Posts Tagged ‘amy ingram

04
Aug
17

Blackrock

 

Black Rock

La Boite & QUT Creative Industries

La Boite Roundhouse Theatre

July 26 – August 12 2017

 

Reviewed by Katy Cotter

 

 

Cast your memory back to when you were young(er). Was there a secret you kept for someone? A secret that twisted your insides, and opened your eyes? You saw a person you thought was your best friend in a different light. And you told their secret…

Black Rock is a beachside suburb where Jared (Ryan Hodson) welcomes home his friend Ricko (Karl Stuifzand). Ricko is wild and speaks before he thinks. He’s the guy who walks that fine line of having a laugh, and throwing the first punch. There’s a history between Jared and Ricko. They’re mates, till the end of time, yeah? And the boys have each other’s backs. Toby (Tom Cossettini) is turning 18 and his party turns into a welcome back for Ricko. All the kids from Black Rock are there, and you bet the alcohol is flowing!

Tracey Warner was found dead on the beach that night. She had been raped and her skull bashed in. Toby’s sister (Jessica Potts) found her. Rumours were going around that Tracey was a slut. She asked for it. Three boys were questioned, and one of them was Toby. Who killed Tracey Warner?

20 years have passed since Nick Enright’s Blackrock was produced at La Boite. This show presented by the company and QUT Creative Industries AND directed by AD Todd MacDonald is spectacular. It not only introduces amazing performances by the third year acting students from QUT, but also three incredibly talented and established actors, Joss McWilliam, Christen O’Leary and Amy Ingram.

The revolving set, designed by Anthony Spinaze, looks like a mix between a lifesaver tower, a sun-bleached jetty and coastal lookout, giving the audience an intimate insight into a beachside community. It exposes the actors, though being in the round allowed the audience to capture different moments. A subtle touch, a look of guilt…

The entire cast is captivating and vulnerable, and though I know the play I delighted in watching the action unfold. I had forgotten how powerful this work is and how confronting the themes are. Victims today are still silenced, their stories scrutinised, forgotten in the mess of it all… Todd MacDonald did not steer away from the darkness, showing the cracks in relationships, the violence, but also the tenderness and heartache. You melt into the scenes with O’Leary and Ingram as they show raw human emotion without any frills. You believe them completely. McWilliam moves seamlessly from character to character, leaving you in stitches one minute and your stomach burning with rage (on purpose) the next.

There’s no question that it’s the QUT actors who bring this show to the next level with their adventurous physicality and youthful spontaneity on stage.

Yes, there are moments of melodrama but that’s teenagers, right? To see young people at the beginning of their careers giving it their all makes this show a cracker! Karl Stuifzand is a stand out as Ricko. He is both playful and menacing, leaving you on the edge, unsure of what he’ll do next. I look forward to following this young man’s career; he has something electric.      

After the show, I heard mixed reviews and opinions. Why are we watching this work now? It was written in 1995. Nothing has changed and it’s 2017. The power of theatre is to bring light to important issues and demand change. It’s disgusting how relevant the themes explored in this play still are; such as victim shaming and the “boys will be boys” attitude. Isn’t that the point of revisiting these iconic works, and particularly Australian work? We are making and watching this work to educate young people, to start a conversation with both young and old, to teach them (and ourselves) about the importance of self-worth, respecting others and speaking the truth. 

La Boite and QUT Creative Industries have presented a challenging and exciting production, throwing you straight in the deep end. Go and support the third year acting students as they make a tremendously loud and vibrant debut. 

23
Jun
16

We Get It

We Get It 

Brisbane Powerhouse

Brisbane Powerhouse Visy Theatre

June 15 – 25 2016

 

Reviewed by Katelyn Panagiris

 

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After a critically acclaimed season at MTC’s NEON Festival, Elbow Room brings We Get It to Brisbane Powerhouse. In this fierce and witty new work, five classic heroines (and the actors playing them) take to the stage in a battle to win it all and to answer the question: can we imagine a world without sexism?

