Arts, Culture & Entertainment - Thursday 12th July 2012

Peter O'Toole
Veteran Irish actor Peter O'Toole has announced that at the age of 79 it is time to "chuck in the
sponge," retiring from the stage and screen "dry-eyed and profoundly grateful" after his 50-year career. O'Toole received his 'big break' in the film Lawrence of Arabia (1962), in which he played the well-educated, self-assured, courageous and passionate Lawrence, who emerges as a visionary leader of Arab independence against the Turks. Receiving eight Oscar nominations during his career, and presented with an honorary Academy Award in 2003, O'Toole plans to focus on writing a third volume of memoirs in retirement.
Stuart Maunder's new production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado is showing at Brisbane's Conservatorium Theatre until July 28th. Described as "lough-out-loud," the Opera Queensland production is a bizarre romantic comedy set in "a Japan that never existed" where flirting has become a crime punishable by death. The story follows Nanki-Poo, the son of the Emperor of Japan, who sets out on a complicated road to reclaim the heart of his star-crossed love, Yum-Yum. It's bizarre, colourful and poised to provide a healthy dose of nature's best medicine - laughter.

Disney on Ice is currently skating around the Allphones Arena in Sydney's Olympic Park. A classic family-outing, all of your favourite Disney characters will make an appearance in "one colossal party on ice," jumping through all of the seasonal & holiday celebrations around the world. It's Disney, and it's on ice; it's bound to be a little bit magic.

Australia's Winter Festival is underway in Melbourne, Bondi & Fremantle, providing our somewhat snow-deprived cities with a little white winter wonderfulness. The event in each location is centred around "the largest outdoor ice rink in the southern hemisphere", with 30,000 visitors attending at each location last year. The festival also includes kids' parties, entertainment, a fully licensed bar, live music and unique Alpine cuisines. Head to their website to find out more details on what's happening at your nearest city – unfortunately for Brisbanites, the Festival has already wrapped up!

At Home With Julia
The Australian Writers' Guild's 45th scriptwriting awards are due to be held in Sydney on the 24th August, and despite poor reviews at the hands of the critics, the Australian comedy based on the behind the scenes life of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, At Home With Julia, is up for a prize. Telemovies Beaconsfield and Mabo are competing for the original telemovie prize, The Slap and Underbelly: Razor are nominated for best television miniseries, and the Good News Week writing team have been nominated for their ninth AWGIE award.

Usually making headlines for his less-than-uplifting commentary, 2Day FM presenter Kyle Sandilands has made headlines for a different reason (hooray!). During a radio interview with an unnamed 21-year-old homeless woman, the radio "shock jock" announced that he will pay for her to rent her own home. "I've been where you are, and I've had nowhere, and I've lived in cardboard boxes, and it's bad, it's the lowest you can get," said Sandilands during the interview. "You seem like the sort of girl who will do anything to fix your situation. So, and this hasn't been organised, but I'm going to rent you a place to live in myself." 2Day FM and its sponsors will also be providing the Sydney woman with a holiday for two to Phuket and spending money, bedding and cooking utensils for her new home.

Compiled by Sophie Baker