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Showing posts from November, 2020

REVIEW: #txtshow (on the internet) - Melbourne Fringe

2020 is the year of Zoom, boxed people on your laptop screen, sometimes trying to talk all at once. Meetings and meet-ups. Lectures and lessons. And because Zoom has become so ubiquitous, it’s also being used more and more creatively. Riot Stage used it to chat to us and stream their short film. Brian Feldman is using it to create his show, day after day. Audience members are welcomed to Zoom and the show, and asked to keep their cameras and their microphones on but to change their onscreen name to “anonymous”. We are to wait until the character of “txt” appears and then we have to start typing. You see “txt” (performed by Brian Feldman) will perform whatever we type into the chat box. No one knows who is typing what and Brian doesn’t know what he’ll be saying until the text appears in the chat. It’s the quickest I’ve ever seen anything I’ve written be performed for an audience. Zoom has been used all year for work and for collaborations. #txtshow is an evolution of that – perhap

REVIEW: Riot Stage Gets Famous - Melbourne Fringe

Early in 2020, Riot Stage – the youth theatre company – was getting ready to launch their show Everyone is Famous at the Next Wave Festival in May. They had been working on it for two years. They even got as far as appearing at the launch for the Festival. Then COVID happened. The members of Riot Stage had to wrestle with what to do next, just like theatre companies all over the world. They wanted to keep making theatre but had to think outside the box. Instead of premiering a show about persona in the age of social media, they made a documentary about trying to get famous in three weeks. Social media connects us all and every platform has its own quirks and expectations. And they all need content. The Riot Stagers launch new accounts to post art, sexually-revealing photographs, thirsty pics of Harry Styles, bad makeup tips from a learner, and reviews of pickles. The goal, of course, is to get as many followers as they can in three weeks. One Riot Stager goes the old-fashioned

REVIEW: Stay at Home, Kasey Gambling – Melbourne Fringe

Have you ever felt trapped at home? I know, it’s 2020. If you can work from home, you must work from home. There are only four reasons to leave your house. You can only leave for one hour a day for exercise. No one can visit. But have you ever felt really trapped at home? And scared? Unable to leave. Four years ago, theatre-maker Kasey Gambling created an immersive audio experience for a single audience member on the streets of North Melbourne called The Maze . It’s still one of the most memorable pieces of art I have ever experienced, headphones in and following a woman on the street. Wearing headphones on the street can get you killed. At home, they should be a form of escape – listen to music, listen to podcasts, phone a friend. And yet, Kasey’s new show, Stay at Home , isn’t an escape. It’s another immersive audio experience, but this time you’re not following a woman, you’re in her shoes. But this is your house. How well do you know your own house? You’d think, after loc

REVIEW: Trash Talk – Tash York, Melbourne Fringe

  I’ve watched a lot of streamed theatre of various kinds during lockdown, as I wrote about here . And even as Melbourne slowly emerges from Lockdown 2: Electric Boogaloo, we’re still not quite ready for live theatre, so Melbourne Fringe is online for everyone’s enjoyment. I’ve seen many of Tash York’s shows in the past, including the one she did for VCR Fest back in… I dunno. I’ve lost all sense of time. That was a fun hour of cabaret, that was only slightly affected by technical difficulties. But we’re all in this together, learning new technology and how to enjoy a public thing privately. Tash’s brand has always been the heavy-drinking chanteuse, who parties too much and likes to eat late-night nuggets. There are always lyrical twists or complete re-writes to the songs she sings, though. “History Repeating” and “In the Mood” are reinterpreted for our times, 2020 the year from hell. One of the regular features of Tash’s shows is her taking prompts from the audience on a theme