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.
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 memoriamTHIS 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