Tag: performance

Review: My Dearworthy Darling

An inspired and thought-provoking work

By Leeor Adar

Feminist collaborators and visual provocateurs, The Rabble (Emma Valente and Kate Davis), bring audiences, My Dearworthy Darling, a thought-provoking work that is both entrancing and utterly disconnected all at once. I was particularly titillated that I’d be critiquing the work of the widely respected writer, Alison Croggon, a former critic that I both admire and who’s theatrical opinion I’ve revered. It is surprising to me then to find that I have a love-hate relationship with this work, which sets my mind into motion and confounds it equally.

My understanding is thus: our leading woman (Jennifer Vuletic) is struggling with her mental health as she wrestles her own image of herself away from her worst emotional abusers, her partner (Ben Grant) and her sister (Natalie Gamsu), who are also gripped with the torments of their life and its mundanity. In breaking free, Vuletic’s character strikes a chasm to the past, unravelling her own mind and reflecting the collective woes of womankind to a time where voicelessness was enshrined.

The chorus of medieval voices is perhaps the most breathtaking part of this production. Croggon’s inspiration here was taken from her residency in France’s monastery and centre for theatre writing, La Chartreuse. Inspired by Margery Kempe, a 14th century English Christian mystic, who’s book was considered to be the first autobiographical work, the chorus speaks the text of this work as Vuletic’s modern woman is grappling with telling her own truth, rather than through the twisted reflection of others.

It’s brilliant to me that in Croggon’s own words, the “writing is not so much about conscious intention as it is about process and discovery”, and My Dearworthy Darling achieves exactly that. Like an unfurling scent, I am at first overwhelmed and unable to see the notes for what they are, but with time I see with clarity the complexity of its character. The work on first impression, is a high-brow ‘art for art’s sake’ snobbery into the woman’s mind, with particularly gifted composing (Valente), and set and costume design (Davis). But with deeper introspection, I see where the Croggon/Rabble collaboration was reaching for.

The play splits between often humorous and relatable daily modern drudgery, and the other realm of our lead’s enigmatic psyche. The work opens with Vuletic sprawled sensually upon a boulder, silk-satin, languid-limbs, describing in luscious detail how her body is exposed and caressed. This visual and erotic reverie is interrupted by her partner, accusing her of poor memory as he refuses to take responsibility, an assault upon the earlier voluptuousness. The woman here is servile, not in charge of her voice or body, but a vessel without steam. This emptiness continues to pierce her reality, and she is accused by her sister of being selfish and cruel, goading the partner’s disgust. Unsurprisingly, facing the internalised misogyny of the existing women of her life, Vuletic’s character retreats in her mind to a world where she is supported in body and mind by the hooded chorus. After a particularly brutal episode in her current reality, she is taken to a place without hard edges (a mental health care facility perhaps) and ascends to take a crowning place amongst the medieval chorus, eventually stripping herself bare of her life before.

My Dearworthy Darling will divide its audiences, and this is largely due to its disjointed and often confusing trajectory. What one can do is enjoy the lush language, stunning visuals and Old English choral pieces. It is an inspired and thought-provoking work, but I too left the theatre wanting to perch myself upon a rock, and contemplate what it is I’ve been exposed to, and if that’s all there really is.

My Dearworthy Darling will be performed at the Malthouse Theatre’s Beckett Theatre until 18 August 2019. https://malthousetheatre.com.au/whats-on/my-dearworthy-darling

Photography by Zan Wimberley

 

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New Stage Presents ISLAMOPHILIA

Intense and intriguing

By Narelle Wood

There is no denying that David George’s Islamophilia is a very topical concept for a play; it is also perhaps a very timely and important one as well.

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Set in Melbourne, and based on a true story, Islamophilia deals with many of the misconceived, troublesome and ambiguous interpretations of Islam and what it means in contemporary society. It does so by using the story of Shadahan’s (Laura Lattuada) family to explore the multiple perspectives of both devout believers and those struggling to believe and understand. Shadahan and Fariz (Chris Jackson) – a scholar and Shadahan’s love interest – are both devout believers, while Daanish (Gerard Lane), also a scholar and Shadahn’s husband, is a convert. Freddy (Adam Direen), Daanish’s brother, is a sceptic, although considering the idea of conversion. And Aisha (Indea Quinn) is Shadahan’s daughter and represents the eager voice of those seeking to understand. The family and Fariz are drawn together by a common purpose; the production of a new Islamic Journal that is seeking to find a future for Islam in a world that is not very accepting.

