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REVIEW: Fully Sikh

Who would agree that Australia has an ignorant view of Sikhism? Many would see the turban and believe they have the same views as Osama Bin Laden! This of course is very far from the truth and sometimes we need a real Australian story to outline this.

Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is just the right person to open our eyes about being a young Australian Sikh – growing up in the mild-mannered suburbs of Leeming. Our first thoughts of Leeming are a standard white middle-class area – however, this is rapidly changing with the influx of Asian immigration since The White Australia Policy ended in the 70s. The immigrant story has always captured the Australian heart, since most of us come from immigrant heritage – paradoxically there is a xenophobic nature inbuilt into our culture.

Kaur Khalsa is as Millennial as you get where growing up, she would listen to an iPod and the biggest fear in the world was global jihad terrorism. This highly connected world is a very scary place – especially when your family is about tradition and sticking that old path. That typical Gen Y optimism that traditions can change and evolve to something all-encompassing is brilliantly shone through in this poetic twenty something year old. Positivity and openness are the clearest way to gain creative insight and this funky spoken word artist is a true testament to this. Before you enter, there is an option to have a turban created for your head and then we are all asked take off our shoes before entering the theatre that has been turned into an area that represents what going into her childhood house was like.

Once you are in, prepare for plenty of music from everyone – including her brother who showcases his multi-instrument talent with ease andgood-humoured charm. The beautiful sounds coming from the stage will make you want to get up and dance and luckily Kaur Khalsa gets you to that – for a bit! To celebrate people coming together, this show has a few pre-show volunteers learning some Indian cuisine, as it is the best way to a person’s heart – especially if you are from the Indian sub-continent. There is certainly a festival atmosphere that is heightened by the charisma of Kaur Khalsa who talks with a rhythm that grabs your attention and holds it indefinitely and is not preaching negativity against the bigots, but rather educating others about her human soul – where you could laugh or click your fingers in agreeance.

Alienation from both family and peers is the main theme of Fully Sikh and it is certainly a story of overcoming this adversity by embracing the unique balance of being connected to both. There are also the usual teenage stories of unrequited love and peer pressure that keeps it real, in a fully Sikh way! A show for young and old, come see a very friendly Kaur Khalsa take you on a musical, poetic journey about multicultural Australia and Sikhism, at its coolest.

REVIEW | Kieran Eaton

WHEN: 10th October – 3rd  November 2019 | 2:30pm, 630pm and 730pm

WHERE: Perth State Theatre | Studio Underground| Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $25 -$55 | Duration 85 mins | 15+ | THEATRE



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REVIEW: Disenchanted

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

Meet Snow White and her sultry squad of singing subversions. With an all-star cast of appearances from your favourite Disney Princesses as you have never seen them before and will probably never see them like this again!

Grey Lantern Productions can’t help but take great delight in presenting the Perth premiere of this absolute showstopper. Disenchanted is exactly as the tag-line states “the hit off-Broadway adult musical comedy that presents a hysterical and sassy take on the storybook princesses.” A show that has the audience in stitches the entire time with a very tongue in cheek and satirical take on Disney Princesses, damsels in distress and what constitutes a fairytale ending or happily ever after.

Disenchanted showcases some of the most fantastic talent and awe-striking vocal performances you will ever have the privilege of experiencing. Do not miss this down with Disney Diva posse’s incredible break of the glass ceiling as they hit every note with perfection. The show busts apart the stereotypical portrayal of what happens both before and after these Disney Princesses get their ‘happily ever after’ and all of the insane archetypes that come with being a damsel in distress. With just under two hours before the clock strikes and the last bell chimes signalling the last stroke of midnight this bevvy of busty beauties and precocious princesses are determined to have their say.

Prepare for a riotous rebellion of the royal variety. The girls are boycotting boys, cursing cleaning, bagging big boobs, and starving – like literally – to free themselves from the false nature of their fairytale cages. Imagine not eating to fit into your dress, knowing your personal life is nothing more than publicly blatant historical innacuracy, putting up with singing Tupperware and not so charming princes – the list goes on. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is some kind of sexist song list or feminist fairytale attempt barely masking its man-hating moralistic themes. Disenchanted is an honest, bawdy, balls-out demonstration of the negative pitfalls that come from merely thinking positively.

For those familiar with the philosophy behind the happiness trap society has become so desperately dependent on, let Disenchanted be the deconstruction compendium that brings truth and realistic consequence to wishing for a ‘Disneyised’ lifestyle. Whatever you do, do not miss this hilarious look and fun poke at the stupidity of all of those once sought after scenarios. Spend the night watching the damsels rescue themselves in Disenchanted!


WHEN: 10th – 19th October 2019 | 2:00pm and 8:00pm

WHERE: Subiaco Arts Centre | The Studio | Subiaco

INFO: Tickets $30 | Duration 115 mins | 15+ | MUSICAL


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REVIEW: On Our Beach

Are you ready to go to the beach this school holidays? Spare Parts Puppet Theatre welcome you to a fun new interactive show – On Our Beach and prove that they are the peak of children’s entertainment in Perth. So, slip on your thongs, slop off your worries and slap on a smile because you’re invited to the best beach party in Perth!

On Our Beach takes children and the young at heart on an interactive journey to the beach – but it’s unlike any beach you’ve ever been to before! Your journey begins with the security check-ins where you draw your own passport pictures and are scanned to see how nice you are! After that it’s a few happy snaps and some pre-beach activities until it’s time to kick off your shoes and head to the shore. There are plenty of fun feelings between your toes, so make sure you take off your socks as well!

Once you spread your towel and relax, the Spare Parts crew gently guide you into their world. It’s relaxing – there are velvet cushions and soothing acoustic guitar – light play and stunning silken puppets, flowing above a mesmerised crowd. The charm of the work lies in the detail and feeling evoked by simple, yet clever techniques. There’s not a creepy marionette in sight – instead brilliantly designed and choreographed pieces that all relate to one aspect of the Aussie beach or another. From underwater marvels to barbecues and flies, from cheeky dogs to playing catch, and swimming within the flags, it embodies the quintessential beach experience.

All of the puppeteers are enthusiastic and friendly – they really know how to get a diverse age range of children to interact and pay attention. There are activities and dances for the children to do – love a bit of human volleyball – and many surprises too. The sense of humour and fun that exudes from the puppeteers know no bounds and children delight in getting involved in an experience that is at once familiar and slightly twisted up but one thing is for sure – it’s all fun. So, head on down to the beach and dip more than your toe into the water – you’ll play, dance, create, and even get serenaded by the swimming sirens of the sea!

WHEN: 28th September – 12th October 2019 | 11am & 1pm

WHERE: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre | 1 Short Street, FREMANTLE

INFO: Tickets $23+ booking fee | Duration 50m | Suitable ages 5+ (not really for babies/toddlers) | Will be asked to remove shoes | Interactive theatre


100 SPPT The Beach 190919 JWyld

Past Production, Review

REVIEW: I Feel Fine

Welcome to the Church of the Anthropocene – a space where we lament the decline of animals at the hands of humans. The Anthropocene is the geological era named after the impact humans have had on the planet since their appearance on the time-scale. I Feel Fine takes this destruction but also the love of land and celebrates how humans have interacted with it, for better or worse. No action is chastised – it is all valid and treated with the reverence of a church service – from saying goodbye to extinct animals, to singing hymns celebrating greed, everything becomes fodder for the eager preachers. It may seem like they’re ‘preaching to the choir’ but what I Feel Fine does spectacularly is gather together like-minded people within the arts and address a common concern.

Writer and Director, Zachary Sheridan is quick to point out that the preacher never actually addresses the choir, rather the congregation, yet the idea of creating art for an already willing audience is an interesting concept. It raises deeper philosophies – why create new art if we’re only going to show it to art lovers? Why talk about climate change to an already angry crowd clutching their keep cups? Sheridan’s work explores the primal human need to be included and accepted. It gently pokes fun at the language and rituals that accompany religious ceremonies. Jacob Diamond alongside brother Isaac Diamond have composed hymns and choral music to be chanted by themselves and occasionally Jackson Peele. The music is clever – part hymn, part hippy anthem, it evokes the mother-earth loving free love movement of the sixties but has untertones of contemporary indie music. It’s as if Jose Gonzales and Joni Mitchell had a baby that listened to Otis Reading and Eric Whitacre. Of course, like any good church there is a brilliant call and response that feels silly and fun at the same time. It envelops the audience with its familiarity.

Members of the Church, Amelia Burke, Kylie Bywaters and Simone Detourbet round out the experience with their ritualistic movements and dry sense of humour. To play this work straight, without a hint of irony gives it a comedic vibe that ebbs and flows from a chuckle to a full belly laugh. This work is incredibly funny – Peele’s hilarious turn as a flower-child with his doe-eyed smile and enthusiasm is brilliant, and Isaac Diamond and Bywaters’ awkward atoms is a piece within the work that encourages introspection at a microlevel. Detourbet and Burke round out the atmosphere with their unbridled passion for anything involving the human experience – a sinister story of colonialism and cultural appropriation becomes and amusing anecdote about pineapples and Smashmouth’s epic song ‘All Star’ becomes a serious hymn with added poignancy as it suddenly takes on a message of climate change awareness.

I Feel Fine is an intelligent, self-aware, and genuinely funny work. It reminds me of the meme with the dog in a blazing room, just sipping his coffee and saying ‘it’s fine, everything is fine.’ There’s nothing normal about the way we treat the planet and Sheridan’s work is able to highlight that in a highly effective manner. So, go and worship at the Church of the Anthropocene – it’s your world, just embrace it.

REVIEW | Laura Money

WHEN: 1 – 19 October 2019 | 7:00pm

WHERE: The Main Space | Blue Room Theatre | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 70 mins | Suitable 15+ | Warnings haze/smoke | Group singing encouraged


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REVIEW: Two Canaries

When we see icebergs melting, we tend not to think of canaries – right? But icebergs are just larger, meltier canaries in the coalmine – they are the literal first warning sign that something is terribly wrong with the earth’s climate.

In The Blue Room Theatre‘s Studio space, Jess Nyanda Moyle and Zoe Street sit cross legged on two little mock icebergs, in a pool of water, dressed in all yellow hinting at the interconnected metaphors about to occur. Moyle and Street have a natural bond with an ability to banter with each other on the spot that intertwines with the flow of music created by violinist Brooke Wilson – there’s a sense of harmonious camaraderie.

Two Canaries is on the pulse – Lead Creator and Director, Alexa Taylor has found the right aesthetic and tone in Tessa Darcey‘s staging  – it’s powerful enough to warm even the hardest cynic. She recently completed her PhD in Performance Studies and Sustainability, and provides a level of expertise in how the themes of climate change can be addressed through the powerful medium of theatre. The show is thoughtful and taps into people’s sensibilities and shallow distractions. Both sides of the debate are clearly shown in a mixture of dialogues, monologues and comedic act outs that are cleverly interwoven. There is a true arc in our individual dealings with the environment and how it shapes us.

Moyle and Street riff off each other with faux awkward comedic banter. Their language reflects young people trying to grapple with the huge existential threat thrust upon them. They keep the audience on edge, with their unpredictability – a carefully built in feature that perfectly evolves to getting deeper and more personal. Moyle displays herself as the gifted all-rounder; she can sing and do things easier than Street who is the slightly left-of-centre persona – imparting an impression of Moyle being the “straight man” to the more comedic Street.

