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Showing posts from September, 2016

Melbourne Fringe: The Maze

I was following a woman. I had just seen Essential Theatre’s all-female production of Julius Caesar and I was walking along Queensberry Street, back towards Arts House and there was a woman up ahead of me. I wasn’t following her. We were just walking in the same direction, but she didn’t know that. Maybe I was following her?
I am always conscious of that. That someone might think I’m following them, especially after dark. Sometimes I fall back or if I’m already too close, I hurry past. This night, I crossed the road. That’s where I wanted to be, anyway. And we kept walking in the same general direction, but now it was clear I was no longer following her. If she even noticed at all.
Was she wearing headphones? I think she was wearing headphones. Headphones are a concern because they can get you killed or theycan get you harassed. No wait, that’s not that fault of the headphones. Or the woman.
I had time to drop into the Festival Club for a drink before I saw The Honeytrap’s The Maze. …

Melbourne Fringe: Deja Vu (And Other Forms of Knowing)

Last year, Andi Snelling had a bicycle accident; an hour before, she somehow sensed it was going to happen. Deja Vu (And Other Forms of Knowing) is a response to that moment and to all those moments in our lives where we only have intuition or gut-feeling to go on.
Andi’s sold-out show at last year’s Melbourne Fringe, #DearDiary, delved into her past – reading from diaries she has kept all her life. The show was text heavy, pulled directly from her observations of the world around her – at whatever age she was when she experienced them.
This new show is a much more difficult piece to pin down, but no less memorable. We may have laughed at her teenage angst last year, but this year we are grappling with present-day Andi and her attempts to understand the ways we know things without truly understanding them.
The key to this piece is movement; Andi has such an impressive control of her body. The opening scene has her writhing under a swathe of black material, and then emerging from that…

Melbourne Fringe: AussieTheatre reviews

Follow the links to Fringe Festival reviews of mine posted at AussieTheatre.com - I'll keep adding to the list as the festival continues...

Committee
The Awkward Years
Bye Melbourne, It's Been Fun!
Onstage Dating
Not Another Indie Cabaret
Shaken
The Maze
Julius Caesar
Menage
Black is the Colour

Melbourne Fringe: Andre Tonight!

Andre DiVenuto has a dream. A dream to host his own tonight show on Foxtel. He’s planning to record a pilot episode with his band, Bryan Jovi – they do Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi covers – but they have gone missing. And he’s waiting for his special guest Sam Neill to arrive from Tullamarine. Nothing is going to plan.
I was enticed to see Andre Tonight by the talent involved – writer and actor Chris Ryan and director Mark Leonard Winter. As the press release reminds us, they worked together on the brilliant Thyestes but I’m not sure that’s exactly how to pitch this show, a parody of tonight shows; Rove, as Andre explains, but darker.
The format of the night show is hackneyed. It’s barely changed in fifty years. There’s a band and there’s a special guest. And the “things go wrong behind-the-scenes” genre is one of my least favourite things. But Andre Tonight transcends this set-up because it’s not just a parody of tonight shows, it’s an insight into our obsession with fame and trying to …

Melbourne Fringe: Infinitum

The audience wait on the steps of Arts House; this is not unusual for the Fringe Festival. Nothing’s unusual for the Fringe Festival, really. But waiting on those steps to be taken somewhere has become a pretty regular occurence. When every room and venue and space in North Melbourne is full, sometimes the audience needs to be led first and be allowed to find the performance.
Infinitum, by award-winning choreographer Gareth Hart, plays out in the lanes and alleys and carparks hidden behind the North Melbourne Town Hall. We stand and watch a van reverse out of a driveway. Is this part of the performance? A Fringe Festival volunteer pokes her head around the corner and quickly steps away...
We’re a small crowd of a dozen, being led down these back streets, contemplating these spaces without any context. What will we find here? What will we see? And hear? Is walking down Errol St without knowing where we’ll end up a part of the performance? Yes. Absolutely yes.
A man in an laneway dances…

My History with and the Future of STAR TREK

I saw the premiere episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation live on a Saturday night in 1991 because I wasn’t invited to a high school party all the cool kids were going to. How much does that make me a cliche? The nerd at home watching Star Trek. Not that this is burned into my mind at all.
Honestly, though, I am what I am. Before that, I was a big Star Wars fan and never that interested in Trek. For some reason, I was more fascinated by the fact a TV show from the 1960s had come back from the dead as a series of movies and now a spin-off series than I was about actually watching that show which had Mr Spock in it.
Also, to be fair, how exactly was I supposed to watch Star Trek in the 1980s? Was it re-run on television? Did fans trade VHS tapes? How was I even supposed to find these fans without the internet?
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first episode of Star Trek, “The Man Trap”. I didn’t see any of the original series until the mid-90s, though I did catch up on the ori…