Posts Tagged ‘Metro Arts

28
May
17

Swallow

 

Swallow

Metro Arts & E.G.

Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre

May 25 – June 3 2017

Reviewed by Stephanie Fitz-Henry & Elanora Ginardi

Who said smashing things up was a bad thing?

 

The fragility and abrasiveness of the human condition is reflected in the glass themes of Stef Smith’s award winning play SWALLOW.

Swallow is vast in the complex themes it explores; ideas about mental health, broken relationships, gender equality, transgender, happiness and acceptance.

A bird flies away, shattered glass lies everywhere, and a door is almost closed. None of these things are particularly important in and of themselves, but I guess we have to start somewhere in describing this outburst by Steff Smith.

The simple art of the stage design – the door, the shattered glass – symbolises the fragile lives of these three characters, discovering in their journey the need to be loved and accepted.

Swallow explores the chaotic ways in which three women continue to survive in the face of psychological and emotional suffering. Each character begins in isolation, disconnected from each other and the rest of society. In their struggle through darkness and confusion they occasionally find a glimmer of hope to keep them going.

Anna (Elise Greig) hasn’t stepped outside of her apartment for two years and is smashing her way through all of her belongings until there is nothing left. 

Rebecca (Julie Cotterell) lives a lonely existence after being dumped by her fiancé, and spends her time drinking away the pain and her physical and emotional scars.

Sam (Helen O’Leary) craves genuine connection and acceptance in the world as a man trapped inside a woman’s body.

The play is raw and challenging for audiences who need to use their imaginations and work a little harder to form their own ideas of what is happening. The experience is a personal one for each audience member. As the play commences, the characters articulate every thought and action in real time. They tell us because they have no one else to tell. They move and speak in isolation as they deliver their fragmented stories. They move around the stage until their paths cross at a point where connection and change is possible. Much of the action occurs downstage, in close proximity to the audience, creating a confronting space. The performances are very physical within bodies and within the performance space, particularly the performances of Greig and O’Leary. Each character’s body is an extension of their minds. Greig gives an engaging and convincing performance as the unstable Anna.

The performances are enhanced by Tony Byrne’s intelligent and perceptive sounds. The narrative told by the soundscape informs the audience and taps into the human psyche.

The minimalist set (concept by Kate Shearer, realised by Jo Grieg & Michael Jones) contains barricades of bundles of timber and broken glass of various sizes around the edges of the stage. These boundaries of desperation surround a raised platform with an illuminated door turned at a 45-degree angle to the audience. There is a strong sense of apprehension, after having ventured into a difficult and unpleasant place, somewhere none of us really want to be, but curiosity kicks in when we get an opportunity to gaze through windows into the lives of others.

The shattered mirrored glass, the rearrangement of the broken glass, the bird, and the closed door. The snow flakes, which are actual bird feathers…  

There is beauty in the grotesque and of the physical interpretation of the characters.

Smith’s text is poetic and her characters are complex and despairing. There is warmth and humour, despite moments of awkwardness.

The play moves through spaces of light and dark, humour and pain, loneliness and connection, courage and vulnerability. The choice to bring the work of an independent writer from overseas to Brisbane audiences is a credit to producers, Elise Grieg and Metro Arts.

Directed by Kate Shearer, Swallow is anchored by the commitment of three well-accomplished Brisbane performers, courageous and vulnerable. It hits as hard as it can hit with its harsh truth of human barriers, and the difficulty to break through them and be accepted.

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28
Apr
17

ENGLAND

 

ENGLAND

Nathan Booth, Matt Seery & Metro Arts

Metro Arts Gallery

April 19 – 29 2017

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward / Meredith Walker

 

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LOOK.

The floor creaks comfortingly (or disturbingly perhaps, if it’s your first time here), and the walls are almost completely bare, except for selected works by up and coming Brisbane artists, their pieces, for me, neither relevant nor irrelevant to the play, which is about art and heart and perspective.