This comedic double act appears to be truly from the heart as it delves deeper into their personalities. There is simplicity in the styling- the focus is on meditative creation that transcends the earth and becomes bigger than all of us. Moynes and Street’s perceived differences are gradually rescinded to a realisation that environment is one thing that connects us all as human beings. There is a sense of innocence that they embrace, which is refreshing in a world where people in their twenties want to act like they are more worldly and wise than they really are. The screen visuals are poignant and are used to the right degree –  not a distraction from the performing force but rather reinforcing the distracting nature and contradictory good vs bad of post-modernity.

Climate change is most definitely the biggest world issue of our time and yet there is a tendency to only worry about short term problems – much like the superficial canaries cavorting about the stage as the world literally melts beneath them. Two Canaries is the perfect vehicle to gain a bigger picture and to see the forest between the trees.

Review | Kieran Eaton

WHEN: 10 – 28 September 2019 | 7:00pm & 8:30pm

WHERE: Studio | The Blue Room Theatre | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 50 mins | Suitable 14+ | Warnings: Smoke Machine/Hazer


Past Production, Review

REVIEW: Wonder Woman

Performer Laura Boynes places her audience centre-stage in a bid to highlight the direct response to the support of women’s movements ‘and the #meetoo & Time’s Up social media campaigns empowering women around the world.’ There is solidarity in our being on stage with her – although still observing, by placing her audience alongside her on the main stage of the Heath Ledger Theatre, Boynes recreates a movement and begets a feeling of camaraderie.

Wonder Woman –  two pieces by Sydney-based choreographers Julie-Anne Long and Adelina Larsson in collaboration with Boynes is a physical contemporary dance response to issues faced by the feminist movement. Wonder Woman reimagines feminism as a superhero and Boynes becomes the physical manifestation of that thought process – there are references to classical ways women’s bodies have moved historically, and raw, emotional expressions of the inner self. Layered with questions of identity and response, both pieces explore theories of self and social expectations of women.

The show begins with To Be Honest: a girl’s own collection of unconfirmed tales by Julie-Anne Long – a quirky and hilarious piece that layers multiple stories of girlhood (each just as plausible as the next) over personal and deliberate movement. Beginning in a breathtaking sequence to traditional ballet music from Coppelia, Boynes moves playfully through the empty theatre seats in what can only be described as a onesie-blanket. This is delightful to watch and as Boynes loses each layer of clothing, she adds a new layer of girlhood to her story. Boynes wrestles her agency throughout the story, interrupting the voice over and refusing to synchronise her movements with the tale. Feminism as a superhero manifests itself in Boynes’ own telling of her story and her omissions. Her movements are fun and playful, at times hilarious, but always full of expression. Make no mistake – lighthearted movements are just as important and deep as serious ones.

If the first piece placed Boynes in a place of agency performing how she wanted, Larsson’s Rite II: Solo counters that by giving the audience what they expect from contemporary dance. At times it feels as though Boynes is reluctant to express herself in this way – deliberately sabotaging herself by falling heavily or writhing under the emotional weight of expectation. The composition is disturbing – Shoeb Ahmad combines pre-recorded and live loops to create an ‘almost’ song. Boynes’ gasps and claps, and guttural utterances are played as if they are records played backwards – a voiceless transgression of music and polar opposite of the first piece.

Boynes’ movements are also a stark contrast to the first work – she jerks and twitches and writhes on the floor – pulling herself up against an invisible force that hinders her every movement. Hands firmly stuck in her pockets, Boynes thrashes about in frustration of her movement being stifled in a visceral interpretation of womens’ eternal struggle against the structures that continue to oppress them. She strips herself of voice, ‘washes’ her limbs, sheds her wigs (and multiple identities hinted at in the first half) and reduces herself to her raw essence – woman.

Wonder Woman is a challenging and present work featuring remarkable women choreographers and a stunning talent on the rise in Boynes. She is a phenomenal performer – lithe, humurous, and full of expression – Boynes’ star is definitely on the rise.

Review | Laura Money

Wonder Woman played at the State Theatre Centre of WA on the Heath Ledger Theatre stage from 28 – 31 August 2019



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REVIEW: Perpetual Wake

In a world of absolute scrutiny, how hard can it be to actually keep a secret? There are lies and omissions in everyone’s story, but what happens when they begin to cause emotional pain and stress. Can lying ever go too far? Perpetual Wake, written by Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Gita Bezard (and directed by Bezard) seeks to answer these questions and the problematic relationship between reviewers and creatives while tackling toxic masculinity, social media lenses, and literary snobbery. Through it’s David Lynchian rendering and charged atmosphere, fluidity of character and surreal moments, Perpetual Wake further cements The Last Great Hunt‘s niche in Perth’s theatre scene with its unique and culturally pertinent works.

Things aren’t always as they seem when blogger and social media influencer, Fiona West (Charlotte Otton) contrives to meet print media reviewer (and writer of one very successful novel) Paul Creel (Chris Issaacs) and charm him into reviewing her debut novel. Otton’s and Issaacs’ delivery is hilarious – they are overt and exaggerated in their speech patterns, highlighting the puffed up attitude of the dismissive Paul and the desperate need to prove herself in Fiona. There’s a wonderful running joke about Paul’s ‘difficult second novel’ and an undercurrent that social media is just as valid a profession as print journalism – but is it though? (The jury is still out on that point from this Editor!)

Arielle Gray plays Paul’s wife and romance novelist, Bernice – who has a secret of her own (doesn’t everyone?) Gray’s high strung and passionate Bernice is perfectly countered in her portrayal of Molly – the character in the fictional Perpetual Wake. Molly is a film noir-style femme fatale – silken, sassy, and serious. Each of the actors switch between the story within a story as Molly and Brack and do so with aplomb. Gray and Fowler initiate the characters, though in a hilarious early scene complete with Twin Peaks 90s horror vibes. Bryan Woltjen designed a simple and versatile set – but his crowning achievement is the car – it’s a wheel and headlights that resemble a truck frontage in an elegant way. As the yellow lights penetrate the darkness, the music crackles on the radio and Gray and Fowler stare straight out the windshield, the tension is palpable but so is the humour.

Perpetual Wake is the perfect vehicle to accentuate The Last Great Hunt‘s unique blend of social commentary, nostalgic style, and intelligent writing. There is a dark humorous thread weaving its way throughout – the straighter the actors play it, the campier and funnier the show becomes. Each performer is brilliant. Fowler’s portrayal of the stag is emotionally and hilariously charged and Otton even gets the chance to show off her pipes in a surreal rendition of a country song that sounds familiar but is entirely new. Therein lies the charm of Perpetual Wake – it takes familiar themes and characters, plays up the tropes and heightens the language, combines it with cultural cues and mixes it all in a kitsch milieu.


Review | Laura Money

WHEN: 28 August – 7 September 2019 | 7:00pm

WHERE: Subiaco Arts Centre | SUBIACO

INFO: Tickets $32 – $40 | Duration 90 mins | No interval | Recommended 15+ | Coarse language, sexual references, simulated sex scene, violence and gun use, haze effects


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REVIEW: The Wolves

Large grassy fields are synonymous with team sports – as soon as you enter the Blue Room Theatre the fumes of artificial lawn and bright green hits you with the impression that many a sportsperson has felt when they first step onto the field. This isn’t your typical Sunday friendly – this is The Wolves – and they’re just warming up!

Red Ryder Productions chose an important tale of female camaradrie, in Sarah DeLappe‘s original work – it’s a concept that seems to be enjoying its well-deserved moment in the spotlight. DeLappe’s writing is an insightful look at the language used by young women trying desperately to prove their capability in male dominated fields. However, life creates curve balls with these ten young individuals all of unique backgrounds and in team sport where the challenge is that you have to create unity – no matter what is thrown (or even kicked!) your way. Apart from cheesy Hollywood movies, sport and theatre are often not mixed, even though both share drama, entertainment and creativity.

The focus is on the ten young soccer players from self-described “middle America” even though they admit being unsure what that means. Director, Emily McLean thoughtfully begins the piece with the characters lined along the stage –  the young brigade showcasing their numbered uniforms in a stretching session. Contrasted, are the casual conversations that occur over the top of this training which serve to accentuate their divergent personalities. The spacing in the Main Space is quite contained but this allows the gaze to be well directed to the action. The Wolves represents many archetypical characters – the strong, tough leader; the outsider that gives a new perspective; the antagonist that challenges the leadership of the captain. There is a strong, playful feel to the dialogue, yet there is room to explore a grittier side to their lives. Apart from the captain, a goalie that has social anxiety, and the outsider there is a feeling these adolescent women prefer the social aspect over the competitive nature of the game. This difference forces a tension with regards to the varying outcomes, with the captain having to be diplomatic in keeping the team united.

All the actors are solid in their performance, yet Molly Earnshaw stands out with her realistic depiction of an experienced captain trying to control a bunch of amateurs. Anna Lindstedt’s goalie character displays clever subtlety in representing a person with social anxiety. These characters talk the least, yet their non-verbal expressions create intrigue. There is a high energy to the production, so each pause becomes an awkward conversation – rather than a screw up. The climatic ending of this play comes across as abrupt and yet there is warm delivery that ends on a heartwarming note. Overall, The Wolves is a wonderful display of young talent and clever story of female friendship.

Review | Kieran Eaton

WHEN: 20th August – 7th September 2019 | 7:00pm

WHERE: The Main Space | The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 90 mins | Suitable 15+ | Warnings: Coarse Language, Adult Concepts | Meet the artists: Wednesday 28th August


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REVIEW: The Apparatus

Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. ‘It is possible,’ answers the doorkeeper, ‘but not at this moment.’

Nor does the man’s moment ever arrive. These words, from Franz Kafka’s The Trial are played over loudspeaker to a somewhat bemused audience, waiting in anticipation for something to happen. But it is happening. Tim Green crosses the stage forming a functionary role – he cleans up and sets the stage ready for his co-star. It seems as though Green is merely setting up before the action starts but his movements transcend his laze-faire approach (headphones firmly stuffed into ears, crunching loudly on dry cereal) to critique millennial masculinity and the way laws and politics serve to ‘clean up’ society.

The Apparatus is a three part work inspired by Kafka’s writings. Devised by Humphrey Bower it takes three of Kafka’s works, “Before the Law,” “The Burrow,” and “In the Penal Colony” and re-imagines them as theatrical performances that border on the absurd. Both Bower and Green wear only underwear for portions of the show, and sport white painted faces – their very movements are exaggerated and precise and Green doles out the wit of the true absurdists with his every eye-roll and bored sigh. Bower’s paranoid burrower is at once endearing and scary – as he dons his costume, the lights dim and the only pinprick we see is derived from Bower’s headlamp. Joe Paradise Lui‘s brilliant lighting design puts the audience on trial at the beginning, creates comfort and paranoia in the burrow, and throws harsh and confronting reality on a stark and frankly disturbing third section.

“The Burrow” is perhaps the most intriguing segment of The Apparatus – Bower’s performance is intense as he growls in protection of his burrow, wallows in pride at having achieved the perfect layout, and then is wracked with self doubt about border control. The character is both defensive, protective, and welcoming – much like the father of a teenage daughter meeting a prospective partner. It’s intense, it’s weird, and it’s entirely believeable. The insular burrower keeps the audience on the edge of its collective seat and his paranoia sweeps the room – his paranoia the perfect metaphor for border control and fear of the other, about to leap out of the darkness and take control. It’s an incredibly nuanced work and performance.

Without missing a beat, Bower leaps energetically into the final part, “In the Penal Colony.” The lights flip on unceremoniously dumping the audience into the third act – Bowers and Green lovingly break the fourth wall in a brilliantly clever reference to the play and the source material in a commentary on generational masculinity. Bowers’ brash Fair Dinkum persona hints at a dystopian future that isn’t too unlikely if we continue along the trajectory of territorialism and modes of punishment we are currently seeing. The character is pure genius – the original piece by Kafka was written in either Czech or German – but is rendered with a broad Aussie accent and the exuberance of an alt/right lackey. It’s visceral and intense, visually confronting, and ingeniously performed.

