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Stage Reviews

Reviews of Performances and presentations

by  Camellia Cha

Nonchalant Bombasi-tea with High Tea
presented by Anne Norman with Adam Wojcinski
3pm Sunday, May 18th, 2013 for the Tea Cosy Festival
Fish Creek Memorial Hall, Falls Road, Fish Creek, Victoria



Audience responses at Fish Creek:

"Amazing Show! A must See! Brought the house down with music, dance, song and style!" Daniel Ryan: Celebrity fashion stylist.

"Loved the Stories, the words, the instruments... more please" anon

"Unusual, entertaining, thought provoking... all done with a "wow" factor. Loved it all." Judy O'Sullivan

"Loved the travel stories & related songs and music. Such talent. A real treat for Fish Creek." Deidre Green

"People are still raving about your event a week later. Fishy won’t be the same again!" Deidre Granger, director of the Tea Cosy Festival.




View the short video clip of

God Save Camellia Cha


SAM Japanese-infused High Tea with Anne Norman
Shepparton Art Museum SAM, Eastbank Centre, 70 Welsford Street Shepparton, Vic.
12th May 2013 Sunday 11am to 1pm. Adult $80 / Children under 12 years $45.

To accomapny "The Golden Age of Colour Prints" exhibition of Japanese woodblock Ukiyo-e prints on loan from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

"Welcome to my Afternoon Absurdi-tea and Japanese Confused High Tea..."

LATE18thCenturySAudience response:

"Inspiring, entertaining, delicious, cheeky, fun, tantalizing, well done!" Janet Campbell

"Very talented and entertaining artist - I learnt a lot about tea. Thanks Anne and SAM" Beth Randell

"Anne was fabulous!" Ingrid Hardie

"We really enjoyed the performance -  the combination of wit, fact, curiosities and cheek was terrific!" anon

"Top Class entertainment. Funny." anon

"Unusual, informative and talented entertainment... very enjoyable." anon

"Thank you for a wonderful Mother's Day. Anne was terrific. Great Fun! Well worth a two hour drive from Melbourne." anon

"Really enjoyed the food and entertainment. The flute was quite spiritual and we learned a lot about tea... I think this was so fantastic." Karin Bosman

“Anne Norman’s abili-tea to show us a delightful blend of originali-tea, absurdi-tea, hailari-tea and musicali-tea with a cuppa-tea is the height of acceptabili-tea in its entire-tea!” Romola Hopman




Nonchalant Bombasi-tea (mark IV) with High Tea


2pm Sunday 2nd December, 2012
Heaven on Earth’s Down to Earth Tea House
308 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill

What people said about this show:

“Wit-tea, absolutely fabulous!! SO MUCH TALENT!!! Our table adored it! Your capaci-tea for repar-tea, absurdi-tea and levi-tea has vivaci-tea and clari-tea” Liz Hooper

“A wonderful fermenting of an innocent obsession that drove us all mad and made us all laugh again and again.” Gay Crowly

“A great show and a tour de force. … my table were particularly moved by your stories of visiting China, especially playing the Chinese flute in the light of the Cultural Revolution, and the poem written on the mountain… your breadth and diversity is spectacular. Adam was a brilliant offsider and amazingly versatile.” Sunyata

“Sagaci-tea mixed with Hilari-tea and Audaci-tea! Wonderful experience. More power to your pen.” Dave

“Beautiful, outrageous, intelligent, poetic, sexy, hilarious, musical, arty, sophisticated and inspirational. I could picture beautiful images of Chinese landscape painting from your story-telling and the music blended so beautifully as if we were traveling to another world…! Adam’s tea ceremony and his unique roles really complimented well, adding another interesting layer.” Kaz Preston

For PHOTOS of the show go to:




May 27th 2012: Nonchalant Bombasi-tea @ Tea&Sympathy, Vic.

A one woman "not-quite-cabaret and better than stand-up comedy" show (with guest appearance by Ueda Soko tea master Adam Wojcinski) and featuring a tea break with tastings of the magnificent teas of Tea&Sympathy. 3pm-5pm.