The play is dialogue and content-heavy, and weaves in a great deal detail about Islam, which is to be expected; but it doesn’t come up for breath. The ideas, questions and challenges were all really interesting but at times I struggled to keep up and digest everything that was artfully been tossed around the stage. There was a nice balance between assumed knowledge and new ideas, and the discussion often returned often to addressing concepts of extremism and the multi-understandings of the Quran. These discussions were often intertwined with references to art and beauty, but always lingering in the background is the threat of violence, intolerance and prejudice.

While the dialogue is fast-paced – the cast do an amazing job under director Helen Trenos to move seamlessly through it – the staging is very minimalist. There are a few lighting transitions used to denote the passing of time and allow for the elegant transitions between scenes. The limited use of music is effective punctuating the discussions of traditions and beauty. Everything, other than the characters’ interactions, is understated; there is nothing to compete with the key ideas.

Educational, thought-provoking and at times confronting, this is an important play that gives a strong voice to the intricacies, beauty and nuances of Islam. Intense and intriguing, Islamophilia is one of those plays that will still have you thinking well after it ends.

Website: www.islamophilia.info

A Remarkable True Story: THE PRICE OF GENIUS

A cabaret of Beethoven music?

You’re kidding, right?

The Price of Genius: A Daughter of the Revolution is the brainchild of Melbourne music academic Sally Collyer, and unites two of her passions: classical music, and an extraordinary untold story of a remarkable woman.

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In an era of Beethoven’s music and Shelley’s poetry, and a time of great upheaval and revolt, Mary Wollstonecraft changed the world forever when she wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women.  She married an anarchist, demanded sexual equality, and gave birth to both feminism and the famous Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein.

But …

Mary Wollstonecraft had another daughter.

This is her story.

 Price of Genius IC

The Price of Genius: A Daughter of the Revolution opens Thursday October 22 and runs until Sunday October 25 at The Butterfly Club in South Melbourne.   It stars the beautiful Ilsa Cook in the role written specifically for her, with renowned pianist Katherine Gillon at the piano, and is the most innovative and unusual cabaret you’re likely to see this year.

And the end of this story is guaranteed to stay with you long after the final chord has died away…

 

Ticket prices: $22 full / $17 concession or groups of 8 or more

Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Enquiries: 9690 2000

Performed by Ilsa Cook
Accompanied by Katherine Gillon
Directed by Kim Edwards

Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Book and lyrics by Sally Collyer

SHORT SWEET+CABARET: Submissions Close Soon

Only 10 minutes to perform a complete cabaret piece: are you up for the challenge?!

After its inaugural success last year, the Melbourne Short Sweet+Cabaret returns for November 2009, and submissions are closing soon for this cabaret version of the world’s most successful showcase event, Short And Sweet.

This is your last opportunity to participate in this ever-growing performance festival, and win exciting prizes, critical acclaim from an expert judging panel, and your audiences’ hearts!  

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*2008 winner Elenor Jane Adams, photo by Rory Fink

The deadline for entries is Monday September 7, and the event runs from Thursday-Sunday November 12-22 at Chapel Off Chapel in Prahan.

All forms of cabaret are welcome, but the genre itself emphasises innovation and imagination, so festival director David Read is particularly looking for “fresh but well thought-out ideas”.   He explains that, “aside from great prizes, Short Sweet+Cabaret provides performers with the opportunity to showcase their latest work, and acts as a launching pad to recognition and further opportunities.”

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Venue, technical requirements and piano accompaniment (if required) are provided, and individuals or groups can apply.

So what are you waiting for?   That fantastic idea you had for a cabaret show would be perfect for a ten-minute performance, and Melbourne’s Short Sweet+Cabaret festival is the ideal opportunity  for you to make it happen!

To enter a submission, simply email a 100 word or less description of your 10 minute cabaret concept to david@shortandsweet.org together with your name, telephone number and a list of any props, technical and musical accompaniment requirements.

