Posts Tagged ‘nambour civic centre

20
Aug
14

Hedonism’s Second Album

 

Hedonism’s Second Album

La Boite Indie, David Burton & Claire Christian

With the support of QPAC

Loft Theatre

August 13-30 2014

 

Reviewed by Guy Frawley

 

Presented as a part of this year’s La Boîte Indie schedule, Hedonism’s Second Album is a thoroughly enjoyable show that explores with humour, the meaning of modern masculinity, growing up and friendship.

 

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The show poster’s attempt at replicating an actual album launch poster was so successful that I felt quite the fool arriving at La Boîte last Thursday to discover that I was indeed reviewing a play and not covering (as I had originally wondered, perplexed) an album launch. Once the initial confusion was erased I settled into my seat with anticipation to view a piece with absolutely no preconceptions or expectations.

 

Hedonism’s Second Album tells the tale of a young Brisbane based indie rock band, the eponymous Hedonism, who after the success of their first album are about to begin recording their anticipated sophomore recording. Due to their hard partying, questionable work ethic and laissez-faire attitude a series of Hangover style escapades ensue that guarantee this won’t be a smooth recording process.

 

The cast of five fill their roles with well crafted personalities that under the direction of Margi Brown Ash evoke both depth and pathos.

 

Patrick Dwyer, Gavin Edwards, Nicholas Gell and Thomas Hutchings are the bandmates who are all struggling with their own demons, some more obvious than others but all revolving around the reoccurring themes of masculinity and growth. Hedonism’s Second Album spends the majority of its dramatic arc exploring what it truly means to grow up and how young men are adjusting to these changes in the modern world. The excesses offered by celebrity and the microscope of the public eye add further to this tumultuous time and kickstart a week of drama as the boys question their roles as friends, bandmates, husbands, lovers and men.

 

The script by David Burton and Claire Christian is crackling with energy and humour but in the wrong directorial hands Hedonism’s Second Album could have easily been clunky and inauthentic. This is a play that relies heavily upon the tone set by the director and the charisma of the cast and it was a pleasure to see both so perfectly on point.

 

Dwyer, Edwards, Gell and Hutchings deliver delightful performances both individually and as a unit. Each oscillating through a range of conflicting emotions and responses, convincingly portraying fully fleshed out individuals that convince us these guys have known each other for years. The emotional core of this play is to be found when we see how this group reacts to the changes in their own lives and within the band. What happens when you don’t live up to your close one’s expectations? How do you handle not living up to your own expectations? When the group are together and able to ignore all adult responsibility these problems seemingly cease to matter, but outside of the vacuum of the recording studio real life will always eventually catch up with our protagonists.

 

hedonismssecondalbum

 

Ngoc Phan rounds out the cast as the iron willed studio representative who is tasked with the Herculean job of keeping the boys under heel and on schedule and delivers a fiery performance. Phan plays the role with the confidence and fire required but displays enough emotional depth of character to avoid becoming a stereotype.

 

The soundtrack curation by Riley Schleinstein presents an atmospheric mix of indie tracks and audio soundscapes that help to both set the scene and heighten the moments of drama.

 

Hedonism’s Second Album is a thoroughly enjoyable 80-minute journey through the inner workings of a band as they battle with themselves, their success and each other. It’s thought provoking, entertaining and at some moments incredibly touching. See it at the Loft Theatre until August 30 and, for one night only, at Nambour Civic Centre on September 4.

 

 

14
Aug
14

Hedonism’s Second Album (and here comes Margi Brown Ash to adjudicate the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival)!

 

Hedonism’s Second Album is a new Australian comedy from David Burton and Claire Christian.

 

It’s for anyone who’s ever been let down by their favourite band, or their best mates.

 

hedonismssecondalbum

 

Written by David Burton & Claire Christian

Director Margi Brown Ash
Designer Josh McIntosh
Lighting Designer Ben Hunt

with

Patrick Dwyer, Gavin Edwards, Nicholas Gell,
Thomas Hutchins & Ngoc Phan

 

In a music studio in surburban Brisbane four men gather in an attempt to build upon a surprisingly successful first album. Newly clean, front man Gareth is losing his cool. Lead guitarist Chimney has got cold feet. Bass player Michael is keeping secrets and Sumo, the drummer, has vanished. Meet Hedonism.

Hedonism have rocketed from pub gigs to support acts, international tours and brand management. It’s a whole new world. They’ve been given a license to drink, be rockstars and live, well, hedonistically. They’ve been give permission to never grow up, as long as they record their second album.

After an all-weekend bender involving under-age girls, bikies, racial slurs on YouTube and a wombat from Australia Zoo, record label exec Phil is sent in to pull the boys into line and prevent the looming PR disaster. During the testosterone-fueled fallout, closely-guarded secrets are laid bare and friendships tested.