"My jaw was aching from laughing so much. Great fun and very informative." Cecilie Hall

"Wow, what a great way to spend an afternoon! As a tea business owner who is passionate about tea and tea education, it was a delight to be able to host Melbourne’s first performance of Nonchalant Bombasi-tea. This is more like tea education by stealth, as the audience is entertained, inspired, and transported to other lands and other times – and walks away with a new respect and understanding for this iconic infusion. Camellia Cha obliging, we would love to host future performances of this wonderful show." Angelina Yannuccelli, owner of Tea&Sympathy

"Fantastically entertaining and educational" Michelle McGoff of T2

AdamAnne1S"This one-woman hurricane… spurted an unending and delightfully corny array of tea rhymes in her music/comedy/theatre show Nonchalant Bombasi-tea. Some gestured towards the spiritual, revealing tranquili-tea and infini-tea in the simplici-tea of preparation and drinking. Others tended to the naugh-tea and blasphemous… Goddess Camellia Cha manifests in both the seriousness of intricately woven histories and the ridiculous whimsy of Lady Cha Cha. It is AMN’s ability to traverse the extremi-teas of Zen, moving narrative and mass-culture kitsch that leaves you spellbound. Norman indulges ... with her meditative shakuhachi trills and worldly tea tales, spiced up with trademark absurd and irresistable ditties, jokes and musical collisions. This glorious productivi-tea of rhymes and theatrical debauchery, much like a sweet yet vegetal sencha, is deliciously contagious." Tanya Rao of Lupicia

"Fascinating, tittilating and absolutely Tee-licious!! Thanks for a great show!! Thoroughly enjoyed it." Silva Fero

"Your show was brilliant! I was amazed by the way in which you held the audience in such focus on a single subject: tea... a combination of personal stories, historical facts, poetry, musical performances ranging from meditative, classical both eastern and western to cabaret style as well as including an audience sing-a-long. There were serious, satirical, comical and emotive moments, making it a highly entertaining, informative and satisfying show. Your music playing and singing is mesmerizing, and your poems are witty... I was also impressed by the way in which you delivered historical facts and its wider implications to our world... and the more you told, the more we wanted to know about tea." Mayu Kanamori, freelance photo journalist, writer, radio broadcaster and photo media artist.

"Ms Cha has it down to a T" Peter Stewart

"A great afternoon!! Hilarious, informative, touching and quite beautiful." Tony Weir

"Eccentricitea, frivolitea and a heck of a lot of words ending in "tea"!! A refreshing, unique and often very funny experience. Thanks Anne!" Tim Clark

"Anne is a great story teller. Very amusing and entertaining. Stories of travel to China and historical characters and details about tea - very interesting and funny." Broni Carter


Reviews of Once Upon a Tea   

A theatrical fast-paced historical narrative propelled by tea poetry and punctuated with Indian melody and rhythm and the haunting sounds of the shakuhachi. Featuring Anne Norman (shakuhachi),       Jay Dabgar (tabla) and Josh Bennett (Sitar, dilruba, didj, mandolin).

Oct 15th 2011: Camellia Cha's Curiosi-tea: Once Upon a Tea at the Spring Festival, Port Fairy, Vic.


"Once Upon a Tea fitted the Port Fairy Spring Concert theme of music and storytelling to a tea. Tabla and tabla vocalisation of magic stories without words. Sitar, shakuhachi and tea poems. Words about high tea and low tables, Earl Grey and Assam: cameos in politics, pain and relaxation. Who’d have thought it could all be found in a cup of tea? And can Anne, Josh, and Jay play their instruments!"    Nola Firth, audience member, Port Fairy, Vic.

"Once Upon a Tea is an absorbing (and at times poignant) tale of how the tea trade has shaped humanity.  The instruments and music mesmerise while also adding context to the story. A complete entertainment package definitely worth stepping out for!"    Amanda Fewell, audience member, Port Fairy, Vic.

"People still talk to me about your fantastic performance at the Festival." 

Claudia Warne, Administrator, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival

"We absolutely loved "Once Upon a Tea". No wonder it was sold out! The show was wonderfully narrated in music, verse, song and spoken word. The delightful and sometimes quite sordid history of the tea trade across the centuries became part of our present lives. Jay Dabgar (Tabla) and Josh Bennett (Didgeridoo, Sitar, etc) completed a wonderful trio on stage, providing a delightful contrast to Anne's formal 1900 attire with their Indian dress and music. It finished with Anne singing Ted Egan's song "Poor bugger blackfella Gurindji" accompanied by clapsticks. You could have heard a pin dropped onto the the carpet. We had all been captivated, and didn't want to return to current reality."  Lou & Mick, audience members, Port Fairy, Vic. 2011.

Reviews of Nonchalant BombasiTEA

A dynamic One-Woman Show, filled with hilari-tea, musicali-tea and reflectivi-tea. Presented by raconteur Anne Norman


Oct 16th 2011: Chari-tea Soirée: Nonchalant Bombasi-tea in Torquay, Vic.

"The music was brilliant! I loved how you managed to engage the audience and make the history of tea very fascinating and accessible to all." Donna Eynon, Torquay Vic.

