Festivals Past Years

SCREENWAVE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL,COFFS HARBOUR. GIVEAWAY.

WIN a trip to Screenwave International Film Festival on the Coffs Coast, valued at over $1,250!

Prize inclusions:
• 3 nights’ accommodation in an Oceanview Spa Studio at The Observatory Holiday Apartments
• 3 days car hire with Hertz Car Rental
• 6-Film Pass to Screenwave International Film Festival 2019
• $100 shopping spree at Coffs Central Shopping Centre
• Chocolate gift bag from Bellingen’s Deva Cacao on arrival at your apartment

To enter, simply sign up to SWIFF’s e-newsletter. Details here.

Terms and conditions apply. Winners will be selected at random on Monday 19 November, 2018 and notified via e-mail  (Please note: competition ends this Sunday! )

The Screenwave International Film Festival is 10-25 January, 2019 Coffs Harbour Jetty Memorial Hall and Bellingen Memorial Hall.  You can find out more at their website and social media. Facebook, Twitter.

THE SWANMAIDENS: MUCH MORE THAN MEN

Production Photography: Clare Molnar

WARNING: May involve dance, glitter and boys being boys.” says their Facebook events page and yeees, THE SWANMAIDENS does indeed have all that but more, much more and one very special, unique, exciting other thing.  The show has now finished its run at the Sydney Fringe but with luck we can expect more from new company Hunter & Sammler, this team and writer/director Luke Yager.  Because this was a cracker of show.  It was a fiercely male and ferociously sensitive production with mystery, great audio and performances that really bite the bullet.

We meet four men in worn khaki attire when they respond militarily to an urgency of klaxon call and red pulse with the violent donning of wall mounted gas masks and the aggressive waving of simulated weapons.  This, after a preshow bassy surround vibration on the audio track that really does your head in and after we have seen one of their number, a lost, broken boy surreptitiously hiding a big cardboard box.  It’s a wildly intriguing opening.  Sharing too much about the plot might spoil the enjoyment of a remount of the show, so suffice to say that these are men alone who will embrace swans and Tchaikovsky in an act of rebellion. Continue reading THE SWANMAIDENS: MUCH MORE THAN MEN

THE WOMEN OF CHASING SMOKE: GENTLY HELD WHISPS

Images from :CHASING SMOKE

Playing as part of the Sydney Fringe, THE WOMEN OF CHASING SMOKE  is under the aegis of contemporary circus company Casus, an organization respected Australia-wide for the quality of their development of thematic content inside the form.  The parent production, CHASING SMOKE, is a larger show which was “born out of Circus Oz’s BLAKflip, a program that nurtures and actively increases the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander circus artists on stages in Australia and across the globe.”  This incarnation is the women of that show and it is blazingly femalecentric in strength and lyricism.

It begins with a tour of ‘Aborigine World’ from a hostess who is dressed in a colourful and very charming 50s tea-length, full skirt, swing dress.  As two women of colour do the huddle and look sad thing in their grey ill-fitting costumes on centre stage, our hostess re-introduces us to our historical misperceptions.  It’s a confronting beginning if you have time to really think about it but this show will move fast, morph easily into new skill based scenes and flow gracefully to express the lived experience modern indigenous women. Continue reading THE WOMEN OF CHASING SMOKE: GENTLY HELD WHISPS

TOXIC KISS PRESENTS JOUISSANCE

Benedict and Margo of Toxic Kiss

“Toxic Kiss: Presents Jouissance” is a pithy “live art coalition” helmed by the over-achieving Margot Koch and her more pathetic half, Benedict Jaye J. Jay, who are hell-bent on bringing true art to the masses.

The pair are the theatrical alter-egos of writers and performers Clare Hennessy and Richie Black. They’ve concocted a riotous, bizarre show in ‘Jouissance’ that examines the true purpose of art, and in doing so stumble upon the hilarious and sometimes sobering lack of joy.

For just under an hour Margot and Benedict battle both inner and literal demons, characters observed so astutely they could be caricatures from inside a Sacha Baron Cohen mockumentary.

