PlaySix Festival opens tomorrow night, December 13! Exciting. All my actors have had a fair few dramas, in the last couple of days, including wisdom teeth pain, car accident, girlfriend issues, and one of them lost their ‘holy grail’ keys, and is still unable to locate them! However, all the work is done including costuming, rehearsals, line runs, blocking, tech and dress, and all looks superb. I was lucky enough to see another two short plays tonight from PlaySix, one about Julia Gillard (Australian Prime Minister) called ‘Timing’ and the other called ‘Confessions of a Bipolar Drag queen’ which are definitely worth a visit to Williamstown! The season normally sells out, which is fabulous:) My time on this project is nearly over, so I will now return to writing my next play, hopefully premiering in March 2013!
Sitting in the front row, is always where I like to be, at the theatre, fashion show, or in a workshop. Going to La Mama in Melbourne, to see ‘Death of a Comedian’ was no exception. The man beside me was a true thespian, attending at least 3 plays a week, impressive. This play was a glimpse of behind the scenes (the shenanigans) of funny people, also known as comedians, get up to before a show. This was an ambitious eight hander, new blood, established talent and already a broken man, who was ousted due to his alcohol habits, was trying to make a comeback. The celebrity of two decades in TV and standup, no longer. No more red carpet. Everyone was busy flexing their comedic muscle, while he struggled to justify why he was there. Gift of the gab saved him, demoted to plugs, realising he was sold out. Celebrity is fun and games, high profile to the masses and media daily. Some people chase it, others turn their heads. I suppose it can also happen, by accident. Like Andy Warhol said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. Really?
Melissa Fergusson from PlaySix
Working in a black box (bare stage) with my actors and script in hand, is utter perfection. Today we travelled far into the cohesive collaborative workspace, that I call home. A new play called ‘Death of Caesar’ by Alex Broun, explores a play, within a play. Actors torn between real time experiences and their performance. Two worlds colliding, everything is at stake, including the heart. Just completed an interview with Australian Theatre, should be available online soon. Melbourne has a strong theatre culture, that consumes me. More rehearsals in the park tomorrow. Theatre is my first love. Pure hedonism.
Street art in Melbourne is impressive, which leaves an imprint firmly in my mind. After watching ‘RASH’, a feature documentary film about graffiti artists in Melbourne a few weeks ago, I was intrigued to see the work/s for myself. Lots of stencils and paste ups (urban poster art) all over the city. Lots of different styles of ‘street art’ displayed, these ‘illegal’ public artworks, bring the buildings to life. Art for the people. All the artists have pseudonyms, that come from nicknames, TV shows, comics or an idea. This platform creates a complete different reality, true fantasy. Images on walls. Ghosts or shadows in society that scream truth and beauty. Tags are not so alluring. Do we live in a robotic world? Paint. Chalk. Crayons. Whatever works. Confronting art, that speaks volumes to the community and/or society. Change. Like it, a lot.
Casting (performing arts)
Just about to commence the audition process (as director) for a play by Alex Broun, who introduced Short + Sweet into Auckland, New Zealand in 2009/10. I was fortunate enough to be a finalist/winner in the ‘Wildcards 2’ category in this festival in 2010, with a play called ‘Tipping Point’ by Mark Andrew. Alex is one of the world’s leading ten-minute playwrights, so I am honoured to be opening the ‘world’ premiere of his new play. Rehearsing and performing in another city, namely Melbourne, is exhilarating. PlaySix has a high profile in the Melbourne theatre community, so looking forward to being cohesive in this process. There are six plays, that are performing in the festival, and there appears to be a few female directors, fantastic! Theatre makes me smile, effortlessly.