The Mixtape Collective (Interview 34)

Steve Pirie, Dan Stewart, Claire Christian, Ari Palani
Steve Pirie, Dan Stewart, Claire Christian, Ari Palani
It's a wet Toowoomba morning outside. Inside the Metro Cafe up by the Toowoomba Railway Station it's warm and welcoming, and I arrive to find the Mixtape Collective (Steve Pirie, Claire Christian, Ari Palani and Dan Stewart), smiling-faced with empty coffee cups in front of them. They're ready and waiting for our chat. It's a good sign. I want to talk to them about how this little outfit operates, how they began, why, how it's going and, more specifically, how they're preparing for their Brisbane debut and the all-important-for-a-new-play second production of Escape from the Breakup Forest which played the city's Empire Theatre last July. I order coffee and to get the ball rolling ask how everything is going. Continue reading The Mixtape Collective (Interview 34)

Review: Ink and the Unknowns – Harvest Rain Theatre Company at Mina Parade Warehouse

A note from the Editor: I've always wanted to see a children's show through the eyes of a young person. When Greenroom was invited to Ink and the Unknowns, I approached one of our reviewers, Sita Borhani, and asked whether her regular theatre-buddy (her 7 year old daughter Layla) would care to write about the experience for us. I was delighted when both Layla and Layla's mother said, 'Yes.' So, here it is from Greenroom's latest reviewer. Thank you, Layla and thank you Sita for transcribing her verbatim response to the show.

The Night I Went to See Ink and the Unknowns by Layla Borhani. The night I went to see Ink and the Unknowns was a Friday. When we walked into the theatre, it was kind of freaky because it was really dark and there were frozen people. It made me feel scared because the lights were all the same colour - blue, and the people were camouflaged. When we sat down the set looked black and grey and I could hardly see anything that was on it, but when the show started and more lights came on, I could see shelves with little boxes, and all sorts of things, and also where the people were hiding.  It looked like a mysterious place where I’ve never been before, a really old place, everything was torn to rags. It was pretty cool when the Unknowns found Ink, because no one in the audience noticed that he was under the cloth - he was really camouflaged!! Ink was really funny because he kept putting all these weird faces on, that made me laugh. He was my favourite character! The Unknowns were funny and scary at the same time, their costumes were black and dark purple and grey and they suited the set.  Ex was my favourite unknown because she could do magic with string. I think Ink was confused to meet the Unknowns, because he’d been in another world and he didn’t really know where he was. He was starting to enjoy himself in the new world, but some of the Unknowns didn’t like Ink, because he was causing a big difference in their world. There was a lot of dancing in the show. I liked the part where the machine kept telling the characters what type of dance to do. When it said “Bush Dance” they all danced with a bush! And when it said “Hula” they all danced with a hula hoop! It was funny. The dancing was cool, because they did really amazing arm tricks, and hip-hop, and it wasn’t boring. The music really matched the dancing, and the set and costumes. It was awesome when they took light from Ink’s lightbulb and threw it at all the places that didn’t have light, to make them light up. I think the Unknowns had never discovered that light before and they needed Ink to light up their home. There was a fight over Ink’s light, and they dropped it and it smashed. I didn’t understand why Ink died. I didn’t like how they didn’t talk, I would have understood it more if they talked. When they made sounds I kept getting excited that they were going to say something, but they never did. Next time they do the show maybe they could talk. Also, it was hot it the theatre, and I couldn’t see very well. I think if there were cushions to sit on, that would be better for short people. But I still had a good time. The End.

A Mother’s note: The show was fabulous. Original, winning work from composer Maitlohn Drew and choreographer Callum Mansfield, who is, in my opinion, Harvest Rain’s greatest asset. Dancers Cameron Whitten (Ink), Maureen Bowra (Ex), Hannah Crowther (Why), Lauren Heidecker (Dubble) and Tom Markiewicz (Zed) were all incredibly accomplished and engaging within the post-apocalyptic setting. Funny, captivating and a show for all, Ink and the Unknowns had an all too short season from 27 Feb - 2 March.

About the Reviewer: At the ripe old age of 7, Layla is already quite the theatre buff. When she’s not taking in a show or fending off two younger brothers, Layla likes rap music, wearing boys’ clothes, reading books, and playing the drums. Although never shy of voicing an opinion, this is her first written review.  

For Bille – with love

Bille Brown AM

Some people have kindly asked for a copy of the speech I gave on Monday this week at the memorial for Bille held at QPAC's Playhouse. I was frankly at a loss to know where to begin when I was asked by Wesley Enoch Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company to contribute to the memorial. Of course I wanted to speak about the man and the artist I'd known for so many years but what to say? Eventually a theme emerged - 'Bille the Actor' - and, after reading back over our conversations over the years, I decided to reflect upon and use his own words. Many were taken from Bille's Facebook snippets over the past 4 or so years. They reveal much about the way he thought about the work - its anxieties and joys, the pride and passion and the deep fondness he felt for home whether he was overseas or here at home in 'the old house,' as he called it, at Ascot. I'm posting the speech here on Greenroom in memoriam

THIS IS THE STUFF: a memorial for Bille Brown AM - actor and playwright Bille and I began our lives in the theatre as actors at Queensland Theatre Company. That’s when, at the end of 1971, I first saw his work beside Geoffrey Rush, another young member of the company. Bille was a most unusual ginger cat in THE WRONG SIDE OF THE MOON. We went on to work together in a half dozen or so productions for the Company, and later I directed two of his plays TUFF and EGGFROTH THE FRITHED. These, along with SPRINGLE form a trilogy of plays for young people that were commissioned from Bille by QTC. Continue reading For Bille – with love

‘This Is the Stuff’ – a Memorial for Bille Brown AM

Bille_Brown-3In case you haven't already heard via news and the social media, QPAC is hosting a memorial service for Bille tomorrow afternoon (Monday 4th February) from 4pm. Tickets were available for the event but had gone within 12 hours or so. This caused some distress for the many who admired and loved one of Queensland's finest theatre artists. QPAC responded to some gentle suggestions from various quarters that a live-streamed event would do the trick, sharing what will be an hour-long tribute from family, friends, and colleagues around Australia and to the rest of the world. If you would like to get more information, go to QPAC's page and read how to link in. I am honoured to have been invited by Queensland Theatre Company, the place Bille and I met all those years ago, to speak and to perform some of Bille's writing during the event. Hope you can join us. Kate  

2012 Groundlings Awards – Nominees

Voting is now open in the 2012 Groundling Awards. Thanks to everyone who sent in your nominations since the start of January. The people have spoken!

