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2014 Anywhere Theatre Festival makes even more of the world a stage

We Are All Ghosts

The 2014 Anywhere Theatre Festival, with presenting partner mX and major partners Queensland Government and Brisbane Marketing  finished on Sunday 18th May with an incredible 420 performances of 67 production over 12 days in the nooks and crannies of 27 Brisbane suburbs.

”This was nearly overwhelming as it was up from 243 performances in 13 suburbs last year and our goal this year was only 250 performances of 50 productions,” said Paul Osuch, co founder of Anywhere Theatre Festival.

Of the 67 productions, 53 were world premiere productions and the lion’s share were by local creators.

2014 Anywhere Theatre Festival also exceeded all box office expectations with pre booked box office sales online increasing from 3,452 to 5,541 – that’s up from $56,000 to $105,000.

“The box office is vital because it goes straight to the creators of the work,” said Alex McTavish, co founder of Anywhere Theatre Festival. “It means that more independent producers come out of our festival in the position to be able to invest in their next production instead of being burdened by costs around most fringe festivals.”

This figure does not include free performances and the significant amount of tickets purchased at each show, that are still being tallied.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said he and his wife had attended a “play in a garage” performance in Mt Gravatt recently, which they thought was fantastic.

“Anywhere Theatre Festival’s vision for arts to happen anywhere really captures the spirit of this government’s Arts for all Queenslanders commitment, to deliver more great arts and culture for more Queenslanders,” Mr Walker said.

“There’s nothing stuffy about these shows.”

The quality of the work was also remarkable with over 117 reviews of work including festival highlights Sweet Meniscus by Queensland Ballet choreographer Joseph Stewart at the Spring Hill Baths and the large scale “pano(d)rama” Little Boxes at the Northshore docks through to the Goon Show inspired Smooth End Of the Pineapple at Holland Park Bowls Club, The Bald Prima Donna at the Paddington Substation and the one-on-one experience a library for the end of the world.

“Fifty three of the productions were world premiere works by local performers and producers for the 2014 Anywhere Theatre Festival, “said Paul, “What’s even more exciting is hearing the future plans for the shows outside of the Anywhere Theatre Festival.”

Continuing the investment in emerging artist and producer skills development, the Anywhere Director in Training program skilled up six young Queensland producers in how to produce theatre Anywhere during the festival.

“I can’t believe it’s over. It was such a great experience and I’ve learnt so much I can take onto my future plans!” Emily Bush – 2014 Anywhere Director in Training.

Anywhere Theatre Festival Ltd is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.

“The investment by Queensland Government, Brisbane Marketing and mX allowed us to take a step up in what we could do and who we were able to welcome into the festival. It also encouraged our largest number of small business partners who could see the advantage in bringing audiences to their door,” said Paul Osuch

Next year’s festival is scheduled for the 6-17 May 2014.

“Planning is of course already under way,” said Alex, “We’ve also got a few other rather exciting plans in store for Brisbane and Queensland that we’ll be announcing in coming months.”

Anywhere is all about making performance a bigger part of everyone’s life by taking it out of the traditional theatre ghettos.

”We’re so amazed everyone has come on the journey so far and we are excited about the journey yet to come.”, said Paul.

Full figures for the festival will be released within a fortnight. 

For media enquiries, contact Paul Osuch on 07 3102 4683 or anyone@anywherefest.com

Our full list of partners are below:

mX is tickled pink to be the presenting partnering with the Anywhere Theatre Festival in 2014. Just like the Anywhere artists, we’re fun, creative and sometimes a little wacky every weekday in the Brisbane CBD and on our smartphone app around-the-clock. Grab mX each day for a serve of local news, the best of the world’s weirdest stories, all the latest Goss & glam and sport and the hilarity of our Talk pages and download our smartphone app today

Anywhere Theatre Festival Limited is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.

Brisbane Marketing
Brisbane’s cultural world is as exciting as the lush landscape. Join us for some of the country’s finest restaurants, most electric events and unique shopping haunts. For the inside scoop, visitbrisbane.com.au

Our location partners are the secret and not so secret gems where you’ll find Anywhere Theatre Festival performances. They have provided their spaces to performers and producers over the twelve days.

Explore them during the festival and you’ll discover why you’ll want to visit them again!

Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts
59-69 Shafston Avenue,Kangaroo Point, 4169
Is a unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts training institution, providing high quality training in the performance disciplines of dance, music and theatre.

