Monthly Archives: July 2012

Review: Celebrity Theatresports

by Erica J Brennan

Celebrity Theatre Sports – ImproAustralia

Theatresports can be as unnerving for the audience as it is for the performers. When the actors are inspired and working together as a team it has the potential to be exhilaratingly brilliant and funny. However, if the creative juices aren’t flowing and performers start grabbing for easy laughs it can make for some very painful and egotistical comedy. The Celebrity Theatresports competition, held on July 21 at the Enmore Theatre, was produced by ImproAustralia, a non-for profit NSW organisation dedicated to improvisational performance that are capable of drawing on high calibre Theatresports players, and I immediately knew we were in safe hands. The competition was staged as a charity event with money raising going towards CanTeen, which supports young Australians living with cancer and their families, and so received top marks for both its social and entertainment value. Each team contained a mix of celebrities and experienced players, all of whom were enthusiastic and skilled. The celebrities, including Scott Major, Andrew O’Keefe, Adam Spencer, Claire Hooper and Dan Ilic, seemed eager to play and the energy of all on stage carried the audience along for a fun and exciting night. Despite occasionally patchy sound from the players that weren’t mic’ed, the production flowed beautifully and made for a very slick event.

Each game flowed joyously on to the next, gathering momentum and laughs along the way. Some teams were particularly dynamic and in tune with each other, and it was no surprise that these ones made it to the end of the competition. There were many fabulous moments, particularly a jungle safari delivered in another language, an attack of buffalos and sunflowers and a Stone Age love story. The crowning moment of the evening was a Belvoir-styled Shakespearean performance that prompted all the men to appear in their underwear, with one fabulous celebrity upping them by going topless, her hands crossed cheekily over her torso.

Overall, it was a charming and effortless evening of live performance. I know I would willingly come back every week to watch these talented individuals, as there is nothing more wonderful than feeling you are included in a group of adults who are willing to be silly and play.

More information on Impro Australia and Theatresports competitions can be found at www.improaustralia.com.au

Audition Notice – Dog Sees God

Mon Sans Productions is casting for 3 roles.

1 female and 2 males aged between 17-20 years. Everyone is encouraged to apply. Different backgrounds, looks and sizes.

Auditions are on the 6th and 13th of August at the Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Fairfield.

Performance dates: 10th-15th of December at the Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre.

http://www.starnow.com.au/Casting-Calls/Actors-wanted/Theatre/dog_sees_god_confessions_of_a_teenage_blockhead.htm

You can apply directly on StarNow or send your headshot/C.V to monsans@pyt.com.au

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead – NSW

Searching for 3 dedicated and daring actors between 17 and 20 years

Special offer Double Bill and Impro Festival at New Theatre

Impro Australia and Marko Mustac have a limited number of free double passes for Shownews subscribers and Friends of Watchdog to… Quiet Companions/The Bryce is Right at the New Theatre in Newtown all this week; AND
The Sydney Impro Festival all next week at the same venue.

Quiet Companions – starring Lyn Pierse and Marko Mustac – is an engrossing mix of drama and improvisation that eavesdrops on the game-playing of a decadent Victorian couple.
The Bryce is Right features award-winning cabaret artist Bryce Halliday telling – in song and sketch – the stories of history’s most obsessed and wrong individuals!

They play as a double bill from 8pm nightly 25th-28th of July at the New Theatre – 542 King Street, Newtown.
Tickets are $28 (conc $25) More info and bookings online at www.newtheatre.org.au or 1300 131 188

The Sydney Impro Festival is a week of comic capers in Newtown!
The best and funniest comic improvisers present a week of their greatest hits from Tuesday 31 Julyat Newtown’s New Theatre!
Featuring seven different shows – some of them two per night – the legends of Theatresports™ and its hilarious spin-off shows come together for a week of made-up mayhem!

