Archive for the 'XS Entertainment' Category


an artist’s statement


artist’s statement 2017


everything is delicately interconnected…






You might remember that I went back to school this year.


In March I started a Master of Professional Practice (Performing Arts) at USC, but at The J, Noosa, since there are no performing arts facilities on campus at Sippy Downs. We won’t discuss that today.



The assessment for this week, to create an Artist’s Book within which we share our Artist’s Statement, would have to be one of our most challenging tasks yet. I just danced nearly naked in Japan, started weekly physical training sessions with Zen Zen Zo, started running again, and chose a monologue that breaks my heart to deliver, but this Artist’s Statement! To actually pause and recognise what it is we do, the way we create our work, and why…


My contemporary creative practice continues to evolve. As performer, director and producer, I’m enjoying exploring new forms and content of a different kind, a darker kind, which I’ve stayed away from in the past, or have been advised to stay away from. (Can you imagine being told today not to go near mental health issues, domestic violence and ideation?). I’m less concerned now about what others consider to be too dark or dangerous or disruptive. The shadow aspects of human nature reveal a more interesting version of the truth, which we crave. The ancient stories hold the lessons we don’t see in reality television, social media memes or smash hit musical comedies.



My practice is undertaken in a commercially viable context, admittedly teetering at times between what might easily be sold and the stories demanding to be told. Inspired by some of our most innovative dance artists and directors, including Frantic Assembly, Nicholas Hytner, Katie Mitchell, Marianne Elliot, Margi Brown Ash and Natalie Weir among other giants, my work is immediate, intimate and highly evocative, inviting the audience to engage on a sensory, and emotional and intellectual level to work out their place in the world in a new and unique way. Drawing from contemporary dance, butoh, original compositions by the likes of Max Richter, Philip Glass and Leah Barclay, and ritualistic storytelling and performance elements after deep research into the Ramayana, Buddhism and the myths and stories of the cantidoras, I bring the performers and audience together to experience the life of the “other”, hidden within. I offer actors and audiences the opportunity to get out of their own way to experience the less-shared moments, to see in themselves what’s possible and deplorable; the pallid skin and quiet nakedness of terminal illness, the dismantling of a relationship, the subversion of sexual preference or pleasure, the long-term impact of self-loathing…


The investigation of both content and form occurs collaboratively, organically, on the floor from a place of emptiness, a place in time and space in which anything is possible because we welcome it.


The performers already have the answer; their first instinct is closest to the truth. As director, I entrust the performers with the transformational task of telling the story, scaffolding their discoveries within an open intuitive process, and shaping a sensory experience for actors and audiences fusing visual, auditory and physical elements to heighten our awareness of the world. The process is fluid and flexible, and informed by our personal and broader views of our part in the story and our place in the world.


Small great things are the result of collaborative creative thinking, boldly dreaming and fearlessly doing.



The golden eclipse week has offered the ideal context in which to consider my artistic practice and the way I wish to continue to develop my approach to collaboratively creating performing arts pieces that have lasting impact on actors and audiences.


If the experience is not sensory, insightful and transformational, why have we made the work? And for whom?


I continue to reframe my world, to look with new eyes on the ordinary, to listen to old stories for new meaning and uncover the hidden aspects of human nature, to add a voice to the darkness. I’m humble enough to keep learning and bold enough to take a leap. By making this Artist’s Statement public I’m committing to my evolution and my continued efforts to make the long-term goal worthwhile. My practice should continue to contribute to the transformation of artists and audiences on multiple levels, or what am I doing?



Informed by my training, my teaching practice, my performance experience and personal experiences of live performance, and by the work and differing philosophies of a vast network of industry professionals and creative friends, as well as being aware of my privilege, my practice focuses on the immediacy and urgency of the storytelling. In a world that is increasingly complex and demanding of our attention, I hope my artistic practice offers actors and audiences a thread.