The ink on the concrete stairs has worn off in some places, barely reminding us of who lives here, and who lends support to the place. The lift is out of order. I never used it. But others need to…

I’m flying solo, as I often am in galleries, when I take myself off on an “artist’s date”, to gather myself and spend time in spaces dedicated to nourishing us, rather than robbing us of feeling, of seeing, of soul.

In a post-show Q and A session to his 2013 Brisbane Festival show I, Malvolio, Tim Crouch described his advocacy of asking new questions about the artform through increasing consciousness of the alert and alive relationship between audiences and theatre makers, united in a live situation. Those who saw Crouch’s An Oak Tree at the Bille Brown Studio in 2011 will expect no less from the experimental theatre maker, given that work’s failure to play by ‘the rules’ by including a guest actor, without script familiarity, being guided through the performance by stage directions fed through an earpiece.

This is the world of Tim Crouch and of his 2007 work ENGLAND, which rejects typical theatrical conventions and, instead, invites its audience to help create the work. Perhaps as a consequence, the provocative text has only ever been performed once before in Australia. But this only makes the Queensland premiere of the tricky work from Nathan Booth and Matt Seery, the Hamish and Andy of the Brisbane theatre scene, all the more impressive.

Certainly there are easier challenges in theatre than taking on a show like ENGLAND. The script allows for anything; lines are not allocated to performers and there are no stage directions or indications regarding set or lighting. Yet, in Seery’s directorial hands, the scatter becomes a sophisticated performance work that starts as a gallery tour before becoming so much more in its look at life and impending death.

The story is well suited to the intimate venue of Metro Arts’ Gallery and the staging is well managed to account for the limitations of the space, which sees the action move from Brisbane to London and from a clean-lined gallery to a shabby sitting room. It begins with two attendants who share a duologue in talk of a wealthy art-dealer boyfriend in need of a heart transplant and as guide of the audience through a contemporary art exhibition (the work of artists Amelia K Fulton, Brigid Holt, Dana Lawrie, Charlie Meyers and Damien Pasquale), with comment on the works’ amazing colours and how art should be for all. As the audience is urged to look at the lines and colours and even the wood of the floor, we are reminded of the beauty of life’s little details, even as description moves to what’s on the walls of a doctor’s surgery and then in the search for health at any cost. It is a work of two acts at either end of the stylistic spectrum and yet it works, more because of, rather than in spite of, its contrasting forms.

Give the site-specific nature of the work, audience members should aim to arrive early to wander around the gallery until the work begins with performers Barbara Lowing and Steven Tandy take place to part the crowd and take command of the space. A two-hander from Lowing and Tandy is weighted with expectation; each brings a wealth of experience to the show and, accordingly, in their hands, the dialogue flows easily without overwhelming the delicate nature of the production.

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LOOK.

I end up sitting rather than standing, so tired, in the darker end of the space beyond a wall, waiting for the play to begin (are they late to start? It feels like they are late to start), and with a number of other guests, I’m asked to move back to the central, well-lit space, which is where we’ll start, standing for perhaps 25 minutes. I suddenly regret the decision to bring a tote that I must hold with both hands, rather than a little Miss London clutch. My wrap, in case it’s cold, for the record, does not fit into the clutch, so…..

Steven Tandy and Barb Lowing, all in black except for Lowing’s statement floral scarf, enter the space with the authority of tour guides or gallery owners. They are the same person. But we don’t know this right away; the realisation drops in later as we process the strategically shared narrative. It’s a lovely surprise, quite unexpected, because who else but our Tom Holloway can write like this, with lines left unsaid and many more overlapping and repeated? LOOK. We have a sense that some theatrical cleverness is at work, but without any pretentiousness or actual theatricality whatsoever, writer (and actor) Tim Crouch simply delivers the story. The actors simply deliver the story. It’s rare that high expectations are met.

They’re more than competent, assured enough to trust and let the text do its work (other actors say they do this, but rarely do they let things be and actually do this), and directed by Matt Seery (his Directing Mentor, La Boite’s Todd MacDonald), which lets us experience, moment to moment, at the core of the work, at its heart, sensitivity, beauty, patience and grace. And then there are the political layers; layer upon layer upon layer…what IS beneath the niqab, anyway? Only the eyes… LOOK.