From The Whole Story ‘long-form’ impro to the wacky WW2 ‘epic’ comedy of Churchill’s Unmentionables; Shakespearean-styled comedy in Bard to the Bone to the creative chaos of The Director’s Mind, Puppets versus People and the bizarre Lab-rinth which improvises the classic David Bowie movie. Plus the ultimate competitive challenge: the Theatresports Cup-Winners’ Cup– a playoff between the current holders of the Cranston Cup, The Scared Scriptless Cup, the Sydney University Theatresports Cup and the recent NSW High Schools’ Theatresports Championships.IMPRO THEATRE FESTIVAL – produced by Impro Australia plays at The New Theatre, 542 King Street Newtown
Tuesday to Saturday July 31August 4 at 8.00PM Tickets Adult $28 Concession $22 Bookings1300 131 188 (+ booking fee) or online
More info and bookings at www.newtheatre.org.au or 1300 131 188
To win a double pass to either show (and your choice of performance), emailwin stating your choice of performance. Winners will be notified by return email.

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FRAMED De Quincey Co at Riverside, Parramatta

FORM is very excited to be presenting the premiere season of De Quincey Co’s FRAMED featuring Tess de Quincey and Victoria Hunt in this new instalment in the acclaimed “Embrace” series. This is the performers first duet drawing on a 13 year history of working together which included an original 3 month residency inKolkata, India. Tess de Quncey says” “Victoria brings potent discoveries from her Maori cultural identity. It’s an opportunity to dive into the world of emotion and negotiate each moment, uncovering the micro-signals that erupt from the depths of our being. It seems to me that it is these micro-signals that make up the fabric of our lives.”
8-11 August
Lennox Theatre, Riverside, Parramatta
BOOKINGS: 8839 3399
Or book online here:

http://www.riversideparramatta.com.au/performance.asp?pID=1789

25% OFF tickets to SMT’s Little Shop Of Horrors in August

****TICKET BLITZ!!!! BOOK NOW!!!!****

They say the meek shall inherit!

Book your tickets NOW for our next production ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and receive 25 percent off your purchase! Hurry though, this is a strictly limited offer and will be available for a VERY limited time!! So what are you waiting for book now at shiremusictheatre.org.au or call the box office booking line on 0458 642 553!

You will need the booking code: "MEEK"

Feel free to share this code with your friends who might also want to book tickets!

(And don’t forget to join the event page to win a photo shoot with the cast)

Review: The Metropolitan Orchestra, series 4

By Sarah Malcher

On Saturday night I had the opportunity to see and hear The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) performing at the Balmain Town Hall. This was my first experience of TMO, and as they performed series four in their current season, I regretted that I had missed the first four series earlier in the year.

For those who are unfamiliar with TMO, it is the new incarnation of the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, which was launched in 2009. They cite one of their main philosophies as seeking to break down ‘traditional barriers’ that keep people away from classical music concerts, and focus on making their performances both accessible and intimate. By staging the performance in smaller venues such as Balmain Town Hall, where the ratio of orchestra members to audience is much smaller, they succeed in establishing a relationship with the audience that is often lacking in larger, more formal venues. During the intermission, the musicians mingled with their listeners and afterwards everyone was invited to share post-concert drinks of champagne. Such ways of enacting their philosophy, which encourages people not only to listen to classical music but to share their ideas and thoughts about music, is what distinguishes TMO and is one of the reasons why I think they deserve to succeed in their mission.

The program itself was enjoyable, both for the audience and the orchestra who clearly loved what they were playing. Throughout the night, conductor and artistic director, Sarah-Grace Williams, confidently led the orchestra and took the audience along with her for a delightful evening of beautiful music. Saint-Saëns’ Tarantella was a fantastic opening piece to capture the audience’s imagination, and both Svetlana Yaroslavksaya on flute and David Rowden on clarinet played with assurance and expressiveness. Brahms’ Serenade no 1 in D major was also handled well, although the standout for the night was the performance of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Building of the ghostly ‘halo’ effect of the William’s composition was achieved through the separation of the strings into sections that build upon and echo the theme, with these string sections physically separated and placed around the room with the audience between them, creating a surround sound experience not usually encountered in more conventional performance spaces. Considering that the work was composed to be played and heard best in a cathedral, the acoustics of the Town Hall served the music well.