The Apparatus explores notions of nationalism, the paranoia of border control, the dehumanising effect that othering has, and philosophies on masculinity. Bower and Green play off each other brilliantly and communicate in a way that demonstrates their close relationship. It’s a bizarre show that follows in the traditions of the absurd, which were contemporaneous to Kafka, but takes those forms and builds on them in a highly intelligent and elegant way.

Review | Laura Money

WHEN: 13 – 31 August 2019 | 7:00pm & 8:30pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 60m | Suitable 15+





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A plaintive, haunting note sustains itself over a blackened stage where two young boys play dead. They stay down a little too long, foreshadowing their grisly end. This is Medea without the stage presence of its titular character and it works brilliantly. Kate Mulvaney and Anne-Louise Sarks provide a voice for the characters with no platform in the original – they breathe life into the young boys and give them agency within their own story. For two-and-a-half thousand years audiences have contemplated Medea’s motivations to commit infanticide but until now, no-one has viewed the children as little more than a footnote or plot device – Black Swan State Theatre Company‘s production of Medea invites the audience into an unseen world and gives the nameless names.

It’s an intricate set – a full children’s bedroom scattered with toys and books – complete with bright bed covers and scattered, mystical walls. Tyler Hill‘s cleverly familiar set marries seamlessly with Lucy Birkinshaw‘s stunning lighting design – the soft reflections of glow-in-the-dark stars shining in the otherworldly glow of the fish tank. Everything alludes to isolation and newness – the space motif reinforcing the notion that we are insignificant in the universe (as are the boys in the original play) – the fish tank representing the uncharted territory of the ocean (and of these characters) and the sense of adventure that the Greek myths hold. The chaos and comfort of a childhood bedroom spills over into the action as Jasper and Leon play-fight, create stories, lark about, and think about the future and their circumstances. They play at death so often, it’s simultaneously hilarious, nostalgic, and heart-breaking.

Jasper and Leon are played by two alternating casts of boys facilitated by West Australian Youth Theatre CompanyJalen Hewitt, Lachlan Ives, Jack Molloy and Jesse Vakanti – and each of them bring a different energy to the role. The night I attended, it was Hewitt and Vakanti and they were absolutely flawless. If there were any mistakes they were covered by the sheer energy and exuberance that young boys at play have – their momentum carried them over the hiccups. The re-imaginged characters are perfectly rendered and full of Aussie boyhood nostalgia – from attempting to psych each other out with grossness, to fighting with dart guns and exaggerating their ‘deaths’ in slow motion, to playing silly games and arguing in the heated fashion reserved for siblings about petty rules.

Hewitt is endearing as Jasper – he bounces across the stage with abandon – every moment is optimistic and heart-warming. Hewitt’s exuberance pairs beautifully with Alexandria Steffensen as they cavort about in a moment of bonding that ironically cements Medea’s plan in place. It is her absolute love of her boys that gives her the resolve to keep them out of another’s hands. As the older brother, Vakanti as Leon shows a little more maturity, as he has more knowledge of the world of adults. Awkwardly straddling adolescence with childhood, he reverts to immaturity with Jasper but then suffers bouts of teenage depression. Vakanti’s facial expressions are measured, protraying that teenage veneer of cool that barely masks his emotions. These young actors are definitely talents to watch.

Medea is a genuinely brilliant piece of theatre. While many Ancient Greek myths are receiving a retelling at the moment, none are as bold as this. To take previously unexplored characters and give them a voice is to create an entire play with the barest of frameworks and this is delicately achieved. Shouts and screams from behind a closed door are reminiscent of many a broken home, children only seeing the cool part of living in a new location, a familiar setting about to be left behind in the tumult of an adult storm, characters being swept up in a fate they have no control over, are all packed into this short work. Every part of this play is nuanced – from the references to the source material to the nostalgic yearning for childhood – nothing is an accident in this ingenious piece – and you don’t even need to know the original to understand Medea‘s meaning.


Review | Laura Money

WHEN: 8th – 25th August 2019 | 7:30pm (check website for other times)

WHERE: Studio Underground | State Theatre Centre of WA | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $35 – $55 | Duration 75 mins (no interval) | Suitable 15+ | Warnings:  adult themes, coarse language, sexual and drug references, strobe/flashes, loud music | 14th August: In Conversation with Sally Richardson & Dr Ann O’Neill


In Brief, Interview, on now

IN BRIEF: Claire Mosel-Crossley

Claire Mosel-Crossley is the Director of Hand-In-Hand Theatre Company’s production of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information. Fourth Wall caught up with her to talk about the show.

What drew you as a company to stage Love and Information?

I love the freedom that Caryl Churchill gives to performers and directors to create pieces that really make the audience think. You can interpret a script written by her in any way you want not only creatively but also realistically.

Caryl Churchill scripts are notoriously knotty – what are the main challenges in Directing such a convoluted script?

The main challenge for me has been getting used to a workshop like process, I am very used to just saying what I want on the stage and aren’t used to just being open to suggestions.

Are there any characters that resonate with you particularly?

I connect with a scene called ‘message’, mainly because of how we have staged it to make it seem like just a conversation between two people who know each other.

What would you consider the aesthetic style of your staging?

I have made this show a very postmodern performance piece rather then a play by incorporating dance, projection and major technical aspects. I feel like I am really trying to get the audience to talk to each other in the way the actors do.

What makes Love and Information so resonant in 2019?

I have made this performance very modern by incorporating the way we communicate through technology in today’s society. But I feel that the script as a whole will always be relatable because we will always communicate in one way or another. 

You can catch Love and Information at Subiaco Arts Centre from 17 – 27 July 2019.


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REVIEW: Under the Milky Way – Trevor Jones Sings the Great Australian Songbook

Review | Laura Money

G’Day Mates! Feel like an evening of belting the bangers, blasting the big hits, and basking in the blistering heat of the Great Australian Songbook? Then look no further than Trevor Jones as he sings his heart out in the ultimate love letter to the great Aussie classics – Under The Milky Way. This show is exactly what it sounds like – a chance to give credit to the great music that has been produced down under – from Hunters & Collectors to Cold Chisel, INXS to Johnny Farnham – even Peter Allan gets a look in! So, strap in and rev your V8 – you’re in for a ripper of a night!

Jones unashamedly declares his love of Aussie hits and embraces the cultural cringe with a camp little shoulder roll and a cheeky wink and a nudge. He is a master on the piano – turning his hands at everything, and bashing out classic rock tunes – with his trusty band of course. Under The Milky Way is pure nostalgia – Jones conjures up the memories of live bands at pubs with sticky floors, mullets and beers, queuing outside the Entertainment Centre and breathing in its concrete scent. He even reminds you of a few things – like the divine Cosima De Vito on Australian Idol, Delta Goodrem’s ridiculously ambitious ‘Born to Try’ and learning the lyrics to songs through magazine lift outs – mate, he takes you straight back!

Tongue firmly in cheek, Jones gives the camp treatment to your childhood and champions his faves – the medley of women’s music is probably the best thing ever though – it’s kitcsch, it’s fun and it contains so many bangers you won’t be able to resist singing along – I mean, we’re talking Kylie, Natalie Imbruglia, Tina Arena and the Goddess herself – our Liv. I didn’t realise I liked Aussie music so much but with every new song I was singing along. Jones triggered my memory for sure and this show is everything Australian music is – punchy, bold, rocking, a bit camp, slightly cringeworthy and at times wholly beautiful. It’s nostalgia in a smoky room and worth every penny.

WHEN: 18 – 20 July 2019 | 7:30pm

WHERE: Downstairs at the Maj | His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $47 | Duration 75 mins | Suitable 15+ | Licensed venue | Food and bar available | Cabaret seating


on now, Review


Review | Kieran Eaton

Sometimes, we forget how free we are compared to other societies. We get lost in our own individuality and not see the forest from the trees. However, there is a danger to this utopian way of thinking. Sarah Grochala explores this dilemma in her examination of a dystopian society, in S-27 – the title is based on Cambodia’s S-21 prison under Khmer Rouge and draws from their prison records and interviews. Grochala’s clever creating writing turns this sad reality into humanistic art, culminating in winning the Iceandfire/Amnesty International ‘Protect the Human’ playwrighting competition, in 2007.

Feet First Collective decided to tackle this challenging script by creating it as an immersive theatre experience at the Fremantle Arts Centre. When you first enter and see the ticketing desk, they ask if you don’t mind being manhandled – you can have a wrist band (though not many appear to be chosen), it certainly makes you curious of what is going to happen! It’s a perfectly chosen location, as it was originally a psychiatric hospital that has a dark eerie vibe inside these buildings. Contrasted is the outside area of lush grass spaces, in a peaceful setting. When you are waiting for the show to start, chilling on some nice red wine, it comes as a shock to hear booming voices directing you to line up in files of two. It is such a divergent experience that it has some of the participants laughing but the performers dressed in all black keep a straight face that makes us wonder what we are in for. The trepidation is mild only since this is not normal experience for most Australians.

There is a feeling of freshness with the wait to be sent to a mysterious room upstairs quick and emotionless – representing the situation that the police states deal with in trying to control “dissenters”.  This forces a gravity to your emotions – a fear of getting hurt. Once the team orderly sits you down, there is one empty chair and photography camera on a stilt. It forces you to think deeply about the possibilities of this performance piece. Lighting is thoughtfully used in a manner that delivers you into a world that you can only think black and white. The problem is that a human mind is not binary like a computer (no wonder they seem scary!) and this leads to corrupt selfish thinking. This interesting concept is delivered understandably to a mixed level of believability – as this reality is so detached from us! Simplistic in style, this thought provoker is apt in delivering it like this for these authoritarian worlds do not want complex, deep thinking. All emotions are just linked to baseless distractions from following the rules of the authority.

There is no intermission in gripping piece of theatre, you are utterly transfixed on the intense happenings as they build – the main character being a photographer becomes increasingly troubled by the rawness that she witnesses. S-27 is certainly a unique experience that will open your eyes and mind.

WHEN: 12th – 21st July 2019 | 7:30pm – 9:00pm

WHERE: Fremantle Arts Centre | Fremantle

INFO: Tickets $28.60 | Duration 80 mins | Suitable 15+ | Audience participation



Interview, on now

IN CONVERSATION: Elise Wilson & Marshall Stay | Floor Thirteen

Interview | Laura Money

Writer Elise Wilson and Director Marshall Stay chatted with The Fourth Wall regarding their new show, Floor Thirteen – a sensory explosion playing at The Blue Room Theatre. We talked about memory and how unreliable it can really be.

LM: How did the concept for Floor Thirteen come about?

EW: I suppose it started when we just became fascinated by memories and how memory is something that many of us treat as accurate. That’s not the case at all. We change our memories all the time, I mean our brains physically can’t remember every single thing. We like to think that we store things in a way that’s logical, except we don’t.

And then I guess we started writing it after we had talks between Marshall, Courtney and I and then we talked about what the possibilities are for doing a show like this. I gave Marshall two ideas and then he chose which plot we were going to do. From there we did a little devised performance and then just started writing it.

MS: Even before the writing happened, though, the show kind of had origins – like a specific style and movements, like a specific aesthetic. We sort of already knew what we wanted, so before the script I worked with Elise and with the cast doing a lot of movement training. So, just getting the cast to explore a movement style where we are physicalising dialogue. Words rather than music. We kind of explore – how does that manifest? There have been other shows around the world who have done that before so we wanted to draw inspiration from some of their ideas and performances and then making them our own and work with our bodies.