 

The performance begins with the men in the audience literally centre stage. The lights come up, the screen is lit and a booming voice helps us to imagine this world where sexism no longer exists – where women are granted the same rights, pay and opportunities as men. Understandably, the men on stage begin to look uncomfortable. In these opening moments we glimpse the bigger picture of this important work; we may “get” sexism, but there is still a long way to go before achieving gender equality.

 

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From here we enter a glitzy glamorous game show complete with five contestants dancing ridiculously in hot pink lycra. It’s a familiar scene, but there’s something disturbing behind the laughter and the fun. As each of the five women are forced to order themselves according to their appearance, personal lives and categories that simply have nothing to do with the competition at hand, a system of institutionalized sexism (and racism) reveals itself.

 

The “message” of the work permeates through the actors’ video diary entries where they recount their experiences as women in an industry dominated by men. It is unclear whether these are the lived experiences of the actors, and in this way the line between the actor, the actor playing an actor, and the actor playing an actor playing a character (and it really does feel that convoluted) is blurred time and time again. In particular the line between reality and fiction is manipulated as the actors talk back to the host, argue their concerns and work to perfect their performance as one of the greatest heroines ever written. These powerful and magnetic moments bring to the fore the problematic portrayal of women through characters written by men hundreds of years ago. Progressively through the performance we see the actors fight back against the ridiculous expectations of the host and us, the audience.

 

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It is clear that there is plenty of ground for We Get It to cover, but at times scenes feel too long and blatant declaration of the issue at hand becomes too much to handle. Personally I found the work difficult to connect with – while I empathised with the actors / characters, I struggled to play my own role as the alienated audience member. I wanted more space to come to my own conclusions, rather than being told what it all meant and who was at fault. In addition, I found the work to be exclusive in its use of in-jokes and terminology that only an industry audience would fully appreciate. As a work dealing with an issue relevant and important to all, I believe the work could be more accessible to a general audience that do not work within the Brisbane theatre industry.

 

We Get It is a vital piece of political theatre that is uncomfortable, confronting and sharp. It digs deep into the reality of women in an industry that I am just beginning to enter, and it’s frightening to say the least.

29
May
16

The Tragedy of King Richard III

 

The Tragedy of King Richard III

La Boite Theatre Company

La Boite Roundhouse

May 21 – June 11 2016

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

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History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.

– Napoleon Bonaparte

After a questionable start to the 2016 season, La Boite triumphs with The Tragedy of King Richard III – affectionately referred to here as Dick3 – the most intriguing, challenging and satisfying theatrical event of the year so far. An exhumation, a thorough examination by brilliant minds, Queensland Premier Drama Award winners, Marcel Dorney and Daniel Evans, this production not only brings together two of the country’s best writers, but gathers together on stage and off, a truly formidable team of creatives.

Undoubtedly our most fearless director, Evans is able to find compassion in raging fury and irreverent fun in serious ethical and political discourse, creating a new form of theatre; a new style of conversation that challenges and rewards deeply, actors and audiences.

This is the sort of show we expect to see come to us direct from an acclaimed season overseas, and perhaps premiere at Brisbane Festival (September brings Snow Whitethis Shakespeare, and a whole lot more to the table). It’s the sort of show that makes us question everything we thought we knew about theatre and history, and the way we continue to look at the world. It’s a show that turns you inside out, slams you upside down and spits on you, laughing, before reaching out to help you get to your feet again, asking with genuine concern, “Do you want a Milo?”

It’s lucky/exciting/apt for Queensland that our top two companies are starting to make a habit now of giving wings to slightly more unconventional ideas and the support to help them take flight. This one soars and I won’t be at all surprised if, just as La Boite’s Edward Gant did, Dick3 attracts the attention of some of the nation’s other major players. In fact, I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t.

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Dick3 is one of the most designed productions we’ve seen in this space (Designer Kieran Swann, Lighting Designer Jason Glenwright, Composer Guy Webster), utilising the very air that exists between light and rain, and the cold, wet ground, surrounding the raised floor with a black catwalk containing hidden trap doors storing a stash of props and wardrobe pieces inside each space, and having performers take hold of lights for good reason, rather than as a token effort to involve them in the meta layers of the storytelling. 