Albert Street Uniting Church
Albert Street, Brisbane, 4000
Brisbane’s spiritual home for over 160 years. Located in the middle of Brisbane city, Wesley Mission Brisbane Albert Street Church is a centre of Christian worship, and a congregation of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Artslink 
Regional Arts House, 1/F 24 Macquarie Street, Teneriffe, 4005
Artslink Queensland is a not-for-profit organisation that provides regional artists, cultural organisations and schools with the services and products they require to build their businesses, create networks, and strengthen cultural development.

Australian Modern
9 Burchell Street, Carina, 4152
Chris Osborne and Susan Bennett live in a 1961 architect designed mid-century modernist home, featuring an open plan living space which they use as a venue for special architecture and design events.

The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street, West End 4101
The Bearded Lady is a bar that is passionate about entertainment, being weekly live music, pop-up theatre events, monthly cabaret or art exhibitions. She will most certainly quench your liquid and artistic thirst.

Bent Books
205a Boundary Street, West End 4101
Books, good books, lots of ‘em… mostly second hand.

Blackwall
Level 2, Absoe Building, 51 Mollison St, West End
Blackwall is an emerging, live arts space, suited to small and experimental music and performance acts. Venue capacity currently sits around 30-40 people, so it’s perfect for invite-only, intimate showcases or gigs.

The Boundary Hotel
137 Boundary Street, West End, 4101
Since 1864 The Boundary Hotel has been an icon of West End, providing an inexpensive and friendly watering hole for locals and visitors alike.

Brisbane Powerhouse
Lamington Drive, New Farm, 4005
Bringing people together to create and experience adventurous arts. We belong to a place and a time. We have open doors and open arms, and we embrace the creativity of our city.

Fil-A-Bolus
130/132 Kennedy Terrace, Paddington, 4064
(Easy for us to say) is a business collective, made up of 3 vibrantly focussed hair-stylists. One indulging beauty therapist and two life changing healers.

Flipside Circus
117 Mina Parade, Alderley
Flipside Circus is a unique circus company that not only teaches circus to children and young people but takes it to the next level by creating exciting and innovative performances and shows.

The Fox Hotel
71 -73 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane
Where passé charm meets contemporary flair in Brisbane’s burgeoning arts, culture and entertainment scene.

Holland Park Bowls Club
2 Abbotsleigh Street, Holland Park
Is a gorgeous period bowls club that is also host to the Bowlo Bazaar, a local market for local people to enjoy some selling, some buying, some sharing, some bowling and some informal hobnobbing!

HQ Male Grooming
87 Boundary Street, West End 4101
Is the premier destination for your grooming needs in the Brisbane region. HQ is tailored to the modern day man who takes pride in his appearance and seeks a quality cut with professional service.

Maritime Museum
Sidon Street, South Brisbane, 4101
Located on the Brisbane River at the southern end of South Bank Parklands the Queensland Maritime Museum has a wide range of interesting maritime displays that attracts over 35,000 visitors per annum including families, school groups, tour groups, inter-state and international visitors.

Mill Street Studios
Unit 1/ 18 Mill Street, Goodna, 4300
A space available for hire, workshops, creative developments, showings, & various other creative projects – be it dance, visual art, or photography showings and the new base for Claire Marshall Projects.

Mowbray Terrace Town Hall
26 Mowbray Terrace, East Brisbane
The former Mowbray Town Hall in East Brisbane has been renovated and is available for short-term hire for functions and events such as: Product Launches, Photography Studio, Training sessions, Auctions, Large meetings and more….

Mr. Rush
Ground Floor, Regional Arts House, 24 Macquarie St, Teneriffe
Is the espresso bar social enterprise venture of Artslink Queensland, a not-for-profit that aims to support artists and strengthen cultural development across the state.

Northshore Hamilton
Northshore Shed, 257 Macarthur Ave, Hamilton
Is Brisbane’s largest urban renewal precinct. At its heart, Northshore will include 2.5 kilometres of dedicated riverfront, with a mix of parkland and community space. These spaces will complement the combination of residential, retail and commercial opportunities on site.

Queensland Museum
Melbourne Street, South Brisbane, 4101
Celebrates and showcases natural and cultural environments, history, cultural heritage, science and human achievement. We tell Queensland’s story through dynamic exhibitions and experiences that connect visitors to Queensland, its people and place in the world.

