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Showing posts from December, 2016

Carrie Fisher: No More Postcards

Did I ever tell you about the time Carrie Fisher kissed me on the cheek? Stick around, I’ll tell it again soon.
Carrie Fisher was Princess Leia; no getting past that. Except, of course, she did. And then she stepped right back into being her last year. She was the right person to play Leia because she was the right age at the time and she is part of Hollywood royalty.
She was also the right person to have been Leia in retrospect, too. Can you imagine anyone else describing Jabba the Hutt as a “giant saliva testicle”? Anyone else who would bring an audience member up on stage to mount a Leia “sex doll” and whip it away before they get close enough to fulfil their childhood fantasy?
Actors, even those of Star Wars­­­-level fame, go in and out of the spotlight. Oh, you could spot Fisher on screen in the 1980s and 90s, but much of her hard work went on behind the scenes, as a script writer and script doctor. Hook, Sister Act, The Last Action Hero, The Wedding Singer, Scream 3. She had a h…

My Favourite Theatre of 2016

I sat down to write this list with some trepidation. I thought perhaps Melbourne theatre had not quite lived up to expectation. I’d had a general sense of dissatisfaction, with a few memorable bright spots. 
But as I started to make my list of favourites, I noticed that our mainstages – Melbourne Theatre Company and the Malthouse – both had strong years. Their high points were among the best of all theatre I saw this year.
This is also the first time in a while I haven’t seen theatre outside of Melbourne. No trips to Adelaide or Sydney this year, though thankfully we got a couple of great Belvoir shows and a Sydney Theatre Company production to remind me to get up there again next year.
One particular highlight of my year was the National Play Festival, which I wrote about. I couldn’t quite figure out how to fit it into my list – with it mostly being play readings and discussion panels. But definitely a high point of looking at Australian theatre this year.
There’s also a bunch of cab…

Sonnigsburg, Episode 6 – One Last Look

It took three years to get everyone to Sonnigsburg and now we’re at the end. Episode six was directed by John Erasmus and written by Keith Gow.
These last five weeks have been an amazing time for cast and crew to finally be able to share our series with you all. Apart from our dedicated Melbourne audience, we have people across Australia watching the series. We’ve also got viewers in the UK, Italy, Germany and the US. (Let us know if you’re watching from elsewhere, too!) Also we have a couple of viewers in Samoa!
I know some people who are waiting to binge-watch the whole series, once it’s online late Monday night. We’d love to hear from people who are having Sonnigsburg days or afternoons. It’s the perfect show to catch up on over the Xmas/New Year break, if you’re lucky enough to have one.
Posts on Facebook. Tweets on Twitter. The #Sonnigsburg and #ComeFindMe hashtags have been getting a workout. It helps us find you. It helps you find us. Make sure you tag your thoughts and feelin…

Sonnigsburg: Episode 5 – Executive Producer, Fiona Eloise Bulle

Episode five airs on Monday night. It was directed by John Erasmus and written by Fiona Eloise Bulle.
I’ve known Fiona for about eight years; we met online and through mutual friends who obsessed about musical theatre and, in particular, Wicked. We didn’t really get to know each other until a couple of years later, when she founded Cold Reading Series (CRS) in Melbourne and she invited me along to have a short script of mine read.
We were both writers, but we had different goals: I was starting to get stuff on stage and Fiona wanted to make television. But Cold Readings was a great monthly get-together, one of those nights that promises to be a good networking event – and actually was. We both met Glenn Triggs through CRS; Fiona went on to produce his feature film 41 and he’d later co-direct the pilot of Sonnigsburg.
I have met several other collaborators through CRS, most notably after the first public reading of a short play of mine, Like A House on Fire – which you can download fr…

Sonnigsburg: Episode 4 – A revelation or two

Episode four of Sonnigsburg was written by Alex Scott and directed by John Erasmus.
Just after the halfway point, things are starting to fall into place, not just in the story, but in the middle of production. As shooting continued, we all started to feel more comfortable in our roles both on screen and behind the camera.
I wrote a first draft of Episode 6 in June of 2014 (before filming began), but as I spent more and more time on set watching the actors work, I could see what the characters were really like. As a writer, and co-creator, you never quite know how your characters will feel until the actors inhabit them.
Over the course of the first three episodes, we set up a lot of story and introduced you to our most important characters. There are a couple of great guest stars in episode four, though; characters you’ve only previously heard about make their first appearances. But I leave you to discover that when you watch.
The last major piece to fall into place production-wise wa…