Because this is certainly not Shakespeare. This is very un-Shakespeare – next level Shakespeare – and it comes with the confident “fuck you” of a generation of genuinely passionate theatre makers who strive for a little more than mediocrity (unlike the next), brilliantly combining box office appeal with original experimental storytelling, questioning far more than they end up divulging and forcing us to reconsider the known “facts” of the history of the world and, in this case, one of the most infamous of Shakespeare’s historical characters. 

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I’m gazing into blue space when Naomi Price appears in front of me, in a Kate Middleton inspired ensemble, with a hand held mic, which she raises to her mouth after pronouncing very loudly and clearly and properly and powerfully and Shakespearingly, “NOW…”  She firmly, politely tells us to turn our mobile phones to Off not Silent and asks that those who insist on leaving their phones on Silent, raise their gadget in the air and admit it. She asks those who didn’t decide – neither switching to Silent or admitting doing so – WHY? There is laughter and we are immediately relaxed and somewhat thrown by this direct address…

Price proceeds to stride around the catwalk and paint a picture that is so vivid, so real, we feel as if we’re in the carpark in Leicester in 2012, standing, shivering, wondering what’s come before us, and looking down upon the reviled bones of King Richard III.

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There is the smell of burning rubber, steam rising, mist swirling, rain falling, blood pooling, blue pouring and splashing and emptying across the stage, the concrete that becomes marble before our eyes, the sponge hump, the gnarled hands, the buckets, the handhelds, the dagger, the sword, the paper crown, the tarp, the blank pages of the book – it could be Harry Potter, an empowering choice for a child actor (he’ll take what he can) – and there is us. Always us, purveyors and interpreters and interlopers; I actually feel unwelcome at times, as if I’m at the wrong dinner party. And this is deliberate, because ultimately, who cares about so much of the history we’re told is true? Is it? If it is, what of it? If we’re sitting there, attempting to intellectualise or justify or reframe in a postmodern context anything that comes from the annuls, it’s shot down in flames and we’re offered an alternate view that suddenly seems more reasonable than our originally held belief. 

Always surprising, this show is the one extra Tequila shot at the end of the night that sees us agreeing with someone we’d presumed would never even make the guest list. Dick3 is an equaliser, a game changer. If the national culture leaned more towards arts than football, this is the match of the season, and could just as easily be seen in a stadium. Imagine that!

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It’s difficult to understand the reluctance to more reasonably support arts and culture. More Australians go to art galleries each year than go to the AFL and NRL combined. The creative industries employ more people than agriculture, construction or even mining, and indeed contribute as much as 75% of the economic benefit of the mining sector…

Let’s talk about STEAM rather than STEM. Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics should all be key parts of our education curriculum. Decades of research shows that artistic engagement nourishes all learning, so if we want an innovative, imaginative and well-rounded nation, let’s have one…

People have a right to arts and culture.

 

David Berthold, AD Brisbane Festival

 

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Price is so powerful in this space, with the vocals and stage presence to knock you flat. She sets the scene and establishes the connection with the audience, which the performers maintain throughout. We connect with each of them. We’re part of this story, part of history. Amy Ingram is a seductive, deliciously wicked delight, and Helen Howard an articulate, elegant, fearsome creature, just as she should be. In Howard’s hands, the act of lifting a chainmail sleeve from a bucket of blood and putting it on, blood dripping down her flesh and soaking into the fabric of her dress, becomes a fine art, pure (horrifying, mesmerising) seduction. Pacharo Mzembe is a prince, giving everything in this performance, which, having now seen so much of NT Live, appears to have come directly from the West End, such is his mastery of voice and movement, particularly in the thrilling fight sequences choreographed by Nigel Poulton (Assistant Fight Director Justin Palazzo-Orr). These are Poulton’s best bloody, sweaty routines to date, executed with ferocious intent by Mzembe and MacDonald. Todd MacDonald commands the space, his return to the stage a triumph in itself. When he’s not fighting or plotting or spilling blood he’s bringing to life a previously unknown version of William Shakespeare – a very funny one – and allowing himself to be directed by the actors who sit, watching critically, in the corners.

