Bronwyn Fullerton worked as an actress and singer for over 20 years after training with Hayes Gordon at The Ensemble Theatre Studios in Sydney in the 70s. She has worked for The Ensemble Theatre, Stables Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival, Theatre-in-Education touring, Rocks Theatre at The Sailor’s Home, Balmain Loft, North Coast Theatre Co., Giniby Theatre Co., Bondi Pavilion Theatre and two years with the Marionette Theatre of Australia, including a tour from Alice Springs to Arnhem Land. As well as Film and Television (Chopper Squad) and Voice Overs, Bronwyn worked for the Gate Theatre Club in London and studied mime in Paris. She now teaches ESL English to foreign students and completed a Post-Grad in Film & Video at UTS in 2009/10.
In 1979, award-winning British playwright, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, wrote TAKING STEPS, which he describes as “the only true farce I’ve ever written”. In a decade where English humour was making huge waves, particularly in Australia, with ‘Monty Python’ and ‘Fawlty Towers’, TAKING STEPS has the same impact, offering eccentric, flawed characters and tantalising dialogue.
The play is set in an old, dilapidated Victorian mansion called The Pines. It is reputedly a former bordello and said to be haunted by a deceased prostitute. Enhancing the play’s farcical humour, the three storeys of the run-down house become one storey on stage. Two sets of banisters mark two imaginary staircases on which the actors frantically or cautiously prance up and down. It’s a wonderful theatrical technique by Ayckbourn and works beautifully.Continue reading TAKING STEPS @ THE ENSEMBLE→
Featured photo – Peter Paltos, Jennifer Vuletic, Charles Purcell. Production photography by Sarah Walker.
Since its inception in Melbourne in 2012, Little Ones Theatre, formed by director Stephen Nicolazzo and designers Eugyeene Teh and Katie Sfetkidis, has worked with the major theatre companies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin Festival, establishing its growing reputation along the way.
The Company’s productions have been described as “a theatrical pastiche of cinematic, literary and cult references that are colourful, camp, wild and visually striking”. Its latest show from Melbourne, MERCILESS GODS, playing in Sydney at the Stables Theatre, is bold, thoughtful, confronting and, above all, vibrant and entertaining.
The Bondi Pavilion is alive and kicking for its 5th year of the popular BONDI FEAST festival.
This year the Festival is bigger than ever, stretching over ten nights with 90+ performances and 150+ artists. The festival runs from the 18 – 29th of July.
Festival Directors Rachel Chant and Phil Spencer have filled all possible spaces in the Pavilion with 40 vibrant shows to choose from. You can visit: The Big Theatre, The Mini Theatre, The Little Theatre, The Ballroom, The Gallery and even one of the toilet blocks will be a temporary theatre – The Changeroom. For shakers and movers, there is also a Walking Tour into the back streets of Bondi, at 6.45pm from Tuesday 25th July until Saturday the 29th.Continue reading BONDI FEAST FESTIVAL : 18 – 29 JULY @ THE BONDI PAVILION→
An office ‘team-building’ weekend camping trip in Tasmania brings together some unlikely and in some cases unlikeable characters. Four mismatched, middle management, city-dwelling colleagues find themselves hopelessly and cluelessly stranded on a remote, freezing, wet and foggy island.
Tim Firth’s 1992 play, NEVILLE’S ISLAND, originally set in the Lake District of England, has been successfully transformed into the wilds of Tasmania by director Mark Kilmurry, who himself played the acerbic character Gordon in a production in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1996.
Kilmurry has cleverly re-cast the play to include three of the Chaser team, Chris Taylor (Gordon), Andrew Hansen (Roy), Craig Reucassel (Angus) and long-time actor, director, writer and producer David Lynch (Neville). As the play is essentially a comedy, the chemistry works really well.
Featured photo – Simon Lyndon and Georgina Symes. Pic Patrick Boland.
From time to time, a play comes along that fits perfectly well in the psyche – enabling us to relax, enjoy, compare, empathise, sympathise, laugh and brood.
SUNSET STRIP, Suzie Miller’s latest play, empowers its audience. We know that we are not alone and mutual hope is the elixir of well-being.
It is a play about challenge, hope and families struggling with their imperfections whilst maintaining a deep sense of belonging and an unbreakable bond
Miller says of her play, “I wanted it to reflect how we bumble through life with all sorts of challenges, some of which will never be fixed or cured, but which we take on board and battle along with. There are also many funny and darkly ironic moments that come about even when we live with ‘everything going wrong’. I wanted to celebrate this because it is something we have all known and have experienced.”Continue reading SUZIE MILLER’S ‘SUNSET STRIP’ @ THE STABLES→
Featured photo – Griffin Award 2017 winner David Finnigan. Photo by Javier Vela. Inset photos by Brett Boardman.