This is a wake-up call for some, and palliative care for the not-knowing-they’re-already-dead set.

These actors are no less than iconic in our industry, both adored, genuinely respected; their performances in ENGLAND are testament to their ability and sensitivity as performers. These characters – this character, which they share in the first act – is someone gravely ill, waiting to die…waiting to live. Waiting to live, given a new chance to do so, given a new heart… An Islamic heart, which has become available through diabolical means, and accepted with basic, innocent gratitude. 

Lowing is a tour-de-force on any stage and Tandy gives a finely balanced performance in counterpoint to the vulnerability and strength of her presence. Indeed, it is testament to the craft of both the artists that they are at most captivating when seated in a conversation of sorts for second half of show, when travel is made to an unnamed country to thank the widow of a heart donor with a gift of a valuable painting. The ambient sound design and intricately composed score, are similarly memorable in their frame of the story’s essential emotions.

 

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In Act 2 the narrator offers the gift of a valuable work of art to the widow of the man whose heart she/he has within her, and a translator reduces the conversation to its essence. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch Tandy ponder, mentally processing what he must say aloud to make the conversation between the two women possible, plausible, relatable, reasonable. It’s heartbreaking to tumble into Lowing’s abyss of ignorance and misconception and wistfulness and wonderment, and frustration and anger and guilt and pity and……. for some reason, I’m thinking about My Name is Lucy Barton, another extraordinary piece of writing, and then, with fireworks, a display that’s fierce and frightening and shocking, before I can think any more about anything at all, the play is suddenly finished. But nobody moves. Nobody applauds. Nobody can move. And then, finally, after several deep breaths, there is applause. And we can go. And I do, because it’s a slightly earlier night than usual and, we are done. But not. This piece will stay beneath my skin for a bit, like ink. A reminder. Art permeates life. And love. And life.

ENGLAND is a wonderful show of little details and big thematic ideas about, for example, the effect of art and what constitutes its meaning. Much like last week’s Australian Stella Prize annual literary award winner, The Museum of Modern Love, it captures art’s ability to ‘wake you up, break your heart and make you fearless’.

The creators of the exhibition/performance/gallery tour that is ENGLAND have crafted something very special from its most arbitrary of guidelines. At once beautiful, powerful and devastating, it is an affecting and rewarding theatrical interaction, layered with meaning for contemplation and conversation about the difference between looking and seeing and the need for art in all its manifestations to enrich, sustain and lift us out of life’s hardships. 

This is a provocative piece for galleries…and for humans. It comes boldly, exquisitely from a team of creative hearts to yours.

24
Apr
17

Jarrod Duffy Is Not Dead

Jarrod Duffy is Not Dead

Applespiel

Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre

April 20 – 29 2017

 

Reviewed by Meredith Walker

 

Jarrod-Duffy-Is-Not-Dead

 

Have you ever had someone in your life at one time, who you lost contact with?

Someone you cared about.

How many years has it been since you’ve seen them?

Do you know where they are now?

If you did, what would you do?

Have you ever had someone who just…vanished?

 

It’s Wollongong, 2010 and two weeks before performing in an honours show, Jarrod Duffy, friend and member of the performance collective, Applespiel, doesn’t show up for a rehearsal. He’s disappeared, leaving behind the furniture at his house and no answers from phone calls, emails and Facebook searches.

Jarrod Duffy Is Not Dead is the story of that disappearance and Applespiel’s hunt to find their missing friend. It is important to know this essential premise before attending the show, because of the poignancy it brings to the photographs that are shared on-screen at its beginning as audience members sit in thought of the memories that lie behind the images and the emotions evoked by their recollection. Those most affected, however, are those who lost a friend, the members of Applespiel who begin the podcast section of the show with overlay of dialogue about Duffy’s character.