A lot of time was spent on that and then that kind of became that question of what world and what story best suits this aesthetic. Which lent itself to telling this story the best as well, because it was never just going to be a case of us just writing a random story-line we needed to find a story-line that lent itself to this aesthetic and utilises it properly. Otherwise it would have just fallen a little flat.

LM: I always think of memory and dreams as interlinked, so are the physical movements ethereal in parts?

MS: There are kind of a few little moments but I think we didn’t want to go with the show being all ethereal. There are definitely moments when we go back further into the memory – like back to really old memories – maybe they are a bit ethereal bit for the most part it’s fairly clear.

EW: Yeah, clear, sort of stylised, heightened gestures that we would make in everyday life but they’re extended beyond what we would normally look like.

MS: It’s all pretty fast. This show happens really rapidly. So, don’t expect anything too dreamlike!

LM: How many people are onstage at any given time?

EW: There are five performers. Our protagonist, Phoebe, she’s inside an elevator which is in the centre of the space and the audience is in the round – along the outside of the space. In between the elevator and the audience the other four performers are there, they’re not always onstage but they are performing the memories on the outside.

LM: You mentioned earlier that there are these gaps in our brains, so it’s very human to want to fill in these gaps through storytelling. How important is this concept of ‘performing’ memory?

EW: A word that we came across when we were researching memory was ‘confabulation’ – which is where someone produces misinterpreted, fabricated, or distorted memories but they don’t have an intention to deceive. We were quite fascinated with how people tell stories about their lives – and they are sometimes exaggerated but we sort of take their word for it, especially because it’s people actually talking about their memories, so it’s not likely to be a lie. It’s hard not to interject now, and ask – did it really happen like that?

MS: Ever since starting research into the show, I’ve even started questioning my own memories – like I really have to check myself and be like – is that how it happened? But also with other people, especially when someone puts on a voice (I feel like everyone does it!) like they’re trying to explain when someone said something and they put on this real dummy voice, and  think that’s one of the most obvious examples of conflation.

It’s obvious that’s not how it really happened, I actually am really skeptical now when people tell me stories! Like, when someone tells me about their day and they’re like – it was really busy, and all these people were really horrible – and I’m thinking – were they, though? We’re hoping that gets conveyed to the audience and that they will maybe start to call on themselves and maybe others.

LM: That’s fascinating, because we’ve got this running joke in my family that my sister always steals my memories! So, she claims to have had experiences that I actually had.

MS: And the interesting part is that she probably 100% believes that they happened to her, like it’s not a deception, she just genuinely believes that they’re her memories.

EW: We did quite a bit of research into memory error. There are these things called the Seven Sins of Memory, and one of them is ‘misattribution’ where you have the memory but you don’t necessarily attribute it to the right person.

MS: Even just talking to you now, I just this revelation that we’re really only just scratching the surface of this topic in this show. It would be really interesting to do a really big investigation into it.

LM: It’s a very strongly stylised piece, where did the aesthetic come from? The elevator, and the seating in the round?

MS: The aesthetic for the play is one I’ve been playing around with for a couple of years now, and I’ve done a couple of pieces that have a similar aesthetic, but they’ve all been short pieces. So, this is the first time I’ve been able to do this sort of performance as a full length show. I’ve just been counting the amount of cues we have for this show and I think we’re up to 1020! I mean we’re not hitting every single one of those, a lot of them are really close together, but it’s still a lot for a 55 minute show.

I’m not really sure where the aesthetic came from – I think I really enjoy shows with a kind of dark, bold, look so it could just be me trying to get all of that in and explore my own take on that. The actual idea for the elevator was quite funny, I did a short piece about being stuck in a elevator a couple of years ago – solo. When we were trying to figure out what to do for this, Elise was like – I know you’ve done this before, but how about setting it in an elevator? But I think, in the round it just felt like the right vehicle for show like this.

I think people will be a bit shocked – I mean it’s definitely not a show you can just sit back and relax in, your eyes will have to look hard to see through the elevator, and there’s a distortion but I think for us, it’s all part of it. We don’t want the show to necessarily be easy watching.

EW: Yeah, because it means just like power, memory is subjective and as much as people watch one event and get totally different memories of it, we’ve sort of done a similar thing in the show where you will get a different experience depending on where you sit. Some people might get a moment in the show which happens quite close to where they’re sitting, so they can see every detail but then that element in the next memory where they remember the same thing but it changes that time – it might go somewhere else – and it is slightly different to how it was before. It’s a unique experience!

LM: Would you recommend people going more than once?

EW: I think that I would be interested – if I was an audience member, I think if I was curious enough I would go a second time.

MS: I think it would be better. The show is almost like a Christopher Nolan piece. He does a great job of making films where he draws on abstract concepts but adds in a few rules. He does that with Momento – like exploring memories, Inception explores dreams, so you get a different experience when you watch it again, now knowing what I know. All of his movies unravel and more and more is explained.

I’m interested to see whether the audience get to the end of the show and are like – oh yeah, I totally understand all that – or if they’ll get to the end and be like – oh so that meant that this happened, ok, maybe I want to see it again to put it all together.

LM: So, what are your earliest memories?

MS: Oh, I have one! I don’t know if it’s my earliest memory but I think that a lot of the time memories can become abstracted – like they manifest in a smell or a feeling. Like, every time I smell microwaved, tinned spaghetti it just makes me feel like preschool.

But, when I was four years old, I grew up in Brisbane and we went and stayed at a place on holiday and my Mum and Dad’s bed was upstairs on a mezzanine level. Anyway, for some reason, my sister and I were jumping on the bed and then I remember jumping back and forth between the balustrade and the bed. And then, I don’t know if we really did that but in my head I’m thinking – why would I do that, it’s ridiculous! Yeah, and then I fell of – I flipped over the balustrade and I landed head-first onto the glass coffee table on the floor below. And I’m just freaking out and crying and we called an ambulance.

Now I can remember two things distinctly about this – first of all I remember when I was falling. Being four years old, I didn’t realise the gravity of the situation and remember thinking – cool I’m flying. Secondly, I remember I broke my arm, because that exact memory is burned into my brain. And I swear I cracked my head open, I remember Mum making a fuss and going to Emergency and for years I was telling people that whenever the story came up. Anyway, I spoke to my Mum about it recently and she was like – oh no, you were surprisingly fine. There was no real damage to your body – you just kind of bounced back. I was like, what? I swear I cracked my head open!

EW: Well it’s probably your brain logically filling in the gaps. Like if someone falls over a balustrade headfirst, their first thought is that their head would be cracked open.

MS: It’s just such a distinct image because I really actually thought that’s what happened.

EW: My first memory is around a similar age, like four. I just remember being in my front garden and I had Polly Pockets and I lost one. So, my first memory is me scouring the grass out the front of my house trying to find my Polly Pocket! And I never found it. I think we were moving house as well, so it was like – if I don’t find it now, it’s gone forever!

LM: It’s so interesting how our brains take the necessary information and prune away the rest. That must be how you learn lines!

MS: Just, on lines, shout out to Kylie (Bywaters) – this show is essentially a monologue from Kylie – she has a tremendous amount of lines to learn and they’re really specific lines. The cast is learning the choreography specifically off of those lines so if she screws up a line it screws up the choreography.

EW: And it’s not even to do with lines, it’s all to do with phrasing – like we’ll swap the phrasing of one scene on her. It can really stuff up the choreography if it’s wrong!

LM: Ok, apart from confusion, what do you think people are going to get out of the show?

EW: It’s loud, it’s fast – there are so many flashing lights, I think in terms of an experience it’s going to be like a thrill ride.

MS: Just for me, personally, I’m coming from the perspective that I’m totally ready to do a show that is not this loud! Like I think I’ve scratched the itch now, I’m happy to have done it but now I’ll try something else. But I don’t see a lot of theatre that is loud and bold and knocks you around a little bit. It’s going to be interesting to see how people respond to it. In Perth, especially most things are pretty pedestrian.

EW: This is the opposite!

MS: I also hope the show can really bring awareness to the audience, in terms of memory and they can go on their own little journey just like we have. They’ll actually start thinking about memory, thinking about lies, and questioning other people’s memories a bit. I’d like them to leave a little skeptical.

WHEN: 25 June – 13 July 2019 | 7:00pm & 8:30pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Perth Cultural Centre | Northbridge | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 60m | Suitable 15+ | Warnings: Coarse Language, Smoke Machine/Hazer, Strobe Lighting






on now, Review

REVIEW: Friday Night Magic

Review | Laura Money

There’s something magical about dodging raindrops and lights glistening through smears of cloud and fog. Perhaps it’s the sheer British nature of winter but there’s nothing better than spending a cold winter’s evening at the pub. Except, perhaps a night of magic! Friday Night Magic is Perth’s only weekly magic show, hosted by the affable Matt Penny (Find The Lady) it features tricks, jokes, and good times.

Lazy Susan’s is no stranger to comedy – hosting improv, stand-up, and sketch throughout the years, but never before have they ventured into magic. The venue lends itself perfectly to magic – there’s a solid brick wall, trick door, and you can take your drinks in! Each week will feature a different line-up so keep your eyes peeled. Host, Penny is hilarious! His ‘Dad jokes’are terrible – they are so clever though, you won’t be able to resist laughing out loud. Penny is a phenomenal talent – his casual banter and laid back approach cause the tricks to sneak up on you but when they do, they are guaranteed to impress.

It’s difficult to review magic as A) you don’t know how the tricks are done, and B) you don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that Penny is a jack of all trades. He will mesmerise you, complete card tricks with flare, read your mind, defy physics, and he plays a mean piano – Matt Penny is the full package. As each night will feature different performers, I can’t review all of them – I’m certainly no mind-reader! – but the opening night featured the wonderfully entertaining Michel Fouche whose modern take on the old ball under the cup trick was truly hilarious and impressive. Even the young assistant managed to show us a very clever trick.

So, keep your Friday nights magic with Friday Night Magic! It’s a great night out and will keep you scratching your head in amazement long after the evening is over.

WHEN: Friday nights | July – September | 8:00pm

WHERE: Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den | The Brisbane Hotel | Hightgate | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $15 | Duration 2hrs | Suitable 15+ (licensed venue) | Warnings: Dad jokes



on now, Review

REVIEW: Floor Thirteen

Review | Laura Money

All killer no filler, this high-octane hour of physical theatre will keep you on the edge of your seat and questioning all of your memories. Floor Thirteen straps you into a rollercoaster and hurtles you along memory lane – this isn’t some dream-like meander – it’s intense revision, where every single word and movement that you’ve ever taken is questioned – and potentially fallible. How much do you trust your own memories?

Phoebe (Kylie Bywaters) is trapped in a lift. She stands, stressed out, pacing and drinking champagne from the bottle in a stylised plastic booth in the middle of the room. Here, memories are blurred as she begins to descend down the rabbit hole of the mind and how she ended up here – stuck in a lift. Elise Wilson‘s script is an intelligent descent into unknown territory. Her dialogue begins straightforward enough as Phoebe recounts her movements but blur and shift as though they are slipping from her grasp. Bywaters’ delivery is great – she attacks the language with confidence but also trails off with confidence. It resonates as she is expressing supplanted memories – we’ve all been there – so sure you remembered something, but the more you think about it, the less tangible your grasp on reality remains.

