Tag: Will Hannagan

Vic Theatre Company Presents THE GATHERING

Plenty of charm and intrigue in new Australian musical

By Rebecca Waese

Vic Theatre Company’s The Gathering, directed by Chris Parker, is an original Australian musical about friendship, love and loss inspired by the spirit of the Millennial generation. A group of twenty-somethings reunite in a haunted house to see their friend Tom (Joel Granger) who has surfaced after five years. When Tom runs away again, the friends stand by one another, (think of an Australian Rent meets Scooby-doo and the gang), and Tom begins to emerge from the shadows of his mysterious past.

The Gathering (James Terry Photography).jpg

There is plenty to applaud in this production (with book, music and lyrics by Will Hannagan and Belinda Jenkin) and in this company of young performers who are promising, self-possessed and leave their hearts on the stage. Outstanding vocals are delivered by Luke (Daniel Assetta), playing the camp best friend of Tom’s foster sister Kelly, (Shannen Alyce Quan), who is another strong talent to watch. Quan shows power and vulnerability in “Sweet December Feelings” with subtle and nostalgic references to the particular qualities of an Australian summer. Daisy, (Hannah Sullivan McInervey), shines in her solo, “Hair So Long” and Sullivan McInvervy’s voice brings a refreshing and unexpected Missy Higgins-type quality to the ensemble.

The vocals, however, under the musical direction of Daniel Puckey, are far superior to some of the lyrics, and there are a few weak plot points in the show. A handful of too-obvious rhymes calls out for the guiding hand of an experienced dramaturg. Yet, the open spirit of the young company made me forgive some of the clangers and the performers did well to shroud them with humour and ironic deliveries. Luke’s memorable line to Kelly, “I apologize profusely/ by making you muesli,” struck a playful note as the friends negotiated their path to adulthood amidst the chaos that growing up and apart brings.

There is some enjoyable comic work by Mia (Olivia Charalambous), and a compelling dramatic moment when Tom asks why Luke didn’t help him when he needed it most. Heartbroken Joe (Daniel Cosgrove) was delightful when Daisy’s line, “we’re on a break”, lead to a sudden realisation.

The Gathering captures a sense of the moment today for young Australians out in the world, released from share-houses and uni and beginning to make their way as adults. The big company numbers are exuberant with “Never Ever” re-living the classic drinking game, “Haunted” lit by Iphone-wielding ghost-busters, and “A Different Kind of Love” bringing resolution to Tom and his friends as harmonies fill the space. There is a distinct sense of Australian place in this musical, which, despite some awkward lyrics and plot holes, speaks openheartedly and with comic self-awareness of this moment in time for the Millennial generation. Whether this is your tribe or you want to eavesdrop on their moment, The Gathering is uplifting and has much to offer.

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Season:
Nov 30 Dec, 2, 6, 8, 11, 7.30pm
Nov 26, 4pm, Dec 3,10, 8.30pm
Nov 27, Dec 4, 3pm

Tickets: $38 – $42

Bookings: 03 9662 9966 or online

Image by James Terry Photography

Rebecca Waese is a Lecturer in Creative Arts and English at La Trobe University.

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REVIEW: Homos in Kimonos for MICF

Double bill of cabaret boys for this year’s festival

By Jessica Cornish

Among the many shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, having a catchy title and a great gimmick are essential, and this comic double act featured two solo cabaret performances, linked by the fact that both men were dressed in kimonos and suffered from alter-egos taking over their shows every now and then.

The night was launched by Will Hannagan, whose hour-and-a-bit of shenanigans was a little hard to follow at times, but was highly entertaining none the less. He had a stunning voice that had a lot of depth to it, good articulation, and indulged in quirky physical snippets throughout the performance.

Homos in Kimonos

Some of the evening’s funniest moments were when Will slipped into tales of real-world experiences from his time spent in Paris, to a few truths about his life with his boyfriend. His show jumped between personas: he has a deep obsession with and love for his drag-alter ego, Mother Marxist, which must ultimately be destroyed in an unexpected twist of crowd participation.