Artist: Kirsty Whitlock


Artist: Lynn Skordal


XS Entertainment is a catalyst for creative change with a history of daring and disruption, and as performer, director and producer, I’m a conduit, able to be completely emptied – as Akaji Maro describes, a butoh “skin bag” – ready to channel and configure the ensemble’s ideas during the devising process, or come to the table overflowing with ideas and ways into the work using sound, light, visual art, literature, movement, and our connection with the darkness that otherwise remains undiscovered.



Opening Night Style at The Greenhouse: Grounded




Opening night style at The Greenhouse Diane Cilento Studio: Grounded


A comparatively casual opening night affair (we’d dressed up for La Boite’s 90th birthday ball the night before), for some Grounded meant jeans and sweaters and jackets. Still in party mode, I took out the “Noosa Festival Red” stretchy Kookai number and Sachi sandals for the theatre, and later – it got cold at Greystone – my little Red Riding Hood cloak cum coat dress, which I picked up at Woodford Folk Festival a couple of years ago.


Grounded has been extended until August 22 so there’s really no excuse to miss the sensational Libby Munro in a stunning, game-changing role. Read my review here.




Dress: Kookai


Cloak: Shovava


Shoes: Sachi Melissa Black Boot (be quick to get them at sale price!)


Jewels: Blue Illusion







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La Boite’s 90th Birthday Ball!


La Boite’s 90th Birthday Ball

Roundhouse Theatre

Friday July 31 2015




La Boite is a story of people, passion, purpose and place.


People like Barbara Sisley, who in 1916 found herself stranded in Brisbane when her theatrical touring company unexpectedly disbanded. She along with literature academic J. J. Stable formed the Brisbane Repertory Theatre Society in 1925 in response to the public’s growing appetite for high quality, locally-produced theatre. For twenty years, Sisley and Stable reigned supreme in Brisbane’s theatrical community.



After decades of moving between large venues such as the Theatre Royal and Albert Hall, in 1967 the company finally found a home of its own.


Company members (including Muriel Watson, pictured left) converted an old Queenslander in Hale St, Milton into a theatre-in-the-round. Hollowed out, the house had the appearance of a box and the name ‘La Boite’ was born. In 1972, the company moved next door to the Blair Wilson designed theatre, which so many remember with such fondness. This remained home for three decades, before the move to our current Roundhouse Theatre in Kelvin Grove.


90 years of existence takes resilience and ingenuity.


La Boite has survived two World Wars, censorship, public outrage, politically-charged programming, changing tastes, floods and the constant flirting with failure that comes with walking the tightrope between risk and certainty.


To celebrate their 90th birthday, La Boite gathered hundreds of programs, posters and paraphernalia in a special online archive. Play your part by donating past programs, images, articles and uploading your personal anecdotes from La Boite’s eventful history. As the archive evolves, everyone will be able to search for their favourite production or fondest memory. Go to to make your contribution.


Thanks to La Boite and the company’s Artistic Director, Todd MacDonald, we celebrated on Friday night in the space outside the theatre, under a spacious marquee, ninety years to the day after La Boite’s story was brought to life. Incredibly, I didn’t manage to actually get into the theatre or behind the green door and into the speakeasy, where there were cocktails to be had! At some point, early in the night, all the champagne was gone and for a little while the one goal was to get to the cocktail bar behind the green door! But there were too many friends to stop and talk to along the way so you will have to ask others about the vibe and the drinks offered in the speakeasy space. #missionfail


A combination of official formal proceedings, quirky performances from some of our faves, and the perfect set up for chance encounters and casual conversations made it a fantastic evening, fitting of the special occasion. We joined the masses using Uber and could have come from The Valley or Tenneriffe on our special occasion new member credit, however, I’d booked Rydges Southbank for the weekend, making our first Uber experience short and very sweetly priced! We love Rydges, they always look after us, and we enjoyed a stunning full-moon-over-the-river view, buffet breakfasts and a lazy Sunday morning after another late night, soaking up some sunshine in Soleil Pool Bar. With the added joys of a late check-out, and Southbank and its night noodle markets (part of good food month) right across the road, it was very hard to leave. #noodlemarkets


Thanks La Boite, UberRydges Southbank for helping us make a weekend of it!