Hennessy and Black have wonderful comedic pairing, reminiscent of other popular double-acts such as French and Saunders or Lano and Woodley, with the curmudgeonly and berating Margot delightfully played against the morose and whimsical Benedict. reminding us that you don’t need to be an art lover or maker to understand what’s essentially a very Australian skepticism of pretense and poppy-cock.

The comedy mines the intellectual and the gleefully profane to superb effect – while bringing to life a surprisingly effective psychological subtext. It is also hilariously funny whether you are an art-lover or not. I look forward to seeing Toxic Kiss’s next work!

For more about Toxic Kiss presents Jouissance, visit {Website:10}

PINOCCHIO: GO, STAND, WAIT, BEG BUT GET A TICKET!

PINOCCHIO playing as part of the Sydney Fringe is the most marvellous worldbuilding.  The production is artistically and intellectually rigorous, expressively expansive and technically perfect.  It is having well deserved sold out houses, but get your hands on a ticket any way you can.  Because this is a production so specifically created around its surroundings that one fears it will struggle to find a re-mount venue.

It begins as Geppetto is come home to his grey, brutalist, Bauhaus inspired, utilitarian, dirty-windowed workshop.  Taking the photo of El Duce from the wall, Geppetto’s imagination fires and to the squeaks of his two clarinet-playing creations, the other three puppets will also come to life.  For the next 40 minutes he will interact with love and with sadness and with surprise and with fear. Oh! the games they will play. Continue reading PINOCCHIO: GO, STAND, WAIT, BEG BUT GET A TICKET!

MAGGOT AT THE SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL

MAGGOT is funny, silly, full of energy and definitely worth catching.

Performers Angela Fouhy, Elle Wootton and Freya Finch are playing characters that were ostensibly  the international pop sensation The Baby Girls. They explain they are moving away from pop and into art, possibly to talk about the stock market but possibly to talk about themselves. MAGGOT is part comedy sketch show, part musical cabaret and part circus. The artists’ clowning background shows in their dance routines, fight scenes and being lost in the desert but surreal dialogue and eclectic music choices has the audience laughing, cheering and clapping. It is such a fun show that the audience eagerly participates when requested. Continue reading MAGGOT AT THE SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL

IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST FALL APART

In love, we need. We crumble and fall apart. With one another we conquer.

Two women.
Two minds.
Raw.
Intimate.
Minimalistic.

If Symptoms Persist Fall Apart is an original work from the creative minds of recent drama school graduates Shayne de Groot and Madeline MacRae. It is an experimental blend of physical theatre, elements of dance and broken dialogue with an original soundscape. Two bodies evolve within a minimalistic space bringing to life a fluid and gritty expression of love, emotion, vulnerability, intimacy, heartache, pain and triumph.

IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST FALL APART is playing the Red Box, Legs Hub, 91 Canal Road Lilyfield 2040 on September 29th at 6pm.

For more about If Symptoms Persist Fall Apart, visit https://sydneyfringe.com/buy-tickets/?q=if%20symptoms%20per
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SCARECROW: BESPOKE THEATRICALITY CREEPS AT BLOOD MOON THEATRE

Romney Stanton in SCARECROW

SCARECROW is a terrific choice for presenting at the  Sydney Fringe and for producing at Blood Moon Theatre.  Written by prolific American playwright Don Nigro, it is textually designed to be bare, claustrophobic, with the focus on character and relationships.  As directed by Naomi Livingstone and Deborah Jones, this offering is bespoke to the tiny stage and has a brilliant performance at its heart.

We meet Rose and her daughter Cally.  Never going out and probably feigning her illness, Rose has always had Cally to herself in the tiny house on the edge of a cornfield but the daughter is ripe for manipulation and sexual predation.  Enter Nick.  Shadowy and experienced in influencing pliable, inexperienced, naive young women, his agenda apparently reaches beyond just sex with the eager Cally, past the field’s scarecrow into the house itself. Continue reading SCARECROW: BESPOKE THEATRICALITY CREEPS AT BLOOD MOON THEATRE

A NEW AUSTRALIAN DOUBLE BILL : QUITE A FLURRY AT THE FRINGE

French Santa is a new Sydney based production company run by Valentin Lang and James Sweeny.