"Thank YOU for yesterday's wonderful Soiree and for your generosity. Did you know you had a Japanese exchange student in the audience who had lost relatives in the tsunami? We've double-checked the profits and, after expenses, they come to the grand figure of $1,855 which we will send to Second Harvest in Japan. Congratulations to you and everyone! " Jan Hale, organiser of the Torquay ChariTEA event.


30 August 2011, Hopetoun, WA. Toun Beach Cafe. MORNING Absurdi-TEA

"an excellent presentation... I will always remember bits and pieces of the show every time I have a cup of tea." Karin, Hopetoun WA, 2011

"absolute illuminosiTEA"  Margaret Kelly, Hopetoun WA, 2011

"I love the interesting stories, lovely flute music, humour, poetry and plain absurdities... what a lot of fun! Clever, clever, clever woman!" Eve, Hopetoun WA, 2011

"What a wonderful feast we've had - music and anecdotes galore!! Wonderful, wonderful! You have been a blessing to us today, thank you." Beryl Semple, Hopetoun WA, 2011


27 August 2011, Denmark Western Australia. Denmark Tea House Books.

"Teetering on the edge of a wonderful insanity!" Amy M Drake, Denmark

"Superb! Humorous, erudite, musical, talented... a complete delight!" Neil Marsh and Jeanette Campbell, Denmark.

"A special way to hear history and have a laugh at our foibles. I feel like I have had three performances in one... and then there was the "low tea" during interval. It transported me to another world." Margaret Whittle, Denmark

"Fabulously entertaining. Thank you for your refreshing, personal, hilarious and whimsical anecdotes, not to mention the enchanted and mesmerising sounds of the shakuhachi... transporting!" Nikki Green, Denmark

"Divine... your poetry from tea tip to tongue tip... moving, leaving me smiling and looking for more." Valda Wieland, Denmark


20 August 2011, Perth, WA. Hyogo Cultural Centre, City Beach.

DexteriTeaPot"Nonchalant Bombasi-TEA is like a burst of anti-oxidants. The audience is at once energised, mesmerized, amused, entertained, and educated as this one woman performance of tea related travels, memorable tea ditties, and tea history is unveiled."  Melissa Luyke, Deputy Director, Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre, Perth.

"At-tea-tude plus!" Natalie and Sandy, Perth Aug 2011

"Hilarious and informative!" Teresa, Perth Aug 2011

"Very entertaining. We liked the mixture of English and Japanese High Tea."  Chika and Bernie, Perth Aug 2011

"As always, a very entertaining and informative show, plus beautful music and poetry and scrumptuous tea" Pam Gunn, Perth Aug 2011

"A very interesting and unique show. I work for a tea merchant (Tea for Me) in Perth... and I learnt some new information today. Thank you very much." Makiko Fukuda, Perth Aug 2011

"Thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. I was really interested in the story of your travels in China and Yellow Mountain." Eric Fwng, Perth Aug 2011

"A perfect Blend Anne!! Your show was full of interesting information, laughs and musicality... a most enjoyable experience. I look forward to your next creation!!!" Winnie Yuen, Perth Aug 2011

HumptyKalimba"This afternoon in all inevitabiliTEA
was so much more than a novelTEA
your stories and music delivered exquisitely
all in the company of great communiTEA"

Jill & Rob Oats, Perth Aug 2011

"Loved your use of humour and song - what a novelTEA. Very witTEA!!!" Jemma Spicer, Perth Aug 2011

"A wonderful afternoon of style, charm and wit. Not to be missed." Barry Flewellen, Perth Aug 2011.


Sunday 15th May 2011, Mornington: Chari-TEA Soiree: an-afternoon-absurditea-to-offer-solidari-tea-to-those-in-calami-tea

"A fabulous afternoon. Such nimbleness of mind, and the length, breadth and scope of it all was breathtaking. A truly remarkable performance, and one that should take you to stardom the world over."        Margaret Fallaw, audience member.

"How could so many words end in the sound of tea? Much of Anne’s show was anecdotal and educational with tongue in cheek poetry and the occasional flavour of rap. At several points, the journey was wonderfully coloured by Anne playing her soft and meditative shakuhachi, adding to a highly entertaining and insightful journey into the wonderful world of tea. During intermission I enjoyed a delicious brew of green tea. My journey felt complete."    Andy Ducker, audience member and concert producer from Denmark, WA.

