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.
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.
Vast and complex threads of memories arise when the subject of motherhood is brought to light.
Mothers are universal nurturers driven by unconditional love, and yet they are sometimes neglected, misunderstood or just too tired to cope.
The play MOTHERS is the brainchild of Joy Roberts. She put out the call for monologue submissions and was surprised by the depth of response. Not only were they funny and satirical, but they exposed the darker side of motherhood – loneliness, hardship and exhaustion.
Vibrant venue, Giant Dwarf, in Redfern is the new home of alternative comedy in Sydney. Previously known as The Performance Space, the theatre produced cutting edge and experimental shows from 1983 to 2007.
A RATIONAL FEAR, described as “60 minutes of evidence-based shit stirring, fast, funny and topical, like Q&A on crack!”, has taken up residence at Giant Dwarf once a month and broadcasts live to air on FBi Radio. Initiated by comedian and broadcaster, Dan Ilic, it started at FBi Social, moved to Laugh Garage and had one off shows at the Opera House and The Factory. This latest show is their 17th.
Ten months ago, Giant Dwarf was a derelict, drab and echoey building. Dan Ilic and manager Nikita Agzarian, along with the Chaser team, committed to taking on the space and restoring it to its original state. The large red velvet curtain and retro lounges suggest appropriate decadence and the entrance courtyard is very homely with its bar and burgers. The Chaser team use it as their production house (aptly using their nickname for Andrew Denton, Giant Dwarf), and a whole heap of regular events happen there on a similar rotation to A RATIONAL FEAR.
Last Monday, Ilic and his panel produced a fabulous line-up for A RATIONAL FEAR. With DJ Dylabolical on hand, Alice R Fraser warmed up the audience with her wonderfully inappropriate and risqué jokes. Lewis Hobba, Greg Fleet, James Colley and Hannah May Reilly joined Ilic. What followed was a deliciously irreverent combination of sketch, stand-up, video and – the icing on the cake – an interview with Bob Carr, former Premier of NSW and former Labor foreign minister.
Reilly and Colley (both from FBi radio) and Hobba (from Triple J radio) all performed controversial and clever monologues. Experienced comedian, Greg Fleet, prefers to improvise so he was thrown random topics, which he quickly turned around with his absurdist humour.
Bob Carr was invited onstage and his ‘throne’ was unveiled in the form of a double set of Qantas retro airline chairs, first class of course. Accompanied by his latest autobiography, Carr felt quite at home and rebuffed the panel’s cheeky questions with great ease.
A waiter arrived onstage with refreshments for him – a bottle of Penfolds Grange, which he gracefully refused.
The audience – a full house – were on top of the comedy and never stopped laughing. Carr’s parting gift from the panel in a spirit of irony, was a 4L goon cask, to which he responded afterwards: “Is this considered a lower class of alcohol?”
A RATIONAL FEAR should not be missed. Their next show will be on Tuesday 3rd June, 2014 at the Giant Dwarf, 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern and will run from 8pm to 11pm.
For more information, visit their official website:
It’s no surprise that Michael Buble’s career continues to soar, topping the charts worldwide with multiple platinum albums.
He is a consummate professional, a generous and personable man who knows how to stay on top of his game. He spoke about his attitude to performing and managing his many months of touring during his press conference- his only media conference of his national tour- held last Thursday in the Treasury Room at the Intercontinental Hotel.
“I was built to do this, born to do it and I love every moment that I’m up there. With my audience, that first show, whether it’s my 150th or 160th show, that night is just as important and more important than every other one. People spend their hard earned money and hire babysitters to be there,” he says.
Brave New Word Theatre Company continues to produce fresh and new Australian plays with its latest show DANCING NAKED IN THE BACKYARD.
Written by C.J. Naylor, the script, as with previous shows, was experimented and improvised on by Naylor and the actors, with director Travis Kecek then preparing the final shape of the play. This process gives the cast and crew a deeper connection to their theatre piece.
Artistic director Luke Holmes says, “There are plays I love, there are roles I’d give almost anything to play…but there’s nothing quite like working on something completely new, and watching it change, evolve and finally be staged.”
The KINETIC JAZZ FESTIVAL is in full swing again this year featuring the cream of Australia’s jazz musicians playing over six nights.
Now in its fifth year, co-directors of Kinetic Energy Theatre Company, Graham Jones and Jepke Goudsmit, have transformed their performance space at St Luke’s Hall in Enmore, into a warm and intimate jazz concert venue.
With the audience seated a mere six feet from the musicians, this high quality acoustic listening environment is well worth visiting. The beauty of this informal setting is that you can watch these formidable musicians create their magic, hearing every nuance up close and personal.
Prolific artist Daniel Boyd has taken out this year’s Bvlgari Art Award with his magnificent painting UNTITLED 2014. This was announced at a function held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on Tuesday 15th April.
This prestigious award, which includes a $50,000 painting acquisition for the Art Gallery and a residency in Italy valued at $30,000, is selected by the Gallery’s Trustees, its director Dr Michael Brand, and head curator of Australian art Wayne Tunnicliffe.
Bvlgari, famous creators of jewelry founded in Rome in 1884, have sponsored this award for the last three years and have kindly announced their support for the next three years, encouraging new young artists.
Daniel Boyd was born 31 years ago, a Kudjla/Gangalu man from Cairns in far north Queensland. He studied at the Canberra School of Art and has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since 2005 with solo exhibitions almost every year.
Boyd’s great, great paternal grandfather was born in Pentecost Island in Vanuatu and later brought to the sugarcane fields in Queensland as a slave. The many South Sea islanders there received virtually no pay under harsh conditions and little recognition for their contribution.
Boyd’s love of his ancestral history and focus on the ethics of colonisation, have dominated his recent and current work. UNTITLED 2014 has been created from a small photograph of Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. Over Boyd’s essentially black and white, oil, pastel and archival glue painting of a family in distant bush, is a veil of transparent dots, giving the effect of history lost. This invokes an eerie sense of spirituality, which connects us to a time long gone. It is this need of Boyd’s to reach back through history that gives his paintings such power. They seem both contemplative and evocative.
UNTITLED 2014 is worth going to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see and experience. Congratulations to Daniel Boyd, this award is definitely well deserved.