10 December 2012

What Melbourne loved in 2012, part 3

Today's theatre folk are Sean Bryan, Scott Gooding and Daniel Lammin.

Sean Bryan
general manager Present Tense

SEAN: After returning home from working on and developing musicals in the US at the start of the year, I was thrilled to see so much happening in the way of musical theatre development around the country, from the big ones (Officer and a Gentleman and Moonshadow) to the work of up and comers, such as Emily Mercurio and Josh Mulcahy's One More Year. It goes without saying that it was a thrill to be part of that with Margaret Fulton: Queen Of The Dessert too. I think the development industry for musical theatre took some big steps forward this year, and I hope it continues to do so next year.

SM: Being at the opening night of Margaret Fulton and seeing how much Margaret Fulton and her family loved the show was a sparklie highlight for me. Sean was side stage working the desk and didn't stop grinning for the entire show!

Scott Gooding
theatre whore

This year has seen me travel the world and come across some very unexpected theatrical experiences. But the highlights have been (in order of appearance):

Ending up backstage at the Elephant Pageant in Thailand with 1000 performers and 20 elephants. Really had to be aware of backstage etiquette and OHS on that one!

On the production of monsters: Rob Reid, Clare Watson and MTC getting it right. Great script, amazeballs set, tight acting. Oh, and the older people across the audience from us sighing audibly or falling asleep. Always a sign that I'm gonna like the show.

Going to Edinburgh Fringe festival for the first time. The city stops for the performing arts.
'Twas like being a a pig in a particularly piggy heaven.

I, Animal. The Border Project with the Melbourne Zoo. An interactive, travelling unique theatrical experience. Takes all the good elements of choose-your-own narrative theatre and places it in the setting of the zoo. Uplifting, meaningful, morose and buoyant all at the same time.

Also wish to second Sarah Walker's photography. Beautiful and funny and glorious.

SM: I'm going to bend the rules a bit and go back to December 2011 for my favourite Scott moment. RAG Theatre's The Classic Tale of Faust.  RAG Theatre creates opportunities for people who experience barriers to arts participation.  Just being in the 70s timewarp of  Latvian House in St Kilda and being served vodka and Latvian snacks was pretty neat, but the moment was the seeing just how much this show and the process of making it meant to the people in it. When something is created with love and the people performing love what they are doing, it's nearly impossible to not enjoy sharing the experience with them.

Daniel Lammin

another photo by Sarah Walker

DANIEL: Returning to Melbourne after a year away*, I have been thrilled and inspired at how much its theatrical landscape has changed. There are a whole new generation of theatre makers and artists around, creating unusual, unexpected and exciting work. There were a few notable highlights, including Declan Greene’s Pompeii L.A., Sisters Grimm’s Summertime in the Garden of Eden, No Show’s Shotgun Wedding, the Short and Sweet Variety Gala and assistant directing on On the Misconception of Oedipus, but I have whittled down to: The Unspoken Word is "Joe"

It was virtuoso. It was daring. I felt like I was watching the pillars of the theatre, of what I understood about the art form, crumble before my eyes. Joe was one of those works that truly interacted and reshaped form, character, narrative and audience relationship, and yet was still immensely entertaining and moving. The direction was simple and affecting, the performances (especially Nikki Shiels) were intricate and operatic, and Zoey Dawson’s script was some kind of crazy miracle. I walked out of the theatre in a state of shock and awe. How often can you say that?


SM: The final play of the Short and Sweet Theatre season was Enter Certain Outlaws written and directed by Daniel (and he performed in it for the gala performance). I can't forget the horrified silence of the audience when they realised that this cutsie sweet verse play about two little boys was about the two little boys who violently killed another little boy. I openly laughed when I saw it in the heats (laughter can be how we cope with the worst life has to offer), but knew that I'd have been beaten by members of the audience if I'd dared to laugh during the final's performance. It went on to win a couple prizes: best director, best play.

part 1
part 2
part 4
part 5
part 6
part 7
part 8

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