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But it’s 14-year old Atticus Robb, in his professional stage debut, who stuns us with a performance that is mature beyond his years, bringing passion and ambition, sincerity and vulnerability to multiple roles, including that of The Actor, Atticus. His is thrilling natural talent, most evident in a Richard III rockstar monologue that steals the show. This kid’s got it.

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The Tragedy of King Richard III is bold and brilliant, death-of-theatre-defying stuff, giving the Australian theatrical landscape permission to change again, to carry on evolving, despite its current challenges.

Without bringing Shakespeare to the stage, Dorney and Evans have brought Shakespeare’s essence and centuries of society’s most deeply held beliefs about ambition and power and connection and the human condition to an audience who thought they’d seen everything. Everything that is, until Dorney and Evans’ astute take on anything at all.

NOW… We’ll see if there are others who can keep up with the exhilarating pace set here.

Production pics by Dylan Evans

 

17
Dec
15

I Want To Know What Love Is

 

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I Want To Know What Love Is

A QTC & The Good Room Production

Brisbane Powerhouse

Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre

December 16 – 19 2015

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

THIS IS FOR YOU

812 anonymous love stories. 500,000 rose petals. 60 minutes of pashing and dashing on a rose-strewn rollercoaster ride through love’s loopy terrain. A joyous and heartbreaking trip inside the throbbing theatrical party of the year!

 

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I love this show. I love its heart. I love its guts.

 

 

I love the way it begins so innocently, so beautifully simply and comically, and then worms its way into your soul only to shred each one of us into little itty bitty pieces using our own memories, drawing on the experiences that didn’t kill us but made us stronger. Finding that one true love, missing the one chance with that random stranger and having your heart (and maybe other parts of your body) broken multiple times by a massive cunt, before covering our world in rose petals and reminding us that we are in fact LOVED.

The formula is simple, but the complexity is thrilling and the overall effect makes I Want To Know What Love Is the purest, most joyous and heartfelt theatrical production of the year. Again.

The opening sequence shares the bright white light of an iPhone torch piercing the darkness and the sound of self conscious breathing. Quick, uncertain steps patter across the space and someone sets up a standing mic. A spotlight reveals Tom Cossettini, delightful once again. He treats us to an increasingly confident rendition of Young and Beautiful. A deliberately strained and stilted voice becomes rich in tone and cheeky with brazen confidence as he serenades an audience member lit by an unexpected special beneath a cascade of rose petals. This is the first of many joyous moments, a red herring prelude to a darker, more disturbing segment.

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It’s a startling mood change – and I knew it was coming – with Cossettini joined by Caroline Dunphy and Amy Ingram, demonstrating all the playfulness, competitiveness and polite turn-taking of every configuration of a relationship before it ends bad. And then it ends bad.

Margi Brown Ash brings new energy and a completely different quality to the production. Where Carol Burns approached much of the original material with her quiet, elegant reserve, Margi Brown Ash attacks it with unique vigour and wide eyed, full throttle, devilish delight. Each actor in this small company has discovered the delicacy of the more sensitive submissions and they treat the tales with the utmost respect, while giving some of the other anonymous stories the spectacularly sordid treatment they deserve, all for our entertainment and amusement, and for theirs, I’m sure. There’s certainly a voyeuristic aspect, and a number of times when some of us would like to leap over the seats to join the performers, in the riot of rose petals and splendour and grit and goodness and LOVE. What? Just me?

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Icona Pop’s cute and angry I Don’t Care underscores the sweeping and leaf-blowing of petals out of the way as if they’re shattered pieces of each heart, pieces of each person, which we offer to another and demand to have returned to us once the thing is over. Then there are the pieces a lover – or abuser – takes forcefully away from us. These pieces are carried away the moment the wind changes, or stuffed cruelly into a pocket so no one else can ever have them.

How do we put ourselves together again when some of the pieces are gone forever?

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Against a brilliant pulsing heartbeat of a soundtrack (the lifeblood of the show) by Lawrence English, Jason Glenwright’s lighting perfectly complements Kieran Swann’s design, creating many moods within a splendid setting. It’s a Catherine Martin styled American Beauty fantasy sans the tub, the nakedness and the convenient petal placement, although none of those elements would be out of place here. There are many more petals used this time. Masses and masses of them, thousands in fact, fluttering down from above, then teeming like rain, and then released from yellow plastic bags and scattered joyfully across the space. With great passion and fury they’re later pushed and swept and kicked and tossed into the air, poured over the actors, almost smothering them, just as any great…and terrible…love will do.

