Tag: Eddie Perfect

Eddie Perfect in WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT

Enigmatic theatre phenomenon hits Melbourne: the less you know, the better…

By Amy Planner

Arts Centre Melbourne in association with Aurora Nova presents White Rabbit Red Rabbit, an unforgettable social experiment disguised as a play. An entirely enveloping performance, this show takes so many turns and goes to such interesting places: most of which are completely unexpected.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit.jpg

Nassim Soleimanpour penned the now-famous script whilst trapped in his native country of Iran. Devoid of any escape options, Soleimanpour devised a piece that would do the escaping for him and confront the rest of the world in his place.

Eddie Perfect was the first performer to take the stage in this twelve-part Melbourne series (the play will be performed 12 times by 12 different actors). Perfect knew nothing of the script until he was escorted to the stage with only a vial in his pocket, and was handed a sealed envelope.

With a raised eyebrow Perfect gazed at the script inside, and decided – why not? The idea of the cold reading is not a new concept, but also not all that common. So the performer and many audience members were stunned to say the least. Minimalistic is the aim of this play. It relies on the intrigue of the audience and the willingness of the performer. Perfect took it on the chin and was true to the script and honest in his portrayal.

A subtle lighting homage to the White Rabbit Red Rabbit theme, a chair, a table, two glasses of water, a spoon and a ladder are all the actor is given. Each of these elements play a role in this instruction-based performance whilst the actor and audience are guided by Soleimanpour’s words and thoughts.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a titillating piece of art, full of theatrical innovation, uncomfortable laughter, genuine thoughts of mistrust and amusing anecdotes that speak to a world much bigger and more complex than we could ever imagine.

This play is an experience. It is the sort of experience that you need to be immersed in and be fairly unprepared for to be fully absorbed by the words, by the unusual circumstance and by the bigger picture. This show should be seen with as little knowledge about its subject matter as possible and as such I have refrained from divulging many details in this review. But that isn’t to say that it isn’t a truly gripping sixty minutes of modern theatre. Go down the rabbit hole – you just have to.

Venue: The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne (Venue to change for other performances)

Next Performance: Featuring John Wood, Saturday May 6, 7pm

Tickets: Standard $45, Concession $40

Bookings: artscentremelbourne.com.au

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Eddie Perfect’s THE BEAST

Relentless satire and fiercely funny

By Bradley Storer

Eddie Perfect’s The Beast, under the direction of Simon Phillips, has made its return to Melbourne at the Comedy Theatre, and set its sights squarely on the Australian middle class. A vicious and satirical examination of class warfare of this ilk hasn’t been seen since the like of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnagebe warned, there will be (literal) blood.

The Beast.jpg

The piece seems particularly suited to a Melbourne audience – the skewering of the affluent and aspirational upper middle class and their conflicts of status anxiety were met with uproarious laughter and applause, with a sense that these people were entirely familiar to those in the crowd.

Alison Bell as the acerbic outsider Marge drew big laughs with her biting wit, and a bone-dry sarcasm that was wielded to maximum effect in every scene. The warmth underneath the barbs was obvious in her interactions with her husband Baird, played by Perfect in addition to writing the text. Perfect touchingly conveys an average man doomed to the eternal ridicule of his pretentious friends while never fully understanding why – the character’s reversal of fortune in a cunning coup later in the piece, while satisfying to watch, feels almost too contrived and convenient to the plot.

Rohan Nichol was astonishingly awful as the smarmy self-appointed ‘leader’ of the male trio Simon, managing to elicit groans with his overbearing sense of entitlement and arrogance, while Christie Whelan Browne as his put-upon wife Gen was the perfect mixture of air-headed sweetness and burning resentment that exploded into some truly hilarious antics during the dinner party scene.

The only weakpoint of the sextet is the third couple – Toby Truslove as the rapidly crumbling Rob manages to find the underlying sweetness and sensitivity of the character but it never fully coalesces into a full characterization beyond the character’s overall oddball escapades and quirks. Heidi Arena as Sue fully commits to her character’s smiling and cheerful hypocrisies but has been directed to play so big that it feels self-consciously artificial to the point of caricature. Peter Houghton ably plays a variety of smaller roles, managed to shift chameleon-like into different characters so diverse that he is almost unrecognizable between them.

