Archive for the 'Woodford' Category


Barbara and Barry’s Sweet, Sour & Saucy


Barbara and Barry’s Sweet, Sour & Saucy

Judith Wright Centre

Judith Wright Centre Performance Space

February 5 – 7 2015


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward




Barbara & Barry are experts on love. They host their own radio show from home, offering listeners some very interesting relationship advice. Sweet, Sour & Saucy is a nostalgic night of unique comedy, solid musicianship and terrific, intimate storytelling. I feel like we’re in Barbara & Barry’s living room, sharing a “randy shandy” and resisting tossing keys into a bowl (because that would be highly inappropriate, wouldn’t it?!)


It’s a kitsch, cute show, largely due to a retro box set designed by Josh Master of the Designiverse McIntosh, and vintage costumes by Rowenna Mistress of Wardrobe Western. The characters are very nice, and just quietly, a little bit naughty, continuously pushing the envelope with their fake phone calls and improvised letters from “listeners” who struggle in love.




How did I miss seeing these guys at Woodford? They must have been a hit in The Parlour, the same sexy venue to host The Escapists and a bevy of burlesque beauties. It’s a show that can go anywhere, and be enjoyed by anyone.


I’ll admit, I wondered at the end of Act 1 what their caper might be. After all, they’d said thank you and goodnight! What would come after Interval? An entirely different show, that’s what! The Live Love Show, which brought the pair out front to a grand piano to sing a few more songs and share a few more letters, this time, apparently, legit letters, which had been penned before the show by audience members.




This act was so different from the first, that I wondered if it would not be more sensible to keep them separate. This would make a slightly shorter, sharper, neater show without an interval and earn this talented duo a return season to appeal equally to new and returning audiences. If you’ve never seen Melissa Western perform, keep an eye out for the next opportunity; Western is to cabaret what Pippy Longstocking is to childhood liturature. A delight to see and hear, she’s actually amazing, with a jukebox voice enabling multiple musical styles and the ability to keep the beat with a washboard, tap shoes and kitchen spoons. Joined by real life husband, the equally impressive Tnee Dyer, these two bring to Brisbane a rare sort of genuine joy simply by being completely natural with one another, and with us, despite being completely OTT at the same time!


After the show I completed a mini iPad arTour survey, requiring me to rate the show overall. I had a moment of panic, I’ll admit, because you know I don’t do numbers or stars. I was asked to consider elements of the production, including “community engagement”, and I wonder how effective this feedback is, in terms of influencing decisions during the artists’ next free-flowing creative session (or next forced funding application submission session). I’d love to see this sort of immediate response recorded by other companies, perhaps in addition to the gloss and fuss of some of the vox pop productions we see on social media. (See below).


One of the highlights of Sweet, Sour & Saucy, despite the segment’s overlong duration, was the re-commitment ceremony afforded a couple in the audience – John and Chris – married 43 years. Barbara played the Celebrant (Barry played the piano), and for the occasion Barbara donned a swirling mass of feathery, sequinned, beaded bright green, the only possible explanation being that the finale was John Paul Young’s Love Is In the Air, made even more famous of course in Strictly Ballroom. The audience participation involved bubble blowing, confetti throwing and a random tango demonstration from a keen couple in the audience. Fun! There was actual tangible love and joy in the air, y’all!


Barbara and Barry effortlessly facilitated some of the most enjoyable moments the Judy has seen in a long time and I hope we see them “on air” again soon! In fact, we demand it! Bring back Barbara and Barry!



Woodford Folk Festival’s iWoodford app


iWoodford app

Available in iTunes

Launched December 1 2013


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward



I’m no techie but I love my apps! And one that looks pretty and proves super easy to use to help me get organised for our massive week at Woodford Folk Festival is a winner. Finally, after years of other developers making half-hearted attempts to build something, our awesome friends in Maleny decided to give it a shot and they’ve come up with a good looking, user-friendly, efficient app that means we can plan our entire week around The Mystery Bus shifts (yes, even Poppy has to work! She is meeting and greeting the artists this year), and not miss a thing.


