Posts Tagged ‘Simon Denver

02
Oct
17

MUSE

 

MUSE

Suncoast Repertory Theatre

Black Box Theatre, Old Ambulance Station

September 29 – October 8 2017

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

 

MUSE is the best new Australian indie work we’ve seen this year. Written and directed on the Sunshine Coast by Simon Denver after XS Entertainment’s Sam Coward challenged the playwright at the poker table one night to write something new and irresistibly real, this darkly comical piece dives deeply and unapologetically into human nature, hook-ups, marriage, lies, loyalty and the world of live theatre, capturing our imaginations and clenching its fist around our hearts. Honest, unsettling and a catalyst for some of the most interesting conversations you’ll ever have with your lover, MUSE is the very best sort of provocative performing arts.

 

Upcoming at Brisbane Powerhouse is Wax Lyrical’s production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, which also looks at the dissolve of a relationship. And there are many other good works that explore the jealousy, resentment and resignation leading to the end – or not – of a relationship. Where MUSE differs from what we’ve seen before is that it’s violently articulate and neatly structured, offering a balanced view of the issues, inviting us to join these individuals on their journeys and at the same time, reflect on our own lives and loves.

An unexpected theatrical device is cleverly incorporated to make us consider how much of what we tell ourselves and our partner is actually reality and how much is fantasy. So much of what might seem like a good idea at the time is complicated and also, outside of society’s norms.

Denver’s text questions why we do what we do, juxtaposing human nature and free will against a traditional view of marriage and monogamous relationships. Set within a theatrical context, two weeks before a classic play goes up and the leading players become entangled in an illicit affair, MUSE avoids cliche and draws on truth. Denver is a keen study of human behaviour; in this work you’re sure to recognise aspects of yourself or someone you know.

 

Refreshingly, Denver presents all sides of the story and also, fully drawn female characters – the actor-turned-academic wife, Jemma (Mel Myers) and the free-spirited leading lady, Ngaire (Rachel Fentiman) – rather than the token women we’re so used to seeing, still, on our stages and screens.

 

While Jemma flails alone at home beneath a stack of undergraduate essays and an endless supply of red wine, her husband, Kris (Brett Klease), is enjoying post-rehearsal drinks with his free-spirited millennial leading lady, Ngaire. When things come to a head, Jemma confronts Kris and then Ngaire, and the terms of engagement are settled over a couple of unsettling scenes. Kris turns to his geeky gamer/coder brother, Julian (Howard Tampling), only to hear from him the voice of reason and the loyalty line he wishes he could tow too. Meanwhile, the director of the play within the play (Adam Flower), just wants to put on a good show.

Sans production values (we know it’s been produced on the smell of an oily rag) the work speaks for itself. While there’s some effort to make in terms of taking it to the next level (some of the musical choices to bookend scenes are a little too obvious and a design aesthetic is less so), MUSE is the most intriguing and moving night at the theatre this year on the Sunshine Coast. SRT must be encouraged to seek further support for a return season next year, or a move sideways in the ecology, which will allow a broader audience to experience the beauty, tragedy, hope and truth of MUSE.

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23
Jun
15

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Remember:

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

 

 

03
Jun
15

Job’s Right – The Second Coat comes to Noosa for 3 shows only

 

That’s right! It’s your LAST CHANCE to see the hardcore comedy smash hit Job’s Right – The Second Coat when it comes to The J, Noosa this week!

 

 

JobsRight_basicposter

 

 

For 3 performances only (tonight Wednesday June 3, tomorrow night Thursday June 4 and Saturday June 6 at 7:3opm) Potty and the boys are at it again!

This show is NOT for the kids, but it’s for everybody else so book online today or try your luck and turn up at the door. Job’s Right – The Second Coat is easily the funniest show you’ll see on The Sunshine Coast this year! #takeatradie

Featuring:

Brett Klease

Brad Thomson

Shane Cassidy

Clayton Storey

Sam Coward

Darren Heskes

Anna McMahon

& Joy Marshall as Mrs Hunt!

