Machina – La Boite Indie and Mad Cat Creative Connections at The Loft

The Parade Ground yard outside the Roundhouse Theatre was buzzing last night with indie patrons there to see not one, not two, but three shows on the La Boite indie calendar: 4000 Miles, Mullah Nasrudin, and Machina, an eagerly-awaited, new work from Richard Jordan, directed by Catarina Hebbard, and which is now playing in the Loft – a space I hadn’t visited before.

The lead up to production – itself subsidised by a ‘long-tail’, online crowd sourced campaign – added clever marketing videos and a website (designed by Nathan Sibthorpe) which teased us with hints of dastardly doings by the evil, faceless ‘Machina,’ and of individuals who have decided to ‘go inside’ the machine and live as disembodied selves in perpetuity. The regularly posted bulletins hinted at evil corporate scheming and fear of their machinations (pun or otherwise intended) and, of course, society’s obsession with online connectivity.  Add the age-old fascination with the idea if not the reality of immortality for a price (Faustus) – and you get a rich and powerful mix that intrigued. Continue reading Machina – La Boite Indie and Mad Cat Creative Connections at The Loft

Review: The Pitch and The China Incident – Queensland Theatre Company at QPAC Cremorne

Image: Queensland Theatre Company

Sometimes you see a production that so beautifully pulls form and content together that it becomes the perfect icing on a delicious cake. This is the way I feel about Queensland Theatre Company’s first for the 2013 Season, a double-bill by Peter HoughtonThe Pitch (directed by Catarina Hebbard) and The China Incident (directed by Daniel Evans).

Both plays are about role-playing. To hit their marks both require actors of imagination with a mastery and control of stagecraft – the key ingredients for great role-playing. Both plays are monodramas – extended monologues – requiring stamina and all the power of concentration their cast can muster. The one-person play is the supreme test for the actor; the risks are high but the rewards marvellous if it all works. Fortunately and marvellously for us Barbara Lowing and Hugh Parker fit the bill and their roles like a glove.

Two characters Bea Pontivec (Ms Lowing) and Walter Weinermann (Mr Parker) are under pressure: he’s a writer preparing to pitch a new movie to potential producers; she’s a high-level, political PR consultant jockeying clients and a family wedding. Their respective clocks are ticking – Walter’s got an hour to get his movie together; she to wrangle a genocidal African general, the President of the US, the UN, her in-laws, stroppy daughter and …. you get the idea?

Continue reading Review: The Pitch and The China Incident – Queensland Theatre Company at QPAC Cremorne

Clearly and simply: Andrea Moor actor, director, teacher (Interview 7)

Andrea Moor has been back in Brisbane for some years now, and she’s loving it – feeling privileged in fact.

‘The political landscape has changed so much since I was last here.  It’s a lot like Sydney felt in the early 80s – it’s such a supportive community.

The standard of acting in Brisbane is incredibly high, as good as any in the world, probably because local actors have been working constantly here and so practising their craft.

The standard of acting in Brisbane is incredibly high, as good as any in the world, probably because local actors have been working constantly here and so practising their craft.’

As an example she segues into last year’s production by Queensland Theatre Company of Arthur Miller‘s The Crucible directed by Michael Gow for which, incidentally, she won a Matilda for her portrayal of Elizabeth Proctor. ‘The big  … Crucible acting company (19) was composed of several generations, Queensland actors many of whom had gone away and come back.  It was such a harmonious and good feeling during that period, a microcosm of the theatre industry here.’  She goes on to note, ‘There’s a different focus here in Brisbane, not the preciousness and egos of those constantly being watched.  Here actors are genuinely happy to see colleagues get work, and on opening nights, it’s about the show.  Elsewhere,’ she says, ‘it’s about me – who’s out front to help me get my next job.  It’s liberating here … mind you,’ she adds drily, ‘ it’s not to say we wouldn’t like this.’ Continue reading Clearly and simply: Andrea Moor actor, director, teacher (Interview 7)