"We really enjoyed your soiree on Sunday...very original and very entertaining... The tea gave us a feeling of tranquility so that we did not lose our equanimity when presented with such a stimulating presentation."    Dick and Julia, audience members

 "It was great fun attending your Soiree.... How entertaining to hear the prose and poetry 'performed' by the author, which gave it great comedic impact!!" Pat Tredinnick, audience member

"The most inspirational presentation I have seen in many years. Anne held our attention the whole afternoon. Absolutely wonderful. We'll book our tickets now for her next show!" Edna Kilgour, audience member

"Anne entertained and delighted, reading from her humorous book Curiosi-tea,  telling tales of her travels to countries learning about tea, and intermittently playing shakuhachi bamboo flute lovingly, producing unusual, deep, melodious music. It was great. Congratulations for an incredible entertaining afternoon, also raising money for Japanese and Christchurch earthquake victims. Well Done! " Lois Gust, audience member


Reviews of Afternoon AbsurdiTEA

A cast of 10 musicians bring to life the poetry of Camellia Cha with musicali-tea from India, Tibet, China and Japan. Anne Norman (poetry and shakuhachi); Tenzin Choegyal (voice and dranyen - Tibetan lute); Wang Zheng Ting & the Australian Chinese Ensemble; Jay Dabgar (Tabla) & Josh Bennett (sitar and dilruba).


OzAsia Festival, Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, 30 September 2010

"Members of the audience around me seemed to be in awe of the cleverness of both the show's concept and the world-class quality of the musical and theatrical performances; yet it was entirely a friendly and often comical afternoon. There were some intense moments of concentration during the shakuhachi pieces played by Anne Norman, displaying a level of proficiency and authenticity that cannot ordinarily be encountered in Australia, but even these were seamlessly morphed into joy and amusement by the other colours at Camellia Cha's disposal on her cultural palette on this occasion.
It was good to see the musicians, Tibetan, Indian and Chinese, admiring each other's work. It was also interesting to see which subversive and satirical comic elements Anne chose to use from the book, including a couple of moments especially relevant to Australia. It was refreshing to witness such a success in harmoniously combining different methods of communication into one cohesive event; and we learned so much about tea — its science, its history, its magic — yet all we did was enjoy ourselves. Delightful and impressive."
Ben Umehara
Review of Afternoon AbsurdiTEA, OzAsia Festival
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, 26 Sept 2010
PGlasses3"This is not your ordinary book of tea but an extraordinary perspective of life through the prism of tea and its super cultural capacity to invigorate, unite, calm, excite and spiritualise humanity. [The stage show] Afternoon absurdiTea with Camellia Cha is inspired by and based on this startling book, and allows the alter ego of Anne Norman ... to shine on stage in full brilliance. Performer extraordinaire Anne Norman has the ability to capture the dry humour of her book on stage using her tea poetry in conjunction with beautiful ethnic melodies from the countries which marked tea’s early history along the Silk Road of Asia... Guest musicians from the Australian Chinese Music Ensemble, Wang Zheng-Ting (sheng), Dong Quimin (dizi), Jiang Jiamin (erhu) and Jeremy Witkowski (ruan), Tibetan singer Tenzin Choegyal, Josh Bennett (sitar, dilruba, didgeridoo), Jay Dabgar (tabla), monks Jamyang Sherab and Karma Gyasey, together with Anne Norman’s soulful shakuhachi created an ancient and, at the same time, contemporary tea soundscape. ... exquisite melodrama passages made up of world music accompaniments set to strict poetic rhythms, musical interludes of profound meaning and alluring combined stage presence of narrator, musicians and a media screen, displaying images from the book and historical photographs. All of this is ... unified by a narrative underpinned by tea:  tea myths and calamities, tea ceremonies and zen practices, tea  absurdities and reasonings. This is a new world music genre in the spirit of the best European stage melodramas... emotive tragedies ... hilarious parodies... This show needs to  be experienced to be believed!”  Read the full review here
Daniela Kaleva, Australian Stage Reviews, 29 Sept 2010
"With great aplomb, Anne Norman turns the humdrum of stage productions on its head. Part variety show, part concert, and part poetry fest, this show is bursting with talent and professionalism. Beautiful sounds made from ancient oriental instruments, a diverting media screen, an authentic Tibetan tea ceremony with Tibetan chants, all combined to provide colour, movement, and beauty.
Although the main thread of the show is a thought-provoking history of tea through the ages, there are no dry lectures here. The audience is treated to humorous poetry recitation, beautiful compositions from the Chinese Music Ensemble, amazing drumming on the Indian tabla, heavenly sitar pieces and fabulous Tibetan songs, and then sits transfixed through a soul-transporting piece played on the shakuhachi by Anne herself. The most amazing musical revelation for me was the combination of shakuhachi and didgeridoo - two sublime but ancient musical heritages combined.
To assuage your curiosi-tea, this show is recommended for its theatricality, musicality, absurdity, generosity, and, well... its homage to TEA."
Melissa Francis
Review of Afternoon AbsurdiTEA, OzAsia Festival
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, 30 September 2010