French Santa is slipping down the Sydney Fringe chimney with a sack full of fun, presenting a double bill of two new 50 minute Australian plays, The Intervention by Valentin Lang (directed byLloyd Allison-Young) and Good, Die Young by James Sweeny (directed by Damien Strouthos).

THE INTERVENTION , penned by Valentin Lang, is a kitchen sink, dirty dishes, carpet curl, share house drama where. Mary and Joe and Steve share a house and Mary is concerned that Steve is on a spiral into alcoholism.. It’s not just his health she is concerned about, but the health of Joe who is his deputy in dipsomania, and the wellbeing of the house’s furniture and floor coverings.

She plans an intervention which unleashes a can of worms that wriggles with house share hypocrisy and room-mate resentments and recriminations.

Nice work by four players – Jess Belle-Keogh as Mary brings a quality reminiscent of a young Judi Dench. Luke McMahon is the lovelorn lost weekender, Steve, and the play’s author, Valentin Lang, is the procrastinating puppy, Joe. Rounding out the quartet is Elle Harris as Anthea, Steve’s celebrity squeeze who is happy just to have him as an occasional fuck buddy.

The more intriguing work is GOOD, DIE YOUNG, a speculative piece about the inherent amorality in achieving amorality. See what I did just there. It’s just what the playwright James Sweeny is doing, conjuring the word and pitting his characters in the pros and cons of the ethics and economics of medical breakthroughs, and putting in that cheeky little comma in the title. Hope you weren’t too comatose to spot it.

There’ll be no nodding off in this bracing speculative narrative – sexy, surprising, controversial and sparklingly funny – fuelling high octane performances from an awesome foursome.

Playwright James Sweeny, plays Alex, the bio-tech maven, Alex, who has undergone a surgery that renders himself amortal, that is, immunised against disease and ageing. The cost is astronomical, far beyond the means of mere mortals, but not to a guy who can afford a return trip to Mars.

His beloved, Jane, an actress, is given full throated and physical throttle by Jessica Clarke in a performance hungry as the sea, salty, sultry, satisfying.

In a perfect match tag team, Amanda Stephens-Lee plays the older Jane, exalting in the characterisations firm foundation.

In a character that, in essence, is a coda, Emily Pincock gives the teenage progeny, Poppy, a refreshingly delightful lightness of being.

September 25-29th, 7pm, Erskineville Town Hall, The Living Room.

ASMR LIVE : IT BEGINS IN WHISPERS AND ENDS IN GUFFAWS

As the only grey haired person in the room I can truly say that I do not want to be sacrificed to save a baby in a rather bizarre reworking of the ‘Trolley Problem’.  But I needed to keep that to myself because given the unruly and constant laughter from this group of millennials-ish, they would tear me to pieces if I skewed the results of the vote about who would be murdered.  And how did it get to this from a show about autonomous sensory meridian response = ASMR?  Via the quirk in the work of comedian Issy Phillips, who has a show named almost  exactly that at the Sydney Fringe.

It begins calmly enough in the whisper and sotto voce of our host.  She’s very calm considering that her show has a huge, and very well designed, reliance on tech which decided to corrupt itself just before the show.   The calm beginning, however, is just a leaping off point as Phillips brings a range of very peculiar, very funny, slightly disturbing, situations and characters into play. Continue reading ASMR LIVE : IT BEGINS IN WHISPERS AND ENDS IN GUFFAWS

A LITTLE CABARET OF SELDOM HEARD TREASURES

This image: The Cast of A Little Cabaret
Featured image: Siobhan Clifford, Olivia Vasquez, Denise Devlin, & Embla Bishop
Production images: Christopher Starnawski (Omnes Photography)

A LITTLE CABARET is a fundraiser for Little Triangle’s November production of Michael John LaChiusa & George C. Wolfe’s THE WILD PARTY and its short run at the Sydney Fringe is pretty much sold out. With good reason.  There’s a commitment to excellence inside this little company that spills over the footlights in all their work. Staged or simply sung. Here we have seven gorgeous voices performing songs chosen with care to be interesting and unusual.  Celebrating the unsung is the publicity tagline and what a great program it turns out to be.