The performance was accompanied by three-piece band, Scrimshaw Four. Not only did Scrimshaw Four provide musical backing for the evening, they also interacted with Will which added a new level to the performance. The idea worked very well, and the musicians worked hard, and no doubt as the season continues the music will continue to tighten up.

Unfortunately Will was in shadow for much of his performance as he was too far down stage , so while his band were permanently illuminated, he was not. This is easily fixed, and Will definitely deserves to be in the limelight throughout.

James Halloran was the second featured artist of the night, and is making his Melbourne debut performance. His show also involved alter-egos, as James faced the battle of ‘the Halloran’ taking over. However, I can’t really tell you much more, as I confess I didn’t really understand his performance.Unfortunately with the acoustics of the room, it was quite difficult to understand what he was singing about due to a loud keyboard and projection issues. Also at this stage, the stories linking the songs are not very clear. As the season progresses I hope James builds up more confidence in his obvious abilities and is able to showcase them more successfully, as I distinctly feel that he is capable of delivering a much stronger performance both vocally and dramatically.

Homos in Kimonos will be playing at the quirky venue The Baron Said, hidden off Kerr St in Fitzroy. This beautiful space reminded me of a mini art-deco warehouse. It’s slightly tricky to find, and parking was a little challenging- so make sure you give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find a park and the venue, or better still, catch public transport!

12 Shows 01 Apr – 13 Apr
Tue-Sun 8pm

Full $25
Concession $20
Tightarse Tuesday $18

Bookings and information: http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2014/season/shows/homos-in-kimonos-will-hannagan-james-halloran-in

REVIEW: A VERY GAGA VARIETY FUNDRAISING NIGHT

Variety night an exciting preview for new musical

By Scarlett Harris

Last night at their new location on Carson Place in the city, The Butterfly Club hosted a Lady Gaga variety show in an effort to raise funds for the latest creative endeavour of Kin Collaborative’s Melbourne Uni student arm. Kin CoLaboratory’s MUD Festival entry, Gaga & Assange, promises to be a romp of epic pure-pop proportions.

Gaga and Julian Assange both rose to dizzying heights of infamy around the same time: she with her anthem of tolerance, “Born This Way”, and he with the release of U.S. diplomatic cables and apparent “honey-trapping” rape charges.

Gaga & Assange

Gaga & Assange plays on this theme of sex, introducing the two via a sex-tape- and STD-fuelled romp—a “Bad Romance”, if you will—and going on to dissect the egos and dogmas of two of pop culture’s most recognisable names and faces.

But as for last night, it was a riotous tribute to all things Mother Monster, with renditions of “Paparazzi” by Gaga & Assange creator, Will Hannagan; Gaga’s Tony Bennett effort, “The Lady is a Tramp”, with G&A director and MC for the night, Jeremy Russo; and “Bad Romance”, “Alejandro” and “Americano” by Melbourne bluegrass band The Scrimshaw Four.

Alex Frank and Alexia Brinseley had the audience in stitches for “Edge of Glory”, “Hair” and “You & I” (arguably the performances of the night), while Belinda Jenkin remixed “Dance in the Dark” and “Just Dance” into ballads, and James Worsnop and Nicola Guzzardi parodied “Telephone”. The Collaborative topped off the night with a mashup of two original songs from Gaga & Assange, staged by their very own Gaga, Laura Raiti.

After the success of this fundraising event, I’m looking forward to seeing whether the musical deals with our readiness to let certain things about its titular “characters” (because isn’t that what they are—especially Gaga—to an extent?) fly, like Gaga’s alleged cosmetic surgery and Assange’s abovementioned sexual assault, in order to embrace their wider messages of acceptance and freedom of information, respectively. All with a side of Europop club anthems to boot.

A Very Gaga Variety Fundraising Night was performed at The Butterfly Club on Wednesday July 17, 2013