Paddington Substation
150 Enogerra Terrace, Paddington, 4064
One of Brisbane’s few remaining interwar tramway substations and one of its most prominent, like most of the others this is the work of tramways architect RR Ogg and chief engineer W Arundell.

Padre Dive Bar
598 Stanley St, Woolloongabba
The creation of three men whose babies were born across the road at the Mater Hospital, there’s something about Padre that feels like a cross between the Cheers bar and the ‘Those Were the Days’ tavern that Mary Hopkins once trilled about.

Queen Street Mall
Brisbane City, 4000
From Queensland’s largest selection of fashion and award-winning food and drink, to an extensive FREE entertainment program, The City offers a discovery in every direction.

Reverse Garbage
20 Burke Street, Woolloongabba
Reverse Garbage is a not-for-profit worker run co-operative that promotes sustainability and resource reuse. We divert high quality industrial discards away from landfill and sell them at a low cost to the public, run eco-art workshops, a mail order service and host Reverse Emporium up-cycled gallery and giftshop. www.reversegarbage.com.au

Roma Street Parklands
Roma Street Parklands, Brisbane 4000
Is an oasis in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD. Open all day, every day of the year, come and relax, play, refresh and enjoy the lush lawns and beautiful gardens throughout.

Shady Palms
427 Logan Rd, Stones Corner
Home to a café, restaurant & two unique bars, Shady Palms shares an abundance of collective quirk, family manner, local brews, four individual area’s to drink & dine, plus a novel function space, a boutique cider fridge that will leave you pondering as well as some of Brisbane’s most talented local musical acts.

Spring Hill Baths
14 Torrington Street, Spring Hill, 4000
This heritage listed swimming pool was Brisbane’s first in-ground pool and showcases old world charm with classic changing rooms and grandstand seating, including a 25 metre indoor heated pool, kiosk, aqua aerobics and swimming lessons.

St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Brisbane
411 Main St, Kangaroo Point
Is a 164 bed private Catholic not-for-profit hospital specialising in meeting the needs of patients groups generally not met by other health services. Services include: pain management (adolescent and adult); rehabilitation (adolescent and adult); neurosciences and general, geriatric and palliative medicine.

Stones Corner Hotel
346 Logan Rd, Greenslopes, 4120
Established in 1888, The Heritage Charm of The Stones Corner Hotel is felt the moment you enter this beautifully renovated Landmark.

Storey Bridge Hotel
200 Main Street, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169
The Story Bridge Hotel is a Brisbane icon—a local watering hole that holds a special place in the hearts of generations of Brisbane residents.

Turf Studio
51 Ipswich Rd, Woollongabba
Step into our studio and you’ll feel your inner child come out to play in this quirky astroturfed space. With a range of yoga classes, workshops and events on offer, our exciting calendar will keep you fit and inspired. Turf Studios is right next door to ORAWGI, Brisbanes first Organic, Raw and Vegan cafe!

Sweet Meniscus… In a word? Impeccable.

sweet

The most prolific comparison of the human body in relation to earth, is that we share the same make up. That is, as with the earth in which we dwell, we too, are 70% water. This fact, in itself, offers much insight into why we are so drawn to the water.

Sweet Meniscus is the creation of Joseph Stewart, and it is very clear that this young director, choreographer, and producer possesses the artistic finesse to create and present work that is so emotionally evocative and flawless, to become an industry game changer.

Set in the majestic Spring Hill baths, Sweet Meniscus is a beautiful production in every aspect and glorious flourish of the word. From the first moment that the audience enters the baths, it immediately feels like we’ve stepped back in time. Not necessarily because the baths are such an immaculate representation of yesteryear, but more so for the immediate slowing down of time and how we, as an audience, collectively let go of our lives (and technology) to invest ourselves and reflect upon this high quality performance. Every single element of this production work so seamlessly that the audience could simply soak up the powerful story being gifted to us in dance, light, music, text and water.

Sweet Meniscus is the exploration of human relationships and our significant relationship with water. As stated earlier, every element of this production works hand in hand. The opening scene immediately engages the audience as a single violinist accompanies the fluid movements of the dancers on the platform in the middle of the pool. The water is such a strong element of the piece and is essential to the work; both in the movement quality and the dancers interaction with this life force. Kinaesthetically, the audience is moved by the fluid combination of the music, choreography, text, and water.

Torrey Atkin’s tailor made narrative poetry informs and enriches the journey of these dancers; informing and engaging the audience with his masterful composition of words that so elegantly informs  every aspect of the piece. We, the audience, are entranced.