It’s just a lovely night to share with lovers of musical theatre as some songs ooze with familiarity and others are go-home-and-google offerings.  Directed by Alexander Andrews and accompanied by Conrad Hamill there are brief introductions “another woman sits at another bar alone” … “ A young wife has a secret.” Continue reading A LITTLE CABARET OF SELDOM HEARD TREASURES

WHERE WILL ALL THE PENGUINS GO? GREAT JOB KIDS!

These kids are just great and they have a topic they can get their teeth into.  WHERE WILL ALL THE PENGUINS GO?, playing as part of the Sydney Fringe, will give them a voice on issues such as the environment and the dangers of plastic bottles, war, refugees and the importance of family.

They are young but committed and they wear their heart on their sleeve as the ensemble brings a story of two brothers.  Brothers who see life in different ways and who grow apart as economic choices separate them. Continue reading WHERE WILL ALL THE PENGUINS GO? GREAT JOB KIDS!

WYNGARDE! A CELEBRATION – A SUPER QUICKIE GIVEAWAY

Photo by Richard Hedger

It’s lovely to see you – here’s to a pleasant evening. And a few surprises. There we are. Are you comfortable? Now where shall we begin?

G.bod Theatre presents WYNGARDE! A CELEBRATION
With Garth Holcombe as the famous but elusive TV star, this  new one-man show is from the makers of the acclaimed  QUEEN BETTE (‘Rain or shine, grab a ticket if you can’: SAG Review)

Peter Wyngarde was best known for playing the character Jason King, a bestselling novelist turned sleuth, in two television series: Department S and Jason King, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but was an accomplished theatre actor until his fall from grace: 2 arrests and convictions for gross indecency in public toilets in 1975.

Much of Wyngarde's life is disputed: his name, his birth date, his sexuality. We know that as a teenager he was a Japanese Prisoner of War (alongside JG Ballard) and that he studied at RADA, before dropping out. We know that at the height of his fame the most popular boy's name in the UK became Jason (after his character). We know that he was mugged by thousands of female admirers at Sydney Airport. We know that Mike Myers has credited him as the inspiration for Austin Powers. He may have been born Cyril Goldbert. He may have had a relationship with Alan Bates. 

He may have had the nickname Petunia Winegum.

gbodtheatre  [Facebook] presents WYNGARDE! A CELEBRATION  as part of the Sydney Fringe. 25 Sep 2018 to 29 Sep 2018 at The Office, Emerging Artists Sharehouse 104 Erskineville Road Erskineville Sydney 2043

With thanks to gbodtheatre, Sydney Arts Guide has three double pass giveaways to WYNGARDE! A CELEBRATION.  These are for either the Tues 25, Wed 26, or Thur 27 September.

To be in the running, email (editorialstaff.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com) 
with PETUNIA WINEGUM as the subject, along with your full name AND the evening you would like to attend.

Competition closes Midnight Sunday 23rd September, 2018 when the winner will be drawn. Only winners will be notified and the tickets will be available at the box office on the night of performance.

MR GORSKI AT THE SYDNEY FRINGE: OFF-BALANCE FUN

With public warning announcements and sirens blaring through St Peters Town Hall the audience of all ages was on edge. Flying in from behind came a body in a red and black suit falling on top of his red suitcase.

It was the dramatic entrance of a well loved festival star, MR GORSKI (Daniel Gorski) in his Sydney Fringe Festival 2018 show. A mime and variety show artist with a lovable endearing persona, the audience is immediately on his side.