 

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This initial section is particularly engaging in its authentic recreation of an episodic series, utlitising the genre’s features and respecting its usual structure. As it progresses from recollection of ‘good times’ antics, last conversations, speculative concerns for his safety and possible hints to the idea of leaving, to memories of the initial days after his first disappearance, it becomes clear that ‘memory is shitty’, allowing the audience to share in Duffy’s friends’ frustrations at initially dismissing his disappearance with stories of his flakiness and of how over time, blurred memories create amalgamated stories and even more uncertainly. But things are not all as they seem, as the audience realises in a second half that sees standup, song and appearance of the titular Duffy c/o cardboard cut-outs and then some.

 

As essentially a show of two halves, Jarrod Duffy is Not Dead is an ambitious work of anthropological storytelling that shows how sometimes you need to tell a story to have others ‘get it’. The resulting exploration of truth is both complex and compelling as we are posed questions about the meaning of ‘normal’, when a story exists and the need for narrative closure.

 

There is audience manipulation around original premise with its mention of figures of long term missing persons and the notion of bystander apathy, but deliberately so. As such, the show represents the fundamental nature of Metro Arts’ programming and championing of contemporary arts practice. As a part theatre, part live podcast show, Jarrod Duffy is Not Dead is far from a typical theatre experience. But that is its appeal. Its blend of live action and digital imagery is sure to give audiences much to talk about in terms of its artform as much as its message, provoked by its evocative final question of ‘do you get it?’

 

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22
Jul
16

Edges

 

EDGES: A Song Cycle

Understudy Productions

Metro Arts

July 20 – 23 2016

 

Reviewed by Katy Cotter

 

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Last night I entered (for the millionth time, I’m sure) the hallowed halls of the Metro Arts building in the city. I never get sick of the place. It was opening night of Understudy Productions’ debut show Edges: A Song Cycle. For those who are not familiar, Edges is a coming of age musical about a group of friends in their early twenties. They reflect on the people they were or pretended to be in high school, and the people they hope to become. It focuses on the tumultuous relationships, the importance of friendship and forgiveness, and the necessity of dreaming big. It also warns about the crazy ex and that closure is paramount.

Edges was written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul in 2005. Apparently, while they studying musical theatre at the University of Michigan, they were dissatisfied with the roles they were being assigned so they decided to write their own show. They were only 19 at the time, and now the show has been performed around the world.

Understudy Productions is a brand new Brisbane-based company founded by Alexander Woodward who last year graduated from the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium of Music. With the help of his creative team, the company strives to create professional opportunities for local performers. Edges was the perfect choice to display the incredible vocal talent of the six cast members, including Woodward, giving each a decent amount of time in the spotlight. They played multiple characters which at first was jarring, though it was quickly established that each song was a snapshot into a person’s life, and then we moved on.

The production itself was minimalist; set at the beach. The friends were spending the day reminiscing while lounging on picnic rugs, eating strawberries and drinking craft beers. A small wooden boardwalk crossed the stage adorned with mood lights and surrounded by pale white sand. Behind this sat the band.

The musical itself is the right amount harrowing and hilarious. The audience enjoys the emotional rollercoaster without being overwhelmed or begging for there to be one central character to root for. I must mention my favourite performance from the Musical Director, Dominic Woodhead, who sang Along the Way. This young man is not only an incredibly talented musician, but his comedic timing was superb during this number. He was completely endearing and charmed the pants off the audience.

The transitions between songs were awkward space and needed more consideration as to what the performers were doing instead of just waiting for their cue to start singing. Those transitions are vital in maintaining that relationship between the performer and the audience. If there is awkward space, then the audience drops out of the world being created for them. And, of course, in large scale musicals there are many magical distractions like flying witches or hobbits disappearing. Edges has a raw and vulnerable quality.

This show is a whole lot of fun but it only runs until Saturday. Understudy Productions is a group of young creatives that are passionate about musical theatre. We need to support those who are brave enough to step out on their own and carve their own path. Support the arts, Brisbane, and most importantly, support the locals!

20
Apr
16

Flaunt

Flaunt

Claire Marshall and Metro Arts

Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre

April 13 – 16 2016

 

Reviewed by Ruth Ridgway

 

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The changes for women over the past 120 years have been significant … but are we there yet? Or are the current times of social media where women are socially conditioned to police each others’ ‘acceptable’ images a step back in time for women?

