09 December 2012

What Melbourne loved in 2012, part 2

Today's artists sharing their favourite moments of 2012 are Penelope Bartlau, Nick Pelomis and Kaitlyn Clare.

Penelope Bartlau
artistic director of Barking Spider Visual Theatre

PENELOPE: My favourite moment was one that recurred: People telling their own stories through different theatre arts experiences.

"Even though your Littel you can have big idears." This was from an 8-year-old girl who, with her four siblings and her dad, had lived in a car until three years ago. She said this at the end of our (Barking Spider's) Extended School Residency this year. Art has the power to transform.

SM: Sometimes the best shows don't get SM reviews, Barking Spider's The Memorandium was one of them.  Nostalgic, disconcerting and beautiful, a stageful of treasures and junk was used to trigger memories. As the audience shared their memories, Penelope told stories that included the memories and the object that started it. With our own memories at the heart of the stories, I suspect that one day we'll be telling her tales as our own. I remembered ironing floral hankies to fit into my school uniform pocket, my grandma's reluctance to use anything "good" and that a wooden spoon was a threat (never carried out) when I was little.  But, being a borderline hoarder, my favourite moment was rummaging through the backstage room that was filled with everything that couldn't fit on the stage. When I got home, I filled a box with stuff to go to the Salvos.

Oh, and her wedding was pretty special too.

Nick Pelomis

NICK: I adored Margaret Fulton and Persona; both beautifully realised and brought to life. And I'm not being biased, but I also loved Miracle Man and Golden Dragon (ok maybe I am biased!*). Personally, doing Pornography at State Theatre in Adelaide was pretty special – amazing play and playmates! Nice to work with Dan (Clarke) again too. 

SM: I didn't get to see Nick perform this year – boo. I would have loved to have seen Pornography, but it clashed with the Melbourne Festival. My favourite moment though was talking about cats one night at Theatre Works. I was can't remember why we were there because I'd euthanised my beloved cat that week, but Nick made me feel OK about being heartbroken over her loss.

* Being married to the director doesn't mean you have to like the work they do, so no bias even considered.

Kaitlyn Clare

KAITLYN: Reflecting on 2012, I have to say first and foremost how fortuitously blessed I feel and how deeply grateful I am for the incredible people who've thus far contributed to my personal and professional education. Truly.

To narrow it all down to one highlight, much contemplation has led me to the experience of working with Robert Draffin on my graduating production, The Flayed. He challenged, nurtured and respected me physically, emotionally and artistically through what was one of the most exhausting processes I've ever had the honour of partaking in. He trusted me with the gift of freedom and inspired in me a genuine fearlessness I'd never before felt – a secret weapon that enabled me to endure industrial chains and quite literally pop my veins, and to release energies I hadn't realised were simmering inside me. He's a unique genius with an essence not dissimilar to Gene Wilder's incarnation of Willy Wonka and, aside from Robert Reid, he's one director I'd be content to work with exclusively for the rest of my life.

SM: Kaitlyn made sure that I was at one of my favourite theatre moments of the year: Brynne Edelston's acting debut in MKA's Tinkertown. That so wasn't the moment. It was standing outside of Theatre Works on a hot summer night (with KC) watching Brynne walk out. She didn't talk to us and we didn't  talk to her; it was like a meeting of different species who weren't quite sure if the other were real.

Forgetting that Brynne had a handbag that cost more than what everyone watching was wearing, that her skin is a colour not seen in nature and her tits so huge that I wonder if anyone has ever looked her in the eye, it was the amount of effort she'd made to walk from dressing room to car. The photo-shoot make up, the styled hay-like Barbie hair, the matching clothes (I love that she wore all black to fit in with the theatre crowd), the towering heels and a dress that meant there was no way she could sit with her legs apart on such a sweaty night. 

And there's me. I would have put a handful of product in my hair to calm the frizz, but it was pink and black and probably showing some grey. I was wearing my $10 bright pink wedge heel Crocs from the outlet store and maybe something I'd bought at Target on a 20% off day. There's no way I'd have bothered with make up on such a hot night, the chances that my legs were waxy smooth are zero, the only hint of colour on my skin is freckles and hair, and I need a bra to keep my breasts in place.

We stared at Brynne like she was a freak; no wonder she ran off. Now, I really wish that we'd made the effort to make first contact. Although I know I would have stared at her tits.

part 1
part 3
part 4
part 5
part 6
part 7
part 8
part 9

To include your favourite moment of 2012, please leave it as a comment. Note that comments are never published automatically.

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