Daniel attributes some of his inspiration for performing to his upbringing in an eccentric, Polish artistic family environment that encouraged creativity. Originally from Melbourne, he has performed at a multitude of children’s, folk and fringe festivals throughout Australia and is known for playing Jango in the ABC Kids show ‘Hoopla Doopla’. Continue reading MR GORSKI AT THE SYDNEY FRINGE: OFF-BALANCE FUN

INNER WEST SIDE:THE MUSICAL – RAVE ON!

INNER WEST SIDE:THE MUSICAL in rehearsal

It appears that many of us want an “Inner West state of mind”. This is spectacularly demonstrated in one of the best Raves in town, Inner INNER WEST SIDE:THE MUSICAL. This UltraCult production is currently showing as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival.

Though based in Sydney’s North Shore and Inner West, the story is more universally one of pretence, pretending to be someone you’re not. Andrea (Laura McDonald) a North Shore runaway chases the dream of becoming Newtown ‘cool’, whilst incidentally studying her Arts Degree. Naturally her allowance is cut by her wealthy parents, yet it remains well above any funding the locals may receive which they have to top up by working.

Her privileged background appears to drive her to rise to the top of any group she encounters so she quickly sets her sights on dethroning the incumbent Queen of Rave parties, Monica (Elouise Eftos). Continue reading INNER WEST SIDE:THE MUSICAL – RAVE ON!

BLUE ISLAND 99: UNMISSABLE CONCEPTUAL THEATRE

The stage illustrate as a gay living in the island is same as in the closet.

Politics was on my mind as I attended Old 505 Theatre who are hosting the Archie Rose Touring Hub of the Sydney Fringe.  A production from Taiwan about the LGBT experience? Has to be political! That’s probably why I approached a lovely Taiwanese man and woman and, politely I hope, hit them with twenty questions.  What was the main religion I started off with, what laws impact on the community, what are the prevailing attitudes to queer people?  It went on like this for a while as I info-mined this very generous couple.

After a thoroughly engaging chat, I felt armed with a smidgen of non-wikipedia understanding with which to view BLUE ISLAND 99, my preconceptions about the manner of the production ripe for confrontation.  This is not an angry show, nor is it over-charged with Realpolitik, nor is it didactically political.  Instead the viewer is treated to a lyrical and conceptual work, created with stimulating and well-crafted multimedia and presented with skill and joy. Continue reading BLUE ISLAND 99: UNMISSABLE CONCEPTUAL THEATRE

MOSQUITOES AT THE SYDNEY FRINGE

The Lower Garden Theatre Company presents an adaptation of William Faulkner’s satirical novel MOSQUITOES set against a climate of art criticism, creation and inspiration.

What pushes people away from you can sometimes be your own fight against solitude, and Miss Maurier is adamant her yacht party will make her happy. If not, then maybe sex will. Drink or swim, that's your choice.

When you're invited onto a yacht by a wealthy Sydney-sider you don't say no. Especially if you are an artist, and you could really go for a free meal or a bottle of rum. Gordon, the painter, comes aboard for more than just that. It's seems that's the case for almost everyone.

“MOSQUITOES  is an intimate night of love, laughter and shattered dreams. The mosquitoes come at dusk.”

Starring a cast of local Sydney talent, led by artistic director Todd McHenry.

MOSQUITOES [Facebook Event] from Lower Garden Theatre Company [Facebook] plays September 25 – 29 @ 8:30pm and they are running several promotions.  Wednesday 26th all tickets at $25 at the door and Thursday 27th if you are under 20, tickets are $20 at the door.

GREY MATTER: CHRIS RYAN AT THE SYDNEY FRINGE

Chris Ryan debuts her solo stand up comedy show, Grey Matter at Sydney Fringe Comedy

Going grey should be a sign of maturity and wisdom – not for Chris Ryan. Stuck in a generation consumed by self-improvement and property, Chris just wants to avoid confrontation with dickheads (but they’re everywhere).

Chris Ryan’s laconic take on everything from romance to passive aggressive co-workers has got her spots on Canberra Comedy Festival Galas, the Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase, the Sydney Comedy Store and Enmore Comedy Club. She’s performed in group shows at the Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Festivals and this is her debut solo show. She’s also been posting animations on her website.

