Review: Pale Blue Dot – La Boite Theatre Company at the Roundhouse

Images: Dylan Evans
Brisbane's winter theatre season is in full-swing each year come July. I often remark to fellow theatre-lovers that we're spoiled for choice these days - halleluia! It hasn't always been this way, of course. Wednesday night last week and we had a world premiere of Kathryn Marquet's entertaining new work PALE BLUE DOT, directed by Michael Futcher. It was also the first opening night for new La Boite Artistic Director Chris Kohn and the first time we've had a play set in Toowoomba. (Cheer for the home town.) Continue reading Review: Pale Blue Dot – La Boite Theatre Company at the Roundhouse

Review: Cribbie – 4MBS Classic Arts – Cremorne Theatre

There's nothing quite like the thrill of going to the theatre and hearing stories told about your own folk and your own place and in the voices and the vernacular that belong to your own sense of belonging. I'm not a Cribbie (Cribb Islander) kid from the play of the same name by Michael and Margery Forde. I'm from Sandgate - one of the lot from another of the bayside suburbs - the furthest northerly on Brisbane's Moreton Bay. My place Sandgate survived - although I see it's gone all gentrified in parts. The tidal mudflats in all their gooey, fragrant glory and the protection of Moreton island meant that it would never have the glamour of the surf beaches far to its north and south. Cribb Island, though, went under the tarmac at Brisbane Airport sacrificed, because of its proximity in the name of progress. Stories of the Cribbies and their life in the old, outrageous ruin that was Jackson's Estate remain in the Forde's gentle love-poem/play to its memory. Continue reading Review: Cribbie – 4MBS Classic Arts – Cremorne Theatre

Seven Years On: Melanie Zanetti (Interview 42)

Image: cinemagia A few months ago, on a misty, cool morning here on the hill, thoughts turned to a time when the (then) third and final year acting majors at USQ were preparing for a big outdoor production of Macbeth as part of the (then) Shakespeare in Queen's Park Festival in Toowoomba. Seven years on I was thinking that way probably because the (then) Producer in me would be anxiously scanning the skies for signs of rain during the lead up to and performance season. I'm sure it's a scientific furphy, but 'they' say that in seven years all the cells in our body have reconstituted themselves, so that means we are all different - but the same! Seven like three, is a special number ... but I digress. That was (then); this is (now). Continue reading Seven Years On: Melanie Zanetti (Interview 42)

Getting Started: Vivien Emsworth (Interview 41)

I was able to catch up with Vivien Emsworth who is appearing in The Australian Opera's production of THE KING AND I which has just finished its Brisbane season at QPAC on the first leg of a national tour. As a first-year-out-of-drama school graduate from the Queensland Conservatorium's Musical Theatre Program, Vivien is still coming to terms with being cast in such a big production - she is covering for the role of Tuptim and appearing in the ensemble. We did a little stocktake of her background before covering some of the questions I like to use to spark conversation with artists. We got started. Continue reading Getting Started: Vivien Emsworth (Interview 41)

Just Out: Chris Fung (Interview 40)

Chris Fung is one of those rare actors who gets cast in a professional production before completing his training at drama school. During his second year he auditioned successfully for a place in the ensemble of Opera Australia's production of THE KING AND I which has just finished its season at QPAC in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne. He is also understudying Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the role of the King of Siam. I was keen to speak with the charming, intelligent and wonderfully quick-witted Chris about that experience, but also about how he came to the musical theatre as a career. Continue reading Just Out: Chris Fung (Interview 40)

David Megarrity (Interview 39)

I am chatting via Skype to David Megarrity, composer, performer, teacher, theatre-maker, and doctoral student. David is about to open (with Samuel Vincent) in the two-man production GENTLEMEN SONGSTERS for the Brisbane Cabaret Festival. I'm keen to hear more about the 'gentlemen songsters with ukeleles' and, of course, why they have turned to this sweet little instrument. During my time as a student in Honolulu I came to love its sound, something that seemed to be everywhere ... part of the daily soundtrack of life in the islands. Since those days the ukelele has popped up everywhere - perhaps because it's so democratic. We'll get to that and to Tyrone and Lesley later, but we start by talking about David's background and how, as part of his doctoral research, he is investigating the intersection of music and performance. Continue reading David Megarrity (Interview 39)