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job's right_poster_final

 

28
May
15

The Only Chick on the Construction Site: A chat with Anna McMahon

 

We caught up with Anna McMahon, the only chick on the jobsite at Job’s Right – The Second Coat!

 

annamcmahon_headshot_cheeky

 

What’s Job’s Right – The Second Coat about?

7 years after Job’s Right…another day…another worksite….another client….another stuff up!

 

How did you find yourself in this show?

I am very lucky to say I was privileged to have worked with the talented Simon Denver and SRT last year in Rock In The Water – another successful SRT show winning over 30 awards around the 2014 South East Queensland Festival Circuit. Any excuse to be part of this company and their slick productions.

 

What was your first impression of the show? Of the role? (Had you seen the original installment of Job’s Right? Have you ever had a role like this?)

That is a very good question….having seen the first installment I certainly knew what I was in for! But if anyone had seen the first Job’s Right, they would remember from their belly hurting after laughing so much! My role is only 1 of 2 female characters…and all I can really say is….I am a female Chippie with a very, very bad attitude.

 

How did you prepare for the role? For working with a cast of all males except for “Aunty Joy”?

The wonderful thing about working with SRT is they are all about Team. For a faultless machine to work, one must trust, do what they are told and work hard…and the result is always something to be proud of. I have worked with these men and Aunty Joy a couple of times now…and I would always do it again in a heartbeat!

 

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Describe the rehearsal room & rehearsal process.

Whether it be in Aunty Joy’s living room, spare back room, around her outdoor table, Brett’s outback shack, verandah or lounge room….SRT fits in spaces of all shapes and sizes! The rehearsal process is a fun one – all about comradery, trusting who you work with and making a commitment to your team.

 

Tell us about working with SRT & Job’s Right Productions.

An experience I would do again and again and again. SRT is professional to the letter, and Job’s Right Productions certainly are not any different.

 

Tell us about touring and why it’s important to take this show on the road, to three different venues on the Sunshine Coast.

A professional show performed by professional actors on the Sunshine Coast at affordable prices…what more can I say? If Mohammad won’t come to the Mountain, take the Mountain to Mohammad…if the audience don’t hear about Job’s Right, we will shout louder! Oh…and you will laugh until it hurts.

 

Why should we see Job’s Right – The Second Coat? What do audiences love about it?

Right from the voiceover at the beginning of the show…you are in for a treat! If you like a good laugh, you cannot afford to miss Job’s Right –Second Coat!

 

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What sort of theatre do you want to see continue being made on the Sunshine Coast?

The same opportunities and standards that Brisbane and Sydney have should exist on the Sunshine Coast. The talent is evident, the need is there…no excuses Queensland, it’s time for our Coast to shine with the rest of them.

 

How does performing fit in around your other life as a teacher?

My life is a stage, my passion is theatre….when you have feelings like this, you just make it fit.

 

What do you think performing does for other areas of your life, like teaching, meeting people, etc?

Performance and The Arts is who I am as a teacher. That is my greatest strength in the classroom. Who doesn’t remember that teacher who told jokes, used funny voices, dressed up, told stories and made learning fun and engaging. Taking you on a learning journey to remember. It’s also not just about what it gives me but what the Arts gives kids.

 

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What do you want to do next?

Well what I WANT to do next…that’s quite an easy one….is to be a regular on Playschool.

What am I going to do next in the meantime? Just keep swimming….acting…performing….teaching.

 

See Anna, Aunty Joy and all the boys in Job’s Right – The Second Coat at Nambour Civic Centre tonight, tomorrow night & Saturday and at The J, Noosa June 3, 4 & 6

 

 

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28
May
15

Job’s Right – The Second Coat Comes to Nambour

 

Job’s Right – The Second Coat Comes to Nambour

 

Tonight! Thursday May 28, tomorrow night Friday May 29 & Saturday May 30 at Nambour Civic Centre. All performances 7:30pm.

