In Case of Emergency
Calendar, December 18, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: In Case of Emergency

4 – 8 December @ The Blue Room Theatre ·
Presented by Hayman Theatre Company ·

How do we respond to the ‘danger’ of the emergency with our
emotions, and how do we navigate the ‘danger’ when the emergency
is our emotions?

WA Award-winning playwright, Jeffrey Jay Fowler returns to Curtin’s
Hayman Theatre Company as artist-in-residence with his new play, In
Case of Emergency. With an ensemble of Curtin University Theatre Arts’
students to present a series of “emergencies” of different scales each
asking the question, “When are our emotions useful to us and when are
they in the way of our success?”

More info
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Re-Member Me
Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: Re-member Me

27 Feb – 3 Mar @ Studio Underground ·
Presented by Dickie Beau ·

When award-winning lip synch maestro Dickie Beau realised he might
never play The Dane, he decided to turn himself into a human Hamlet
mix-tape. Channelling audio recordings of great historical performances
of theatre’s most famous role, he created a humorous and haunting solo
show to ‘re-member’ the ghosts of Hamlets past.

Along the way, he stumbled upon the story of one especially masterful
Hamlet; one that left an indelible mark on all who saw it but one can
never be ‘re-membered’ – because no recording exists, except in the
memories of those who were there.

Featuring original interviews with theatre legends such as Sir Ian McKellen
and Sir John Gielgud, as well as exclusive finds from behind the scenes,
Re-Member Me is part documentary theatre, part 21st century séance and
the unforgettable story behind the greatest Hamlet almost never seen.

More info:

Pictured: Re-member Me, credit: Sarah Lewis



More info

Pictured: Re-member Me, credit: Sarah Lewis


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Wot No Fish
Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: Wot? No Fish!!

19 – 24 February @ Studio Underground ·
Presented by Danny Braverman ·

For more than 50 years shoemaker Ab Solomons drew a doodle on his
weekly wage-packet chronicling the ups and downs of his family life
and the surrounding social and political upheavals. A collaboration
between Danny Braverman and Nick Philippou, this award-winning solo
show tells the funny and moving story of how Braverman discovered his
great uncle Ab’s lost art, hidden in old shoeboxes. Like a graphic
novel brought to life (with the drawings projected on stage), he shares
this extraordinary story of love and art, history and family with
affection and humour.

Produced by Bread & Circuses

More info:

Pictured: Wot no Fish, credit: Tony Lewis

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Le Nor
Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: Le Nor

13 – 24 February @ PICA Performance Space ·
Presented by The Last Great Hunt ·

Somewhere in the northern seas lies the small island nation
of Sólset. Once a thriving metropolis, a decades-long drought
has plagued the community and now only a hopeful few remain.
From the multi-award-winning team behind It’s Dark Outside,
The Irresistible, New Owner and Alvin Sputnik comes a deeply
romantic visual extravaganza that will reignite your love of humanity.

Perth theatre-makers The Last Great Hunt combine cinematic mastery
and theatrical magic to tell interwoven stories of love in a world
that’s falling apart as they perform a faux foreign film live. Lé Nør
[the rain] invites you to witness both the onscreen story and the
behind-the-scenes action in a nostalgic celebration of everything worth
fighting for.

A Perth Festival Co-Commission
Presented in association with Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts

More info:

Pictured: Le Nor, credit: David Collins

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Free Admission
Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: Free Admission

14 – 18 February @ Studio Underground ·
Presented by Artist-In-Residence Ursula Martinez ·

In the current social media-obsessed climate of self-promotion,
Olivier Award-winning performance provocateur Ursula Martinez
is up on her dirty soapbox, baring her soul (and possibly more)
in an attempt to understand the absurdity of modern living.
Free Admission sees Martinez building a real brick wall between
herself and the audience, whilst revealing her innermost hopes,
fears, frustrations, delights and disappointments.

Insightful and hilarious Free Admission celebrates the inconsistencies
and contradictions that make us human, while having a dig at the mess
that is of our own making.

A Perth Festival Co-Commission
Commissioned by Southbank Centre and Fierce Festival
Directed by Mark Whitelaw

More info:

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A Family Outing
Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: A Family Outing – 20 Years On

7 – 12 February @ Studio Underground ·
Presented by Artist-In-Residence Ursula Martinez ·

In 1998 Ursula Martinez took to the stage with her parents for
the sublime A Family Outing. Now, 20 years later, she attempts
to recreate the show without her dad and with a mother who can
no longer remember her lines.

Absorbed in wryly honest and frank conversation, a mother and
daughter expose the banalities, hilarity, foibles and frustrations
of their relationship. Contrasting past and present, they bicker,
cajole and encourage each other through this endearingly ad hoc,
entertaining and ultimately uplifting performance.

Since A Family Outing originally premiered in 1998 Martinez has
turned 50, her father has passed away and her mother has been
diagnosed with early stage dementia. Through a canny interplay
with the first production, this bracingly funny new show blurs
the lines between artifice and reality while grappling with
identity and the march of time.

A Perth Festival Co-Commission

Co-Commissioned by SICK Festival and Barbican Centre, London

Directed by Mark Whitelaw

More info:

Pictured: A Family Outing

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The Great Tamer
Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: The Great Tamer

8 – 12 February @ Heath Ledger Theatre ·
Presented by Dimitris Papaioannou ·

The meaning of life and the mystery of death are vividly
explored in a set of breathtakingly inventive live paintings
from Dimitris Papaioannou, a Greek artist internationally
recognised for directing the 2004 Olympic ceremonies.

Inspired by the words of Homer and the work of the Old Masters,
Papaioannou builds macabre still lifes, dreamlike images and
nightmarish creations with ten performers, his magical stagecraft
and the shifting floor.