The dancers are beautiful, strong, and expressive. Within this emotive and atmospheric space, they raise the bar of performance by engaging so truthfully to telling the story through movement. The contrast of movement quality between platform (land) and water evokes such emotion and it becomes so clear just how strongly we correlate with water.

Every aspect of Sweet Meniscus is a triumph. The highly accomplished and extremely talented ensemble comprising of Rachel Walsh, Eleanor Freeman, and Jack Laster exceed the expectations of this production through their connection with the work, each other, and the content. They become at home and one with the water and this is exactly the intention. The pulsing water, as it laps the edges of this inner city pool, ripples into our beings and changes our rhythms. Here, in the Spring Hill Baths, we are pulsing as one.

What is even more incredible is the success that Stewart has achieved in incorporating the pool and concept of water. So easily could this work have just simply been a ‘gimmick’ consisting of dancers in a pool, yet Stewart has so cleverly constructed Sweet Meniscus, with its text, choreography, music and lighting, that the water itself becomes an integral and living organism vital to the show.

Simply, Sweet Meniscus is a world class production. I am so very glad that I had the privilege of closing my Anywhere Journey with this thought provoking, emotion evoking, seamlessly flawless and impeccable reflection of life in theatre. Well done.

Little boxes of brilliance

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Little Boxes

Jenna&Alex

Review: Meredith Walker

Little boxes on the hillside,

Little boxes made of ticky tacky,

Little boxes on the hillside,

Little boxes all the same.

There’s a green one and a pink one

And a blue one and a yellow one,

And they’re all made out of ticky tacky

And they all look just the same.

It is easy to see how Malvina Reynolds’ 1962 political satire song about the development of suburbia and associated conformist middle-class attitudes, inspired Jenna&Alex’s peculiar outdoor show of the same name. And it is easy to see, also, why so many people were braving the cold night air to attend its performance; word had obviously spread about show’s brilliance.

“Little Boxes” comments on how individuals can feel separated from, but are inevitably connected to, their community. The story explores the insecurities and oddities inherent in individuality, as audience members voyeuristically peek inside a ring of cramped flats and at the self-imposed misery of their isolated inhabitants who are living their lies in quiet desperation. The show is performed in a 360° set so that the amphitheatered audience is simultaneously surrounded by the seven stories and thus able to appreciate how the action flows from one scene (and one little box) to the next. The set is simply superb: the beautiful design is visually ravishing and provides the perfect framework from which to present the show’s kaleidoscope of larger-than-life characters, allowing audiences to engage more, in order to be rewarded more.

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There is a carnival like aspect to the show’s detailed aesthetics, including Ben Hughes’ lighting design and musical wizardry of Richard Grantham. This is also particularly seen through the old-school vaudevillian motifs of strongman (Kristian Santic) and conjoined twins (Mercedes Porter and Cassie Kowitz). Ultimately, however, it the secretly fabulous Patrick Dwyer’s drag-queened performance of Petula Clarke’s ‘Downtown’ that is the show’s absolute highlight.  The vulnerability of many of the individual performances is sometimes harrowing, despite the absence of any dialogue, as performers cleverly use physical theatre and circus elements to depict their characters’ idiosyncratic personalities.

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In both its conception and execution, “Little Boxes” is an unconventional, yet brilliant realisation of the imaginative possibilities of theatre. The committed characterisations and surrealist set combine to create a powerful and compelling performance that will linger in your thoughts for days after. It is a show that not only has to be seen, but needs to be thought about.

The silly of science

Do It For Science

The Ragtag Band

Review: Meredith Walker

You don’t have to know a lot about Science to enjoy the Rag Tag Band’s quirky cabaret “Do It For Science”. (I am proof of that.). Despite the lab coats and safety glasses, the performers are not scientists, but just a ragtag band of musicians (Richard Grantham, Wayne Jennings, Dale Peachy and Alice Wheeler) who like silly songs and dancing girls. And this is the perfect way to describe the show, which is brought to you by the letter O (for oxygen), the colour green (for mucus) and the number Pi.