– Claire Marshall

 

The first version of Flaunt, by independent choreographer and director Claire Marshall, was shown in a season at the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2014. For the 2016 season at Metro Arts, Marshall has extensively reworked this piece, making it much richer, with its themes of gender construction, and cooperation and competition between women fully integrated with its theatricality.

 

Flaunt grabs the attention and doesn’t let it go.

 

It’s like a journey in a time machine, with a central figure (Amelia Stokes) appearing to be brought out of cryogenic storage to experience the lot of women in five different eras: the early 1900s, the 1950s, the 1970s, the 1980s and today.

 

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Both sound and costume design are by Marshall. Each era is accompanied by music from that time, with the sound design also effectively using layered words (such as ‘sexuality’, ‘freedom’, ‘fertility’) and spoken extracts, including a letter, and part of an academic paper about gender construction.
The costumes are simple, but effective: over short black pants and crop tops, the dancers don Edwardian ‘hobble’ skirts, 1950s full-skirted dresses, pastel chiffon 1970s evening dresses, clunky 80s jackets with shoulder pads, and for today, bright little tops teamed with blue wedge sandals.
In a clever device, different floor coverings, lined up in rolls at one side of the performance space, are spread over the floor to match the costume changes for each era. The other main feature of the set design (Frances Hannaway) was a frame, about medium-shed-size, of steel posts and cross-pieces.

 

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This framework echoed the theme of ‘construction’ of gender, while also resembling a cage, or part of a set in a circus or a nightclub. The dancers and the choreography made great use of it, climbing, vaulting through, swinging and hanging from it, as well as using it as a support to lean on or huddle against.
The sound, costume and performance show the restrictions suffered by women in every era. Their support for each other is contrasted with the cruelty of women towards others as they police their appearance and actions, and force them to conform.
This time there are three dancers instead of four: Essie Horn, Courtney Scheu, and Amelia Stokes (who was one of the cast in 2014). They all have strong individual presence, with Stokes a particularly magnetic performer. They showed courage and skill in their use of the frame, and dexterous management of the on-stage costume and floor-covering changes that were part of the performance.
The lighting (Michael Richardson) is dramatic and submerges the audience, as if we are in a club.
It was good to see this show again in its striking 2016 reincarnation.

 

 

14
Mar
16

A Slight Ache & The Lover

 

A Slight Ache & The Lover

now look here

Metro Arts

March 8 – 19 2016

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.

– Santideva

pinter

Who are you?

– Edward, A Slight Ache, Harold Pinter

RICHARD Is your lover coming today?

SARAH Mmmm.

… It’s the husband asking and it’s the husband who returns at three, as the leather jacket clad lover, for a little bit of afternoon delight. We realise that this English middle class married couple, in an effort to spice up their love life, enjoy some regular role play, and in-role erotic games of cat and mouse in the parlour, frequently ending up under the table. I vaguely worry that a vase of fresh flowers on the tabletop above them will come crashing to the floor during a fit of cloth-concealed passion. But there is something very reserved about their fantasies. Everything left to the imagination. And certainly nothing broken. Imagine! There’s something generally very reserved about the couple and despite Kerith Atkinson’s beautifully prepared 1950s housewife contrasting nicely with her whore, I don’t feel convinced that Danny Murphy is the ideal husband and lover for her, which makes it impossible to believe the relationship. I should be swept up in the couple’s absurd antics, and a little shocked and delighted by their coping mechanisms, and I’m not.

Everything is funny; the greatest earnestness is funny; even tragedy is funny. And I think what I try to do in my plays is to get this recognisable reality of the absurdity of what we do and how we behave and how we speak.

– Harold Pinter

It’s very clear that Pinter admired women, and saw that society, in general, too often does not. Or didn’t in 1963 when The Lover was written, originally for TV. In The Lover, Pinter shows us that women can successfully fill multiple roles and men – this man at least – cannot. After a time, Richard becomes frustrated, tired and confused, and simply wants, once again, to come home to a wife, not a whore or a mistress. (He goes to great lengths to explain the differences between them. It’s very simple, really).