I created My Program for our week at Woodford using iWoodford, developed by Kris Randall, Angel Goulter, Jule Rebeiro and Jimmy Halliday. I knew it would be good because these guys are old Woodfordians. Well, you know, they’re not THAT old, but they’ve certainly done their time at Woodford (Folk Festival!). These guys know Woodfordia well, and by sharing it via iWoodford, they’re hoping to make the whole experience easier.


It took me a little while to get to it though, because Poppy (seven years old) had to trial it and put her events in first. She browsed the Children’s Festival program and clicked “Add to My Program” without any tricky questions for me (phew!) – no worries. When she finally handed back the iPhone I re-read the artist bios for those who sounded unfamiliar and made sure I won’t miss Half Moon Run and Matt Corby by clicking “Add to My Program”. Now, Poppy and I are not able to save separate programs for this year but that’s okay because we’ll stick together at the Festival! Instead of stopping and having to flick through the book this year, Poppy will be able to tell me, “Check out My Program, Mum, so you know when to meet me at the Children’s Festival!”


The List of Artists and List of Venues provide details that are included in the printed program, and there’s a handy Shopping List on the Festival Shop page so I can make a note of the artists whose merch I want to take home with me. We’ve learned in the past to pick up our favourite CDs as soon as we see them…or we miss out!


Once we’re on site we can mark our campsite on the Woodfordia map (Mark Campsite), and then we can locate our campsite (Find Campsite). There’s a nifty Torch feature too, so we don’t trip over tent pegs and guy ropes in the night. We’ll see how it measures up to iTorch!


Within the map feature, we can click on a venue and bring up the details of the events. This is especially useful for Poppy, who can check out what’s happening in her favourite spaces, including the Big Ideas tent in the Children’s Festival. It’s just a brief blurb on each venue, which gives you an idea of what to add to your program from the venues or artists lists, or right underneath the blurb within each day’s program of events. While there are no food stalls marked on the map, you’ll find and remember your faves. We love the ice-cold rose slushies just up the road from our venue, run by Sunshine Reparatory Theatre (SRT) – That’s right! Believe the rumours!



It’s the last year of The Mystery Bus so come say HI!



If you haven’t been to Woodford Folk Festival before, the map won’t give you close-ups or direct you through the Festival site…yet! You’re going to have to get your bearings when you get there, and you will, very quickly. It’s a massive, big, busy village but it becomes familiar after the first hour or so on site.


With iWoodford at your fingertips you can get around without that big printed program in your bag, and with the confidence that you’re headed in the right direction at the right time to catch your favourite artists and workshops at Woodford Folk Festival, as well as a whole host of new entertainers and speakers you’ll be delighted to discover. Get the iWoodford app before you go and with it, get to do and see more at Woodfordia.



Download iWoodford in iTunes for just $2.99






Got feedback? The iWoodford app builders welcome all feedback! The best feedback will win but be quick because the comp closes tonight! Score a free season ticket to Woodford Folk Festival by providing your suggestion for next year’s app. Download NOW


Woodford Folk Festival: Day 2

Hey! We’re back! Well, for a little while. So while I can, I’ll tell you what’s been happening out here. Day Two was HOT! DAMN HOT! Despite the oppressive heat and the sudden storm on Friday, the Woodford Spirit was – is – alive and well! The Mystery Bus is a busy little hive of activity and on Friday we were graced with the presence of some amazing artists.

Charlie Mgee

Penelope Swales

Emma Louise

The Good Ship

Hailey Calvert

Mustard Courage

Darren Percival

Penelope Swales told me a story about meeting Johnny Depp in the showers back at camp…that’s right! If you’re out here you will have seen him getting about, looking just like Captain Jack Sparrow. As it turns out, he’s on some team that comes to fix things. When Penelope reported a leak in the bathroom, as you do when you’re at Woodford because everyone is responsible for the state of the place, Penelope came face to face with Jack Sparrow, when he jumped off the back of a truck with tools at the ready! Is that not every girl’s dream come true?!