 

jobsright_dates

 

When Job’s Right pulled the curtain at The “J” in March 2008, over 4700 people on The Coast had witnessed what could only be described as “a cult of a play”. Perfectly described by a tradie who saw it as “Raw .. real .. earthy … and funny!”

 

The play was centred around a gang of house painters led by work weary Rick. Along with his offsiders, the politically incorrect Murph and the loveable larrikin Wally, they stumbled and bumbled from one disaster to another. Somehow they survived to paint another day.

 

Well it’s seven years later and they’re back. Rick, Murph, Wally and their social conscience, Spanner.

 

Writers Brett Klease and Simon Denver have written a brand new script. And has anything changed? No!

 

It’s another day…another site…another client…another stuff up!

To put it simply its the same dog, different fleas.

 

The client, Mrs Hunt (Joy Marshall), wants a shrine built to her late husband so she may communicate with the spirit world. She is backed by Nathaniel – her Designer / Colour Therapist / Feng Shui expert (Darren Heskes). If you add to this mix a feisty female carpenter, Potty (Anna McMahon) and Mrs Hunt’s belligerent son, Michael (Sam Coward), then fur is going to fly. If it can go wrong – it does go wrong. This avalanche of disaster is going to cause another tsunami of laughter.

 

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Warning: This play doesn’t contain bad language – it contains Heaps of bad language. It doesn’t contain men behaving badly – it contains men behaving Very badly. This play is not funny – this play is Really, Really funny. It has all the right laughs for all the wrong reasons.

 

Book online or call 5475 7777

 

20
May
15

Job’s Right – The Second Coat comes to Nambour & Noosa. A Chat with Simon Denver

Job’s Right – The Second Coat

A Chat With Simon Denver

After their sell-out season at The Events Centre, Caloundra, we caught up with Sunshine Coast based Writer & Director of SRT, Simon Denver.

 

Job’s Right – The Second Coat hits Nambour (May 28, 29 & 30) and Noosa (June 3, 4 & 6) next!

 

The client wants “an oasis of calm” so the boys (and girl) do their level best to oblige.

But something is lost in translation and anything that can go wrong GOES WRONG!

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Simon, tell us about Job’s Right – The Second Coat.

A brutal, gladiatorial onslaught – that just happens to be really funny! There are 30, 000 job sites in Australia. This is none of them yet it’s all of them. A no holds barred, warts ‘n all look at Tradies. It contemptuously ignores the lines in crosses.

Job’s Right was a smash hit the first time around. To what do you attribute its success?

It struck a chord with so many people – especially Tradies. Brave, Raw, Earthy and Funny.

What else have you been doing? Why did it take so long to bring a second job site show to the Sunshine Coast?

Timing mainly. Everyone has a full life and it takes a while to line them all up. Besides, We kept this junk yard dog on a short chain for as long as we dare. It’s nasty. It’s hungry, it’s a bit stir crazy! Perfect time to let it off the chain.

You’ve used a few of the original actors but who’s new? How did you find them? How do you cast a show like Job’s Right?

You cast it with great care. The engine house of this show is the gang of painters. Three of these were in the original production. In fact, of the cast of eight, four were in the original. We looked for the chemistry first. We see a lot of shows locally every year so we are very aware who is out there. Watching someone perform is the ultimate audition.

Tell us about SRT & Job’s Right Productions. For what sort of theatre are you known?

I suppose you’d have to ask our critics that question. It’s very hard to be objective about our own work. I would like to think it is of a good standard though.

What drew you to live theatre? What’s special about it?

It’s in real time and there are no safety nets.

SimonDenver_headshotWho is doing the sort of work you like to see?

We’ve always liked brave or edgy material that pushes the envelope. But at the end of the day we like anything that is done properly. In the community theatre circles on the coast  Noosa Arts Theatre is head and shoulders above the rest – always delivering a high production standard. From the independent theatres XS Entertainment are blazing a very successful trail.

Thank you, Simon! #mutualadmirationsociety 


What do we need to keep seeing (or start seeing) on stage in Australia?