Floor Thirteen delivers a blow to the head like no other – the ensemble, clad in white t-shirts, jerk and move in the physical manifestation of Phoebe’s memories (and their failures.) Tamara Creasey, Courtney Henri, Christopoher Moro and Jordan Valentin execute Director Marshall Stay‘s vision perfectly. Their exaggerated movements and heightened facial expressions create a surreal quality that is rendered even stranger as the memories begin to break and uncertainty washes over them. Here, they twitch and freeze, like avatars in a video game while the player has put down the controller. Stay’s surreal aesthetic – lit up lift in the middle of the stage, slight strobing, and a futuristic, yet warm lighting design – coupled with a muted soundscape of voices and a sinister throbbing make for a sense of unease. There is tension, there is mystery, and there are questions.

Take a trip to Floor Thirteen – it’s an experience you won’t forget.

WHEN: 25 June – 13 July 2019 | 7:00pm & 8:30pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Perth Cultural Centre | Northbridge | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 60m | Suitable 15+ | Warnings: Coarse Language, Smoke Machine/Hazer, Strobe Lighting




on now, Review

REVIEW: See You Next Tuesday

Review | Laura Money

It’s Tuesday night. Your Mum is out working a night shift. Your little brother is asleep. You are out in the park having sex with a stranger – just a typical night out.

See You Next Tuesday places you squarely in the mind of seventeen year-old Evie and the conflicting voices inside her head. Played by three performers – Ramiah Alcantara, Caitlin McFeat and Tess Metcalf – each embodies a different personality trait that butt against each other but also work in harmony to narrate the vignette of Evie’s life. The dialogue interlocks and overlaps in an energetic cacophony of sound that’s snappy and punchy and will keep you entertained throughout.

Writer, Sam Nerida takes a month of Tuesday nights and recounts them from the perspective of Evie’s head – her thoughts and desires, fears and anxieties, excitement and thrills are all given a different voice which can be adrenaline-filled at times and sad at others. Over the course of several weeks, Evie pours her heart out – she explores her independence, her sexuality, she makes mistakes, and is assertive in other moments. In short – she is a typical teenage girl. The point of difference between this and any other ‘coming of age’ tale is that we never see the ‘real’ Evie – she is played by three different people who make up the sum of her parts. Alexa Taylor‘s direction is inspired. She takes the overlapping script and injects energy. The set is simple, yet a feeling of dynamism is fuelled by constant rhythmic movement, the energetic pacing of a teenager, changing clothes and a great sense of dance and movement coupled with some heady tunes.

As each of the performers embody a different part, the most prominent thought pattern wins out and that performer takes ‘centre stage’ so to speak. The language is so real. Evie is confident in many things – speaking to strangers in the park, having sex her way – and yet unsure in so many ways. When she second guesses herself there is a palpable feeling of insecurity and confidence that dramatically places one back in their teenage years. There is a slight supernatural theme running throughout that acts as a metaphor for tangibility and identity and some beautiful language and – at times – visceral moments that enhance the feeling of immediacy already achieved by the performers compelling stage presence.

See You Next Tuesday is a funny, clever, and relevant play of our times. It’s open and giving, yet pulls absolutely no punches. There are tender moments and awkward moments, feminist moments and silly moments, but above all there are real moments. Watching this play will tap into the feelings you had as a teenager – whether that was last year, last decade, or last century – it will cause you to crash headfirst into the confusing and conflicting thoughts in your head. So, see you at the Blue Room Theatre for one of the best shows they’ve had this year.

WHEN: 18 June – 6 July 2019 | 7pm & 8:30pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 70 mins | Warnings: Coarse Language, Adult Concepts | Recommended 15+







on now, Review


Review | Kieran Eaton

How often do people in power like to keep things simple – with binary, structured rules that don’t allow people to grow? Next is a three-story assortment of NEXT Productions that challenge this! Led by Scott McCardle – a producer who brings a variety of Murdoch university students/alumni, who possess a vibrant rebellious nature in creating creative theatre. Evil (and what it is), is the main exploration point in this fine collaborative creative piece.

All three productions bring as much light as possible for this dark subject, and this is hard as important moral, philosophical and political point are eagerly pushed. Scenic designer, Sam Knox creates brilliant, high impact sets that foster constant curiosity throughout – with an initial image portraying the simplicity of a podcast room towering over a minimalist performance area, creating a feeling of an old-school radio tale. However, the first part of the production, called The Room Downstairs is more than this because it adds the modern opinion pieces from two wannabes. Here it would have been interesting seeing more of a debate between them, as forced conflict is often what I think of with the media nowadays.

Still, what sets The Room Downstairs for success is how the music and sound is – thoughtfully styled by composers Isaac Diamond and Aiden Willoughby – with a strong eerie vibe from start to end that embraces similar creepiness of a horror film! There are strong psychological explorations from the cast with the protagonist leading this. By the end, you truly get a sincere emotional connection with the direction of this story.

After a small break your eyes are mesmerised by the extremely detailed set of Chicken Rock. Set in the Isle of Mann in 1960 – this is a beautiful creation originally developed by Barking Geko Theatre Company and AYTP but with powerful acting by a cast of only three, it truly emphasises the ethos of quality over quantity with dialogue. The tension between the lighthouse keeper (who prefers being called a wicker) and his guest is wonderful – with a feeling of unresolved mystery held by all. A special mention to Laughton McKenzie who gives a wonderful intensity to the misanthropic wicker.  Insightful use of lighting brings you into a dark, isolated lighthouse that has multiple levels, cleverly created – with an ending that makes you wonder.

Then finally, we have our next showcase of what it means to be young person of this day an age, Hail Satan. The Millennial Generation is often described by Baby Boomers as Peter Pan narcissists, and yet their ideals have been created with the technology of their predecessors – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs being their equivalent to Adam and Eve. This more secular, fast paced world is more emotionally vulnerable to the young who need to compete with an increasingly fragile world. No wonder when tragedy strikes this young bunch of twenty-somethings yearn for an idealistic world where New Age is fused with nostalgia – Hail Satan takes you on a rollerblading type of rollercoaster journey that give you heart that the future leaders of the world have a deep grip of how this world has been shaped. This well written script delivers this message with masterful passion.

In all, Next gives us much hope that the arts are still an inspiring force for next generations to come!

WHEN: 20 – 22 June 2019 | 7:00pm

WHERE: Studio 411 | Murdoch University (Carpark 4)

INFO: Tickets $5 – $15 | Duration 2 hrs




on now, Review

REVIEW: The Communists Are In the Funhouse

Review | Laura Money

A lot of literature has been devoted to the human body and its many ailments and inner workings, yet there is a surprising lack of theatrical explorations of menstruation – until now. In a post #metoo era,’ period pieces’ have become de rigueur and exposing the truth about periods, destigmatising them and the pain associated is particularly timely. Tackling this topic head on is Tempest Theatre, a feminist theatre company that makes theatre for women, by women, and about women. The Communists Are In The Funhouse – a euphemism for menstruation – takes a topic made taboo by the patriarchal society we all suffer in and brings it to the fore. It boldly highlights the contradictions and hipocrasy surrounding periods, allows women to tell their stories freely, and shines a light on the dangers of a lack of medical education.

As comedic as this topic can be (let’s be honest, any show about bodily functions is going to have a few hilarious moments!) the ensemble cast provide a more subtle approach to humour and some beautifully poignant moments, beginning with a stunning piece of interpretive dance by Maxine Singh set to Samuel Barber’s hauntingly beautiful ‘Adagio For Strings.’ It takes the beauty of the moment – that transition from girl to woman but has an underlining uneasiness, we all know what happens when girls become sexualised. The devised work is part video presentation, part monologues, part stories, part history lesson, part silliness, and all important. Personally, I think too much is going on – it would have been nice to pare it back and pick one focus but conversely that confusion of everything assaulting your senses sits firmly within women’s lived experiences of menstruation.

Tempest Theatre are keenly aware that the voices in The Communists Are In The Funhouse do not encompass every femme-identifying person and this is one of their greatest strengths – the show comes from the performer’s hearts. The strongest voices in art are those of the artists’ and this is well demonstrated as each ensemble member has a moment. Angela Mahlatje brings an embarrassing story about staining a white couch with her colloquial style that sounds like a girlfriend about to spill the tea. Sankari Sivaramlingam tells the heartfelt story of religious attitudes towards women’s bodies, and Nefeli Perdekouli discusses the callous nature of medical professionals and privacy. Keeping all of this held together is Dawn Farnham an mc-cum-ringmaster-cum-narrator, dropping in with horrible historical facts regarding women’s bodies and hysteria.

Possibly the strongest voices come from Amy Welsh who, despite her stand-up comedy routine deriving mostly from BuzzFeed style listicles, provides an insight into how stupidly we trivialise a damn serious medical condition that effects half of our population. The other voice who is a delight to watch is that of Sabrina Seconi – her story of getting her first period and having to awkwardly tell every single family member is bittersweet. It will literally take every single woman crashing back to the awkwardness felt and the thrill of aging only felt for a very small amount of time – way before we all want to halt the aging process.

The Communists Are In The Funhouse is a well-constructed devised work that explores a delicate subject in a beautiful and intimate way. The ensemble open up and are very giving with their performances, and add new voices that are shining a spotlight on women’s experiences. Not only does it achieve all of this, it might make the women in the crowd realise that their pain is legitimate. That their experiences are shared and the men in the audience to also realise the pain that women undergo is legitimate – and that’s a very commendable message to communicate.


WHEN: 4 – 8 June 2019 | 7:30pm

WHERE: Subiaco Arts Centre | Subiaco

INFO: Tickets $25 – $36 | Duration 75 mins | Recommended 15+ | Coarse language, nudity, haze effects, loud noises, flashing lights, explicit medical imagery, adult themes




on now, Review

REVIEW: Unrule

Review | Kieran Eaton

It is understandable to have an aversion to blood but menstrual blood is confusing because it is needed for healthy reproduction. Is it maybe the ignorance and lack of care for those experiencing it that creates a fear of having to deal with it? This ignorance has hardly changed over the years and especially as a man I can attest to living in fearful ignorance! Are we all a bit confused? How do we deal with something that should be taken more seriously? Hey! Precious tackle this taboo subject with a combination of humour and realness.  It’s directed by a deep thinker in Michelle Aitken who is a natural at creating pieces of work that make you want to know more.

Menstruation is the main issue dealt with in this surreal theatrical piece but Unrule also deals in general how women’s bodily issues are made out to be imagined. This is not an easy message to push – especially to those who have it easy, thus the imagery needs to be graphic to almost absurd levels! As the show goes on, you can hear more and more heart, including a personal tale from the director told by a performer. It is a crazy journey you go on, watching this production and still there is enough focus to give it some good punch.

Every line in this show is thoughtfully used with the best one of, “Just take a Panadol” repeated throughout that emphasises how we can laugh at how stupid that statement is. There are many metaphors that not all may get (including myself) – however this highlights the lack of honesty and empathy in the world of menstruation. The dark, and slightly creepy set created in the Blue Room Theatre sets the tone subtly of how society has judged women to be witches, if their body does not function how ‘men’ expect it to be. With lack of help from others we often get the wrong answers, so even Google cannot help you! The only issue the Googled information about medical concerns is that from the back you had to take the word that what was being said was there as the projection could have been bigger. This is only minor as all the performers deliver vocally with true credibility – even while weird hair monsters are parading around!

Each actor creates a feel not just telling their story but showing in a manner that is sincere and yet humorous. Nothing is predictable in what you see and so be prepared to be open minded. From comical wig use to a scene in the bath, this production is still clever in not overusing props. The performers, Chelsea Gibson, Mani Mae Gomes, Alicia Osyka, and Rhiannon Petersen were all part of the devising and you could clearly see this as their personalities shine through.

In the end you get the picture that Unrule breaks all the rules, in typical Aitken style that makes you share your knowledge or lack of knowledge about the perceived scary menstrual blood – with an amazing combination of style and delivery of a hugely important topic!