SARAH I must say I find your attitude to women rather alarming.

RICHARD Why? I wasn’t looking for your double, was I? I wasn’t looking for a woman I could respect, as you, whom I could admire and love, as I do you. Was I? All I wanted was…how shall I put it…someone who could express and engender lust with all lust’s cunning. Nothing more.

Like Albee’s earliest plays, Pinter’s early work sits on the Absurd shelf, right by Realism, with its uncanny insight into human paranoia, projection, dissatisfaction and assumption. Yes, it’s Realism, but not as we know it.   

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An African drum ritual is appropriately odd (but not). It precedes a flashback to another time, another place, another rendezvous… The beat starts slowly, quietly, intensely before quickening; they both play – she scratches the skin with her nails – and it’s strange, unsettling, and hilarious. I’m not sure it should be quite so amusing. Pinter’s comedy is subtle, tucked away into the dark corners of his Realism, but Director Kate Wild has teased it out into the open, like a daydream, giving her actors some opportunities to play. But I’m unconvinced and this production is frequently funny because the chemistry between Atkins and Murphy is so awkward… Of course, others consider it the perfect casting, which is fine. And intriguing.          

INTERVIEWER

Why do you think the conversations in your plays are so effective? 

PINTER

I don’t know. I think possibly it’s because people fall back on anything they can lay their hands on verbally to keep away from the danger of knowing, and of being known. 

Zac Boulton – the milkman, John – appears at the door with the milk, although it’s clearly cream he’d like the housewife to take. He’s quite persistent! It’s a distraction, and one we can’t help but imagine she’ll go for, but no; it’s Pinter, not a Hollywood team of writers, and she remains faithful to her husband, her lover.

INTERVIEWER

Is there more than one way to direct your plays successfully? 

PINTER

Oh, yes, but always around the same central truth of the play—if that’s distorted, then it’s bad. The main difference in interpretation comes from the actors. The director can certainly be responsible for a disaster, too…

Zac Boulton is the mysterious Matchseller in A Slight Ache (written originally as a radio play and adapted for the stage); it’s Boulton’s most disciplined performance to date, without dialogue yet demanding intense focus. There is very little movement involved but his deflated, decrepit posture and noisy shuffling is a perfect capture of sadness, and his shaking is the whole world imploding. Of course we have to wonder if he’s real, or if he might be a figment of Edward’s imagination. Murphy is far better suited to this role and brings to it a measure of consideration, calculation and inner terror that prompts us to consider our own imminent death. His perspective on the wasp’s purpose in the world, and his rather cold treatment of it in the opening scene serves as a neat summary of the themes in the play. (He traps it in the marmalade pot, while the wife watches on, alarmed and grateful to her husband and protector for keeping them out of danger. Because so much danger in their hum-drum lives).

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

– Gautama Buddha

Pinter demands that we consider our mortality and our identity by drawing attention to the mundanity and imagined menace of the every day. Murphy’s Edward is suitably suspicious and increasingly terrified of the Matchseller, an imposter, eventually rising and filling the role that Edward relinquishes. Of his two roles in this double bill, Edward is the character that Murphy embodies and delivers in the most affecting way. And by the end, when he is crazed and confused and drained of all life force, we feel more for him then for Flora, who doesn’t miss her husband and protector because either he is replaced by the Matchseller or he has become the Matchseller. We’re never really certain but I decide that he has become the man, who becomes younger and stronger as Flora’s attention is lavished upon him. As Flora, Atkinson offers on a silver platter, vivid descriptions of her well-kept garden, and the oddly seductive imagery of the final interior scenes; she’s a 1950s housewife after Salome.

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Wild has assembled a creative team (including Costume Designer Penelope Challen & Lighting Designer Christine Felmingham), to take the muted colours and larger pieces of a comfortable middle class life – a table, a sofa, a hat stand, a chair – out of their natural surrounds and position them on stage beneath gentle light and within a soundtrack of too-cute tunes. As much as we enjoy the music though, scene transitions (the passing of time, the changing of clothes) needn’t take an entire track… Atkinson’s wardrobe is noteworthy, the very essence of classic Chanel meets contemporary Marc Cain (The Lover) and Burberry (A Slight Ache). 

