08 December 2012

What Melbourne loved in 2012, part 1

December means it's time to think about what I liked in 2012 and award the What I Loveds (2011201020092008). It's as prestigious as a Logi for theatre, but winners don't even get a doorstop or get to see drunk soap stars puking in the bathrooms at the award dinner.

But I know what I like, so I want to know what other people loved. I don't mean what they thought was the best show or artist, I mean those moments that left them so happy that they went to the theatre, or made theatre or had anything to do with theatre.

So, I asked a few SM regulars what their 2012 favourite theatre moment was. 

I thought I'd get a short piece, but the responses are already so lovely that it has to be series. 

ball actor

Ash is currently in Sydney town in Psycho Beach Party by Little Ones Theatre. 
Melb gets to see it at Theatre Works in January for Midsumma.

ASH: My favourite theatre experience of the year would be Pompeii L.A. It was one of those shows that had me wishing I could just die and live in it forever. It was full of so many things I love (celebrity roadkill, abject horror, Judy Garland) and yet it elevated it to a level I've never experienced. As an artist it was also great to see something visually ambitious, that didn't seem to suffer from having to make countless concessions. It was grand, stark, moving and BEYOND!!

LAST chance to see Pompeii L.A. by Declan Greene tonight at Malthouse.  It IS simply the best piece of theatre on in town.

SM: Pashleigh Flanders, how can I choose a favourite moment with you? Horse woman in Negative Energy? The hours you make me waste with facey links to atrocious reality tv shows? Maybe the fact that it's been a year without seeing your testicles? But I'm going with Golden Dragon: you were nervous and let down the protective acting barrier, which let us see into the heart of your characters. 

writer, director, play master

ROB: My favourite thing has been Sarah Walker's photography, particularly her clutch album on Facebook.

Stop reading and have a look at Sarah's albums. NOW. See you in half an hour.

SM: My favourite moment with Rob? I loved On the Production of Monsters and Falling Petals, but it has to be exchanging pashes at This is a Door.

Arts writer/broadcaster

Richard Santa at The Last Tuesday Society Xmas Party

RICHARD: Rather than name a single production as my highlight of the year – and there have been so many excellent works, as well as the usual disappointments, among the 120 shows I've seen to date in 2012 – I'd like to single out the continued strengthening of two key venues this year.

Daniel Clarke, Creative Producer/CEO of Theatre Works, has really reinvigorated the St Kilda venue; his programming has resulted in some truly remarkable and beautiful works this year. 

And on the other side of town, at the two Arts House venues in North Melbourne, Angharad Wynne-Jones has overseen a dynamic and vibrant 2012 program, which has focussed in part on the intimate and the personal experience which makes live performance so rewarding, with delightful and memorable results.

I look forward to their 2013 seasons – and everything else that Melbourne's performing arts community has to offer in the new year – with keen interest.

SM: There were many great moments when Richard asked the perfect question on RRR's Smart Arts, but my favourite was his hosting an afternoon at the Melbourne Festival Club.

If you'd like your favourite theatre moment included, please leave a comment (remembering that anonymous comments never get through).