WHEN: 28 May – 15 June 2019 | 7:00pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 75 mins | Relaxed Performance Tuesday 11 June | Warnings: Adult Concepts, Nudity, Strobe Lighting


Article, Interview

IN CONVERSATION: Gala Shevtsov and Ryan Marano of Unbound

Interview | Laura Money

Desiring, manipulative, dedicated or mad. – these are Shakespeare’s women.

Unbound subverts the oppressed role of women in Shakespeare’s plays, refocusing their stories as powerful and valuable narratives for today. We are exploring some of theatre’s greatest and most complicated female characters, placing them under the microscope of a post #metoo world. This is a theatrical exploration of the mystery, mythology and misogyny in the works of William Shakespeare.

We caught up with Gala Shevtsov and Ryan Murano – two of the six artists involved in this wonderful project to talk about Shakespeare and crowdfunding.

Murano wanted to do a show about Shakespeare. “I just have this love for him. His language, his characters, the universality of it, that sort of thing. I had this idea to do a Commedia del Arte styled improv so then I got in touch with everyone I knew was interested in Shakespeare and we all got together to work on it.”

The group’s creative process was a lot of physical theatre and dance and improv but they also did play readings and were looking at scenes from Hamlet – Ophelia.

“We read scenes and do the scenes and then have a discussion and that’s when the penny dropped that ‘Ophelia has a really toxic relationship with Hamlet.’ And that’s when it just exploded and became a massive snowball.”

Shevtsov “we were looking at all these famous speeches and scenes and iconic characters and we all went ‘all of this is the guy’s stuff. All of this is the male language, the male perspective, the male story.’ So we started looking for moments of female empowerment and moments where their voices are heroed and forefronted and didn’t find a huge amount.”

Let’s be clear here: Shakespeare wrote amazing characters – he wrote amazing roles for women and gave them amazing journeys but they’re just not given the time – they’re given 17% of the text. Only 16% of Shakespeare’s characters are female. Blank Space Productions wanted to do something with Shakespeare as it’s such a huge part of our cultural history. As artists and theatre makers, the crew love and respect the works – Shevtsov says “the language is just so beautiful and the stories he tells as well are just so profoundly human and the fact that they’ve lasted so long – and we wanted to do something with that but also explore why is it relevant now? Why are we still telling these stories written by a male talking about men.”

The project takes famous moments that feature women in Shakespeare and reinterprets them. For instance – Hero and Beatrice become boxing opponents in Much Ado About Nothing, Volumnia’s incredible speech in Corialanus is brought to the fore and they strip back the genius of Rosalind in As You Like It.

So, how can you help? Blank Space Productions have an eight week artists’ residency at Midland Junction Arts Centre from mid June – August. They regularly host artists throughout the year and are really trying to bring the community back to that space. They have been so supportive and the crew would love to pay them back for that. It’s a target of $6000 as part of a crowdfunding scheme. They were lucky enough to get match-funding through Creative Partnerships Australia – meaning that every dollar you donate is matched and therefore doubled.

As Shevtsov says: “We’re all working artists so the more time we can spend in the space the better the end work and if we can pay our artists, that would be great. This is a labour of love so it would be nice to be paid to have the time and effort to put in.”

Marano agrees: “It’s been very liberating to do this crowdfunding campaign. It’s great to seek financial independence – we’re lucky that all donations are tax deductable so we can ask businesses and people who will get it back.”

So don’t delay and DONATE NOW!



Interview, on now

IN CONVERSATION: Susie Conte on The Communists Are In The Funhouse

Interview | Laura Money

Superwoman Susie Conte, Artisctic Director of feminist theatre group Tempest is bringing a newly devised work to Subiaco Arts Centre this June. We caught up to find out all about The Communists Are In The Funhouse and talked feminism, periods, and championing women in theatre.

Laura Money (LM): Tempest is really groundbreaking in that it’s an all female collective. Have you ever considered letting men into your ‘inner sanctum?’

Susie Conte (SC):  A friend of mine was like ‘I’ve got this really great guy’ and I was like, ‘oh, I’m actually interested in finding people outside of the establishment.’ Giving someone mentorship is important to me, so if I can give the opportunity to someone who needs it, I really love that idea. And my friend was like ‘you won’t have a man?’ And it’s not that I won’t have a man, I would prefer a woman because they have less opportunities. Also, why not?

LM: People will argue that you’re doing what the patriarchy is doing to women to disadvantage men. They can’t understand that equality isn’t about making others miss out.

SC: Equality is parity. It’s the idea that women get as many opportunities to get as experienced as possible. There are a lot of young female stage managers at WAAPA and I always poach them because they’ll do well – but I just like working with women. This show and the last they were politically inclined and they had a sense of embodiment that helps when there are only women in the room. We’re talking about periods and we’re talking about pain and embarrassing stories. We will naturally censor ourselves in front of a man – or apologise. So in the development stage it’s important to be able to speak easily and freely. It’s a sense of female equality in the room.

LM: It’s like when you go from being a young girl to a teenager and you’re an adult and suddenly women start talking to each other about sex. It’s so necessary a conversation for women to have with each other.

SC: Absolutely, you need to know that you’ve had the same experience as someone else, you feel less alone. We have some things that are so specific to our sex. In the show, we’ll be discussing that gender is important. That not all women have periods. But there are men who do have periods – which is why I took a review I received once about intersectionality and went with it. We have older women in this cast. I’ve reached out to actresses who haven’t really been onstage before, to women of colour – I’ve really tried – it hasn’t all worked out which is a bit disappointing but I know that at least I did it. It’s coming together really well.

I’m writing my Phd on feminist theatre practices.  It’s been really interesting – what does my rehearsal room look like. I want it to be a place of absolute collaboration. A girl that I’m working with, Thalie – she was in BPA at WAAPA and worked with my on Lysistrata and she kept saying to me ‘sorry if I’m jumping in’ and I was like, you don’t understand, I’m not that kind of director, I’ve cast people based on their incredible abilities and their input. And I know that I don’t always have the best ideas and sometimes it’s a lot of information and I just have to think about it. I want people to feel that the show we’re putting on and embodying is theirs.

LM: Do you feel that you even have to break down the hierarchical structure that is based in patriarchy  and business structures?

SC: Definitely and when I worked in professional theater you need that structure because everyone has someone to answer to, but in a rehearsal room if my stage manager has an opinion, I want to hear it. Stage managers often know more about theatre than actors do. Most SM’s I know could be directors. I’ve written the script but a lot of the devising isn’t me. I’m putting it together so I’m not going to say it’s not written by me. It matters that it’s all of ours. It’s about empowering women’s voices. One of the women in the work is the mother of a friend of mine. When I was doing Lady Beaufort I went into her café and put some fliers in. I got talking and she said ‘my mum is an actress and puppeteer from Italy and since we’ve emigrated here, she’s lost. She is worried she has a thick accent. So I called her and asked her to join me and she asked ‘what can I add to your show?’ I answered: everything. I gave her this big solo piece because she’s so beautiful in her body and soul, she’s in her 50s and has 35 years experience. She comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

LM: I notice when older women are put into particular roles – comedic, grannies, witches etc – once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

SC: It’s a radar thing – and my radar is finely tuned to a certain element now! I’m actually not interested in male stories anymore. I’ve seen too many. And you know, there’s lots of shows about periods, it’s become the new thing and it can be gross and in your face which I think is phenomenal, because it shouldn’t be taboo and stigmatized but I’ve come to it form a different angle. I’m really interested in the pain element. The shame and the pain. Why are we congratulated on our first period and then immediately told to shut up?

LM: We all have that ‘first period’ story. I know people who are instantly seen as complicit in men’s feelings towards them.

SC: You’re sexualised straight away. I remember being like I can get pregnant now – I was 11. I have that in the show, I’m only 11. It’s young.

LM: You have two boys – are you a reactionary parent or do you lay the foundations down first? What do you do if one of your sons is watching pornography that degrades women. You’ve obviously said not to do it.

SC: No I haven’t actually, I have never said – my husband and I have always said we’ll never remove or restrict, we’ll always educate. So, we knew that they would watch porn one day and that it would be inadvertent through friends. So we said you will watch it, there’s nothing wrong with it but some can be a bit problematic. We check in with them all the time – what are you watching? Anything that’s scares you or raises questions? They know what I do in the theatre, so they know it’s all fake.

I used to fast forward the sex scenes in movies but not the violence but I stopped doing that. They need to see consensual sex enacted in movies. They’re going to make their own mistakes, they’re going to have to learn and if I tell them not to do it, they won’t talk to me about it. My son went to a party recently and told me there was going to be alcohol there. He said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to try it, and I said if you do just tell us and if you feel sick afterwards that’s on you. At least that way he talks to me about it.

I’ve never been one to shame either – because if we shame them for what they like then they grow up and they project it onto women. We watch movies and I always call out – Why is she in a bra? And I don’t say anything else. And now they go, she didn’t have a point in that movie. So it’s little things.

LM: I’ve always been the one to call out stuff like that in ads.

SC: Conversely, I call out the other stuff – there’s not enough paid paternity leave, baby changing facilities in male toilets. The kids aren’t the problem, they’re the solution.

I don’t like the word bitch – it implies that you’re hysterical.

LM: Bitch is so gendered.

SC: Pussy and bitch are used against men when they’re being weak. To men who are not being manly. It’s so intertwined with so much. I feel more political – since Donald Trump got in in 2016.

LM: I feel like there are political turning points for women – Julia Gillard was it for me.

SC: Women’s issues are my main motivation. In the USA Trump is putting all these restrictions on the pill and women are pointing out that we don’t just take the pill for sex – it’s about hormones and other things.

LM: But why can’t we take it for sex?

SC: Well, exactly. It’s really important to fight for things that you don’t necessarily follow yourself.

LM: How did this show develop? Were you just sitting around one day thinking – not enough people talk about periods, or talk about them in the way I wasn’t to?

SC: I have always had really messed up plumbing. I’ve had polycystic ovaries, I’ve had miscarriages, I got diagnosed with endo a few years ago after extreme pain. I kind of went, huh. I’d heard the word endometriosis and I think I’m pretty well-informed but I didn’t know anything about it. One in ten women suffer from it. It’s underfunded – Viagra is very well funded. Then I saw the link to hysteria and that’s something about getting older is it’s an awakening – you go, actually this is bullshit! Why is it we can’t say I’m in so much pain without being weak, or asked are you on your period, are you pregnant? We’re tied to our uterus. So, I wanted to write a show about hysteria – the women’s disease and how pain is in your head and makes you unstable. Hilary Clinton couldn’t be President, she might hit the nuclear button when she’s on her period.

So we either have to please, consistently which makes us ill, or we have to stand up for ourselves which makes us in danger.

LM: I hate how women aren’t allowed to be angry.

SC: Without it being tied to your uterus – how dare you be angry. The way my brain works, I wondered how many women have been misdiagnosed because it’s just a bad period. Or it’s normal. It’s always this thing like it’s because of the age you are or whatever. It’s never oh, you have pain – I see it. And if you go back into the history, women have been burnt at the stake for being witches which was tied to the womb, Ancient Egyptians used to fumigate people, they were hung upside down, leeches and blood letting all because of their wombs. Then there are the don’t’s: don’t bake bread because it won’t rise, don’t make mayonnaise because it will curdle, don’t exercise, don’t not exercise – and some of them are dangerous and others ridiculous.

There’s a lot of movement in it. It’s drawing the line over a physiological thing that we have no control over. We just need to take control back and this is my little snapshot of – I have pain but everyone just goes it’s normal, you should have pain on your period…Historically, we haven’t known how to deal with endometriosis – Queen Victoria had it, that’s why she was told to keep getting pregnant. Marie Antoinette supposedly had it and they called her a nymphomaniac because she went to the doctor a lot for ‘female symptoms.’

