Thursday, 22 August 2019

Seduction - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

Get ready for a sweet sweet seduction 
with Gold Satino's new site-specific immersive show, aptly titled, Seduction. Presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, this critically acclaimed theatre collective returns with another intimate offering that allows audiences to unearth the secrets that are in our streets and observe life from the perspectives of people we've never met before, whose stories are as much a mystery to us as they are to themselves.

In Seduction, two women navigate the world, the violence of making performance and the seduction of art, friendship, and how their feminisms are different and yet the same. This show for nine audience members at a time is described as a 'drive-in/drive by performance of excruciating intimacy set in a landscape of bleak urban grandeur', and can easily be considered as a nightmarish dream of contradictions and confirmations. "You will be seduced. No, not really, well maybe," Gold Satino's creative director and Seduction co-writer and director Davina Wright tells me. "A lot of things happen. Most of it is in the back of a car. But there's no participation. The audience is safe to watch, see, experience and dream with us. God that got corny quickly."

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Batmania - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

It's the newest and most popular holiday destination that everyone is scrambling to get to and during the Melbourne Fringe Festival, tickets to Batmania are bound to be the equivalent of a golden ticket to visit a certain chocolate factory. Created by The Very Good Looking Initiative (Elliott Gee, Honor Wolff and Patrick Durnan Silva), visitors will discover just how lucky a country we are through the exploration of Batmania's history, culture and politics with two immersive shows, Batmania, The Bus Tour and Batmania, Expo '19.

"We've created two very exciting and unforgettable ways to experience Batmania. You can hop on board a fully guided bus tour and journey through the heat of Batmania or become a citizen at the extravagant Batmania Expo 19’ for a once in a life time celebration," Gee tells me. "Tourists visiting Batmania can expect a surreal, twisted, horror comedy where they’ll be confronted with all that this great, southern land has to offer. Boths shows are a direct response to this country’s current contemporary moment as we question our Australian identity. What is this so called “Australian way of life” we often cling to? Is this really the lucky country? And for who?” Batmania is as unstable and fictitious as Australian history itself."

Let Men Tremble review

Inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, experimental theatre company The Danger Ensemble's Let Men Tremble is a passionate exploration of just how much men have controlled, and continue to control, the minds, bodies and souls of women, and how women have had enough.

The cast of ten work extremely well together in keeping their energy up with some very difficult text and their impressive ability to slip in and out of characters. Alexandra Hines, Eidann Glover and Jane Cameron show masterful nuance in their roles, convincingly finding the comedy, the horror, and the something in between with the characters they portray. Danny Carroll and Leo Thompson display great physicality and expression with brilliant restraint throughout the production.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Creatures Lost - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

Winners of Best Cabaret at the 2018 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Picked Last For Sport are back with a brand new show on animals and the environment. Moving away from the ocean theme of their original show, Creatures of the Deep, Creatures Lost focuses on highlighting the impact that humans have had on extinct animals and the need to look after and respect them as much as we do each other. 

Founded by Ryan Smith and Sarah Wall, Picked Last For Sport's exploration of sustainability and environmental issues extends beyond their content. The company only sources their costumes and props from recyclables and up-cycled materials, which has given them more freedom and creativity with their productions. "We pride ourselves on producing sustainable theatre so all our props and costumes come from recyclables and upcycled materials. It can be challenging at times when it would be easier to head to Kmart, but problem solving and figuring out how to make something out of what you’ve got is half the fun," they tell me. "It forces us to think outside the box and be more inventive in the way we represent the animals. In a lot of ways the restrictions make the show so much better by forcing you to consider things you never would have thought of. A director once told me that if you could have everything you wanted for your show with no compromises it would probably not be very good, and there’s a lot of truth in that. Also, Savers is a life saver!"

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Gone Girls - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

In the three years that she was Prime Minister, Julia Gillard successfully passed 561 legislative bills, a ratio that is unmatched by any other Prime Minister. For 11 years, Julie Bishop served as the deputy leader of the Liberal Party. They are both smart, successful women that have since left politics but that doesn't mean they've gone away with the two joining forces for a special Melbourne Fringe Festival show where they take down the patriarchy and tell Australia what it's really like to be women in politics.

Created by Patrick Livesey and Esther Myles, Gone Girls is inspired by the relentless abuse and attacks endured by these two women from both political parties and the media. "Julia became Prime Minister right when I was deep into high school debating and totally obsessed with my social studies teacher and debating coach, Ms Guilfoyle. She had a deep love for Julia and we spoke about her often so I realised pretty quickly where I stood politically," Livesey tells me. "We spent many a lesson baffled at the treatment she received by our media and it was the first time I remember thinking that maybe there was an alternative agenda going on there. Julia was my political awakening in the same way the Rio undies man had me realise I was gay."

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Happy-Go-Wrong - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

It's true, life is what happens to your while you're busy making other plans. Melbourne performer, Andi Snelling, was living an active life with numerous acting projects constantly on the go. However, her life changed drastically in 2014 when she was bitten by a tick. Her return season of Happy-Go-Wrong for this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival is a comical yet candid look at her subsequent diagnosis of Lyme disease and what it's like to be battling with a chronic invisible illness.

Opening up about something as personal and contentious as Lyme disease has involved dealing with a number of obstacles along the way for Snelling. "The most difficult aspect of making Happy-Go-Wrong content-wise has been deciding how much of the specifics around my chronic illness to share. It’s an extremely controversial disease in Australia and I’m conscious of protecting both my own and my family’s safety and privacy around some of the more political elements," she says. "This is why the show only really references Lyme in abstract, indirect ways, which also means it becomes more about the human experience of fate and mortality."

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Cooking For - Melbourne Fringe Festival preview

Australia has always had a love for cooking shows including, Ready Steady Cook, The Great Australian Bake Off, Masterchef and Jamie's Kitchen. The latter, hosted by chef Jamie Oliver, eventually led to Oliver's 30 Minute Meals, where a healthy, instagram worthy meal could be prepared in 30 minutes. As part of the 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival, theatre company Stage Mom (Alberto Di Troia and Hannah Fallowfield) have taken this idea and brought it to the stage with their show, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Cooking For.

A live art culinary event held in an inner north Melbourne home, the evening consists of a Fringe Festival artist cooking one of Oliver's 30 Minute Meals live in front of an audience. "It's interesting how easily cooking translates into a performance setting. Cooking is already highly performative and we're simply pointing it out!" Di Troia and Fallowfield tell me. "The show is an intimate and site-specific experience for audiences, with some very tasty treats and surprising participatory elements that we promise aren't at all scary! We have a number of extraordinary Fringe Artists being taken out of their comfort zone and will hopefully have everyone seeing Jamie Oliver in a completely different light."