La Boite 90th Birthday Ball images by Paul Sickling. See more on Facebook







Insta images by XS Entertainment






Opening Night Style: Anything Goes








Opening Night Style at QPAC: Anything Goes



1930s inspired cocktail frocks were on point on Tuesday night at QPAC for the glittering opening night of Opera Australia and John Frost’s Anything Goes. I opted for a more 20s styled Miss Anne because SPARKLES.

The show is as de-lightful, de-licious and de-lovely as you would expect! Read my review here and see it before the ship sails – must finish August 16.



Anything Goes


Dress Code: Cocktail




Dress: Miss Anne via Retournez-vous


Shoes: Guess & Voodoo Glow Toeless #sorrynotsorry


Hair: Suite Three Hair


Poppy wears Origami via Myer and above, vintage jacket from the vault of her bestie, Mira.



xantheandpoppy_anythinggoes_july2015 hushhushbiz



Introducing Katy Cotter


Welcome Katy!



You may know Katy from Dust Covered Butterfly and Awkward Conversation.





Hello. My name is Katy Cotter and I am a Brisbane-based actor and writer.

I recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Creative and Professional Writing at Queensland University of Technology.


Writing is a new lover of mine but acting has always been my passion. Being the youngest of five children and having a significant age gap between my siblings and me, my childhood consisted of embracing my vivid imagination and transforming the backyard into faraway worlds.


In 2009 I graduated from Southbank Tafe with an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Acting. Since then I have worked with independent companies, having been involved in Daniel Evans’ theatre marathon, Awkward Conversation last year. Recently, I wrote and performed in Dust Covered Butterfly at Metro Arts. The creative team and I had been working on the show for the past three years and finally saw all of our hard work culminate in a three-week season.




To pay the bills I work for Creative Brisbane, a distributing company, supporting and advertising upcoming shows for major and independent companies in Brisbane. We also have a What’s On Guide each month for which I write the profile, and have interviewed a variety of talented people.


I am so excited to join the XS Entertainment team to develop my writing and witness groundbreaking theatre and performance.


Brisbane is producing some great works and I am lucky to call some of those artists my friends. I love and support the arts just as I love and support good coffee. As should we all! So look out for my upcoming reviews and follow me on Twitter for news, or if you also have a fierce obsession with Tom Hiddleston.


Images by Morgan Roberts



Brain Slam Giveaway – win tix to Finbar’s Live Comedy Quiz Show




Are you free tomorrow night? That’s Wednesday June 24 – go check, quick!


Cancel whatever you had planned because we have 4x Brain Slam tix to give away, valued at $20 each!


All you need to do is LIKE ClapTrap Comedy & XS Entertainment on Facebook and tell us in the comments below why you need a night of fun comedy, woodfired pizzas, AND drinks with friends at Finbar’s Live Comedy Quiz Show BRAIN SLAM.


See Sam Coward & Clayton Storey battle it out with Cardie Boyle and Howie Tampling tomorrow night at Finbar’s Lounge Bar, Maleny, in an all-new live comedy quiz show featuring Quizmaster, Simon Denver. (He’s a little concerned because he knows SAM WILL CHEAT!).





Two teams battle it out in a fiery contest of knowledge and wit!

Join them at Finbar’s on Wednesday 24th June to see Quizmaster Simon Denver host the next comedy night, where he challenges two teams to out-wit and out-knowledge each other (out-knowledge, wait…is that even a word?)!



brainslam_miniSpecial Guests include Sam Coward (Hot 91 FM’s Breakfast DJ), Clayton Storey (if you’ve been to a comedy at Finbar’s you’ll know who he is), Howie Tampling (South East Maleny’s 12th Sharpest Mind) and Cardie Boydell (technically she’s a doctor, so that’s kind of scared everyone else a bit), and of course, your Quizmaster Simon Denver (playwright and director, and he ‘reckons his mum once said he’s a bit of a legend).