It’s rare to see Pinter done well so if it’s your bag, baby, see this double bill before it finishes on Friday.

Excerpts from The Paris Review

09
Nov
15

2high Festival Launch

 

2high Festival Launch 

Backbone 

This Must Be the Place

Friday October 30 2015

 

Attended by Katelyn Panagiris

 

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2high Festival has a long history of supporting Brisbane’s emerging producer, providing a unique learning experience in festival management, under the mentorship of many industry professionals. This year the team has programmed a vibrant and energetic festival combining in the mix, a program of science.

 

The Backbone 2high festival is the official unofficial training ground for festival workers, artists, administrators and leaders in the industry. With an alumni group that would make universities blush, and support and acknowledgement for the experience industry wide – 2high has long been the place to cut your teeth in the industry and to exchange knowledge with tomorrow’s leaders.

 

2high is a circus trick. One standing on the shoulders of another. An ongoing exchange of trust. 2high represents the relationship between the mentor and the mentee who work together to synergise and share their knowledge, networks and abilities throughout the festival making process. This relationship, coupled with tangible experience and ongoing training specific to festival management is what truly sets the 2high experience apart and has made this experience such a success.

 

2high2016

 

Since its inception in 1994 Backbone Youth Arts has built, shaped, created and reinvented the 2high festival to respond to the changing needs of the industry and emerging arts workers. What do we need to learn today to be prepared for the demands of our audiences and artists tomorrow?

 

The 2016 2high Festival boasts many exciting contemporary works from artists across multiple art forms. The three-day long festival in January, co-presented by Metro Arts, is comprised of six interesting programs, as well as installations, ideas and pop-ups.

 

The Science program, curated by Elizabeth Long, is dedicated to seeking new knowledge at the crossroad of science and art. Works include Stand Back, I know Science, Water Pollution, Lenguas Ironicas and Sweat of the Earth.

 

The F-Word program, curated by Sophie-Jane Huchet, is a feminist program with space for discussions, zines to read and performances including Don’t Read The Comments by Digi Youth Arts, The Girlfriend Experience by Taryn Allen, Mess by Young Goose Productions and You Mad, Bro? by Brodie Shelly and Madeleine Little to name a few.

 

The performance program, curated by Hannah Farrelly, presents two unique platforms: YAAS and Bare Bones. YAAS, or the Youth Arts Australia Showcase, is designed to showcase some of Australia’s best young artists in performances I am by Bust a Move Dance, Joyride by The Light Ensemble, Interrupting the Internet by YAK YAK Youth Arts Kuranda and Parental Guidance Recommended.

 

This program exemplifies 2high’s commitment to an inclusive space where all voices are heard and valued.

 

Bare Bones is dedicated to theatre, dance and circus that is primal and physical. Performances include Sonic-Body-Actions, Imago, Eye Resolution, Sisyphus, The Mechanics of Entanglement, Naked, Submerged, An Act of Intimacy and many more.

 

There will also be music performances by Airling, Aquila Young, Fierce Mild, Quintessential Doll, Pontouf, Jouk Mistrow, Born Joy Dead, Landings, Georgia May, Sean Anthony, Brendan Maclean, Phoebe, Opaeka, Ella Fence and Yóste in a Music program curated by Roy Gordon, Aidan Hogg and Steph Linsdell.

 

Finally, the I am Vital program, curated by Kaitlyn Tighe, celebrates what makes each and every one of us vital. You can visit the I am Vital Selfie Booth throughout the festival and use #IamVital to express why we are vital (as artists, as people).

 

2high Festival 2016 is a truly exciting festival with something to satisfy the diverse tastes of every art lover in Brisbane as Metro Arts is filled to the brim with music, dance, circus, theatre, installations, pop-ups and discussions. It promises to be an inclusive, eye-opening festival, celebrating the vital part that the arts play in our community. Don’t miss it! January 15 – 17 2016

 

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