First up, a couple of things to note: you may vote only once and, in the interests of fair play and to avoid ballot crashing or spamming, multiple, identical votes from the same IPA address will be disqualified. Voting will close at 5pm on Sunday, 10th February. Here are the nominees in each category for your consideration.

2012 Categories:

Outstanding Contribution by an Actor

Brian Probets (As You Like It; 1984) Dash Kruck (A Tribute of Sorts) Hugh Parker (Kelly, 1984)

Outstanding Contribution by an Actress

Nelle Lee (1984) Margi Brown Ash (Eve; Home) Emily Curtin (A Tribute of Sorts)

Outstanding Contribution by a Director

Benjamin Schostakowski (A Tribute of Sorts) Michael Futcher (1984) Tim O'Connor (Hairspray)

Outstanding Contribution to Set Design

Simone Romaniuk (Body of Work includes Elizabeth - almost by chance a woman; Kelly; Bombshells) Josh McIntosh (Body of Work includes The Wizard of Oz; Hairspray) Bev Jensen (Home)

Outstanding Contribution to Costume Design

Noni Harrison (Body of work includes Underground; The Harbinger) Simone Romaniuk (Body of work includes Elizabeth - almost by chance a woman; Kelly; Bombshells) Josh McIntosh (Body of Work includes Hairspray; 1984; The Never Ending Story)

Outstanding Contribution to Lighting Design

Jason Glenwright (Body of Work includes A Tribute of Sorts; 1984) Ben Hughes (Body of Work includes Home; Kelly) David Walters (Body of Work includes As You Like It; Elizabeth - almost by chance a woman)

Outstanding Contribution to Sound Design or Composition

Brett Collery (Performance Anxiety) Guy Webster (Body of Work includes As You Like It; 1984; Kelly) Moshlo (Eve)

Outstanding Contribution to Multimedia Design

Optikal Bloc Peter Foley Markwell Presents

Outstanding Contribution to Innovative Theatre Practice

Monsters Appear The Danger Ensemble 1984: shake and stir theatre company

Best New Play in an Inaugural Queensland Season

 1984 by George Orwell adapted by Nick Skubij and Nelle Lee - shake and stir theatre company A Tribute of Sorts - Monsters Appear and La Boite Indie Kelly by Matthew Ryan - Queensland Theatre Company

Best Production

1984 by George Orwell adapted by Nick Skubij and Nelle Lee; shake and stir theatre company Directed by Michael Futcher A Tribute of Sorts - Monsters Appear and La Boite Indie; Directed by Benjamin Schostakowski Eve - the nest ensemble and Metro Arts; Directed by Leah Mercer

Best Musical Theatre Production

Hairspray - Harvest Rain Theatre Company Directed by Tim O'Connor The Wizard of Oz - Harvest Rain Theatre Company Directed by Tim O'Connor Underground - Motherboard Productions Directed by Jeremy Neideck Produced by Dave Sleswick

Best Co-Production

 A Hoax - La Boite Theatre Company and Griffin Theatre (Sydney) Managing Carmen - Queensland Theatre Company and Black Swan Theatre Company (Perth) A Tribute of Sorts - La Boite Indie and Monsters Appear

Outstanding Contribution to Queensland theatre

Bille Brown AM for his contribution to our theatre, his inspiration, and his legacy Wesley Enoch for his body of work as an artist and for leadership in the theatre community shake and stir theatre company for providing quality productions and access to theatre for young Queenslanders  

Ready to Vote?

Click on this hotlink to register your vote on the ballot paper  

2012 Groundlings Nominees … some stats

Dear Greenroomers a quick note from the 2012 Groundlings tally room as our cleverly-automated sort, collate and count database is in full swing. We're sorting the thousands of individual nominations in all of the award categories received from our dear readers over the past month. We're on track to publish the nominees this evening. There is no doubt that The Groundlings - the only peoples' choice awards for professional, Queensland-made theatre - have increased in popularity since we began 3 years ago. This was to provide another avenue to spread the word about the work being done in the state, to wear our hearts on our sleeves but, more importantly, to say 'Well done' to Queensland's theatre artists and creatives. Greenroom's readership and word of mouth has generated a great response this year. We thank you all - marvellous theatre lovers that you are! This year's nominations in 14 categories - with a possible 3 nominations allowed in each category - were made by 335 individuals.  In 2011 there were 196 individual nominators and, in our first year of operation 2010, there were 128 individuals who nominated in at least one category. For your interest, the majority of nominations focussed on the Actor, Actress, Director, and Best Production categories whilst the majority of those who nominated did not nominate in all categories nor did they nominate more than one candidate in each category. This is probably because individuals felt they were unable to nominate in categories for which they had no interest or information. Fair enough. The fan base in the Actor, Actress, Director, and Production categories is very clear!
The number of individual nominators for the years 2010-12
Individual nominators by discrete email addresses for the years 2010-12
Continue reading 2012 Groundlings Nominees … some stats