During the middle of the day, which is anytime after 8am and before 3pm, the heat is pretty harsh. For some, it’s unbearable and the best thing for those hippies to do is to hide away in a venue or in the shade with a cold drink. It’s useless heading back to camp during this time. Far better to enjoy a beer at Bill’s Bar – this year’s hottest new venue and after 5pm singles’ hang out – or grab a(nother) fresh fruit smoothie or rose slushie and head to the Village Green. Apart from the bank, The Mystery Bus is the only air conditioned spot so it’s a popular one, despite the un-knowingness surrounding it! As Rachael, from the Sydney Morning Herald has observed, The Mystery Bus is a lottery; it’s pot luck, with a host of headline acts and the audience queuing to see whoever it is on the bus. It’s been such a success for so many years now that it just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

In fact, The Mystery Bus is the favourite gig with so many punters that they come back time and time again. And so do the artists. Darren Percival says that The Mystery Bus IS Woodford Folk Festival. “And that’s all.” On Friday night, Darren rocked the bus with a 20 minute acoustic set. He traded his headdress for a wolf hat and sang, among others, The Mystery Bus song!


Earlier that afternoon, I took four children between the ages of 6 and 11 to do Mal Webb’s vocal workshop, From Lips to Lung. I met them in the Children’s Festival and with umbrellas held down against the wind and rain into which we walked, we made our way to the Joy Luck Club. Mal Webb is extraordinary and rates highly, fellow vocalists including Darren Percival and Stringmansassy’s Kacey Patrick, who appears in Linsey Pollack’s new show, The Dream of Zedkat Nabu. Mal’s workshops are always terrific fun, especially for the kids, who have been practicing their beat boxing since starting out with Mal.

Mal made an appearance on the bus on Day Three…


Auditions: XS, SRT & Free Spirit Entertainment!




XS Entertainment

Suncoast Repertory Theatre

Free Spirit Entertainment


are holding combined open auditions

for their 2013-2014 projects


Saturdy 15th December 2012

Times available from 10am – 2pm


@ Embody Performing Arts in Nambour


ACTING AUDITIONS – please prepare a 2 minute monologue


DANCE AUDITIONS – please prepare a 2 minute routine


SINGING AUDITIONS – please prepare a 2 minute song


*You can audition for all 3 if you wish, only one audition time will be required.


You may be required to attend a call back at 2:30pm, which will be an open group call back.

We are looking for strong individual performers who are happy to work closely with a fantastic team. 



To arrange an audition please email –

The actual address is 3/131 Currie Street but you access the studio via Howard Street. Turn into the driveway beside the white wall on Howard Street. Embody is in the same building as Civic Video……. 

if all else fails call Sam 0402461062



Wonderland, Gremlins & It Plays to Move

Anywhere Theatre Festival 2012

Saturday 12th May

Experienced by Kathryn Rose

Ever heard of a plane being piloted by a loaf of bread – with Gremlins as cabin crew?  Or a play being directed by someone who has never laid eyes on the script?  These are just a few of the bizarre circumstances you could find yourself in during the Anywhere Theatre Festival.

I first heard about this concept when my gorgeous boy, Matt, attended the TEDxBrisbane event in October last year.  He forwarded a recording of a presentation by Paul Osuch talking about the Anywhere Theatre Festival and its aims.

The main objective is to encourage, and provide opportunities for, more people to experience live performances in places other than the traditional theatre complex.  Artists pay to register their act and have it promoted on the Anywhere Theatre website, then get to pocket all the proceeds, thereby cutting out the middleman and hopefully channelling more remuneration to the actual performers.

Matt and I started our Anywhere Theatre experience on Saturday in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall with Wonderland, a cirque-type act with a group of very talented young people. This free performance was very much appreciated by the large group of shoppers who stopped to have a look.