Hedonism’s Second Album premieres tonight at The Loft as part of La Boite Indie, and continues until August 30.

With Sunshine Coast support bands, The Flumes & The Floating Bridges, Hedonism’s Second Album comes to Nambour Civic Centre on September 4 2014.

 

 

 

Director, Margi Brown Ash, joins us on the Sunshine Coast from tomorrow night for the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival #SCTF14

 

 

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Margi is adjudicating the one-act play Open Section (this weekend) and Youth Section (next weekend). I’m looking forward to hearing her comments about our competing actors and directors, and particularly, her advice to younger performers. Previously, we’ve welcomed Andrea Moor, Kate Foy, Karen Crone and many more industry experts, all of whom have offered valuable feedback to our local and visiting theatre companies and at the same time, enlightened audience members about playwriting and production elements.

This year, for the first time, we’ve added a week-long program of events and moved the entire festival to the lovely little Lind Lane Theatre in Mitchell Street, Nambour. It IS little, accommodating only 100 punters per session, so book early for all sessions and special events, which include a forum and debate, workshops and theatresports.

Check livetheatre.com.au for details and booking information

29
Mar
13

Infinite Space & Sunshine Coast Council Theatre Season Launch 2013

Sunshine Coast Council Theatre Season Launch 2013

 

 

A rather late launch in March, yes, on the Thursday leading into the Easter weekend, a Thursday known as Maundy Thursday, a fact I know due to my Lutheran schooling. OUR TWENTY-YEAR SCHOOL REUNION IS COMING UP! WTF? And did I miss the ten-year get together then? I don’t remember putting in an appearance. I only see school friends on Facebook. Can I tell them I invented Post-Its? Oh. No. It’s been done.

 

 

 

So at my Lutheran school, I sang on Maundy Thursday in Chapel, “They crucified my Lord and he never said a mumblin’ word…” That’s right. Every year I have that top soprano line in my head and only one of seven or something verses… “Not a word, not a word, not a word.” Funny the things you remember.

 

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This was indeed a late-in-the-year launch, for a season of Sunshine Coast entertainment that has well and truly begun, across the three Council run venues, Lake Kawana Community Centre, The J in Noosa, and Nambour Civic Centre, the venue for the launch. Hmmm.

 

The Nambour Civic Centre is a little like Twelfth Night Theatre in Brisbane. The last time I was there, only recently actually, to see SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody, the best thing about the place was Stephen Mahey (needless to say, I’m excited to see him next as Kenickie!). Nambour desperately needs some love too. While the foyer is fairly open and inviting, with easy box office and bar access, it’s a shocking performance space, especially for dancers, and more importantly, for audiences.

 

I was sure I’d heard a rumour last year that a second lot of tiered seating was to come. Well, it hasn’t come yet! Tip for the punters: Don’t book floor seats at Nambour. Ask to be seated in the raked seating, from about 4 rows back or miss the entirety of any floor work. We were in row AA, the first of the raked seating, and missed most of it. (Don’t be fooled by thinking that the closer you are to this stage the better vantage point you’ll get. What you’ll get is a crookneck!).

 

afgroup-0021The launch event was held in the foyer by the bar, with drinks and too-hard-to-handle canapés laid on. I never take for granted good catering, with teeny tiny neat morsels, masses of serviettes and constant attention from the staff so there is no awkwardness or mess. While the staff did their utmost, they had little chance of winning and I dread to think how many super-size-me Malay chicken sticks and deep-fried meatballs (or were they arrancini balls?) were wasted because they were simply too large to eat while standing and talking with a drink in hand. It’s a practical decision, which has little, if anything, to do with the fact that you may or may not turn up hungry to these sorts of events. Thank goodness Poppy and I had already enjoyed wild rice and Catalan stew at home.

 

The launch was short and sweet, with technology allowing us a sneak peak at the entire season of Sunshine Coast Council’s entertainment program, including theatre, dance, music, comedy and children’s entertainment. I know that Sunshine Coast peeps had better be booking early for a heap of these shows – it’s a great selection – and my tip is that if you get organised you can possibly halve your trips to Brisbane this year. And introduce some new friends and family members to the joy of live theatre. My picks are Animal Farm, Art, Jack Charles, Daniel Gartrell, R & J, Giselle, The Ten Tenors, and the Melbourne International Comedy Roadshow.  The kids should definitely get to Flipside Circus, Fluff, Possum Magic and The Wiggles. But wait! THERE’S A WIGGLES’ WOMAN NOW?! #forserious #whatofit

 

Infinite_Space

Following the launch, we were invited to attend Melbourne Ballet Company’s Infinite Space, comprising four separate pieces, choreographed by Resident Choreographer, Simon Hoy (and Robert Kelly, Co-Choreographer of In One Day). The highlight was seeing Alexander Bryce on a Sunshine Coast stage again, and I wondered why the names of the artists did not appear anywhere. An oversight? Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance members had to ask me, “Who IS that?!” because of course they were able to recognise him but couldn’t place him without a name to put to that familiar face and form. Bryce commands attention and I think we’ll see him moving well beyond Melbourne Ballet Company.