In promoting and encouraging new, emerging Australian playwrights, the Griffin Theatre Company is continuing to evolve and grow.
Under the Artistic Direction of Lee Lewis, Griffin has become an audience favourite, as evidenced last Sunday by a full house of writers, fellow actors and loyal supporters at the annual 2017 Griffin Award.
The Griffin Award is now in its twentieth year and recognises an ‘outstanding play or performance text that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice.’
The winner received a $10,000 prize and the runners-up $1,000. Of the 95 entries this year, only 5 were shortlisted.
The winner was David Finnigan for Kill Climate Deniers, a sharp and satirical look at politics, the two-party system coming face to face with a global-scale crisis unfolding over decades.
The other 4 shortlisted plays this year were: Kit Brookman for The Bees Are All Dead, Ang Collins for Blueberry Play, Emme Hoy for Extinction of the Learned Response and Brooke Robinson for Good Cook. Friendly.Clean.
The play readings were stimulating, clever and funny and all refreshingly different. It would be good to see these plays, in their entirety, on stage some time soon.
If you are a playwright and wish to be notified when applications for 2018 open, go to the Griffin website, Griffin Award, and fill out a form. For other queries, email: email@example.com
Featured photo – Eliza Logan as Mrs Lusty. All photography by Lucy Parakhina.
THE HAM FUNERAL was written by Patrick White, (the irascible and insightful Australian Nobel Laureate of 1973), in 1948. It is set in a gloomy, post-war London boarding house.
The play remained unstaged for 13 years. After being submitted for and controversially rejected by the1962 Adelaide Festival, it was instead first performed by the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild in 1961. It both shocked and delighted audiences.
Kate Mulvany’s latest play, THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR, at the Ensemble Theatre, is a vibrant and farcical recount of the death of the villainous tyrant and ‘Mad Monk’, Grigori Rasputin.
The story begins in St Petersburg, Russia in the winter of 1917. A pink cupcake is being prepared, injected with cyanide, by the daft but wicked nobles, Felix, Dimitri and the camera-mad, balmy Vlad. Assisted by their maid Minya, they lure Rasputin to the Moika Palace to poison him. They are anything but adept and their victim is much stronger than they imagined.
What follows is a hilarious, larger than life romp. The nobles would qualify for ‘Upper Class Twits of the Year’ and Minya, also half-starking mad, unwittingly takes orders. Vlad wears his camera and at dangerously crucial points in the murder attempt, continues to click, as the camera bulb lights up the theatre each time, a brilliant addition to the play. Continue reading KATE MULVANY’S ‘THE RASPUTIN AFFAIR’ @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE→
David Williamson’s latest play, ODD MAN OUT, playing at The Ensemble Theatre, explores a relationship that is very different from anything he’s ever written before.
Ryan sees Alice on a bus and is instantly taken by her smile. He relentlessly pursues her until she agrees to have dinner with him.
Ryan is charming and showers Alice with attention, affection, expensive restaurants and classical concerts. She can’t resist his eccentric, intelligent mind and sexual prowess, so, although things are moving too fast for her, she agrees to get married.
Alice becomes disturbed at Ryan’s outbursts with her family and friends and his inability to cope with social skills and decipher emotions. She soon realises that he has Asperger’s Syndrome. As Ryan does not want to lose her, he agrees to be “rescued” by his wife, who uses ‘colour coded’ emotional therapy and signals him to change his conversation in social situations, with resulting clever moments.
There is humour and pathos in Williamson’s writing. Justin Stewart Cotta is brilliant and engaging as Ryan and gives a stand out performance. Lisa Gormley as Alice, juggles her commentary to the audience and her scenes with her friends and family with agility and humour, occasionally underplaying the larger emotional moments that need to match her husband’s.
Gael Ballantyne as both mothers, Emily and Polly, is very good, Rachel Gordon as Alice’s girlfriend, Carla, adds humour and charm to her role. Bill Young as Gary and Police Officer, is a strong, commanding presence on stage and Matt Minto, as Evan and Neville, is calm and confident.
Director Mark Kilmurry, has, as usual, done a great job with the direction, especially with Cotta’s characterisation and powerful staging.
Anna Gardiner has created an original, clever set design. The back wall has a brain like colour pattern which moves in and out of light. Also refreshing is the lighting of Christopher Page and the sound design, especially the clicking sounds when Alice signals Ryan, by Alistair Wallace.
ODD MAN OUT is a play worth seeing for its examination of love and commitment and for raising our awareness of the debilitating Asperger’s Syndrome, and how it impacts sufferers and their partners in relationships.
