta! The Musical is coming
Her life has been told in books and on screen but now the original Queen of the Cross, Carlotta, is having her story turned into a musical.
Sydney’s pre-eminent drag artiste Trevor Ashley has secured Australia Council funding to turn the story of Carol Spencer, nee Richard Byron, one of Australia’s most publicised recipients of gender reassignment surgery, into a musical.
Ashley will write the show with leading playwright Tommy Murphy on board as dramaturg, and Spencer will consult. Whether the show will involve a fully original score or be a jukebox musical with songs from the era – or a combination of both – is still up in the air, but there have been early discussions with Sydney Festival to mount it in 2022.
A reading of the show will take place in January and Ashley says it will cover Spencer’s early life through the mid-80s with a number of actors playing the title role.
“If we told her whole story to now it would be like Harry Potter with the audience coming back the next night to see the rest of her life with Carol playing herself,” he told Emerald City.
Doesn’t sound like an entirely bad idea.
Eliza Scanlen to walk the red carpet
After months with no events in the city, Sydney is waking up – and on Monday the first red carpet premiere will be held since March.
Celebrating the launch of Shannon Murphy’s Babyteeth, producers Alex White and Jan Chapman will be in attendance along with Sydney’s acting elite Hugo Weaving, Claudia Karvan and Gracie Otto. But it will also be the first outing for the film’s star Eliza Scanlen since the controversy about her award-winning film Mukbang.
Scanlen won the best short film director award at the Sydney Film Festival for the movie about a schoolgirl getting caught up in the trend of binge-eating food online. But shortly after the win Michelle Law, a prominent writer and prolific tweeter, argued the film was problematic “in the way it appropriates Korean culture in order for a white girl to find herself”. A scene depicting violence against a black boy was also deleted from the film after it picked up the gong.
The ensuing storm forced the SFF to issue a statement, and Scanlen to issue an apology and a promise to use her the $7000 winnings to “create positive action out of this shameful oversight”.
A few weeks later Law was “milkshake ducked” when an anonymous Twitter user pointed out one of her early short films Bloomers included a blackface scene. Law issued a grovelling apology.
The whole business has been messy and unpleasant, but it did spark a much-needed conversation about the representation of minority groups on screen and behind the scenes in Australia’s film, television and performing arts industries.
If only it could have been achieved without the breathless indignation of the Twittersphere.
Lucy Manly is away
Nathanael Cooper is a senior culture writer at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age with a focus on music.