 

Poppy’s definitive comment following the first piece, In One Day was, “It was about relationships.” And while I agree absolutely with her, because I saw masculine-feminine struggles, relationships, image, identity, sexuality, insecurity, manipulation and bullying, apparently we were waaay off the mark and it’s actually a work that “celebrates physicality and athleticism” and was created to “pay tribute to the city of Melbourne.” Well! Okay. But I have to tell you that the main homage appeared to be to the likes of Material Girl Madonna and Gaultier (I even thought of the original, disturbing The Beauty Myth book cover!), in dance gear that was nude ruched satin pin-up booty pants and tops. I know, I know, it’s a slight nod that I’ve taken to be total inspiration. Totally not the case. It’s just where my head goes. This garb is pretty plain in comparison. Simple. Functional. A little bit fun and shiny. And absolutely beautiful. It’s a pity we didn’t see more of the dancers, as they moved in and out of shadows that may or may not have been intentional…

 

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Because I hadn’t been asked to review the show, because Poppy hasn’t been 100% this week, and because we have a massive weekend planned, we left after In One Day. The work that I’d really hoped to see (Infinite Space) was the final one of the night and sadly, I realised that we’d be missing it.

 

The Sunshine Coast is such a strange place for entertainment. We do festivals exceptionally well, particularly in Noosa. It was such a joy to spend the evening with our gorgeous friends, Trena and Murray. Trena is the publicist extraordinaire for Noosa Longweekend (and at least ten or eleven other fabulous clients), and in speaking with her, I realised that we are about to be flung head first into our crazy festival season. I knew it was creeping up on us but OMG HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS PEOPLE! As well as Woodford Folk Festival each year, we have Floating Land, Noosa International Food and Wine Festival, Noosa Longweekend, Noosa Jazz Festival and before any of that, we’re celebrating on Sunday at the Ocean Street World Festival! Everybody goes to the festivals. To get people in through the theatre doors is another matter entirely. But now there’s no excuse not to go more often to the theatres, is there?!

 

There’s some great stuff being offered in the council venues this year and it’s not just the shows I’m talking about. Check out the workshops, film festivals, and special events too. It’s easy to connect with the arts/venues arm of Council, via their Sunshine Coast Venues and Events website and Facebook pages. You can also subscribe to the e-newsletters so you’ll never miss a one-night-only show again. With the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance season, professional touring productions, fabulous dinner theatre, dance events and all of those festivals, there is literally TOO MUCH TO DO HERE! GET AMONGST IT! And if you stayed to see the rest of the show after Interval tonight, do let me know your thoughts!

 

 

06
Sep
12

Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica

Gardens Theatre

Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica

Ensemble Theatre

Gardens Theatre

4th September to 6th September 2012

Reviewed by Meredith McLean

In no way does the small cast mean this is a small show. There are big personalities encapsulated in these small moments, and David Williamson is certainly not stingy with these hilarious moments. He has a flair for binary plots. Binary as in the old saying “opposites attract”. Whether or not it’s true it certainly takes effect in Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica. The play even goes so far to have its characters, Gary and Monica, mock this age old saying in heated conversation.

You don’t need to be studying a music degree to enjoy this show. Gardens Theatre’s in-house stereos amp the tunes up regardless of whether you recognise them or not. In fact, it’s a bit of a brief music lesson from time to time with the witty banter of this misfit couple.

I find the best kind of romance is the unconventional kind. The kind of love you find in places you weren’t looking, or even better; the kind of love that comes and finds you. Chases you, no matter how many times you stamp your feet and refuse. “NO!” You might yell out. But love comes a-runnin’ anyway. That’s what it’s like between Gary and Monica. Despite everything Gary, as his radio persona Rhinestone Rex, says. No matter what Monica does, they end up in the same lounge room bickering away.

All the credit can’t go to David Williamson though. He may have penned the witty banter between the two but in this production it is Alexandra Fowler and Glenn Hazeldine who bring them to the stage. Glenn Hazeldine has already performed this role, opposite Georgie Parker, in the original Ensemble production in Sydney. The role fits him like the cowboy hat that sits perfectly on his head. Meanwhile, Alexandra Fowler I have already seen bring Williamson’s creations to life in other plays like Let The Sunshine.