This is a panel show not unlike Spicks & Specks, QI, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, so come out, sit back and find out if the contestants make a fool out of the Quizmaster, their competition or themselves!



Not to mention all the perks of Finbar’s Lounge Bar and Jen’s Famous Woodfired Pizzas!


Please note this is an 18+ event due to language and concepts.






ClapTrap Comedy is about creating opportunities for both lovers of comedy as well as comedians themselves.


A successful comedy industry is about professional comedians being employed but also allowing comedy to be affordable for everyone who wants to get out and watch a bit of live stand-up. This is the aim of ClapTrap Comedy. Affordability for the audience, but also sustainability for the comedy industry.


The comedy industry in Australia is thriving with some of the best talent IN THE WORLD – and the world deserves to experience it. These are hard working people, and talented writers & performers. A true asset to Australian society. The world needs comedians. Not so much to lighten up, but to see things from a different perspective.



LIKE ClapTrap Comedy & XS Entertainment on Facebook and COMMENT BELOW. Winners will be notified via email.




Introducing Katelyn Panagiris


Welcome Katelyn!


I always mean to introduce our new writers but there is always so much on that they are invariably writing before I get a chance to do so! We’ve recently welcomed Brisbane based Katelyn Panagiris to the team.


katelyn panagiris


My name is Katelyn Panagiris and I am a young theatre maker currently studying a Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) at QUT. From a young age I have had a serious love affair with the theatre and since the age of about eight, have seen my future in the industry.


I recently graduated from the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries (QACI). Here I was given the opportunity to study theatre, mainly through practical experience and under the guidance of incredibly supportive, dedicated and knowledgeable teachers. Over my three years at QACI I was exposed to several new styles and ways of thinking about theatre. I was challenged, tested and ultimately left the course with my understanding of theatre fundamentally changed.


At the centre of the course was the simple question, what is theatre? This question continues to drive me forward everyday.


I have an insatiable hunger for more knowledge and most importantly, experience. The artists and companies that surround me both locally and internationally are a constant source of inspiration. These artists have paved the way for me, and I know that ‘I stand on the shoulders of giants to see further’.


I know that I am young and that I have barely even scratched the surface of my practice. I know that I am entering a complex industry with plenty of challenges – the majority of which I don’t yet fully understand or appreciate.


Perhaps naively, I have decided that all I can do for now is embrace the present moment, trying my hand at as many roles as possible.


Under the mentorship of Kathryn Kelly, I am currently trying my hand at Resident Dramaturg of Terra Nemo Theatre Company – a company providing opportunities for young artists to experiment with and develop their practice through producing new theatre created entirely by young people. I have also recently performed Pinch Mea solo work directed by Katie Farr and presented by Dead Owl Factory as part of Anywhere Theatre Festival. This was my first experience with Anywhere Theatre Festival and I thoroughly enjoyed performing in non-traditional spaces as part of this diverse and culturally significant festival.




My next project is Departures, a devised work that I will be directing alongside Zoe Sheppard for Vena Cava’s Fresh Blood Festival. Naturally I am nervous about finally putting my ideas into practice. I’m not sure what the performance will look like or how it will stand up against the work of my idols – all I know is that to create is the only way forward.



As well as making theatre, I am passionate about viewing and reviewing theatre. I hope that my reviews will encourage you to see the interesting new work being produced in Brisbane at the moment.


For me, this year presents an opportunity to extend my knowledge and practice as an artist, and I hope that you too will be inspired to go out and explore as much theatre as possible.


I am so very excited about where theatre is heading as it simultaneously rebels against and incorporates all that has come before. I can’t imagine what the art form will look like in 20 years time, but hope that I will play some part, however small, in shaping its future.