Mark Kilmurry’s production of ODD MAN OUT is playing the Ensemble Theatre until Saturday 18th March, 2017.
Andree Greenwell is a dynamic singer and award-winning composer with a catalogue of almost 100 scores, including credits for Sydney Theatre Company, Symphony Australia, Australian Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir and the Queensland Music Festival where she was commissioned by director Deborah Conway to compose Behind The Cane with David Bridie.
The Old 505 Theatre in Newtown is hosting shows for the 2016 Sydney Fringe Festival, and PEDAL.CASTLES has created great interest since winning two awards in the NZ Fringe 2016.
PEDAL.CASTLES were created by House Of Sand production company, which also won Most Promising Emerging Company at the NZ Fringe 2016. At its helm is dancer/performer Eliza Sanders and her brother Charles Sanders, who is the director. PEDAL is the company’s first work and prequel to CASTLES. Continue reading PEDAL.CASTLES @ THE OLD 505 NEWTOWN→
Above – Brian Meegan as Reece and Sophie Hensser as Jacqui. Featured – Eric Beecroft as Robin and Sophie Hensser as Jacqui in James Graham’s A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS. Pics by Phil Erbacher.
It is possible, in this era of ever-changing and dynamic technological development, to meet someone on the internet via web cam and Skype, develop a relationship and fall in love without ever having met in person. Does there come a time when a two-dimensional screen is just not enough?
Award-winning Welsh playwright and film and television writer, James Graham, explores a love story that begins with Robin and Jacqui, two young people who happen to meet online but because of a phobia they share, cannot leave their respective homes. Graham’s 2009 play ‘A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS’ is an entertaining and well-crafted play, succinctly and sensitively directed by Nicole Buffoni. Continue reading A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS @ ENSEMBLE THEATRE→
The Hayes Theatre Company in Kings Cross partners independent producers and artists, championing small scale musical theatre and cabaret. Its 2016 cabaret season runs from June 13th to July 10th.
A highlight of the season is Joanna Weinberg’s cabaret PANDORA’S BAG, a delightful, witty parody of women’s lives as seen through their most indispensible of accessories, the handbag.
Weinberg has written thirteen one woman shows, and in this, her fourteenth, PANDORA’S BAG, she is accompanied on her piano by three fabulous female jazz musicians, Kate Adams on cello, Nicola Ossher on drums and percussion and Ellen Kirkwood, who also does heart-warming harmonies, on trumpet. Continue reading JOANNA WEINBERG’S PANDORA’S BAG @ HAYES THEATRE→
The 1960s was a decade that saw many talented Australian artists recognised in the United Kingdom, helping to debunk the somewhat patronising, colonial stereotype that was associated with Australia in those days.
The Seekers’ rise to fame was chronicled by singer Judith’s brother-in-law, Patrick Edgeworth and Graham Simpson, who had written The Judith Durham Story – Colours of my Life. From this, the musical GEORGY GIRL was born.Continue reading GEORGY GIRL @ THE STATE THEATRE→
Pictured above- Refugees in a boat- Forever Tupou, Henriette Tkalec, Che Baines, Shane Millward and Simon Lee. Featured photo- Forever Tupou, Tiffany Hoy, Henriette Tkalec and Jepke Goudsmit. Production photography by Saha Jones.
For decades, the Kinetic Energy Theatre Company has been unerringly committed to championing the woes of the underdog,– the confused, accused and misused.
None so more than their current production, REFUGE. With the depiction of asylum seekers and detainees as mere statistics and nameless numbers, we can forget that they are also fellow human beings, most of whom have endured great suffering without any criminal convictions. REFUGE aims to undo the demonisation.
The Old Fitz Theatre has gained iconic status since opening its doors twenty years ago. The intimate sixty-seat pub theatre has introduced new Australian playwrights and hosted many great talents including Tim Minchin, Kate Mulvany, Toby Schmitz and Benito Di Fonzo.
In late 2014, Red Line Productions moved into the Old Fitz with Artistic Director Andrew Henry, Executive Director Vanessa Wright and Associate Producer and Artist Sean Hawkins at the helm.
MY ZINC BED, by award-winning and provocative playwright David Hare, made its debut at The Royal Court Theatre, London, in 2000. Its carefully crafted eloquence and finesse continues to attract audiences. Mark Kilmurry’s current production is vibrant and funny with an appropriate underlying sadness throughout.
Husband Victor Quinn is a masterful raconteur whose colourful past had its roots in the communist party, at one time greatly popular with intellectuals and philosophers. His transformation over the years brings him into the corporate world as a highly successful founder of an IT company. Despite this success and wealth, Victor has not lost his penchant for the less fortunate and vulnerable.
