11 December 2012

What Melbourne loved in 2012, part 4

I thought this would be a list of names and a short sentence. I don't know why I thought that artists would be concise – and am much happier that they're not.

Today, it's boobs, Bond and blood as Sarah Collins and Tim Richards talk about shows that I wish I'd seen, and photographer Sarah Walker says why she has the best job in the world.

Sarah Collins

Maybe I should re-name this series: Photos by Sarah Walker,
 who was also in the Choir Girl choir.

SARAH: Apparently my breasts gracing a Target ad were a highlight for MANY, and I am slightly dismayed no one has brought them back into the spotlight on this particular platform. Little did I realise, Brynne Edelston would tit me to the post. Ugh. She is so beautiful.

Highlight for me? Lessons With Luis. I saw them opening night of their first show ever and I don't think there was one person in that room that didn't feel they had just witnessed the greatest thing in Australian comedy since Col'n Carpenter. I have since contacted Luis personally to let him know I am his long lost sister and he needs to let me join the group (it's a family show and I am family). I haven't heard back yet. Sometimes information like this can come as a shock (how would you feel if you didn't know you had a sister?), and the person grappling with the news sometimes doesn't know exactly how to extend an invitation to you to become part of their stage show. It can take some time to write you into a script and create an opportunity for you. It is people like Luis that are a highlight for me, as they are the ones who will help people like me to survive this cutthroat industry.

SM: Sarah's Choir Girl was the ONLY show I saw twice this year. And I'll see it in its next season and each one after that until she's so old that she has to sit for the whole show and the choir members will be cast depending on their CPR skills and willingness to change an adult diaper. 

Then there's the  Love Katie and Sarah photos that leave an old cynic like me believing in romance.

But my moment was her tits. I'm used to seeing people I know in ads, but she was all over the underwear section of Target and she kept starring at me as I looked for 16Cs on sales rack.

Tim Richards
writer, reviewer, blogger

My most delightful "I didn't see that coming" moment was the opening sequence of Bond-a-rama at Chapel off Chapel, wherein actors re-enacted the high speed ski chase from On Her Majesty's Secret Service without props, relying only on the power of body language and swooshing sounds.

SM: Tim was one of the first writers who let me know how terrific theatre was in Melbourne. He developed and edited Stage Left, which from 1998 to 2004 was the only web site dedicated to reviewing theatre in Melbourne. The archive of 100s of reviews is here.

Sarah Walker
theatre photographer and paparazzo

self portrait

SARAH: I saw and shot some fabulous theatre this year, and various shows left me excited and invigorated, notably Nicola Gunn's Hello My Name Is (there is nothing quite like having to chase the performer around the streets of St Kilda to enliven your evening), MKA's Triangle (Tanya Dickson is a glorious mad genius babe who manages to make taught, tight direction feel both practiced and dangerous) and No Strings Attached's Sons and Mothers for the Adelaide Fringe (which was disarming, heartfelt and gutwrenchingly beautiful – and had audiences, including me, not only tearing up, but sobbing throughout the performance – and I never cry in theatre).

This year in particular, though, I had two major love affairs. The first was with Eugyeene Teh's set designs.  He has the most wicked eye for subversive, simple, sassy aesthetics that manage to be bold without being overwhelming. I look forward to shooting shows that he's worked on. They're always glorious. Props also to The Rabble for Orlando and Four Larks for The Temptation of St Antony, both stunning examples of the sort of set and lighting design that make my job a joy.

The second was with the promo shoots I did for MKA. I will always love a company that will base a whole season's images on allowing me to make a huge mess. It's not often that a single day includes conversations beginning with the following sentences:
  1. "Hi there, lovely to meet you. We're now going to throw four litres of milk at your face. Repeatedly."
  2. "Hi there, lovely to meet you. We're now going to throw ten litres of fake blood at your face. Oh, nobody told you that? It's okay, there's a shower at the gym. We think. Also, we only get one go at this, so try not to flinch."
  3. "Hi there, lovely to meet you. Here are your leather pants, collar and ball gag. Would you rather the regular whip or the cat o'nine tails?"
I really do have the best job in the world.

SM: I'm always happy when Sarah's photographed a show.  She knows how to capture the essence of a production without taking a boring production shot. A great photo makes people want to read the words around them, so writers should love photographers. And I've had so much fun choosing her pics for this series.

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