This is theatre as therapy, almost cathartic, leading everyone into themselves and along their own (don’t say it!) … JOURNEY. THERE. I SAID IT.

The stories are ours…well, the stories are yours. If you submitted your story online we got a glimpse of your life, your love… Johnny BalbuzienteIt’s an intimate show, perhaps in some ways better suited to the smaller, more intimate space of the original studio. But it’s become a bigger, slicker operation in the powerhouse theatre (“The Lovebox”), allowing a greater number of people to see it (and see it again!). How lucky are we? This is a company with a LOT of love to give!

Cancel everything and go see I Want To Know What Love Is.

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This show is an editorial and directorial gem, collating so many moments of so many lives that I imagine it would be possible to create a dozen or more episodes using the stash of unused material. Perhaps we’ll see a YouTube series yet, or a never-ending series of books in the style of WOL. But don’t wait for those! Director, Daniel Evans is a busy, busy guy!

THIS IS A PASH AND DASH AFFAIR

– DANIEL EVANS

Your best chance to experience the real-life equivalent of Love Actually this festive season is to see I Want To Know What Love Is before it finishes this weekend.

07
Aug
13

Trollop

 

Trollop

The Greenhouse QTC

Bille Brown Studio

1 -17 August 2013

 

 Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

whatisclaramaking.com

 

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You might not like this show. On the other hand, it might be the weirdest and most wonderful production you’ve seen in a long time. Trollop is not a nice, neat, fun or family-friendly play. It’s strange and savage, and a little bit sadistic. It’s a shock to the senses, and perhaps to your sensibilities. It’s the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award Winner by Maxine Mellor, it’s a world premiere, and far from what you might expect, it’s not pretty. I’m glad I didn’t see it alone.

 

Clara is depressed after something ghastly has happened. We see the muddied trash and broken furniture piled on either side of the paper walled set, a grisly reminder of the floods or the lives wasted along with the debris. If you were there in the cleanup you’ll recognise it. Perhaps you’ll smell it. The mud, I mean. It comes back to you every so often. It does! It’s the first shock of the evening. There are several more, as the tension mounts and the mythical world becomes reality, at least for Clara (and of course for us, watching). Your own nightmares are undoubtedly worse than even the most grotesque images here, but the realisation of Clara’s fears is impressive.

 

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With the combined visions and skill sets of four designer-directors – Wesley Enoch, Pete Foley, Ben Hughes and David Morton – and the force of three young actors – Amy Ingram, Lucy-Ann Langkilde and Anthony Standish – The Greenhouse at Queensland Theatre Company have created a monster model that’s so crazy it just might have worked!

 

 

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As Clara, in the throes of apathy and depression, Ingram is always present, even when she’s completely absent from the life that her boyfriend, Erik, wants for her. Despite being silent for much of the play, we hear her loud and clear. When Langkilde, in her QTC debut, enters as the “strange Jehove” and changes the course of the action, it feels like a device that should work beautifully to break up the heavy discourse between the couple, and distract us from whatever grisly end is nigh. Instead, this section of the play seems like a last-minute consideration – something “normal” to throw us off the scent and settle us into a false sense of confidence because really, the weirdest thing happening here is that Clara wants her boyfriend to kiss the girl! Standish has already stolen the show with comparatively masses of dialogue and action by now, and at this point, when his character is stoned and drunk, willing but confused about whether or not he should follow Clara’s command, he delivers the funniest line of the play… “Something in my head is telling me this is a trick”! Laughter serves as welcome relief from the tense situation at hand, and lets us breathe before it’s too late! Before the big finish takes our collective breath away.