LM: I’m not sure if my level of pain is normal or not – I need to speak to other women about it. Or at least hear from them.

SC: Pain thresholds, hormones and other physiological differences are important. Just because one woman has a higher pain threshold it doesn’t negate the woman who is on the floor.

So, come on down to Subiaco Arts Centre from 4 – 8 June 2019 and let’s talk openly about periods and pain. Tickets HERE.


on now, Review

REVIEW: The Line

Review | Amanda Lancaster

Cuts leave scars, scars leave tracks, tracks can be followed.

Shadow Lines; Stephen Kinnane

Kinnane writes of the lines and boundaries created and imposed upon society, how the definitions of these niche areas in physicality and social structure can be of such an inflexible and narrowly definitive nature around us that they in turn create echos and ripples within us which is what Kinnane calls shadow lines.

Shadow lines are the places within our own minds that hold certain beliefs and make up our own sense of self and belonging or alienation. These are the area’s of negotiation, cognitive understanding and connectivity the lines we draw, cross, follow or erase throughout our history stories and lives.

Co3 has taken on the bold and heady task of putting some of Kinnane’s philosophical ideologies about lines and boundaries, how they are created, changed and altered not just in a sense of the physical or geographical but also our very base thought function an interactive systems as human beings.

The Line tells of the often forgotten, unspoken and unfortunate period in WA’s historical background that saw a geographical segregation line on a map cause a traumatic long standing shadow line of oppression drawn between colonising parties of the time and the Nyungar people of Perth.

Created by Co3 founding director and one of the foremost professionals in the field of dance to date Raewyn Hill and associate artist and co-director the Award winning Mark Howett it’s not hard to see why The Line is getting rave reviews from audiences.

Featuring an almost skeleton cast for such a huge topic the show features just a trio of – as always – exquisitely talented dancers. Nyungar dancer and guest artist Ian Wilkes, CO3 founding dancer and guest artist Andrew Searle and last but not least Co3 founding dancer and artist Katherine Gurr. Alongside and also interspersed quite literally at times during the shows performance The Line also stars the renowned musical artists classical-accordionist James Crabb and composer/musical director Eden Mulholland.

The performance is a dense textured layering of haunting melancholy and sadness which is at times quite palpable to the point of bringing audience members to literal tears. This serious vibe and often unrelenting mood of tension is beautifully handled. The music, lighting, movement and everything that has bought the audience so powerfully up to a single moment of what feels like almost breaking point is then cleverly broken up at repetitive intervals with an almost black humoured slapstick violence and humour akin to that of a vaudevillian shows aesthetic and then just as suddenly bought to a halting stop.

Cue the slow motion, silent, screaming, nightmarish, captured realism of violence and trauma played out with such aesthetic beauty and grace of movement that one might be forgiven the momentary lapse that this is all stemming from our actual historical and cultural make up.

The use of minimalist setting design is both beautiful in look and almost eerie in feel, a hand full of unadorned chain link swing sets hang and sway gently seemingly by themselves from the rafters, condensed lighting barely shines down in narrow pyramids and lines. The choices one assume are made to further heighten the segregated elements between light and dark and does so with subtle elegance.

Contemporary dance for some may be hard to understand to define what is happening within the narrative flow, however Co3 have once again taken an often hard to swallow topic and laid it out for the world to see.

It is important I think to mention that Co3 have beautifully taken the philosophical inspiration of Kinnane’s work, the delicate subject matter of our Australian history and amalgamated the elements of this show, not to show u something concrete, not to tell you what to think or feel and not to define this moment in our cultural background with their own line of understanding but to ask the audience to perhaps consider where they draw their own lines from now on.

Whatever you do, do not miss this thought provoking heart aching performance.

WHEN: 16th – 19th May 2019 | 7:30pm & 4:00pm

WHERE:  Heath Ledger Theatre | State Theatre Centre of WA

INFO: Tickets $55 | Duration 60 mins | DANCE


on now, Review

REVIEW: Cracked

Review | Amanda Lancaster

Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company is company closely involved in the representation and development of artists and the performing arts alike with a close focus on indigenous storytelling, cultural representations and opportunities for up and coming performers. They work hand in hand with some of the best seasoned playwrights and scripted works, which means that this company continues to offer some of the most powerful viewing you are likely to have the privilege of ever experiencing. It is with little to no wonder that the company’s latest offering Cracked is getting rave reviews.

Cracked is a self professed 90 minutes of complexity. It’s filled with the aptly all too realistic plight of not only the judicial system’s successes and failures but also that of our mental health and substance abuse systems, whilst being bitterly disenfranchised, utterly heart wrenching and humourless at the same time. Follow along with Frankie and the small intimate cast as they so beautifully and tacitly demonstrate the non stop pitfalls of basically being human.

Written by Barbara Hostalek  – coming off her first play Banned which sold out two seasons at the Blue Room Theatre – and starring Bobbi Henry, Bruce Denny, Holly Jones, Luke Hewitt, Matthew Cooper and Rayma Morrison, it is impossible to say too much about the details of the performance itself without giving any of its very important powerfully layered build up and narrative flow so forgive my unwillingness to disclose more in depth for fear of it being too much, however I will say that the minimal and malleable sets work exquisitely, the venue is superb and that it is impossible not to fall in love with or in pieces over absolutely every single character in Cracked.

Whatever you do make sure this show is on your must see list for the year and everyone elses for that matter.

For a company whose chosen Noongar name Yirra Yaakin means to stand tall, the company certainly always manage to keep a tight grip on the audience’s heart strings and conscience and have you all thinking about just how desperately hard that can sometimes be to manage.

WHEN: 14th – 18th May 2019 | 7:30pm

WHERE: Subiaco Arts Centre | Subiaco

INFO: Tickets $50 | Duration 90 mins | MA15+


Interview, on now

IN CONVERSATION: Doubling up with Clare Testoni

Interview | Laura Money

The Double is a brilliant new work devised by an intelligent team of young theatre makers from Bow & Dagger. Lead creative, Clare Testoni admits that the play definitely asks more questions than it answers, but that’s the beauty of the work. We chatted to Testoni about how the work was devised and what some of the challenges have been in mounting the show.

It’s a very technologically based work. Testoni explains that it’s part of what how her practice has been going, working with cameras and technology.

Last year I worked on The Second Woman and Le Nor which used live filming. So you know, there’s something in the air but I also realised it’s where my skill set comes from – I make shadow puppetry and shadows and projections are very interlinked.

You know shadow puppetry is quite cinematic. So to use technology was just a natural progression

Testoni’s previous works with Bow & Dagger – The Beast and the Bride and Tale of Tales – explore folk stories and the cultivation of mythology through delightful and intricate shadow puppetry projections. In The Double, Testoni

wanted to tell this story about a girl and the devil and [was] engaging with ideas of doppelgangers and the uncanny. I really wanted to address some of the ways that the uncanny and new technologies interconnect.

One of the interesting aspects of the show is the use of the technology that is being not so much criticised as contemplated. “I just wanted to use the technology we’re talking about. I think it’s useful to talk about social media but it’s [also] the idea that we we sort of condemn social media but we also need it!”

Of course when we think about artificial intelligence and service robots we often assume that they are non-gendered. It’s when women’s bodies are being replicated that a whole new discourse emerges.

To me that’s just an extra layer of complication for when a woman is replicated because you deal with the objectificationOne of my anxieties about technology is the way in which it’s being built predominantly by men and they are predominantly making service bots.

Men have always been using language surrounding services to be feminised. And tech writers who follow this more closely. And the white people.

We also have to be careful how people talk to their technology. The thing is that you can have a male voice, like Google released that, you know for Siri but people much prefer the female voices – yelling at the women telling them he wrong direction. And telling her to shut up. People feel comfortable doing that to a female voice.

But also they had to program in all these disengagement protocols around sexual harassment. So Google and Siri and Alexa all have very careful disengagement if you ask. Have you got a boyfriend? So what are you wearing? They make jokes so you laugh it off.

And it’s very much the kind of behaviour I do when I’m harrassed. Because you sort of disengage, don’t you? You sort of feel like “Oh did you really say that?” Your reaction is to laugh. You’re going to make a joke.

It’s as if these robots are being programmed to be polite in the way that we are socialised as women. Testoni goes on to explain her fascination with the doppelganger effect and Faustian pacts.

Stay tuned for the second half of our conversation!


WHEN: 23 April – 11 May 2019 | 7pm & 5pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 70 mins | Suitable 16+








on now, Review

REVIEW: Death Throes

Review | Laura Money

This review doesn’t have a beginning, middle or end. It simply serves as a statement about how this piece of art – Death Throes is made and how it achieves its outcome. Combining the creative talents of Joe Lui, Julia Croft and Harriet Gillies, Death Throes challenges the concept of power structures in language, hierarchies, capitalism and more. It dissolves the myths we keep perpetuating and reclaims language for those at the bottom of the totem pole. It’s post truth, post myth, and most certainly post language.

The only way to truly escape language as a power structure is to step away from what is generally considered a way to tell a story – clear arc, narrative and plot, characters with dialogue that has been carefully constructed. There are many ways in which theatre can challenge this, but it still remains in use. Lui, Croft and Gillies corrupt the language at play here by not using it. By becoming physical beings and expressing themselves through their bodies with visceral physicality – every grunt, breath, pant – becomes a new rhythm and language. They literally carve out a space for themselves on the stage – running endlessly in a controlled chaos that feels warm – the gold clothing and soft buttery light pulses about them as a dance track builds the tension.

There are darkly humorous moments – from Gillies munching away at KFC during a panel discussion on capitalism and language, to Crofts’ deadpan delivery, every moment carries a binary of hilarity and potential depression. House lights begin up during a panel – like Q&A and the audience feels just as scrutinised and involved as the performers – Death Throes intially invites a discourse about mythologies yet slowly allows the lights to dim and the power to be given back to the performer. Light is power on this stage. From wielding lights and searching through a haze, to literally expanding the horizon of clouds projected onto the performers in a way that references sexual awakening and ‘The Neverending Story’ (just me?!) the way that certain topics are given weight through enlightenment is a brilliantly codified language that I, for one, can happily get on board with.

There is whimsy. There is pain. There are highly emotional and animalistic moments of exhaustion. If you don’t feel any of these things, did you even go and see Death Throes? Remember – language is only as important as you make it. Why not order in a little corruption and take back some control?


WHEN: 30 April – 18 May | 7:00pm & 8:30pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 70 mins | Warnings: Coarse Language, Thick Smoke/Haze, Flashing Lights | Wheelchair accessible | Recommended 15+


on now, Review

REVIEW: The Double

Review | Laura Money

How do you define your identity? Is it what you look like? That’s hardly a tangible thing as it changes over the years. Is it what you sound like? Is your image and your ‘brand’ connected to your soul and your inner you? Bow & Dagger seek to raise these questions in their brilliant new work, The Double. Devised by an intelligent team of young theatre makers, headed by lead creative, Clare Testoni, the play definitely asks more questions than it answers, but that’s the beauty of the work – it gets people thinking…and soul searching!

Duality is at play here, from the literal doubling of characters – multiple actors performing as the same characters, to doubling of facial identities – the use of cutting-edge technology to add facial filters to moving images is remarkable. The plot seems to be the only simple thing about this work – an actor sells her image (and her essence) to a software company that uses the image for a Siri-like service – but one that is more of a ‘bot’. As time goes on, she finds herself becoming less and less and the image of her gains momentum. All of her relationships are complicated – especially that with her boyfriend, and in the end the selling of her image has terrifying consequences.

