Reviews of Performances and presentations
by Camellia Cha
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"
"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
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
"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.
Claudia Warne, Administrator, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival
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.
"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. http://www.hyogo.com.au
"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
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
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."
Review of Afternoon AbsurdiTEA, OzAsia Festival
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, 26 Sept 2010
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."
Review of Afternoon AbsurdiTEA, OzAsia Festival
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre, 30 September 2010