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/shortsweetcab

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=13830328820

IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT: Knocking ‘Em Dead

The macabre late-night cult show In The Dead of Night opened to rave reviews last weekend

Read what the reviewers are saying…

Horror Scope: http://ozhorrorscope.blogspot.com:80/2009/08/in-dead-of-night-review.html

Theatre People: http://theatrepeople.com.au/review_articles/2009/august/review_playright_deadofnight.htm

Trespass Magazine: http://www.trespassmag.com/?p=5193

Three 

Hear for yourself what all the hype is about…

Zac Brown sings The Gentleman’s Ballad

Lizzie Matjacic and Trevor Jones sing Dangerous Game

The final trio in Past The Point of No Return

Lizzie

 

Explore some behind-the-scenes secrets…

An interview with the director on Theatre People:
http://theatrepeople.com.au/feature_articles/2009/july/20090728_playright_deadofnight.htm

On Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/kim.edwards#/event.php?eid=93442204686

 

Buy your tickets now…

Bookings:
www.thebutterflyclub.com

 

BE WARNED: The Final Grotesque Weekend Is Already Selling Out…

In The Dead of Night

A Special Announcement…

When Was The Last Time You Got Really Excited About A Night Out?…

Gun Point

How do you like your theatre, then?   Are you:
* always Glamorous?
* into the Gothic?
* or a little GROTESQUE?

ONE show,
TWO nights a week,
THREE themed weekends to choose from… and announcing our THREE special guest artists!

GLAMOROUS
Week One: Fri/Sat 10.30pm July 31 – Aug 1

Break out the tails, the gloves, the gowns and the jewels!   When did you last get to really glam up for a night out?   This weekend, the gorgeous Jonathon Guthrie-Jones will be crooning in our gala In The Dead Of Night guest spot, and that fabulous dress you thought you’d never get to wear again is going to go so well with cocktails and a cult show…

GOTHIC
Week Two: Fri/Sat 10.30pm Aug  7 – 8

Calling the Twilight and Tim Burton fans – come vamp it up!   This week’s In The Dead Of Night cult show is all about the gothic.   So if you’re suave, sophisticated and just a little dangerous like our stunning guest artist Kirsten McMillan, this is the show for you.   You never know – you might meet your very own Edward: Cullen OR Scissorhands…

GROTESQUE
Week Three: Fri/Sat 10.30pm Aug 14 – 15

Bring on the freak show!   Ghouls and ghosts, villains and vixens, killers and carnies are not only welcome, but on our wish list.   Our guest artist is burlesque babe Miss Natalie Ristovska who’ll be sizzling up the stage, and we only want the naughtiest and nastiest monsters to come out for the last carnivalesque performances In The Dead Of Night this weekend…

In The Dead of Night: A Cult Show

The Butterfly Club
204 Bank St, South Melbourne
Tickets $22/17
Enquiries: 03 9690 2000

Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Starring the Mysterious Zac Brown, the Dazzling Lizzie Matjacic and the Disturbing Trevor Jones…

See Them on MySpace
Join Them on Facebook
Book Now.

Lizzie

You Know You Want To…

Creating Solo Cabaret Course: Next Round Dates

Are you ready to take the next step in professional performing?

All the participants will come out of this intensive six-week course with a fundamental understanding of how to put together a solo cabaret, and the foundations of a working script, song list and unique show concept.   They will also have had the opportunity to produce, promote and perform some of their developing material in Australia’s premiere cabaret venue, and the chance to earn a professional fee for their ticket sales and receive constructive criticism from industry professionals.

Course Venue:

All sessions and the Performance Night will take place at:
The Butterfly Club
204 Bank Street
South Melbourne

Dates:

Workshops (Two hours)

Session One   7:30-9:30pm, Monday Aug 17
Session Two   7:30-9:30pm, Monday Aug 24
Session Three  7:30-9:30pm, Monday Aug 31

Master Class (Two hours)

Session Four   7:30-9:30pm, Monday Sept 7

Rehearsal (Three hours)

Session Five   7:30-10:30pm, Monday Sept 14
 
Performance Night (75-minute performance plus follow-up discussion)

Session Six   8.00-11:00pm, Tuesday/Wednesday Sept 22/23

Cost:

$480 inclusive

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From the 2007-2009 graduates…

“I’ve always wanted to do a course about putting on a cabaret show but I didn’t imagine that it would be so successful on a personal level.”

“Most courses don’t live up to expectations, but this one exceeded them.”

“I found the course to be very useful and user friendly.   I particularly enjoyed and appreciated working with Kim, drawing upon her vast skill and knowledge of the genre, and of the mechanics of writing, scripting, and executing a show.   Awesome.”

“A brilliant course for everyone who wants to do a cabaret show.”

For an application form and more information, contact:

(Dr) Kim Edwards (Course Co-ordinator)
playright@optusnet.com.au