 

I can’t give it away, and I hope no one else does so either, but the big finish is almost as you’d expect, and at the same time it’s nothing of the sort. It’s the mythical become real and we’ve all had similar nightmares. I’m not a Game of Thrones fan – I abhor violence and I don’t think watching it contributes anything of particular value to my life – but I was reminded of a disturbing and fascinating installation at Sydney’s MCA, which I loved and hated, whose artist attributed some of the inspiration for her fur, twine and timber creations (I’m talking about Wangechi Mutu’s Black Thrones) to the graphic imagery of the series. I wondered if Mutu’s unique work had infiltrated Trollop’s creative process at any point.

 

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The sound (designed by Chris Perren), particularly a high-pitched sound of such high frequency that it might be the most disturbing element for some, along with some “stranger and stranger” down-the-rabbit-hole-type imagery serve to challenge our imaginations. Flickering video footage is thrown across the sparse white set, establishing the nightmarish mood from the outset and revealing the versatility of Langkilde, who appears as multiple characters, from children’s television show host to David Attenborough style narrator, of which we are later, rather quickly and cleverly, reminded before she walks through the door into existence. (But wait, what of the ICE? I was expecting the “Sofie” story and the impenetrable, prison-like ice surrounds to all come together at some stage, but as in a dream it simply disappeared, giving way to the new “reality” that included Langkilde).

 

Maxine Mellor has penned some strange and truly terrifying thoughts in order for Trollop to live, in this, its first incarnation. Props to The Greenhouse at QTC for getting this beast up on its feet, and the best of luck to the next company desiring to stage it!

 

19
Mar
13

I Should Have Drunk More Champagne Coming Soon to Metro Arts

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Metro Arts opens its newly renovated space, the Basement, with I SHOULD HAVE DRUNK MORE CHAMPAGNE co- presented with celebrated Queensland independent collective, The Good Room. It’s the first production of Metro Arts’ flagship Season of the Independents.

 

In February, Daniel Evans and Amy Ingram of The Good Room made a call-out for people to submit their biggest regrets anonymously through phone lines and a website. I SHOULD HAVE DRUNK MORE CHAMPAGNE is the collation of these 500 regrets, strung out to sparkle, centre stage.

 

Step inside Metro Arts’ newest performance space and enter a world of sad pandas and empty dance floors, where Verbatim meets Experiential Theatre in this one-hand-over-your-eye awkward yet deliciously bittersweet look at possibilities lost and heartbreaking memories gained.

 

“We want to privilege stories that haven’t been given much air-time on stage before: yours, ours, people like you and me. We’ve turned the authorial voice of this work over to the general public, and what we’re left with is a whole lot of pearls – that are without context or explanation. The words are almost ghost-like. The regrets have an inherent theatricality.” – Daniel Evans, The Good Room

 

“The regrets swing between bittersweet and funny to heart breaking and wrenchingly sad. In I Should Have Drunk More Champagne, we are holding up a whole lot of people’s darker moments to the light and watching them gently refract. It will be up-close and intimate.”

 

010313023344_rerrI SHOULD HAVE DRUNK MORE CHAMPAGNE was made specifically for the opening of The Basement. Placing a work that is, in many ways, about the past, in a newly rejuvenated space is definitely a poetic signifier of things to come in Metro Arts.

 

Last year Metro Arts raised nearly $30,000 to respond to artists’ call for the need for an intimate contemporary performance space in Brisbane.

 

“The immense support towards transforming The Basement came very directly from our community, and it was important that the first performance come from a team of local artists with a strong practice and presence in Brisbane. The Good Room brings with them innovative, responsive performance making, which underscores the potential of the range of contemporary performance work we can expect to see in The Basement.” – Liz Burcham, CEO Metro Arts

 

ABOUT METRO ARTS

Metro Arts is a multi-artform incubator and site for experimentation, supporting and developing independent artists through a platform of space, mentoring, producing support, critical engagement and leadership.

Event Details

27 March – 13 April (No performances on 29 March)

Wednesday – Saturday 7:30pm Basement, Metro Arts

Adults $20 Concessions $16 Groups 10+ $12 booking fees apply

INFO & BOOKINGS http://www.metroarts.com.au  07 3002 7100

CREATED AND DEVISED BY Caroline Dunphy, Daniel Evans, Amy Ingram & Leah Shelton

LIGHTING DESIGN Jason Glenwright

WITH THE SUPPORT OF Little Red & Optikal Bloc

19
Dec
12

Amy Ingram: Out Damn Snot!

