Tag: Michelle Brasier

REVIEW: KIN Collaborative Inc. Presents POP|PRESS

Cult classic in the making

By Bradley Storer

Like murder? Mystery? One Direction? If you said yes to any/all of these, then Pop|Press at Melbourne Fringe 2015 is definitely the show for you!


Filled to the brim with pop-culture allusions, the comically convoluted story mashes together a charismatic boy band member leaving to go solo, the disappearance and possible murder of an Australian female rapper and the machinations of a morally ambiguous corporation into a mysterious Illuminati-like conspiracy, tied together by the narration of an investigative journalist’s podcast.

William Hannigan brings a low-key, smouldering magnetism to the role of Heath Row, the defector from major boy band Se7en Moments of Malibu, aided by a wondrous pop voice that channels the aching emotionalism and twangy falsetto of every modern tween male pop idol. His compositions for the show truly do hit the ear as modern pop hits, with melodies that make you bop in your seat but with lyrics that niggle at the brain.

Another highlight is Michelle Brasier as rapper Igloo Fantasia, an Iggy Azalea rip-off combined with a gutsy Gaga-esque belt. Her rendition of feminist revenge anthem ‘Manspread’ is still caught in my head! Behind both these leads is an incredibly versatile ensemble, who skilfully double as the various other characters as well as back-up dancers and singers.

When the scene changes aren’t accompanied by the serial-spoofing narration, transitions can be a little clumsy, and as the story picks up pace and tensions mount the songs can start to feel a little superfluous. One particular number, a ballad mourning the death of a goldfish – although hilariously and thrillingly belted out by Brasier – seems to come out of nowhere and doesn’t seem to contribute significantly to the story.

These small quibbles aside, Pop|Press is a delight for lovers of pop (both musical and mainstream) culture, with a score that will leave you humming the tunes long after you’ve left the venue.

Dates: Friday 18th September – Friday 25th September
Venue: The Ballroom, Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne.
Time: 10:30pm (9:30 Sundays)
Price: Full $22.50, Conc. $18, Group (6+) $20, Cheap Tuesday $18
Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au, 03 9660 9666, at the door.


REVIEW: Hedger and Nicholson’s HOOK UP

Utter delight

By Myron My

15% were single, 15% were seeing someone and 70% were in a relationship – these were the audience statistics taken by Nick Hedger on the evening I attended his 2014 Fringe Festival show, Hook Up. It seemed fitting seeing as the show is a cabaret about relationships and what makes them work (or not work).

Hook Up

Written by Hedger and Ben Nicholson and performed on the piano by the talented Hedger, the diverse range of songs throughout Hook Up showcase the talent of these two men and it’s no surprise they won the Short + Sweet Fringe Development Award last year for this show. With the use of his magic piano and inspired by some real-life stories by friends, Hedger places four people in various relationship scenarios to see how they respond to their circumstances.

The four actors/singers, Michelle Brasier, Josh Ellwood, Vincent Milesi and Laura Johnston each have a brilliant stage presence. Every relationship they portray seems genuine and memorable, and considering they only have a few minutes within each scenario, this is no easy feat. They are able to display the humour and emotion that plays in every real relationship and the connection they have with each other when they’re singing is beautiful both to watch and to listen to as they blend together harmoniously (literally and figuratively).

Josh Ellwood’s fantastic song as a lonely nerd searching for his Pikachu is stuck firmly in my mind, and the homage to 90s video games was a great touch. Similarly, Milesi’s opening number had me in stitches and the duet between Brasier and Johnston and their word games therapy was great to watch.

I walked out of Hook Up grinning from ear to ear and it’s hard to believe this is the Hedger and Nicholson’s first show as a writing team. With its skillful lyrics, amazing voices and a script full of laughs, there is nothing to not like about this show.

Venue: Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne

Season: Until 26 September | 10:15pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc

Bookings: http://www.melbournefringe.com.au

REVIEW: Backwards Anorak Presents WINTER IS COMING

When you play a game of thrones, you sing or you lose…

By Margaret Wieringa

In hopes of getting work on the popular HBO series, a group of musical theatre graduates stage a musical interpretation of the television series Game of Thrones. Is that the plot or is that what is actually happening? Both, perhaps?

Crated and performed by Michelle Brasier, Vince Milesi, James Baker, Laura Frew and Leo Miles, Winter is Coming for this year’s MICF opens, appropriately, with the television theme played and sung with intense and hilarious gusto. We the audience are included as ensemble, though the real casting battle is between the five on stage. Who will be Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Hodor, though most importantly: who will be Khaleesi?

Winter is Coming

The war is being waged between the performers: the quietly spoken musician, James, (spending his off-time in the performance catching up on his Game of Thrones reading) and the understudies, Laura and Leo, but ultimately it is the two leads who must contest the final battle; Vince vs Michelle, and the winner will be the mother of dragons.

The show seems to break so many rules; but in breaking them, the humour flows. Often, the five actors talk over each other, and the hilarity comes in when a single line or even a single word is distinguished. There are “in” jokes galore, yet as someone not in the know, I felt included. I found myself laughing at comments without really knowing what was funny. Throughout the show the focus was split, sometimes up to five different ways. That shouldn’t work; but here it does.

And, don’t forget, it is a musical. The Music Room at Trades Hall is small, but these adorable performers fill up every space with their ridiculous antics, including some pretty impressive dance routines. The choices for the songs were at times unpredictable, including the duet of Khaleesi and Samwell.

Highlights? So many. The baby in the blanket, the dragons, the totally cringe-worthy yet magnificent representation of Tyrion, the foray into Narnia, the swordfight… If you have seen Game of Thrones, and especially if you love it, then you must get yourself to this show.

Venue: Trades Hall (The Music Room)
Season: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from March 27-April 19 at 10:45pm
Tickets: $22/$17

Bookings: http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/ or call 1300 660 0131300 660 013