From there it was off to a very different venue in Auchenflower – the lounge room of Mark Theodossiou, an actor, producer and director from Australian Actors Network.  Due to circumstances beyond their control, Matt and I were the only audience members for that session.  But the show must go on (and we’d paid our $22!), so Mark and Michelle explained the concept of their performance.  We were offered the choice of four two-hander scripts and asked to choose the style and direction of delivery we wanted from our actors.  We had to nominate which actor would play each role and the emotion or motivational features we wanted from the characters.  We had a lot of fun watching Mark’s character, Linus, being besotted with the recorded voice on Linus’ mobile phone in Ma Belle. For the second selection I asked them to perform the play, Jammed, conventionally first then we mixed it up with some challenges for our capable actors. At the end, both actors said they really enjoyed my direction (I bet they say that to ALL the girls!).

After a leisurely dinner at Southbank, we continued our adventure and headed to a rather seedy part of Woolloongabba, where The Gremlins were performing.  The ‘venue’ was an enclosed area at the front of the Reverse Garbage warehouse, with a motley assortment of chairs arranged in rows.  We handed over our $12 each and collected our ‘boarding passes’ for the inaugural flight of the Gromlot family’s new budget airline. At 7pm we were all ushered into our barely-half-completed plane where our hosts proceeded to entertain us with pure escapist, joyful nonsense that had us rolling around laughing.  Because Matt had previously seen The Gremlins perform at Woodford, he had high expectations – and they definitely didn’t disappoint.

The Anywhere Theatre Festival is a wonderful mixture of random, artistic and highly-creative acts that is sure to catch on further around the world.  Let’s hope the Sunny Coast embraces this concept as well; the possibilities are endless!

Ed’s note: See the final performance of EPIPHANY by 2Muse Productions on Saturday 19th at 5pm at the Sunshine Coast School of Photography, Yandina.

Featuring Korean performance artists, well-known to Brisbane indie audiences, Younghee Park and Pak Hoyoung, with Mary Eggleston and seven young Sunshine Coast actors, this is a re-imagining of the production we saw last year. With funding to support the community development goals and the time to explore a few brand new plot points, it’s a very different show and well worth a (second) look. Incorporating effective AV elements (Sue Davis, Judy Barrass, Julia Dawson & James Muller), an evocative soundscape (Eggleston & Bruce Hamilton) and live musical accompaniment by popular Sunshine Coast entertainer, Simon Russell-Baker, EPIPHANY is a fine example of what an independent company can do with limited resources and limitless imagination, blurring the lines between training and entertaining and providing opportunities for young artists to develop their craft alongside professional performers without having to leave the beautiful Sunshine Coast!

EPIPHANY is a whimsical, magical, fantastical tale, which you’ll relate to if you’ve ever wished you could escape your current reality. Escape once more on Saturday 19th May. 


theatre anywhere!

Between 10 – 19 May you’ll find new plays in alleys, puppets in bars, cabaret in warehouses, comedy in your home and office and performances you can be a part of online from Texas to London, Hamilton to Toowoomba.

Anywhere Theatre Festival is the brainchild of husband and wife power couple Paul Osuch and Alexandra McTavish. They’re pretty humble about conceptualising, developing and continuing to run the whole thing so when you see them around – anywhere but in a theatre for the ten days between the 10th and the 19th of May – please congratulate them and give them big hugs and a whole heap of love!

N.B. Some shows are already SOLD OUT!

What will you be seeing anywhere but in a theatre???

In the tradition of murder-balladeer Nick Cave, the femme fatales of Babushka invite you into their bloody nightmare to indulge in dark tales of murderous passion, sinister sirens and the infinite beauty of death in the debut season of Where the Wild Roses Grow.
Late night Cabaret at its finest.
DATES: Thu 10th & Sat 12th @ 9:30pm
PLACE: 275 Macarthur Avenue, Hamilton Reach

A family of Gremlins has taken residence in Brisbane. Roxoff, Mofball & Botolf Gromlot are trying to launch their new budget airline and fulfill their dream of flying. Tickets sales are going well, and their maiden voyage is due to take off shortly. There is only one problem….they haven’t built the plane yet.
DATES: Thu 10th to Sat 12th @ 7:00pm & Thu 17th to Sat 19th @ 7:00pm
PLACE: Reverse Garbage, 20 Burke St, Woolloongabba

