Nick Skubij is one of the artistic triumvirate that heads up the enormously successful shake and stir theatre company. Their name may be minimalist lower case but there’s nothing small-scale any more about this company that has been in business since only 2006. Its operations are compact – they work from a small office in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and call no theatre space their own – but they’ve made a huge impact with the quality of their work, and the scale of reach throughout the state and now national touring circuit with their in-school work and their inventive, award-winning productions of classics.
I caught up with Nick via Skype – they’re in Maryborough tonight – as they approach the final leg of their current national tour of the George Orwell classic, Animal Farm. In 2011 they took Statespeare beyond the state for the first time. Nick has adapted Animal Farm for the stage – it premiered in Brisbane in mid-2011. Michael Futcher has again directed the play which has seen the addition of a new cast member, Tim Dashwood. Next year they’re planning to show the rest of the country their other Orwell – 1984. Funding by Playing Australia (the only funding they’ve ever received) for three national and state-wide tours in three years is not a bad strike rate at all. “We like being commercially independent,” Nick tells me. Continue reading Nick Skubij (Interview 36)