GREY MATTER from Chris Ryan [Facebook] plays  27 & 29 September as part of the Sydney Fringe.

Women in Australia – Stories of Courage – Sydney Fringe Festival 2018 @ Pitt Street Uniting Church

Peach Productions presents eight short plays “Women In Australia: Stories Of Courage” as part of Sydney Fringe Festival 2018. Written and directed by women of diverse backgrounds, a brilliant journey to celebrate women’s past struggles for identity, independence and their fighting for the right to own property and the right to vote. Dramatic life stories, starting from early European settlement in Australia, through to present day struggles.                        Continue reading Women in Australia – Stories of Courage – Sydney Fringe Festival 2018 @ Pitt Street Uniting Church

URZA & THE SONG IN THE DARK: BEWILDERING BEAUTY, YOUNG OR OLD

Production Images: Robert Catto

URZA AND THE SONG IN THE DARK is exactly what I always expect from Matriark Theatre – Artfully analogue, handmade, bespoke excellence in design and execution.   It’s a wonderful production which is bursting with humanist joy, the visualization of the invisible and the evocation of sung landscapes of soul.  Designed for children, this detailed yet easily portable production, engages young and old with puppetry, shadow work and original music combined a story of myth,  meaning and much mirth.

The spirit of the hill, the song spirit, is broken and the stones of its shadows are all that is left.    The humans mine and crush the stones for their power to light the town, with no thought to their real meaning or purpose.  Urza is one of the best miners at Tickett’s factory and she has ambitions to be ‘Chief Digger’ until her world is shaken and she finds herself led by a spirit boy who has chosen her for an earth shattering task. She is lost in an underground place that is very, very mysterious,   Urza crawl and fly as she experiences many adventures on her way to loving the earth and all the song stones that make it special. Continue reading URZA & THE SONG IN THE DARK: BEWILDERING BEAUTY, YOUNG OR OLD

ART FOR ART’S SAKE

‘Art for Art’s Sake’ by Sage Godrei

ART FOR ART’S SAKE examines the role of art and performance in the world, a fitting subject for a Sydney Fringe production. This short play shows glimpses of an artist’s life. The scenes of a film school class, dealing with galleries and working in a mundane job are amusing and insightful. There is an interesting narrative about a father advising his artistic daughter not to waste her life like he did pursuing an artistic dream. He suggests she should be like her brother and follow him in the corporate world. Continue reading ART FOR ART’S SAKE

IT’S NOT CREEPY IF THEY’RE HOT – A HOTBED OF HILARITY

A large crowd enjoyed the opening night of IT’S NOT CREEPY IF THEY’RE HOT at Bondi Pavilion Theatre as part of the 2018 Sydney Fringe Festival. It proved that Rosie Licence is a strong new playwright. Director Max Baume describes her writing as “brutally honest” and “painfully hilarious”.

IT’S NOT CREEPY IF THEY’RE HOT is the third play written by Rosie Licence. Blending verbatim theatre, slam poetry and new music, we follow twelve friends, who aren’t that great at being friends. A range of contemporary topics are raised including body image, feminism, explicit pics and internet advice. From the early threatening question: “You’re not going to tell him are you?” this 120 minute play in which much is said has a searing message about what is not talked about. Continue reading IT’S NOT CREEPY IF THEY’RE HOT – A HOTBED OF HILARITY

AFTER MISS JULIE: A STYLISHLY PRESENTED PERIOD PIECE

Patrick Marber’s AFTER MISS JULIE is a fascinating exercise in reinventing a classic and if the production playing as part of the Sydney Fringe is an imperfect rendering, it is nevertheless a watchable evening for both a Strinbergian like myself or like my friend, someone without the preconceptions of the initiated.  Presented in the close confines of The Sandstone Cottage in busy, noisy Spice Alley there is much to be said for being so near to the performers.  SPea Productions have taken this proximity seriously in their preparations and there is considerable charm and attraction in the period features of the show. Continue reading AFTER MISS JULIE: A STYLISHLY PRESENTED PERIOD PIECE