The Great Tamer is a witty, stunning and surreal feast of visual
delights that takes shape around the idea that life is a journey
of discovery — an exploration for hidden treasure, an inner
archaeological excavation for meaning.

Papaioannou sees himself as a visual artist, a painter on the stage
who creates worlds of astounding beauty from the human body. In this
poetic, wordless allegory on the passage of time, the body is used
to create vignettes that are at once macabre and beautiful, brimming
with humour, horror, circus-like stunts and optical illusions.

More info:

Pictured: The Great Tamer, credit: Julian Mommert

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A Ghost in my Suitcase
Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: A Ghost in My Suitcase

26 Feb – 3 Mar @ Heath Ledger Theatre ·
Presented by Barking Gecko Theatre ·

Travel from contemporary Australia to cosmopolitan Shanghai
and to the misty byways of rural China in the enchanting
family mystery A Ghost in My Suitcase.

Twelve-year-old Celeste arrives in China to scatter her
mother’s ashes, but in no time flat she’s thrust into a
world of magic and myth. Her grandmother has carried on
the family tradition of ghost catching and Celeste finds
she too has a knack for the hair-raising pursuit.

Barking Gecko Theatre’s visually spectacular stage version
of A Ghost in My Suitcase, adapted by Vanessa Bates from
Gabrielle Wang’s award-winning book of the same name, is
equal parts thrilling and heartwarming.

A Perth Festival Co-Commission

More info:

Pictured: A Ghost in My Suitcase, credit: Daniel Grant

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Calendar, Performing arts, Perth Festival, Theatre

Theatre: Gatz

1 – 3 March @ Octagon Theatre, UWA ·
Presented by Elevator Repair Service ·

In a shabby non-descript office an employee picks up a
copy of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He starts
starts to read aloud and can’t stop! At first his co-workers
hardly notice. But after a series of strange coincidences,
it’s no longer clear whether he’s reading the book or the book
is transforming them all into its characters.

Gatz is a theatrical tour-de-force — not a stage adaptation
of Fitzgerald’s American masterpiece or a retelling of the
Gatsby story, but a thoroughly entertaining, utterly absorbing
dramatisation of the novel itself. Just as the office worker
can’t put the book down, you’ll be completely spellbound
binging on this extraordinary theatrical experience.

Fri 1 Mar 2019, 3.00 PM
Sat 2 Mar 2019, 3.00 PM
Sun 3 Mar 2019, 1.00 PM
Duration: 8 hours  (incl. intervals & dinner break)

More info:

Pictured: Gatz, credit Paula Court


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Bar scene
News, Performing arts, Reviews, Theatre

The best small bar in town

Review: Variegated Productions, Frankie’s ·
The Blue Room Theatre, 16 November ·
Review by David Zampatti ·

I’ve known for some time that the Blue Room Theatre has the best small bar in town. But now there’s Frankie’s.

It’s intimate – you can see and hear everything that’s going on both sides of the bar, it’s lushly designed by the well-known Bryan Woltjen, and it’s got a hot house band (tonight featuring the smoky Ofa Fotu, keyboard wiz Alwyn Nixon-Lloyd and the greatest dobro player ever to emerge from the Singapore River Delta, Joe Lui).

It’s also got good, cheap drinks (the house specialty is that fine Whipper Snapper whiskey, best enjoyed neat) and a very good-looking crowd.

The best bars are real-life impromptu stories; harsh words are spoken, promises are broken, old wounds are opened and love walks out that door. The characters in its drama walk in without a script, and they are as varied and various as all humanity. There are the hard-bitten denizens, casing the joint from their familiar bar-stool, the wide-eyed young drinkers dipping their toe in the murky water of adult life, the lovesick and love-lorn, the players, the stayers, the heart of every Saturday night and every enchanted evening.

Three guys having a laugh at a bar.
Impromptu storytelling by Sam Longley, St John Cowcher, Chris Isaacs and Daniel Buckle (a different cast to that reviewed as the show changes nightly). Photo: Daniel Grant.

The ensemble of actors and musicians Libby Klysz’s Variegated Productions has gathered to people Frankie’s is, perhaps uniquely, fit for purpose. There are established stars of improv theatre like Shane Adamczak and Sam Longley who, tonight at least, are the bartenders Nigel and Keith. Another bartender, Donovan (Esther Longhurst), doesn’t want to work shifts with Keith – we never find out why, but it’s fun to guess.

There’s the barfly, Delilah (the magnetic Tegan Mulvany), who’s awful, hard and fragile as glass, and a ghost from her past. Way back then she let Devon Morris (Chris Bedding) touch a sword she brought to school. She left a party with him, just once, but ten years later his flame still burns bright for her.

Bedding is an oversize man with a great talent of presence, and the clumsy ardour of his pursuit of his first, only, love is deeply touching. It’s a wonderful performance.

All this is Sam Shephard stuff, great storytelling full of the essence of life, with all its dead ends and five-and-dime foolishness for love. I think it’s a great achievement that the cast could concoct such material out of thin air.

And, of course, it’s all very funny. This crew have been able to keep working improv in this town for sixteen-odd years by keeping their audience in stitches, and there’s plenty of them to be suffered throughout.

You should pop in to Frankie’s. There’ll be other stories, other performers telling and playing them (I’m confident this show will get heaps of repeat audiences), and you’ll be unlikely to come across a more sure-handed, true-to-life and sheer bloody funny show in any gin joint in all the towns in all the world than this.

And try the Whipper Snapper. You’ll be glad you did.

Frankie’s plays the Blue Room until December 1. Cast changes nightly.

Photos: Daniel Grant. Pictured top is Shane Adamczak in an alternative cast (changes nightly).

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