 

 Out Damn Snot

 

I first saw AMY INGRAM in 2011 at Metro Arts in the Metro Arts Allies’ & The Good Room’s stellar production of Nina Raine’s Rabbit, directed by Dan Evans. As Bella, Ingram was a one woman tour-de-force. As Mackenzie, in La Boite’s first production of 2013, Shake & Stir’s Out Damn Snot! she is hilarious.

 

Here’s what Amy had to tell us about what’s happening in her world of snot and goop at the moment!

 

Out Damn SnotDaddy’s Girl Mackenzie is settling in for an afternoon of dress-ups with her best friend and sister-from-another-mister, Kim. The only problem is that Mackenzie’s annoying little brother Heath is hanging around like a bad smell, and so is his forever-running nose. When Heath’s sniffing and snotting becomes too much, the girls decide to take action and devise a spell to turn him into… a girl!

 

Mackenzie and Kim soon learn that messing with magic can have disastrous consequences when they find themselves transported into Heath’s gooey nasal cavities. As they dig around for clues and a way out, they meet a collection of crazy characters and have to leap pits of snot, dodge tickly nose hairs and avoid the gigantic finger that keeps coming in for a pick!

 

Loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and tightly squeezed into a hilarious show for kids of all ages, this disgustingly delightful tale is set in a large pool of green slime and will have audiences squelching, squirming and squealing with joy.

 

Out Damn Snot will sound familiar to many…sort of! Can you tell us about this production and who it’s aimed at?

Well Well Well …… I think those who watch the show will recognise a few familiar story lines. Out Damn Snot draws from MacBeth and A Midsummer Nights Dream but the story itself is more about friendship, adventure and SLIME!  This show is definitely aimed a younger audience and all of those people with their imaginations still fully intact. Oh and anybody who enjoys watching other people get goop all over them!

 

We hear you’re having marvelous fun in the rehearsal room at La Boite. What happens in a shake & stir rehearsal?

Fun. This never happens! HAHAHAAAA. I can honestly say we don’t go a single rehearsal without something testing my bladder control. I think we are just all enjoying the opportunity to play and be young brats again. It’s exhausting being 8 but it does give you license to get away with things perhaps an older person would not do.

 

Ross (Balbuziente) is directing this production rather than performing in it. What does Ross bring to this show and what do you enjoy about working with him?

Well for one thing he reins us in when our imaginations go to far! Without Ross the show would go on for hours……Ross is great he lets us explore the story , push ideas, test boundaries and then shapes the whole thing while always keeping the younger audience in mind. It’s a hard balance to strike – making sure that the kids who this story is aimed at understand everything and enjoy themselves but also keeping the lovely parents who are taking their children along engaged in the story as well. I think Ross is very aware of this and always moulds the show with that in mind.

 

What do you love about Shakespeare?

I have seen too much Shakespeare done horribly over the years so it is sometimes easy to forget what fantastic characters he writes. I think some of the darker characters in his plays are fantastic and unique in terms of giving an actor the opportunity to explore people who are bold, complex and larger than life.

 

What’s your favourite Shakespearean insult?

“You should be women and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so.” From MacBeth about the 3 witches.

 

What are your favourite memories of studying Shakespeare at school?

Hamlet during my final year at University. It was the first time I really engaged 100% with Shakespeare and funnily enough Nelle Lee and Leon Cain were in the show as well. I played Rosencrantz and Nelle played Guildenstern and I actually think our director regretted putting Nelle and I together so closely as we were always up to something!

 

We can see how shake & stir is changing the landscape of youth theatre. I don’t think Shakespeare at school has ever been quite as exciting! How do you think the company has done that?

Shake and Stir make Shakespeare accessible for youth. Often Shakespeare is done without any passion or relevance to today and I think the way that they bring the stories of Shakespeare to kids actually makes them interested in Shakespeare and understand what is going on. They have amazing marketing and branding, meaning they know what grabs kids attention, the kind of stuff they want to see and be a part of. Let’s face it, when you read Shakespeare in a classroom at school it is possibly the most boring experience of your life and I certainly think they are changing this!