My only grievance with this performance is the ending. I suppose a balance between the real and unreal is my biggest gripe. Maybe I’m too cynical but I felt this production could’ve been concluded ten minutes earlier. A particular scene just feels so apt in describing the human condition. When Monica and Gary’s hands almost touch just as the lights drop. Letting us witness the moments, the unfinished ones, that’s what really represents life for me. Something unfinished, unresolved and understated.

Wrapping things up in a perfect package is to me like telling a bedtime story. The prince finds the princess, the dragon is slain and they all live happily in the kingdom. But life, and especially love, is nothing of the sort. Monica’s dragons will still haunt her, or in the long run she will learn to live with them. Rhinestone Rex or truthfully Gary, the tradesman, will never be the ultimate prince, but he will be the man who cares. Their kingdom may not be glamourous but it will be theirs with all its imperfections. That’s how I like to think of it, but the conclusion to this production just doesn’t measure up to this ideal. But like I said, I’m a cynic who’s never quite satisfied.

Just like this review Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica touches upon sad moments and humourous ones. The mockery between Gary and Monica is both punctual and surprising. Delivered perfectly by Hazeldine and Fowler the theatre is filled with laughter from everyone seated. Whether Monica is hitting Rex where it hurts or Rex is counteracting Monica with his cheekiness the serious and the jovial interact wonderfully. They feel well rounded, funny, but real.

Once again Australian theatre has stepped up to meet the demands. I found myself poised on the edge of my seat during the tension filled moments and flung back laughing during the comical. If you believe in love, if you believe in music or if you believe in something a little in between then Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica is the show you can’t miss.

Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica continues on to Nambour Civic Centre this Saturday 8th September at 7:30pm and then to venues across Australia. Check the tour schedule for details.

Rhinestone Rex and Miss Monica

 

 

 

21
May
12

Biddies

Biddies

CDP Production

QUT Gardens Point Theatre

18th – 19th May 2012

Reviewed by Meredith McLean

Friday often comes and goes by me with a comedy of errors. I like to think I’m part of the Age of Awkward. I threw my back out at the gym while trying to look energetic. As night came around I threw on a scarf and hunched over towards the bus. In the city I banged my leg on a bench. Why was that bench even there in the first place? Clearly it is in the way of my path. As I got closer to QUT’s Gardens Point Theatre the chill bit into me and I wrapped my scarf like a shawl. Waddling up the steps with my sore back and hobbled leg I looked like I was part of the show, another in the cast of Biddies.

Biddies lights up to five little old ladies enjoying a good old “stitch and bitch” in their old classroom. Unforeseen circumstances leave them locked in their coop with nothing but their wits to guide them. The most important thing to remember is they are anything but old. There are songs to be sung, dances to be danced and even gossip sessions that have passed decades. Each biddie reveals their triumphs and flaws of the past. The constant theme of “Men: can’t live with them. Can’t live without them,” is something each woman in the audience can’t help but laugh at.

Just because these ladies are still blasé and youthful in their age does not mean the kids can come along too. I started to self-consciously giggle to myself at some of the crude wisecracks coming from these ladies mouths. It wasn’t long before all of the audience cracked up too, casting aside any guilt in something so rude. It’s anything but a serious affair.  But somehow the jokes reminded me these old ladies have stories we can all relate to. Very cheekily calling out ,“Said the actress to the bishop,” at the drop of a suggestive comment. It sent a shiver down my spine, how similar it was to something I might say to friends. The modern adaption being something along the lines of “That’s what she said!” Though I’m a lady, I would never, ever say such a thing…”

Of all the cast two wildly youthful biddies caught my attention. Donna Lee is no stranger to theatre. Every rude comment, every break into song completed with tap dance and spinning parasols; her role as Connie was behind it. She preempted the laughter for me. On the other end of the character scale was Agnes played by Maggie Blinco. She’s a television icon of four generations in her own right. Watching her take on the role of independent spinster Agnes instilled all the wisdom of a powerful woman every young girl dreams of. She needs no man to save her and with just a dash of Sambuca in her coffee she can quip the words of Shakespeare or Wordsworth. She’s the kind of sassy old woman I wouldn’t mind being when I’ve seen decades of change before my eyes.

Admittedly, Biddies was not particularly my cup of tea. I’m not even a tea drinker. I think that’s the problem. I was craving a flat white from Merlos and I got a cup of Earl Grey.  The play indulges a certain frame of humour, very marginalised with not too many surprises. Not to say the play is uneventful. There are certainly some great surprises in the show.

Ultimately these limitations of genre were no chip on my shoulder. I spent the night laughing, as did everyone else in the theatre. It’s one of those light-hearted pieces of writing that leave you feeling strange. Words like pleasant, or splendid and other adjectives I don’t usually utter come to life. Because that’s what this is: a splendid evening with some anything-but-old Biddies.

 




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