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Who would have thought that science could be such fodder for fun? Not only is the between-song banter packed full of puns and bad dad jokes (Why can’t you trust an atom? They make up everything), but the songs themselves are both catching and clever – whether they be about Pi, the periodic table (updated to account for recent discoveries) or a strange love song to mucus. And the musicians do an excellent job, not only with their range of usual instruments, but when the branch out courtesy of a nose whistle and ‘hand-crafted’ barbie piano. It is unfortunate that occasionally vocals get lost due to either poor sound mixing, apprehensive delivery (apart from that of dynamic front man Wayne Jennings) or perhaps even the acoustics of the Northshore Shed theatre space itself. While this happens only occasionally, meaning that some of the script’s terrific humour is missed, the overall enjoyment of the show is not overly marred.

“Do It For Science” is an innovative and inventive production that achieves the perfect balance between entertainment and education.  As audience members are told when taken outside ‘on excursion’, the performers don’t want to set the world of fire; just light a flame in your heart. And in their provision of fascinating facts, they are well on their way to achieving this goal as songs are not only accompanied by burlesque dance illustrations (courtesy of Lena Marlene and Cello Bordello), but also scientific demonstrations. These experiments are a real highlight, especially for the scientifically ignorant in the audience. The oohs and ahhs that frequently follow from the crowd, are testament to the show’s fundamental engagement. Indeed, as an exploration of the silliness of its subject matter, “Do I For Science” is guaranteed to please.

 

over the hegemony

Bloke. Presented by Wax Lyrical. Reviewed by A Man Da.

Unapologetically phallocentric, Bloke broaches sensitive topics. The writer / actor has a PhD in masculinity. That is a thing. While the dialogue is suitably complemented by live music and an ambient atmosphere is created, the central character often appears to be making ablutions, dumping his stories on the audience without deference to difference. No room is made for divergent ideas on masculinity to be disseminated. In fact, many moments seemed to reinforce restrictive and highly problematic gender constructs. For example, the central character loses his virginity when he was 13. To a 16 year old. And rather than ‘statutory rape’ the expected response to this detail seems to be ‘good on ya mate’. Because that’s an alright thing for a bloke to admit. When someone crosses the character, ‘shoot the bastard’ is the implied correct response for a bloke. Perhaps it was intended to be polemic. If so, it has succeeded.

Who invited the post-structuralist to the show, anyhow?

The Abominable Autumn: Review aka Recipe

Presented by:  Pocket Atlas

Reviewed by:  Marissa Ker

Ingredients:

2 brilliant performers – one Brennan Campbell and one Billy Stewart-Keed

1 kitchen (with everything but the kitchen sink) – cupboard, refrigerator, pots, pans, wine glasses (muffin trays optional)

Slick sound and lighting setup

1 chef’s hat

1 apron

1 dress (for mother character)

1 neighbour’s dog barking (optional)

Method:

Prepare by writing and rehearsing together.  First, start with spoof on Iron Chef – the grandfather of Master Chef.  Add one cup of ‘dream cooking’ presented by a neurotic chef tellingly named Robert Mapleheart.  Stir liberally with humour and season with dramatic tension.  Include surprise appearance by chef’s mother (wearing dress – see above).  Select words carefully to create essence of Canadian wilderness.  Combine with a tragic tale of gay lovers.  Rehearse to perfection.  Serve in a garage in Upper Mount Gravatt.  Spice with optional neighbour’s dog barking.

Tasting notes:

The Abominable Autumn begins with a burst of energy as the MC (played by Billy Stewart-Keed) asks audience members to cheer for the first live studio recording of Iron Chef.  Almost immediately, things become surreal when a chef (played by Brennan Campbell) emerges from the cupboard and leads a group cook class with Lobster Bisque with ‘a 3-finger pinch of oregano’.  A theme of hunting develops as the chef explains his inspiration by a caribou and speciality in cooking game.  He proceeds to cook his signature dish:  Caribou with Saskatoonberry and cream cheese sauce.  Billy’s impersonation of a caribou is one of the stand-out moments of the play.

The layers of meaning continue to stack up as the show progresses.  The 2 actors play at least 6 different characters.  The TV cooking show provides a doorway to the second story within this show:  David, who is obsessed with watching Iron Chef.  He met his boyfriend online through a series of deceits.  By the end of the show, David has been questioned about his boyfriend’s death in the woods.  The same woods from whence the caribou came.  Infuriatingly, it is not clear exactly whodunnit.  A gorilla made a mysterious appearance at the end.

The acting in this show is flawless.  The performers draw apply their considerable physical theatre skills to great effect and combine them with fine facial expression and vocal quality.  Campbell speaks in different accents with aplomb.  The show could be improved by intertwining the 2 stories earlier and making the resolution of each clearer for the audience.  Pocket Atlas intends to further develop this show in both Australia and Canada.  They are onto something good.