As a collective the cast and the directors have come up with a collage of 5 scenes exploring life on the brink; public transport, romance, hospital drama and misadventure. 3 Windows will be an excellent opportunity to see Cinematic Theatre for and by Young People at it’s most vivid and vibrant… don’t miss it.
DATES: Fri 11th & Sat 12th @ 7:30pm
PLACE: 37 Manilla St, East Brisbane

Set in the heart of Fortitude Valley, four playwrights turn a dirty alleyway into the legends of nights out – where drunken youth roam free and the pavement becomes a stained and silent tapestry of history.
DATES: Mon 14th & Tues 15th @ 7:00pm ONLY
PLACE: Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley, 4005


10 Really Fast Festival Facts


1. Brisbane does it first
The 2012 Anywhere Theatre Festival is the only fringe festival in the world for performance anywhere but a theatre.

2. Already the biggest performance festival in Brisbane
The 2012 Anywhere Theatre Festival has over 50 productions and 200 performances already confirmed meaning it has more productions and performances than Brisbane Festival.

3. Attracting interstate and international
The 2012 Anywhere Theatre Festival features 6 companies from the U.K., Two from the U.S., one from New Zealand, Tunisia and France.

4. Brisbane proves it has a depth of untapped talent
Recognised companies such as Queensland Theatre Company and Circa Presents mix with independent and up and coming companies.

5. A theatre festival with performances on Twitter
A mix of international and local performances from streamed international performances to interactive augmented realities.

6. A Brisbane festival from the Sunshine Coast to Perth
Performance locations range from the Sunshine Coast down to the Gold Coast and across to Perth.

7. A two person volunteer team producing the biggest festival in Brisbane 
The festival is organised by a core husband and wife team over evenings and weekends with financial contribution from Arts Queensland.

8. Theatre Anywhere – even in your house
This year theatre anywhere will be taken to the extreme with performances you can book to come to your home or office! Other performances happening in elevators, parks, city cats (tbc).

9. A Brisbane idea to the world
The purpose is to bring fringe festival to everyone, especially to places with a lack of theatres. We are already discussing how the festival can move to regional centres and other states.

10. International institutions want to know how we do it!
Since the 2011 festival we have been asked to advise on how to do theatre anywhere and have an invitation from the Milan Commissioner of Culture to talk as they prepare for their 2015 Universal Expo.


la boite’s shakespeare: as you like it

As You Like It 

La Boite Theatre Company

The Roundhouse

18.02.12 – 24.03.12

La Boite’s theatre is perfect for Shakespeare: it’s open and alive and allows actors and audiences to come together to share the joy.”

La Boite Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, David Berthold.

Have you ever been a part of Woodford Folk Festival’s shared joy? For the first show of La Boite’s 2012 season, David Berthold has brought a little bit of Woodford to The Roundhouse Theatre and it’s truly wonderful. The Forest of Arden IS Woodfordia and Berthold’s As You Like It is full to overflowing with the same joy, love and good karma. Bill Hauritz will be pleased.

Boasting exceptional performances and containing the best bit of fight choreography we’ve seen at La Boite, indeed; the best we’ve seen in Brisbane in a good while, by (Lead Fight Director this time) Justin Palazzo-Orr, this is a show for everybody. It’s funny and witty and heaps of fun. We are reminded by this play, that Shakespeare’s writing is so good, not only does it stand the test of time but also, it continues to appeal to all sorts.

Probably the most convoluted of the comedies, with a massive cast – in terms of programming, it often loses out to the more popular Twelfth Night – the plot of As You Like It may be unfamiliar. In simplest terms, the love story is central: girl meets boy, they fall instantly in love, girl disguises herself as boy, boy meets girl disguised as boy and they hang out in the forest together, become mates and wed, the girl’s true identity revealed on their nuptial day. Duke Senior and his merry men also inhabit the forest – their commitment is more permanent, their lifestyle a good deal greener and they provide much of the perspective of the play.

