Saturday, 25 September 2021

Dazza and Keif Reenact the Titanic Movie Playing All the Roles - Melbourne Fringe Festival interview

Dazza and Keif. What can one say about these two best mates from the suburbs? There's nothing they can't do, especially after traveling into space two years ago. How do you top that? Easy. You reenact James Cameron's 1997 Oscar winning film, Titanic, where you play all the roles, and so the not so subtly titled show Dazza and Keif Reenact the Titanic Movie Playing All the Roles is born.

With limited actual acting experience, I did have reservations about the quality of the show and asking people to pay for this "experience", but both Dazza and Keif assured me that they definitely have the mad skills and the fully sick talent to pull this off. "Mate, we can do anyfink. We can breakdance obviously, rap battle, cuntemporary dance, DJ, you name it. So we figured acting would be pretty easy. Like, chicks do it all the time so obviously we can do it," Dazza tells me.

"Yeah! And the Tittanic seemed like a pretty easy one to do," Keif chimes in. "Like we conquered all the chicks of the internet and then the galaxy... So going back in time onto a magical boat was pretty much the next logical step for us."

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Little Monster - Melbourne Fringe Festival interview

We all have voices in our heads. The voices that keep us up at night, the ones that make it hard to focus on that report that is due that week or the ones that make us doubt ourselves when we are actually amazing at what we do. Returning to the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Telia Nevile digs into her own voices with her new show, fittingly titled Little Monster.

In her previous shows, Nevile uses nostalgic pieces of media or childhood pop culture such as Disney or John Hughes movies, to create a darker tale around mental health or facing the often harsh realities of life, and this trend continues with Little Monster, where she performs in the rhyming style of Dr Seuss. "I've always loved how musical Dr Seuss' rhyming style is and how much momentum it has. It kind of runs down a path, tripping over its feet like a puppy," Nevile tells me. "After the last two years, I wanted to challenge (and reward) myself with something fun and free-wheeling, and the language that this style encourages is so playful and very open to the ridiculous."

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Dog Park - Melbourne Fringe Festival interview

It has been proven that dogs can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness and encourage exercise and playfulness. They truly are a human's best friend. Walk past a dog park and you're bound to see dogs sniffing each other, running for tennis balls and marking their territory while their owners gather around catching up on local news and talking about their fur-baby like parents waiting to pick up their children from school. But what happens when that pocket of sanctuary is threatened by an unspeakable act? Presented by Lab Kelpie, Dog Park is a satirical and biting look at how one dog park community is impacted when a private school boy on exchange from Sri Lanka, is found dead in the leafy suburbs of a Melbourne dog park covered in bites.

In some ways, Dog Park is a work almost 30 years in the making when director Lyall Brooks, who also serves as Artistic Director of the now regional-based not-for-profit theatre company, first met the show's playwright Sally Faraday. "Sally and I used to act in shows and musicals together back in the *cough* late 90s *cough* when she was studying at Monash University and I was basically just hanging around there pretending to be a student because they had an incredible Performing Arts program," he recalls.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Having a yarn with Welcome to Patchwork

Dion, Christian, special guest Sammy J, and Josh
Just over three years ago, three friends decided to get together and talk about finding the perfect hairdresser and the right level of chat that one should have during their haircut. Since then, Christian Pisasale, Dion Factor and Josh Porter have presented their fortnightly podcast Welcome to Patchwork where they discuss life's everyday issues and concerns, like can you refuse to catch up with a new friend, should you take the elevator to the first floor and how many biscuits should you eat in one sitting? Nominated for Best Comedy at the Australian Podcast Awards for the last two years, Welcome to Patchwork has come a long way since its humble beginnings.

"It's a strange thought to have expected people we didn't know to listen to something we produced," Pisasale tells me. "One thing we were (and are) conscious of is the optic of being three heterosexual white males from Melbourne doing a podcast. For us, creating this was an outlet. We marketed it to our friends who we knew would enjoy the show and had similar, hyper granular observations about their lives. We've been fortunate to have incredibly supportive people around us who encouraged us to produce more content and who distributed our content to their friends. From that point on, our growth has been pretty organic."

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Cooped-Up Cabaret

With performance venues in Melbourne currently closed, cabaret and burlesque artist/producer Sophie deLightful, has found a way of bringing the magic of live performance to the people while providing financial support to artists during this incredibly difficult period. Cooped-Up Cabaret: A Live Stream Variety Show is a fortnightly live-action event presented in a digital landscape. By purchasing a $15 registration, viewers gain access via Zoom and interact with each other and the performers through its chat function. As one registration link is valid for a household to watch, they are encouraged to use the money saved to tip performers via PayPal, if they are in a position to do so. 

With the sudden loss of employment for herself and fellow artists, deLightful had to get inventive with how she could earn an income. "The effect of COVID-19 on the arts sector was virtually immediate and I lost entire bookings which paired with the uncertainty of my foreseeable future. I started seeing performers offer their work online: bands playing a set, variety shows pieced together with pre-recorded acts and other more complex multi-location concerts and all of it was free," she tells me. "I became determined to create a concept that paid beyond sporadic donations, placing value on the arts and activating the community I knew was out there that's passionate about being part of a cabaret show."

Friday, 10 April 2020

Going Method with Elliot Roberts

Meet Simon Hammersmith. The University student theatre veteran is busily preparing for the lead role in an upcoming production of The Crucible. But Simon is not your typical university theatre performer. He is a committed actor who takes his role extremely serious, and in a new six-part series, Method Actor, we are drawn into Simon's world as he contends with fully inhabiting this complex and flawed characters. 

Of course, Method Actor is a fictional comedy series with its creator, Elliot Roberts stating that it were his experiences through studying theatre and performing that revealed a reoccurring theme coming from actors, including himself, that he wanted to explore. "I’ve noticed more and more that, particularly for male actors, the crazier you prepare for a role the more it’s accepted as serious art. There’s a lot of merit in using method acting but there aren’t any boundaries for it and because it’s male movie stars, they often get away with whatever they want. Not to mention it’s mostly used as a marketing tool to win awards. It’s kind of gross and bizarre," he says.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Gretchen - Melbourne International Comedy Festival preview

What are you supposed to do when your friends, family and the general population all seem to like your british shorthair cat more than you? Well if you're Clara Cupcakes, you make a show about it. The multi-disciplined, multi-award nominated comedian is taking audiences on an absurdly surreal trip with her new Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, Gretchen.

Considering how much of a fun loving bubble of energy and positivity Clara is, it's surprising to hear that her cat receives more attention than her. So, who exactly is Gretchen? "Gretchen is my horrible, no good, grumpy and adorable cat whom I adore despite her being utterly awful," she admits. "I’m making a show about her because she is infinitely more popular than I am so I’m giving the people what they want. It’s honestly ridiculous. Both my housemate and I get more engagement on photos and videos when we post content of Gretchen than any of our own work. I was in Perth recently and I had a drag queen that I don’t even know rush up to me and ask “WHO IS LOOKING AFTER GRETCHEN?!”."