Reading into the rage

The Romeo/Juliet Complex

The Blacklight Collective

Review: Meredith Walker

Despite being a Shakespeare fangirl, I’m not overly fond of “Romeo and Juliet”. Or maybe it is because of this; there are so many other plays that could be explored and in the last three years I’ve seen six stage versions of the tragic tale, some honourably traditional, some outrageously modernised, but none quite like “The Romeo/Juliet Complex”.

There is something quite thought-provoking about exploring a text through its minor characters, as Tim Crouch showed in his “I, Malvolio” reimagining of “Twelfth Night” at last year’s Brisbane Festival. In this instance, it is the powerful parents of the story’s protagonists that are the focal point. Years before the fearful passage of their children’s death-mark’d love story, Lord and Lady Capulet meet the Master and Mistress of the House of Montague. The women become fast friends, while the patriarchs show a somewhat mutual respect of each other’s competitive obsession with the acquisition of power. Before long the Capulets have bethrothed their first-born daughter to Montague’s son. But as a town, Verona is messy and infidelity and addictions soon shatter the alliance and ultimately cause the new mutiny.

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While the majority of the show’s scenes explore the formation and fracture of the relationship between the families, as well as within their individual marriages, these are sometimes punctuated by snippets of Verona citizens in gossip session about the story’s scandalous events. While there is worth is sharing the responses of the Verona citizens, as observers of the action, the aggressive contrast of these scenes is a distraction. With sassy gay stereotypes and Kath and Kim type screeching of OMG-like reactions, the sections are frivolous more than funny and unfortunately detract from the powerful engagement of the bulk of the play.

Generally speaking, this is a polished and sophisticated take on the tragic tale, realised by some committed performances. Ethan Jones, in particular, delivers a mature, engrossing take on the cold Lord Montague, especially commendable given that he stepped into the role due to illness. However, all cast members give engaging performances in creation of this accessible production of the classic tale (during which the title characters barely appear and never really speak). Lighting is effective, with silhouetted figures delivering key narration in order to progress the narrative and there are some interesting design choices despite the limitations of the Northside Shed space.

While my feelings for the original text have not changed, I can say that adaptations such “The Romeo/Juliet Complex” should be embraced as they have the potential to help us re-imagine a wealth of wonderful literature. Unless you are fluent in Shakespeare’s story, however, you may not appreciate exactly what is going on within the relationship dramas being brought to life in this reading into the rage between the dignified houses of fair Verona.

Slipping and Fish Head; a solo selection

Not only is the creation of solo work a lonely process, it can often suffer in sourcing company when it comes to the point of presentation.

Lucy Watson’s solo works, Slipping and Fish Head, are victims of this solitary existence. Presented at Turf Studios in Woolloongabba, I enter this blank, green turfed canvas of a space, which has been set in the round with the simple use of lanterns and a torch. The sound for the production, composed by Sydney based composer and sound designer James Brown, floods this acoustically thirsty shed to create an all encompassing soundscape.

Slipping.

The first work. Slipping. Shortly into this work, I too, am slipping. Slipping away. Slipping into another thought space and unfortunately that thought space is not with the artist. The simplicity of the premise is promising, however this graduate of theatre has seen far too many explorations into “a body interacting with an inanimate object in the space” throughout her training, without much more than that of the pleasure of the artist themselves being translated in the space. I am slipping away.

Now, it must be stated that I was the sole audience member, and this does not help my formulating my opinion of this work, as theatre can only be theatre if there is an audience. One is enough, sure.. But I cannot help but wonder how my own interpretation may have been influenced were I not the only one sitting in the space.

Back to the show, Slipping. The concept is conceptual and though I can see that Watson is a very deep thinker and dedicated to her work, I am struggling to take in the text… As I am far too obsessed with the fascination as to why we wish to play with an object in the space like a kitten does with a ball of yarn, and call it art/theatre.

That said, Watson’s movement and ability to create the essence of her concept is beautiful and her profound view on the world is definitely explicit in her work. There is a strong feeling of peace.

In order to make sense of this work I have to make the conscious decision that this is a live installation artwork in action. This realisation makes me see a different view. Like a Dali painting, a Picasso, or Van Gogh unfolding before my eyes. To accept the work for what it is and what it is not, I start to see the vulnerability of Watson and how she conveys her deepest thoughts and ruminations into the space. I am still unsure what has happened as I confess that I took in little of the text, but movement did occur and I recognise how important this exploration into humanity is. Even if just the humanity of one soul.

