the method gun

Guest blogger, Mary Eggleston, saw The Method Gun and, after an intensive series of workshops, performed in Time, Space and the Body 

The Method Gun

Created by Rude Mechs | written by Kirk Lynn | directed by Shawn Sides

Brisbane Powerhouse

Reviewed by Mary Eggleston

The Method Gun was a relentlessly inventive exploration of the creative process and the ecstasy & excesses of performing. At times hilarious and at times painfully intimate, this story is about an ensemble of actors, abandoned by their sage, Stella Burden.

It begins with Ms Burden, training guru of the 60s and 70s and at first I was unsure if this Stella was a real actual person. I had never heard of her but was it just another hole in my theatrical education? To my relief, this “other Stella” was indeed a creation of Rude Mechs. She was a shameless lie, invented to tell the truth.

Attracted by the idea of risky training methods for actors and the cult like power of theatrical companies over their members, The Rudes wanted to know if it were possible to act oneself to death!

After Stella’s mysterious disappearance into the South American jungle, her devoted disciples decide to continue their 9-year process for a high-concept production of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” to be performed without the main characters (Stanley, Blanche, Stella or Mitch).

Rude Mechs company members re-enact the final months in this grueling 9-year-in-the-making production of “Street Car”, by using text from the journals and performance reports of Stella Burden’s company. This dramaturgical layering was superbly orchestrated, as was their awe-inspiring final scene. My heart was racing as the cast pulled off an amazing “ah-ha” moment, choreographed to perfection among swinging pendulum lights.

The fact that much of its content was (as an artistic co-director of my own company and physical theatre performer) a little “close to the bone”, only heightened The Rudes’ intention to demonstrate a “…sense of desperation, inadequacy, and frustration inherent to the process of creating meaningful work for the stage… and a longing for the return of inspiration and a more believable presentation of self in everyday life…”

The World Theatre Festival finished at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday (26th Feb. 2012), so if you didn’t see The Method Gun, sorry but you missed it. Yes, it’s a bit sad but I’m still buzzing! Not only ‘cause I got to see the fabulous Rude Mechs theatre company from Austin, Texas but this year I was lucky enough to be part of the fun. I was able to learn from and create with an amazing collective of local artists under the expert guidance of Barney O’Hanlon (USA) and Laura Sheedy (AUS).

These two acclaimed artists graced the Brisbane Powerhouse over a four-week period to instruct Time, Space and the Body, an extended exploration of The Viewpoints and Composition.

Long time SITI Company (NY) member, Barney O’Hanlon and ex-pat, Laura Sheedy (The PIT – NY), lead 22 wonderful local actors, performance artists and directors to a final showing of our work on Sat 25th Feb in the Turbine Studio.

The studio become our home for the time and proved itself as a very adaptable and workable space. Time & Space collides with the human body in every moment of our lives and The Viewpoints method is able to change the way you see the world – forever.

It is not surprising that Barney O’Hanlon is an old friend of the Rude Mechs company members and it was Barney who lead a Q&A after The Method Gun on Friday night. All in all – I had such an amazing WTF with y’all!

Special thanks to the Brisbane Powerhouse.


Featuring: Thomas Graves, Hannah Kenah, Lana Lesley, Ernesto Jason Liebrecht, Shawn Sides, Heather Hanna

Design: Katey Gilligan (costume), Graham Reynolds (sound/composition), Brian Scott (lighting), Leilah Stewart (scenic)

The Method Gun Q&A: Ernesto Jason Liebrecht, Thomas Graves, Shawn Sides, Barney O’Hanlon, Hannah Kenah, Lana Lesley

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