12 December 2012

What Melbourne loved in 2012, part 5

Today it's Miles O'Neil, Stephen Nicolazzo and Shannon Woollard.

Stephen says how his experiences in 2012 "have changed me and allowed me to find a platform to express myself without censorship or fear".

The artists who break through the fear and trust that their unique voice is the only way to tell their story are the ones who keep appearing in favourite moments. So, on 12/12/12, let's declare our creative mantra for 2013: "Without censorship or fear".

Miles O'Neil
performer, singer, story teller

photo by Telia Nevile

My favourite theatre experience was The Last Tuesday Society's Pimp My Play-A Streetcar Named Desire, some night in September at the Melbourne Fringe Hub. It was a beautifully run night full of wonderful performers trying things. I always love a Black Lung short piece, and a dance from Gabi Barton and Vachel Spirason. Finish it off with a conga line from Lessons with Luis and the sweet voice of Simone Page Jones and get Bron Batten serve it up with a bit of cream and a cherry on it and you've got my theatre sweet treat of 2012.

SM: Miles, Jof and Glen left me hurting in The Suitcase Royale's Zombatland with its giant zombie wombats and pineapple doughnuts, but my moment is my ongoing meeting with Miles and Simone Page Jones in my car. In November, Miles and Simone released the most fucking gorgeous album: Home in Your Heart. Its ten original songs are melancholic but filled with hope and a love that's so close you can touch it with your fingertips. Each song draws you into its story and world, and the rather exquisite recording sounds like they're sitting next to and singing just for you. You can listen to three tracks here, then buy it  here.

photo by Pierre Baroni 


STEPHEN: Summertime in the Garden of Eden was the only theatrical experience of the year that inspired me to carry on as an artist and engage. Sisters Grimm are a unique force and, though I am biased, I feel that their work is intelligently crafted, razor sharp and odious in a way that not much theatre in Australia has been for many years. Having said that, my personal aesthetic and interest is completely present in their work, so it is a matter of taste and appreciation that influences my decision here.

I also loved Matt Lutton's production The Misconception of Oedipus and The Rabble's showing of The Picture of Dorian Gray at Theatre Works. Both of these pieces dissected the literary in such a magical theatrical way that I couldn't help but wonder how on earth the creatives involved had orchestrated these events.

This year was also a really big year for me as I had returned to Melbourne after many years living in Sydney and finally got a chance to produce the work I have always wanted to make.

MKA'S sex.violence.blood.gore and now Psycho Beach Party have changed me and allowed me to find a platform to express myself without censorship or fear.

I also concur on the praise for Sarah Walker's photography this year. She really has captured the diversity and brevity of theatre in Melbourne unlike any other and hopefully will continue to document the contemporary history of our new theatre makers for years to come. I love her so much I flew her up to Sydney to shoot photos for Psycho Beach Party. I recommend every one to do this.

SM: sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore   sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore  sex.violence.blood.gore   sex.violence.blood.gore
Loved it to pieces and then more.

If you're in Sydney, there's a few more chances to see Stephen's Psycho Beach Party. It's at the Bondi Pavillion and features leopard print and Ash Flanders. Details here. The only reason I'm not upset that it's on in Sydney, is that we get it in January at Theatre Works.

actor, director

SHANNON: While it didn't quite enter the realm of perfection, I thought that Bridgette Burton's Rhonda is in Therapy (Baggage/Hoy Polloy at fortyfivedownstairs) came pretty close. My fave theatre moment this year would have to be watching Kelly Nash and Louise Crawford nail a critical scene. It's one of those scenes where you're not completely sure if someone is actually real. Genuine disconsolation floats – like a troublesome but intriguing ghost – right in front of you. Sometimes you read a script (I was pretty familiar with this one before I saw the show) and something evokes a very specific dramatic idea or mechanism. I saw that mechanism perfectly translated by director Wayne Pearn and the actors in this production.

SM: Last week I saw Shannon in Death of a Comedian at La Mama and loved being taken into the insecure backstage world of stand up comedians, but I think my favourite moment will be this weekend when I head to Williamstown for PlaySix, the annual short-play mini-festival he directs. Details here. And I'll get to hang out at the super-cute Willamstown Theatre where they sell packets of lollies and have old-school brocade-covered seats.

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