Director, David Berthold and Designer, Renee Mulder, have created, with suits and city skirts and jeans and flannel shirts, the look and feel of last year’s Woodford. Woodford has changed since its humble beginnings in the Maleny show grounds and the new mood has been perfectly captured. Rosalind (the remarkable Helen Howard) and Celia (Helen Cassidy) wear black, Cue-style suits and the latest season’s chunky suede shoes, which is just as well, because in narrower heels it’s a challenge to tread the shredded playground rubber that covers the floor of the theatre. As the god, Hymen, in his glittering, high-heeled disco diva boots, Alec Snow is a standout amongst student interns and puts to shame with his confident strut, many of the women in the audience (no offence, no-less-confident women in the audience. It’s just that Snow got to rehearse and as such, he looks to be a contender for the next run of Priscilla)!

Centre stage is a circular dais, which suddenly rises, in a simple, beautiful and breathtaking reveal, earning surprised applause from the opening night audience. Colourful lanterns, indie folk music (props to vocalist Lucy-Ann Langkilde, ready for a Chai Tent chalkboard gig), Tony O’Connor style forest sounds by Composer and Sound Designer Guy Webster and pretty, dreamy lighting, all amber and blue and pink, thanks to David Walters’ trek-out-to-the-Amphitheatre-after-the-Lantern-Parade-passes-by inspired lighting design, all combine to bring the magic of Arden Forest to our midst.

It’s not just the design that is stunning. The performances are superb. We can see the company at work on the next generation of actors, with a stronger focus on training and mentorship this year (there are eight interns in this production), doing their bit to close the gap between accomplished performers and the new, eager actors. Holding their own, in that middle ground where the graduates dwell, are Luke Cadden and Dominic Nimo, in their La Boite debuts.

Bryan Probets, as the jester Touchstone, manages to steal the show early on and later, whips up the audience in a riotous chorus; an old-fashioned, call and answer, effortlessly interactive theatre moment. His comedy is cleverly marked and he appears completely relaxed – delighted in fact – to be entertaining us. How lucky are we? The other exquisite moment in this piece belongs to Trevor Stuart, as Jaques. His delivery of the famed “All the world’s a stage” seven ages of man monologue is magnificent. If it has never stayed with you before, it will linger with you now.

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like a snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Kate Wilson and Hayden Spencer, play their parts beautifully; the first, kind and wise and generous as Duke Senior, as comfortable in the forest digs here as if it were home, high on the Range, and the second, the mincing miss shepherdess, Audrey, in his hippie mountain chic attire, posing and pouting to make us laugh ‘til we cry. Kathryn Marquet brings Phoebe to life.

Helen Cassidy is a lovely Celia and she is well paired with Helen Howard as Rosalind. These two are a celebration of the sisterhood! Howard is a striking woman and it’s easy to watch her every move. That being said, it’s just as easy to be completely distracted by the Adonis good looks of the Bard Boy of Brisbane, Thomas Larkin, in the role of Orlando. We’ve seen his naked torso for some time now, in an image for his upcoming role (Romeo) in QTC’s Romeo and Juliet. But you know this. You’ve seen the poster and you’ve had your say on Twitter too, I’ll warrant. For those who have been living under a tree at Woodford, Larkin’s co-star, Melanie Zanetti, looking extremely young (just as Shakespeare intended… half her luck) has been the subject of some controversy, stirred by a single complaint from a woman on the Gold Coast. While I look forward to seeing him in Romeo and Juliet, as Orlando, we see Larkin in his best role to date.

As You Like It is a show of superlatives. Whether or not ideas are borrowed, this is a brilliant interpretation; it doesn’t miss a beat. If you’re feeling like a bit of a lift, this is the best show you can see in Brisbane this month. It’s gorgeous, guaranteed to please. It’s what the world needs now; love, sweet love, and pure, unadulterated Woodford-all-year-round shared joy. Do yourself a favour and see this one. It’s guaranteed to reinvigorate your soul and warm the cockles of your heart.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow on Bloglovin

Follow us on Twitter