Thursday 14 September 2023

Stickybeak Patrick Dwyer is getting nosey with the neighbours (Melbourne Fringe Festival)

Neighbours. Everybody needs good neighbours. But they're not the neighbours we often get. No. Sometimes it's the noisy ones, having shouting matches throughout the day, playing their loud music or even worse, having band rehearsals in their garage. And then there's the good old fashioned nosey parker, the one always inserting themselves into your life ... the stickybeak. Presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Stickybeak is a physical comedy that brings the fence down around our neighbour and exposes them for a change.

The show is devised and performed by the exceptional talents of Kimberley Twiner, Jessie Ngaio, Laura Trenerry and Patrick Dwyer, and while the four have individually known each other and worked with each other in various shows, this is the first time they have come together for one show. "Laura and myself have been working together as The Beryls in the character comedy world for a number of years now and have worked with Kimberly Twiner several times in different capacities," Dwyer explains. "We decided we all wanted to make a show together where we played multiple characters in a highly physical and dynamic way. The brilliant visual and performance artist Jessie Ngaio joined shortly after and it was a magical addition."

"The process has been a new collaboration for the four of us. Rehearsals have been just the best time, I think all of us are very process driven artists so it's been amazing to dig into that and really just play around and see what we are able to cook up, its been very satisfying and we are all very excited.

The mind may boggle over what these four will cook up with Stickybeak, but it's something that Dwyer is a bit coy to divulge. "This will be more like a series of vignettes or moments that all take place around three different front fences. All the characters you see in the show are in some way related to one or more of these three fences," he tells me. "People can expect to see characters  they might recognise from their domestic lives or they might see someone or something they have never met, either way I think they will resonate with what strange absurdities can arise from the mundane. There is a certain scene with a characters dog which is also being played by one of us that I think will stand out to audience members, I know we have had a lot of fun playing that moment."

The characters we meet in Stickybeak are based on the cast's own experiences, both as the target and culprit of stickybeaking. "There are definitely a lot of influences from people in our lives that have inspired some characters. I think someone would be lying if they said they had never had a little stickybeak on a neighbor or a stranger. I know I definitely have. I can’t stop my curiosity sometimes and I’ve absolutely caught people stickybeaking on me but I was probably doing something quite eye catching like having a dance by myself in my lounge room to Cher or Kylie," Dwyer says. "I think it's just plain curiosity mostly. We want to know how other people do things. I think it's also a comparison thing, we want to be reassured that we aren't doing something weird or wrong. “Am I weird? Or are they?”  

While the cast are known for physical theatre, clowning and taking on some very boisterous characters, Dwyer explains that in this instance, they wanted to surprise audiences by going to places they haven't gone to previously.
 "A consensus from all of us going into this was that we wanted to challenge ourselves and try and play against our type so we are all playing a lot of characters very different from ourselves. There is something very satisfying about catching people off guard and making them laugh. Laughter is such an important thing in life and I think we’ve all felt that little spark of joy when you manage to make someone laugh."


1) My favourite meal is … a bacon sandwich.
2) A TV show I would like to be cast in is … something Star Wars - i just want to play with a lightsaber cause i have never grown up.
3) A little known skill I have is … I’m a very good cook.
4) My proudest professional moment is … getting to tour The Beryls show The Pageant to Queensland and perform it in my hometown.
5) Happiness is… laughter with friends.

Show Details

Venue: Trades Hall, Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton
Season: 4 - 15 October | Wed - Sat 8:00pm, Sun 7:00pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $30 Full | $20 Concession
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

Image credit: NickMickPics

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