08 December 2013

What Melbourne loved in 2013, part 8

Today, while Mark Wilson is swanning around Europe seeing Shakespeares, Karin Muiznieks talks about finding creative identity as a young woman, and John Paul Fischbach reminds us how wonderful it was to see Yana Alana's gorgeous blue crack.

Mark Wilson

MARK: At time of writing, there are another 25 days in which to see stuff in 2013 – and given how much I've seen this past fortnight in the pleasure garden that is Berlin, this feels a little premature.

Firstly, the NEON festival gave the MTC a vibe I’ve never known it to have – so, so alive – which was really fucking wonderful.

But my total number one experience so far for 2013 happened just last week. European efforts at Shakespeare have resulted in the two worst professional productions of Macbeth I have ever seen, one mediocre and one interesting Much Ado, one great Hamlet, one average Hamlet, and the BEST  ROMEO AND JULIET I HAVE EVER SEEN! Schaubuhne, director Lars Eidinger. It was good.

SM: Was it the moment of penetration, the drooling foreplay or the withdrawal? Or maybe pulling the condom off with his teeth? The Adelaide Fringe crowd didn't get Mark's Unsex Me (MKA), but the Melbourne Fringe mob couldn't get enough of it. I saw it twice. 

The first was a pre-Adelaide preview. When Mark put the microphone in his mouth, I scribbled a note: "Go further, we've seen this, shock me". That note was torn to shreds. He went further, I hadn't seen that and I shrieked in shock. 

The next time I saw it, I was in the front row and saw things that made me laugh so much that I had to drink Krupnikas afterwards. 

Karin Danger Muiznieks
cabaret artist

KARIN: I adored so many productions this year, especially 2 Pound Parlour (Revolt), Palace of the End (Theatre Works), They Saw a Thylacine (at Melbourne Fringe) and Summertime in the Garden Of Eden (Sisters Grimm, Theatre Works).

But the biggest moment of artistic clarity for me came from the VCA Masters of Directing graduate showcase. Peta Hanrahan directed and dramaturged an exquisite stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own. With a focus on women and the creative process, it explored issues of identity, history and female influence in the arts.

I haven't stopped thinking about the show since. It can be very tricky for a young woman to find her own strong creative identity in a world whose values have been decided by generations of men. Peta's work challenged the perception that women need to become like men in order to succeed in the arts, which really shook me up. I wish I'd seen this before I shaved my head!

SM: It's all about Karin's Hot Box. This is the show where I finally saw Karin instead of character. Her characters are great, but it's the personal that makes this show so strong. When you tell your story, it's amazing how many of your audience find that you're also telling theirs.

See what Karin's looking forward to in 2014 at issimomag.com.

John Paul Fischbach
CEO, Auspicious Arts Incubator 

Photo by Susan Schoch Gates
JOHN PAUL: My favourite moment was sitting in the audience of Between the Cracks, Yana Alana's cabaret show at fortyfivedownstairs. I felt I was sharing an experience of being with a true international star on the rise.  She is a national treasure!

SM: Is it wrong that my favourite JP moment was getting a perfect and short answer? This guy helps  artists to understand the business side of "the business"; that is brilliant.

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