The only thing that really detracted from the night was the lack of heating in the venue itself. Fortunately, most people including myself came prepared with scarves and coats, and slightly chill air is a small price to pay for such an intimate concert experience. I will definitely be attending the performances of series 5, and encourage everyone to experience this format of musical performance at least once. I suspect that once will not be enough.

For more information, visit http://www.metorchestra.com.au/

Lyn Pierse, Marko Mustac & Bryce Halliday NEW SHOW

It’s only ONE WEEK TO GO until QUIET COMPANIONS opens at the New Theatre in Newtown.

LYN PIERSE and MARKO MUSTAC perform in this seriously dark and experimental improvised theatre show about the power of the past to haunt us. Two decadent Victorian aristocrats, alone together in a private salon, indulge in an increasingly twisted ritual of games that peel back the layers of civilisation and expose the nightmarish, psychological country that lies beneath.

And it’s a DOUBLE FEATURE! After interval you get to relax with last year’s winner of the Showcase Award at the 9th Annual Cabaret Showcases, BRYCE HALLIDAY (the pianist for Quiet Companions) and his new one-man show THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! A musical journey about ‘what it is to be right’ through story-telling, jokes, jazz standards and his own original songs.

BOOK NOW!

http://www.newtheatre.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88&Itemid=123

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Auditions: The Hotel Hibiscus

Audition Information

The Hotel Hibiscus
By Robert Cockburn

Directed by Greg Friend

Season: October 19 – 27 at the Zenith Theatre, Chatswood

SYNOPSIS

A brutal new political thriller set not far from the Australian shoreline…and its politicians. Hibiscus Island, PNG, on the eve of a ceasefire in a bloody internal war. There is much work to be done and no more room in the morgue. Australian diplomat Baulkham must clean up the mess, cover his tracks and get off the island before the last plane leaves.

Inspired by his experience covering the war in Bougainville for The Times and BBC, Robert Cockburn’s play, first workshopped at NIDA, has been crafted into an extraordinary fictional tale…just a stone’s throw away from reality.

AUDITIONS: SATURDAY 4th of August

AUDITION TIME: 9AM – 5PM

CALL BACKS: WEDNESDAY 8th August

CALL BACK TIME: 6:30PM – 9:30PM

LOCATION: Croydon – More details provided to people auditioning

MORE INFO

To book an audition or make an enquiry please contact Greg Friend at auditions@epicentretheatre.org.au. (If possible, please include a headshot and CV).
You will be required to prepare a two minute monologue and cold read from the play. Monologue should be dramatic and contemporary
Rehearsals will commence on August 14th and be every Tuesday and Thursday night from 6:30pm – 9:30pm in Croydon. There will be some Sunday rehearsals if required.
All cast are required to assist with bump in / out and work front of house for the theatre company’s next production in March 2013

CHARACTERS

Samson (early 20’s / male) – a local bus driver for Baulkham

Dr Tome (30 – 60 / male) – a local doctor in the mortuary

Colonel Chris Baulkham (35 – 50 / male) – Australian Foreign Minister’s Aide brokering the ceasefire

Benedict (65+ / male) – a local who works at the Hotel Hibiscus

Patty (28 – 35 / female) – Australian National and owner of the Hotel Hibiscus

General Ramara (40 – 55 / male) Leader of the PNG army in Hibiscus

Liz (20’s / female) – Australian reporter

ACT: Stagecraft and AGM this weekend

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In this issue

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Audition Seminars

Don’t forget to bring some music for a song to perform if you are in the Music Theatre Audition workshop or a script excerpt for the Play Audition Workshop.