While the middle section of the play is wonderfully structured and cleverly written, with a scene involving the slaughter of a cow that had the audience falling out of their seats laughing, the opening scene and the underlying mystery which it wraps around the rest of the piece appears so out of place (and is dealt with so quickly at the conclusion) that it seems almost unnecessary to have them.  Watching these characters scrap and vie for dominion is so entertaining in itself and artfully depicted that I would have gladly watched it all night!

Venue: The Comedy Theatre, 240 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Date: 25th August – 10th September

Times: Wednesday – Saturday 7:30pm, Saturday 2pm, Sunday 1pm & 5pm

Prices: $79.90 – $129.90

Bookings: www.ticketmaster.com.au, Ph: 1300 723 038, at the box office.

Image by Ken Nakanishi

REVIEW: Twisted Broadway 2015

“Broadway in a Brand-New Key”

By Bradley Storer

Oz Showbiz Cares/Equity Fights AIDS brought together a stunning ensemble of Australian music-theatre talents last night for Twisted Broadway, a gender-bending re-interpretation of musical theatre’s greatest hits, to raise money for research and developmental programs for people living with HIV/AIDS. The sense of community and giving was palpable, all the performers and creative team donating their time and energy – even the set for the show was donated by The Production Company‘s current show Nice Work if You Can Get It.

2015 Twisted Broadway Hosts_Photo by Kayzar Bhathawalla

Kate Ceberano, one of the evening’s hosts, began the show as a literal MC – the classic character from Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, spiritedly singing ‘Wilkommen’ and showing some impressive high kicks as she introduced us to the ‘twisted’ male and female ensembles and the Twisted Broadway orchestra, under the direction of James Simpson. She was followed by the glorious tenors of Blake Bowden and Josh Piterman, both bringing lead man charisma to the Jekyll and Hyde duet ‘In His Eyes’, before fellow host Eddie Perfect joined Ceberano onstage to introduce the evening officially.

The first half of the show was dedicated mainly to ensemble numbers, highlights including a cheeky ‘Gee Officer Krupke’ by the female ensemble of West Side Story, a campy male version of ‘Make Him Mine’ by Ed Grey, Alex Given and Drew Weston, a bevy of showgirls accompanying Melissa Langton as she charmingly crooned ‘All I Care About is Love’, a trio of male Lion King ensemblists bringing Motown realness in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ all the way to Nathan Pinnell leading the ensemble of Anything Goes in a joyous ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’. A few choice solo performances were dotted throughout, Akina Edmonds‘ soulful take on the Schwartz classic ‘Lost in the Wilderness’ standing out in particular.

After a fantastic ensemble opening of ‘On Broadway’ choreographed by Michael Ralph, the second act brought spectacular solos from a variety of performers. Rob Mills hilariously sent himself up in a re-vamped version of the audition sequence ‘Climbing Uphill’ from The Last Five Years, Tom Sharah stole the show with his ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade’, and Queenie van de Zandt brought the audience to their feet in a roof-raising ‘What Kind of a Fool Am I?’. Perfect debuted a charming song from his unseen musical version of the classic Australian film Muriel’s Wedding with help from Casey Bennetto, and the male ensemble delivered a testosterone-charged ‘Be Italian’ led by Mike Snell before Josie Lane closed the evening with a thunderous ‘Goodbye’.

Producers Michael Benge and Kate MacDonald informed the audience at the end of the show that over $50,000 had been raised for Oz Show Business Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, making a perfect end to this marvellous night of music theatre all done in the name of a good cause.

Venue: State Theatre, Arts Centre, 100 St Kilda, Melbourne.
Date: 17th August, 2015
Time: 8pm

http://www.twistedbroadway.com.au/

Image by Kayzar Bhathawalla

Move It Or Lose It: The Fight to Save THE BUTTERFLY CLUB

The fate of an amazing Melbourne performance venue is in our hands…

By Myron My

I have been going to the Butterfly Club for a few years now and have had the opportunity to watch some amazing and varied shows there: ones that otherwise would not have seen the light of day had it not been for this curated venue. The Butterfly Club has given emerging and established performers the opportunity to create new works and have them watched by a welcoming and open-minded audience.