Fish Head.

A small interval and the space is changed once more. The lights are dim and focused on a suspended object. Watson returns donned in a wearable art piece, transformed into the Principal of a school of fish. Quite quickly it is revealed that the artist has quite an accomplished character and comedic virtue. Fish Head is far more developed as a story and the concept is relatable and touching. Watson does well to explore what it is to be the ‘fish out of water’ and I begin to see the substance in her creation. The Principal is simultaneously a hilarious and wonderful story teller. The physicality and vocality of the artist is enjoyable, as is the set up and interaction of the space and world created.

Fish Head would be a wonderful performance piece for the likes of the Out of the Box Festival (or such) where it could be transformed into a children’s theatre show about acceptance and individuality.

Watson can be congratulated on her courage to create work that resonates with her, regardless of pleasing an audience or not. However, as with all artists of all genres who wish, nay NEED, an audience to complete the point and puzzle of why we make art, she must learn how to get word out about her events. Just as a tree falling in the woods does not make a sound if no one is there… So too, does this adage fit so appropriately with art of any genre. Particularly performance.

Tumbling and Spinning with Flipside Circus

Presented by Flipside Circus

Reviewed by Fiona G Davy20140517_193958

The Flipside Circus Training Centre in Alderley becomes a performance space for Puzzled?, an interactive presentation by the young performers at Flipside Circus.

Aged between 8 and 16, and all levels of proficiency, the youngsters performed on the triple trapeze, aerial hoops and silks, juggled, tumbled and entertained us.   The grand finale was a spectacular performance on the cloud swing.

The performances were outstanding and the children have obviously been well schooled in maintaining their composure when things don’t go exactly as planned.

The necessity for the audience to move around the space, however, was problematic.  The idea of a moving show is great but there was a lack of clear guidance between acts and children had to fight their way through to the front to be able to see.  I unfortunately missed out on one act, an acrobat, as it was performed entirely on the floor and I couldn’t find a position in which to view it.  Every time we were moved it took some time to realise that we were doing so and then we had to sort ourselves out to be able to see the next act.

Overall Puzzled? is well worth taking the family to this weekend.  Two shows remain on Sunday, at 2pm and 7:30pm.  Book at http://anywherefest.com/puzzled/

20140517_19471218/05/2014 – 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

18/05/2014 – 7:30 pm – 8:15 pm

Tickets: $17/$12/$45 (Family x4)
Rating: (G)
Duration: 45 mins

Flipside Circus Training Centre
117 Mina Parade, Alderley

 

 

 

Give these guys a sketch show.

Presented by: Bell & McPhie

Reviewed by: Nick Robertson

I must admit as I sat in the Holland Park Bowels Club I would’ve reduced the average age by about thirty years. Surrounded by those two generations older than me, I cannot say I was looking forward to the show, but it took about one sentence for Bell & McPhie to win me over.

The Smooth End of the Pineapple is definitely one of the serendipitous finds of mine at the Anywhere Festival. The Monty Python-equse radio play is a series of about twenty sketches that will have you smiling ear to ear and laughing from start to finish. There is no premise, or overarching theme to the sketches but there isn’t any need for one, just two men being silly and pulling it off with some clever and hilarious writing.

I’m serious when I say clever; there are two sketches in particular that had my mind blown. One about a bottomless cup (which is a just really a piece of tubing) and another being an interview with God, they propose some interesting paradoxes and it caused for some really loud laughs.

There is so much to love about these guys, with their bow ties and easily likeable demeanour, there was just something about them that instantly got the whole audience onside. They had me laughing quite loudly at dad jokes and I never thought that would ever happen.

The radio style performance is by no mean complete without the addition of some really cleverly devised sound effects by the equally well dressed Mitchell Poloni. A combination of knives, buckets, gallons he brings is arsenal of quirky noises and adds an element that makes for a very polished concept.

Despite a few mishaps with a microphone, there wasn’t much to dislike about the show. It’s different, quirky and hilarious; a rare but great find.

It’s not experimental or hard hitting theatre, but it’s a lot of fun and hilarious. If you want to laugh, come check them out, they will deliver.

Here’s the link, check them out: http://anywherefest.com/pineapple/

Words by Nick Robertson

http://nickrrobertson.wordpress.com