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Stagecraft and AGM this weekend

Headernandi2.105421.jpg We are delighted that more than 100 delegates from across New South Wales and Queensland have registered to attend this weekend’s Stagecraft Conference at NIDA.

No it is not too late to register. But you must email your confirmation of which seminars you will attend by Thursday 5pm.

Download your brochure and application form on our website here.

Please note the Annual General Meeting of ACT is at 1130am.

Attendance is free. Please consider helping ACT in some way and registering your interest at the AGM.

Afterwards you will be able to enjoy lunch and visit stalls from our corporate sponsors in attendance.

They are GMS Costumes. Hal Leonard Australia. Orgin Theatrical. David Spicer Productions. Stage Whispers Magazine and APRA.

On Saturday night we will induct four new members of the Hall of Fame for outstanding service to community theatre.

Looking forward to seeing you all this weekend.

Facebook

Header ACT is hoping to launch a facebook page in the near future and is looking for a volunteer who would like to assist with this.

Martin Mitchell

HeaderAlthough this email is sent from Martin our CEO. He has a ghost writer who puts this together.

ACT is happy to report that Martin’s heart pacemaker grease and oil change this week was a success.

He will be attending and in fine form as always.

Association of Community Theatre Inc • PO Box Q544 QVB Post Office, Sydney NSW 1230
Phone: (02) 4328 5633 • Web: http://www.communitytheatre.com.au

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Review: The 8 Reindeer Monologues

by Erica J Brennan

I have a particular fondness for dinner theatre because it implies a whole evening devoted to good company, good food, and nothing but pure entertainment. Living and working in Sydney and recently becoming more involved in experimental and interdisciplinary arts, I relish the chance to get back to a live show that lets nothing but my funny bone be tickled. Therefore it was with some excitement that I made a long cold drive up the Great Western Highway towards the Leura Golf Course and The 8 Reindeer Monologues.

This production takes the form of eight monologues loosely centered around a confessional telling of some shady crime the holly jolly Santa Claus has committed against his one of his reindeer. In an extremely haphazard and shallow way a longer list of dark deeds in uncovered over the 2 hour show. Vixen is claiming rape and Rudolf the lovable red nose reindeer has been reduced to a huddled mess after witnessing something he shouldn’t have. Mrs Claus is an alcoholic who likes to strap elves to her genitals. Written here, these individual elements sound like interesting fodder for a vicious cabaret, but in putting them together this production has some very hit-or-miss moments.

A warning was attached to the promotional material stating that The 8 Reindeer Monologues is an ‘adults-only black comedy’ and I have no objection to dark material (must laugh other wise we cry right?) but be warned that the blackness of this comedy runs the gamut from the absurd to the upsetting. No topic is off limits.

I wanted to enjoy it, I really did, particularly because I very much wish The Blue Mountains had a theatre scene worthy of its seething creativity. However I struggled to muster warm and fuzzy feelings about attempts to make comedy out of pedophilia and bestiality, at least when such humour relied on sometimes shallow and stereotypical characters. I personally felt as though some of the subjects could have been treated with a little more subtlety or sensitivity, though I did chuckle a few times but more out of awkwardness than anything else. The audience around me seemed to enjoy sections of the story more than I did with a little good natured heckling happening from a few sides. Some of the performers incorporated it well in to their act, others seeming terrified that people had spoken up. The performers themselves got stronger as the evening went on, and I would expect continued improvement throughout the rest of the run.

It takes an incredible amount of energy and effort to put together any type of live performance and I hope to see much, much more created and performed in the Blue Mountains. The 8 Reindeer Monologues is a challenging piece of comedy, and I recommend going to see it with an extremely open mind.

Performance Dates in July Friday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th Saturdays 7th, 14th 21st and 28th
Tickets from $40.
Leura Golf Course Sublime Point Rd Leura
For Bookings and More Information http://www.whatsantadid.com.au/tickets/