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Showing posts from September, 2011

On Time: three more shows, then Adelaide 2012

"[Richard's] storytelling style and dramatisation allowed the show to be  meaningful and somewhat philosophical amongst the jokes."  - Chris Dewberry, Comedy Beast Magazine
If there's one thing that all my previous shows have had in common - productions have happened long after I've written the scripts and turnaround has been really quick. Six week rehearsals or two week rehearsals - or that one time I wrote a play in a weekend for a Sunday night performance. Good times.

On Time has been with me since December, through first draft, rewrites, short film shooting and rehearsals, it's the most time I've spent on a project before its production. And there's only three shows left? Really?

The other big difference is that Richard, Chris, Ephiny and I are already looking at a future for the show - having almost decided on a venue for the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2012. It's always been at the back of my mind that the show would and could tour. And it'…

DON’T MISS THE MOMENT: MTC’s 2012 Season

The first thing that struck me about this new Melbourne Theatre Company season – designed by Robyn Nevin, Pamela Rabe and Aidan Fennessy – was how it has veered away from showcasing emerging local writers (Robert Reid, Lally Katz) but has been thoroughly generous with debuting exciting independent directors (Matt Scholten, Anne-Louise Sarks, Alkinos Tsilimidos) on Melbourne’s main stages.
Not so many World Premieres then (Australia Day, Music) but a rash of exciting productions from beginning to end – with two venerable Melbourne writers bookending the season with Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (a Neil Armfield transfer from Belvoir) and Ray Oakley’s brand new Music.
Though Australian classics don’t always fill me with confidence, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, always feels like an important Australian work to me – an important Melbourne work, in particular. Ironic then that this production with birthed in Sydney, but exciting to have a Belvoir show transfer to MTC rather …

The December Photo: from inspiration to a Melbourne Fringe show

Look at us. Look how young we look. Look how full of hope and creativity and smiles we are.
We’re in Richard’s office, sitting in front of his Mac, generating ideas for the one man show that would eventually become RICHARD DI GREGORIO: ON TIME – which premiered at the Melbourne Fringe Festival last night.
(And check out the online story which got published in the hours before opening night.)
Richard and I met when Richard was cast in my play, “The Fidelity Act” – part of last year’s Short & Sweet Melbourne. (Thanks to Ephiny Gale for picking my script and to Yvonne Virsik for suggesting Richard, when Ephiny was having trouble casting the part of Charlie. This year would have been entirely different for us without those two people.)
During rehearsals, which began in October, Richard asked me what else I’d written. He asked if I had ever written a one-man show. It’s a great feeling as a writer to have an actor ask for more of your work – whether to find a part already written that they …

Reflections on when life changes: MTC's Circle Mirror Transformation

Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation is a gentle play which slowly excavates the characters' lives from beneath the most deliberately false of facades - acting. In fact, it pokes gentle fun at the art of becoming someone else by setting the story in a community college in Vermont - far away from the bright lights of the New York stage and far away from what the young character of Lauren (Brigid Gallacher) thinks acting is about.

The danger in play that uses acting as a metaphor - and acting classes and exercises to lend weight to the material - is that it might feel a bit too "inside" for most audiences. Even theatre audiences, who are used to live theatre, might not be aware of these tricks of the trade - how actors learn to be present, learn to trust themselves and each other, how they learn to open up without exposing themselves.

And yet, this show sidesteps that problem quite effectively. Yes, there were definitely some knowing laughs in the audience (pick …

You Can Take A Picture: Meeting Alan Ball and TV as (bad) influence

It used to be cringe-worthy to say I was inspired to become a writer by the television I watched. I was a voracious reader as a child and I was exposed to theatre and was a film buff as a teenager, but the lasting narratives in my life were television serials. Often soap operas. But TV was a constant with me as a child. It's where my lasting love of continuing stories comes from.

It's no coincidence then that one TV show I could point to as a great influence on me - when I was studying writing and had to articulate what made me love long-form television narratives - was Twin Peaks. It was soap opera and detective series and Gothic melodrama of the highest order. And it was one of the very early examples of feature film auteurs putting their stamp on the small screen.

I used to say Twin Peaks was my favourite television series. And certainly in the context of TV shows that changed the face of TV - and my opinion of the medium, David Lynch and Mark Frost's cult television se…

News from the world of Keith

It's been an amazing - and ridiculously busy - week. I won't ever talk much about my day job here, but it's also gotten insanely busy just as one of my shows opens and the other opens in less than two weeks.

THE WOODEN LEG season of short plays at The Owl and the Pussycat in Richmond had an amazing opening night - full house and some great feedback from the audience after. I've been to all three performances so far and I think the show is getting stronger and stronger every night. I particularly love the intimacy of the three spaces and how that is helping tell all three stories. The audiences are quite confronted by "You Will Be Kissed By Princess Leia" - especially as they circle the actors, like people surrounding a schoolyard fight. And of particular interest is the moment when Paul throws Tom against one wall - forcing the audience to move or get crushed in this great moment of physical theatre. (I was on that wall opening night, so it seemed staged. Last…

The Wooden Leg: Dress Rehearsal Day!

I took some photos during the rehearsals/run-throughs before the dress rehearsal today because at dress we ran the shows one after the other to see how the night flows and I didn't want to distract actors with a camera. Flows really well. Here's one shot from each play. Opens Wednesday at Owl and Pussycat in Richmond.

Book now!




Shooting Everyone! Making the intro for "Richard Di Gregorio: On Time"

Look at that pained expression in my eyes. That's the writer in me wanting to run away from the greasepaint make-up and the indignity of standing out in public - having people stare, even as I hid behind this mask of character. Or, you know, I hate having my photo taken even when I'm unrecognisable!

There's definitely a frustrated actor in me wanting to get out, but usually I leave it up to the trained and the professional. Today, I shot a cameo for the introductory sequence for Richard Di Gregorio: On Time - on sale now! End plug.

(If anyone out there knows about the character I am playing, can you keep that to yourselves, thanks :-)

In fact, most of the people already involved in the production are taking part in front of the camera for this introduction to the show. Producer Ephiny Gale, Director Chris Broadstock will be front a centre for a line or two - as well as Richard's partner, Niniane LePage, and Chris Broadstock's mother, Joan. Nick Brien (who starred a…