Bell Shakespeare has opened its 2015 season and its 25th anniversary year with AS YOU LIKE IT. As John Bell is retiring from the company he so successfully started in 1990, this production will be the last one co-directed with Bell and ongoing Artistic Director Peter Evans.
Bell and Evans open their program notes with, “Above the new Globe Theatre in 1599 stood the words, ‘Totus mundus agit histrionem’, which can be translated as ‘All the world’s a stage’, the monologue so beautifully delivered in the play by Bell’s restless and melancholic character, Jaques.
This motto seems to be reflected throughout the play, including the adaptable and minimalist set design by Michael Hankin, which, including 5,500 hanging flowers, could be set anywhere, anytime. Kate Aubrey’s radical costume design incorporates the 30s, 50s and 60s decades, further enhancing the timelessness of the world stage. Continue reading As You Like It @ The Playhouse→
Psychiatry is surely the most nebulous and volatile of all the chosen medical careers and the gravity of the profession played a substantial part in the extensive media coverage during our recent Mental Health Week.
English playwright Joe Penhall takes an adventurous leap into the complexities of psychiatry and mental health in his multi-award winning play, BLUE/ORANGE.
The underlying seriousness of the play is counterpointed by Penhall’s clever humour, – his ability to use razor-sharp wit and exotic ideas to keep one step ahead of his audience.
Director Anna Crawford, (with the help of assistant director Jo-Anne Cahill, a wonderful production team and outstanding cast of actors), has created an energetic and balanced production, containing all the elements of raw emotion, perplexity, humour and neuroses, enabling the audience to ponder, – who’s mad and who’s sane? Continue reading Blue/Orange→
Rarely does a stage show translate so well when filmed and transferred to the big screen. BILLY ELLIOT-THE MUSICAL LIVE is so well produced you really feel like you’re in the theatre watching it. The movie was shot on 35mm film in London’s West End at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where it has been running since 2005. The movie will screen for one day only in Sydney this Sunday October 5th.
Elliott Hanna (11 years old), from Liverpool, is the youngest boy ever to play the title role, having made his debut at the age of 10. He shares the role of Billy with 3 other young actors and was lucky to have performed it on September 28th, the night the film was shot. He is brilliant in this role. Elliott opens the film with great warmth and charm, telling us as we follow him, that the actors don’t go in the front door, but through the stage door. He takes us backstage, showing us props and various vantage points. Continue reading Billy Elliot-The Musical Live→
Those who have frequented Bob Dylan concerts over the last three decades will undoubtedly know that you’ll never know what to expect. Seldom resting in any one genre, he has never been reluctant to experiment, as was the case in his highly criticised move from folk to rock’n’roll in the 60s.
It is this unpredictability and self-assuredness that brings audiences back again and again and has Dylan still touring and writing songs at age 73. Blessed with a golden pen, his lyrics have always had unique simplicity, yet run deep, rattle our nerves and inspire great imagery. A dedicated poet and minstrel, he loves touring and playing live. Since his first London tour in 1965 and the eclectic Rolling Thunder tours of the 70s, Dylan has toured every year from 1987 to 2014, playing over 2.600 shows. Continue reading Bob Dylan Back In Fine Form→
From time to time a new Australian production comes along that contains all the elements of great theatre – good writing, direction, acting and the accompanying creatives of lighting, sound, costume and set design.
SUGARLAND is all this and more. Playwrights Rachael Coopes and Wayne Blair spent two months in the Northern Territory top end town of Katherine from 2011 to research their new play that was commissioned by ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People). Continue reading Sugarland→
Bob Dylan turns 73 next Saturday May 24th. Bruce Williams, Bill Kitson and the ‘superhuman crew’ have been taking over the 2SER FM studios once a year to celebrate Bob’s birthday. This year is the 30th show and most of the team were at the very first one in 1985.
Between 8pm and 2am, you can phone in for requests and win CDs if you’re fast enough on the quiz questions. There is an eclectic mix of original songs, bootlegs, interviews with relevant people (last year there was a great interview with Patti Smith talking about Bob) and up-to-date information about his latest movies, songs, albums and tours.
Michael Buble, to contagious audience anticipation, opened his concert in Sydney last Friday by cruising out from his curtain alone and singing a wonderful rendition of “Fever”. His interpretation of all his songs by other artists were just as powerful and unique.
The curtain opened to a vibrant stage where his long term musicians, fondly known as ‘Team Buble’, were placed on one moving platform and the incredible horn section on another. Later in the evening, the horn section glided off and returned with a local Sydney string orchestra aboard. Buble broke into “Haven’t Met You Yet”, a favourite with his ecstatic audience.