 

How did you come to be a part of the shake & stir team? What do you love about this company, the way they work and the way in which audiences respond to the work?

I have taught for them in the past but this is the first show I have done with them. I basically was asked to play the part of Mackenzie and I said yes! The project sounded extremely fun and it was a great opportunity to work with Nelle and Leon who I went to uni with. This is the first time on stage together again since graduating and it is great. When you do a Shake and Stir show you know you are going to get audiences who just love what they are seeing. I have also seen their other shows and the kids especially are all so engaged with what they are seeing onstage it is a great opportunity to be apart of that.

 

 

What else are you doing this year?

Well THIS year – not much! Going home to SA to see my family for Christmas, which will be great but next year is going to be exciting. I kick off the year with Out Damn Snot of course but I am also doing Trollop with QTC and my company alongside Daniel Evans; The Good Room has a few things up it’s sleeve which we are really excited about.

 

What is it about working with students that you enjoy?

 For me working with students really re -invigorates my love for the arts and why I chose to be a part of this industry. Teaching and doing workshops also makes sure you are on top of your game. The best way to keep your skills base up to date is often teaching it to someone else. It is also great how they just throw themselves into projects especially something they love. No hesitation. No questions.

 

What are the major challenges when you’re working with students?

Ha! Focus! Not just for them – for me! Basically just keeping them engaged. You know when they are bored or not interested so you have to work hard to give them something that they want and also change their minds about a few things…encourage them to push past their own preconceptions and try something new.

 

What are the most common comments you get from teachers and parents with regard to The Arts and your work in theatre?

I honestly don’t have much to do with teachers. My work with students is always outside of a high school curriculum but I often get similar comments from parents about how great it is to see certain kids come out of their shell – or they can’t believe I got them to be onstage and on task for so long! I think parents generally are just happy when their kids get an opportunity to be a part of something they are passionate about. You can see it and it affects their everyday lives.

 

How did you get into theatre? Tell us about your start and what students might need to consider studying or gaining experience in if they wish to pursue a career in The Arts?

I always wanted to be involved in the arts but I guess my ideas on what that actually means has evolved over the years. You have to be passionate and thick skinned. If you are in it just to get your face on TV then I think you will find it hard to be happy and fulfilled. It is a tough industry but if you honestly can’t help yourself or think of a single other thing that would make you happy then you do it and you find a way to make it work. I grew up in an area where there was not much art around or opportunity for young people but luckily I had a great Drama teacher in high school who infected me with a love for performance and encouraged me to get out there and give it my best shot.

 

What’s your plan? Where will you go next and where do you want to be in 10 years time?

I’m rubbish at the 5-year -10-year plan thing. I know there are things I want to do but I’m not obsessed with when they need to happen. I also like to have a healthy dose of the fantastical mixed in with reality. I still like to believe I will win an Oscar and I also plan to travel more and create as much new work as possible. I want to be challenged and I am very open to plans changing and new goals jumping up. At the moment it is about pushing myself as a performer, seeing the world and being an artist.

 

What would you be doing if you were not involved in theatre?

Nothing. I would always find my way back one way or another. THERE IS NO ESCAPING!

 

Amy Ingram

Theatre: Seeding Bed, Young Playwrights Program, An Oak Tree, Fat Pig (Queensland Theatre Company); Where We Begin, Rabbit, Single Admissions (with Lazy Young and Talented), Holy Guacamole (The Good Room); Tracksuit Girl (Rebecca Meston). Television: Mabo, God’s of What Street, Scott Spark Music Video, Tim Freedman Music Video, As Director: Trojan Women, Wolf Lullaby (Griffith University); The Bacchae (Brisbane Girls Grammar); Ivy Shambit and The Sound Machine ( USQ Children’s Festival). Other: Director of National Young Writers Festival 2008 and 2009, 2high Festival Performance Coordinator 2007. Awards and Positions: 2010 Matlilda Award Best Emerging Artist, Co Artistic Director of The Good Room and Co Founder of The Lame Academy, Chair of USQ Alumni. Training: Graduate of USQ. Amy is a proud member of equity.

 

Amy Ingram Trollop