Since 1999, The Butterfly Club has presented more than 1300 new Australian works. It has given immensely to the theatre community in discovering and nurturing performers and now it needs our help. The Butterfly Club must relocate from South Melbourne to 256 Collins Street in the city centre in February 2013. Director Mr Simone Pulga said the move was due to the unbearable costs of operating in the current premises. “If we increased the cost of drinks to match the rise in rent, we’d have to charge $12.50 for a stubby. We must move The Butterfly Club to a better location.

The Butterfly Club 1

“Paradoxically, inner-city Melbourne has provided us with an affordable, long-term opportunity to create a new theatre space in an exciting unused building. The show room will be larger with more comfortable seating but the venue will remain just as intimate and quirky with the much-loved decor and regular shows moving with the venue,” he said.

The Butterfly Club has a sustainable arts model which doesn’t rely on any government subsidies and even though this model will be replicated in the new location it first needs funds specifically for the relocation and – when housing Australia’s largest collection of kitsch art – this is not going to be easy!

A community fundraising campaign is currently underway using the popular crowd-funding website Pozible. The campaign is embracing the ‘Buy A Brick’ phenomena, aptly designated ‘Cash For Kitsch’. Supporters will be able to adopt a piece of The Butterfly Club history from among its wondrous collection of miscellany, and ensure it has a home at the new venue.

The artist community including Tim Minchin, Eddie Perfect, Marieke Hardy, Dan Ilik, Tripod and many more have rallied behind the campaign, donating exclusive rewards and experiences. $130,000 is needed for the relocation, and it is hoped at least $20,000 of this can be raised via the crowd-funding campaign, which closes on 16 January.

The Butterfly Club is a Melbourne icon in the theatre, comedy and cabaret world and something we all need to band together over to ensure that it can continue to showcase our home-grown talent. To donate and get some seriously good rewards – not including the tingly feeling of doing something awesome – click http://pozible.com/thebutterflyclub for more information.

June News: GRADUATE GOSSIP

Cats, Canines and Cabaret: My Friend the Vet

A bassett-hound superstud, a poodle très chic, a stressed-out guinea pig, a psychopathic cat, and a menagerie of man’s best friends are lining up this month tell us what they’re really thinking – in song!   Performer, writer and renowned singing teacher Sally Collyer has been promising us this show ever since graduating from the very first Creating Solo Cabaret course in 2007, so forget talking to the animals: these puppies sing!

Set in a vet’s surgery (er, I mean “a house of well-being…), My Friend the Vet promises laughter, tears and perhaps just a touch of cold-blooded terror as our pets show us the world through their eyes.    

For everyone who loves animals – and who doesn’t?

Written and performed by Sally Collyer (The Price of Genius), and featuring Simon Bruckard on piano
Thursday-Saturday 10-12 June 2010, 7pm (running time 60 mins)
Sunday 13 June 2010, 6pm


The Butterfly Club
204 Bank Street, South Melbourne
(just near the South Melbourne Town Hall)

Tickets $22 full / $17 concession or groups of 8+
Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com    Enquiries: 0412 546 580

 

Melbourne Cabaret Festival Heats Up

Tickets are on sale for next month’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival, and the line-up is looking exciting.   No-one offends with the panache of The Beautiful Losers, while The Petticoat Soiree (written and directed by the stunning Alistair Smith) is bringing vaudeville back to town.   Then there’s the irreverent wit of Yana Alana, the ever delicious Sammy J, the unexpected Eddie Perfect, and the irrepressible Toni Lamond for starters…

With forty performances in four days, it’s going to be non-stop cabaret at Emerald Hill in South Melbourne in July.   Sell-out shows are guaranteed, so check out what’s on, and book quick!

Melbourne Cabaret Festival
July 22-25, 2010
www.melbournecabaret.com
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