Works that are not held to ransom by the arts “Process”. Works that are not confined to the new economic paradigm of casts of four or under. Works that have not had to compromise by ticking the right boxes for funding! In short – works free of external agendas.

Who has influenced your work (actors, directors, producers)?

Everyone! Amateur or professional, good or bad, every show is a learning experience. Some totally reinforce what you should never do on a stage – some give you the inspiration to carry on. But we love any show that slaps us in the face and reminds us how much we have to learn.

Tell us about the creative process – as actor / writer / director.

This is genuine ensemble product. Brett (Klease) and I merely present a skeletal frame of a script and then the cast takes it and runs with it. Adapt and assimilate, personalise through consensus.

 

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The entire cast then have a sense of ownership with the end product. This is really reflected in the performances. They have to be brave. But then again – as Goethe said – boldness has a genius all of its own.

 

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Cast from L-R: Anna McMahon, Shane Cassidy, Brett Klease, Brad Thomson, Clayton Storey. Not pictured: Joy Marshall, Darren Heskes, Sam Coward

 

Do you have some hot tips for aspiring actors / writers / directors?

Learn to be ruthlessly truthful with yourselves. Learn to self edit. Be focused and disciplined – because only then does the real fun start.

Who will enjoy Job’s Right – The Second Coat?

Anyone who has a good sense of humour. Anyone who has had a gut full of the bureaucratic nonsense dictating what we can and can’t do, or laugh at.

What’s next?

Probably spend the next three years in court fending off all those charges from those we offended too much!

Book tix for Job’s Right – The Second Coat at Nambour Civic Centre

 

 

Book tix for Job’s Right – The Second Coat at The J, Noosa

 

 

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11
May
15

Job’s Right – The Second Coat opens this week!

 

JOB’S RIGHT – THE SECOND COAT

 

Strictly limited season opens this week!

 

JobsRight_basicposter

 

When Job’s Right pulled the curtain at The “J” in March 2008, over 4700 people on The Coast had witnessed what could only be described as “a cult of a play”. Perfectly described by a tradie who saw it as “Raw…real…earthy and funny!”.

 

The play was centred around a gang of house painters led by work-weary Rick. Along with his offsiders, the politically incorrect Murph and the loveable larrikin Wally, they stumbled and bumbled from one disaster to another.

 

Somehow they survived to paint another day.

 

Well its seven years later and they’re back. Rick, Murph, Wally and their social conscience, Spanner.

 

jobsright_brettkleaseshanecassidybradthompson

 

Writers, Brett Klease and Simon Denver have written a brand new script.

 

And has anything changed? No! It’s another day…another site…another client…another stuff up!

 

It’s the same dog, different fleas.

 

The client, Mrs Hunt, wants a shrine built to her late husband so she may communicate with the spirit world. She is backed by Nathaniel, her Designer / Colour Therapist / Feng Shui expert. If you add to this mix a feisty female carpenter, Potty, and Mrs Hunt’s belligerent son, Mick, then fur is going to fly. If it can go wrong – it does go wrong. This avalanche of disaster is going to cause another tsunami of laughter.

 

If you like your comedy safe and sanitised, this is NOT the show for you. 15+ only.

 

jobsright_brettkleaseandbradthompson

 

Written by: Brett Klease / Simon Denver
Directed by: Simon Denver
Produced by: Job’s Right Productions / SRT Inc
Cast:

 

Brett Klease as Rick
Brad Thomson as Wal
Shane Cassidy as Murph
Clayton Storey as Spanner
Anna McMahon as Potty
Joy Marshall as Mrs Hunt
Darren Heskes as Nathaniel
Sam Coward as Mick

 

 

The Events Centre, Caloundra May 14, 15 & 16 at 7:30pm BOOK HERE

 

Nambour Civic Centre May 28, 29 & 30 at 7:30pm BOOK HERE

 

The J, Noosa May 3, 4 & 6 at 7:30pm. BOOK HERE

 

 

 




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