Every single element of the show is meticulously executed. There is nothing accidental – from “The Picture of Dorian Grey” on the bookshelf, to cartoons about spawning superheroes, and stories from folklore involving selling shadows or making Faustian pacts. Despite the sterile white environment, there is an undercurrent of the Gothic being drawn upon here. With so many stories about doppelgangers but not many involving women’s bodies, the team at Bow & Dagger unearth some pretty disturbing cultural themes when feminising technology. How does technology change when it is applied to a female body, as opposed to a male? One of the first pieces of bootleg software to develop after launching Victoria’s image is augmented versions – ie, larger breasts, blonde hair filters, language that is more subservient. This goes beyond disturbing when one thinks about the way female bodies are usually objectified and how non-gendered technology either takes on a feminised or masculine positions. (Plot twist: it’s always the service machines that are feminised.)

The actors switch between being physically on stage in front of the audience to being filmed in real-time using augmented reality filters. The screen is projected onto the wall above the main space but the actors are still visible filming their segment to the side of the stage. This is another layer of duality that explores the role of screens and filters in gendered identity – the team are reclaiming a medium that is traditionally objectifying and highlighting the double standards for men and women in society. The Double is a brilliantly intelligent work. It is confronting and terrifying at times, as Victoria (and the three women playing her) struggles to retain who she is. Phoebe Sullivan, Amanda Watson and Michelle Aitken are all brilliant performers – they each bring something different to all of the roles – as each performer embodies all of the characters at one time or another, it begs the question: what is the essence of each character? What are their defining characteristics, and can multiple people express them in a way that defines them?

As stated above, The Double is very clever. It’s the kind of work you should go to if you are worried about inequity, feel disconcerted by technology but also want to embrace it. The team at Bow & Dagger have done just that – used the very technology they are unsure about, and therein lies its genius. It’s one thing to observe these trends, and another to do something about it. The Double takes some of the power away from the cis white men who write the programming and gives a voice back to women and the language and power structures at play. And that’s amazing.


WHEN: 23 April – 11 May 2019 | 7pm & 5pm

WHERE: The Blue Room Theatre | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $20 – $30 | Duration 70 mins | Suitable 16+



on now, Review

REVIEW: MIMMA a musical of war and friendship

Review | Laura Money

Mimma is the truly remarkable story of war, heartache and friendship set against the backdrop of World War Two. It speaks of courage and truth, family bonds and the power of female friendships. At the heart of Mimma is a passion for justice and kindness that shines through in every musical number and poignant moment. Librettist Giles Watson and Ron SiemiginowskiMimma’s composer and producer have collaborated on something unique and wonderful – a WA original production full of heart.

Traversing the globe through musical history, the original score moves sweepingly from the jazz age to operatic influences, and everything in between. Mimma is an absolute triumph! Siemiginowski’s score compliments the epic tale perfectly, feeling vast and encompassing yet intimate and tender. Opening on an exhilarating rumba, Turin’s 1930s elite celebrate the eponymous Mimma’s birthday. Sequins and skirts fly as the scene is set – now this is a musical! Mirusia Louwerse shines as Mimma – from the moment she glides down the stairs to delighting in the wonders of London and showing strength and compassion in hardship, Louwerse is a shining light – a beacon of hope and goodness in the world. Her voice is clear and bright and the character of Mimma will charm even the hardest of hearts.

After leaving Turin for London at the outbreak of war, Mimma is received by her uncle Lorenzo – played with gusto by the legendary Igor Sas and up-and-coming singer Sarah (Holly Meegan). The music once again tells the story along with some fancy footwork in the song ‘Whisky Neat’ – a nod to 1930s and 40s musical theatre complete with tap dancing and a big band sound. This sums up Soho, the song captures the essence of the times, and what it was like for Italian migrants living and working in London. Through Sarah Parker, Mimma receives a cultural education – learning about London with a love ballad to the good old city. Sarah offers her friendship so readily and it is so beautiful to watch their relationship grow. Of course, it’s not all roses. Mimma’s mother Ada (Suzanne Kompass) and brother Aldo (Jason Barry-Smith) are still fighting the fascists in Italy. Their fear and resilience is on show in one of the most heartfelt and passionate duets I’ve ever seen. Kompass and Barry-Smith are phenomenal talents and their sublime notes of comfort support each other in a heavenly pairing that is guaranteed to produce goosebumps.

Mimma is a little bit of everything – it’s sorrowful and mourning with human cruelties and life’s hardships portrayed in graphic detail (Michael Carmody‘s moving images work well when used to depict bombings and a general sense of overwhelming, but are perhaps a little overdone at times.) It’s uplifting and fun with some big musical numbers and jaunty jazz tunes – Sarah Parker’s indomitable spirit and absolute Britishness provides a happy Mary Poppins-esque quality to the London scenes. It’s revolutionary and passionate with Ada, Aldo and Mimma herself fiercely fighting for their rights and freedom. It’s dramatic, especially in Ada and Aldo’s operatic scale duets that soar to the rafters. It’s funny – there are little moments of joy with Mimma’s twin sisters, Lorenzo’s happy-go-lucky attitude and the two ‘everyman’ characters played to perfection by Caroline McKenzie and Geoff Kelso Perth heavyweights in absurdist theatre, who almost appear to reprise their rolls of Nell and Hamm from Samuel Beckett’s Endgame as they banter in as many ways possible.

Whilst at first glance it seems that the dark and harrowing themes in Mimma would not make for a great musical, definitely delve a little deeper because then you’ll see just how perfectly they are achieved. Mimma is simply wonderful – the music is perfect and intelligently composed with each era referencing the time and place it is from. The acting and dancing are superb, it features a very strong ensemble cast with each and every one giving us something to look at. Mirusia Louwerse and Holly Meegan will make you fall in love with them – Mimma and Sarah are such well-rounded and accomplished characters. WA can hold its head up high with an original production like Mimma under its belt.

WHEN: 9 – 21 April 2019 | 7:30pm (+ matinees)

WHERE: The Regal Theatre | Subiaco

INFO: Tickets $82.85 – $133.85 | Duration 2hrs 45mins with interval | Wheelchair accessible | Please note: Loud Noises, Smoke Effects, Live smoking on stage, Guns, and Theatrical Haze


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REVIEW: Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Review | Laura Money

The crew from Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are back with another evening of farce, slapstick, and hilarity in Peter Pan Goes Wrong. It takes the genius of The Play That Goes Wrong and ramps up the madcap antics to a whole new level, every single second of this play will elicit not just a few chuckles, but whole-body laughs that will rack the audience long after leaving the theatre!

I didn’t think it would be possible to top the previous work, yet here I am, gleefully corrected. Familiar jokes are heightened, yet still stand alone if you missed the first incarnation. The cast and ‘crew’ move about the audience in a pre-show that gets the laughter building from the beginning. Improv skills are on show here as the audience assist in the setting up of everything from electricity to set. The titular Peter, Jonathon (Darcy Brown) walks in late, coffee and dark glasses displaying his importance, Director Chris (Connor Crawford) and Co-Director Robert (Luke Joslin) argue audibly about the show, and the ‘crew’ inadvertently reveal the flaws in the set – of course these will come to a head in the third act.

The timing of Peter Pan Goes Wrong is as precise as clockwork – every element must fit into each other to create a chaotic effect. Of course, there is more to the title than just lights crashing to the stage and props going missing – there are broken bunk beds, quick costume changes that border on hilariously risque moments, stage fright and slip ups. Slapstick is this work’s strong suit – from broken flying wires, to broken legs, Joslin getting stuck in a doggy door, sound guy Trevor (Adam Dunn) forced to step in yet again, and of course, Robert’s accident prone niece Lucy (Teagan Wouters) encountering hilarious mishap after hilarious mishap, they just get it right. Part Some Mothers Do Ave Em, and part Mr Bean – it’s the perfect combination for laughter.

Once again, the funniest elements for me are the dramas from the actors – and this time, we see a lot more of that. Dennis (George Kemp) is still so useless at learning his lines they have resorted to feeding him his lines through headphones that are anything but discrete! This leads to some predictable, yet funny moments where wires get crossed, and Kemp is brilliant in his timing. After her flirtation with fame in the last production, Stage Manager Annie (Tammy Weller) multitasks as Mrs Darling, Eliza, Tinkerbell and probably a few more characters I missed, and her delivery is hilarious. From strange dance moves, to deadpan delivery, watching her onstage is a delight the entire time.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is truly witty and incredibly clever. It hits you over the head with slapstick and tickles your cerebral cortex with hilarious group dynamics – a hilarious love triangle, over-acting from the pint-sized Sandra as Wendy (Francine Cain), and the accidental playing of audio that are hard to ignore. Not since The Play That Goes Wrong have I laughed from beginning to end – actually after the end (do yourself a favour and stay for the post show entertainment, I can guarantee a good laugh!) Poking fun at the pantomime genre, when adults play kids, and the politics present in Am Dram, but the actors are playing actors who can’t act – or think they are better than they are – and therein lies the genius.

If you want to see a flawless evening of hilarity, look no further than Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Every single element is brilliantly rendered and perfectly performed that it can be difficult to realise just how incredibly clever it really is. There are subtleties here – Robert falling down when the phrase ‘I don’t believe in fairies’ is uttered – and of course, hugely farcical moments – the entire set turning around like a side-slpittingly hilarious carousel. As I wrote about its predecessor: it’s a perfectly timed, perfectly executed, and perfectly performed masterpiece. You can only go right when you see Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

WHEN: 7 – 17 March 2019 | 8:00pm

WHERE: His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $84.90 – $110.90 | Duration 110 mins including interval | Age recommendation: 6+ | Wheelchair accessible venue



FRINGEWORLD 2019: Absolute Zero – Jez Watts | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Jez Watts has absolute zero funds on him – in fact he is in the red of $16,000 of an $18,000 loan that he has from his now fiancé, a vet from Singapore and he used to be a neuroscientist! This amusing story explores how love can appear unconventional but still work. The loan was given to assist him tour the world and do festivals – just proving how tough being an independent artist can be.

While the crowd is settling down on to their seats, we observe Watts use a loop box machine, while interacting with the crowd. This creates a quirky feel to the night and displays improvisation that some may think is unusual, but this comic is able to go with the flow with a sense of self depreciating cool. When all the crowd is in, he explains the concept of the show, including a bit about people thinking the show is called loser. Watts embraces this because he does not mind making a fool of himself, however he has little patience for fools.

Watts consistently gains laughter and is quick to interact with the audience to defuse any awkwardness. To add some variation to the night, the loop box machine is used to add an extra layer is used about half way through the show, in combination with a mini story about working in IKEA. The honesty in this show is refreshing as it does not shy away from themes like depression and suicide.

This Perth comedian who states he will be basing himself in Melbourne, in two weeks, is a comfortable storyteller and show how he has gained maturity from adversity. By the end, you feel like you have a strong idea of this man that just seems to go with the flow.

Absolute Zero – Jez Watts is a humorous show to see how comedy does equal tragedy plus time.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 9:15pm

WHERE: The Craft – Beer & Cider Garden | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $18 – $21 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content Warning: Sexual References, Occasional Course Language | COMEDY



FRINGEWORLD 2019: Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon: Best Friends |4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Perth is the luckiest city to be home to these two fabulous musicians – Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon: Best Friends celebrates the 15+ years the pair have known each other. Playing in a community swing band and then moving on to various bands throughout the years, Gordon and Turner’s friendship has strengthened over the years, as has their talent. The chilled out evening sees the friends playing some of their favourite music and loving every second of it.

Both Gordan and Turner are at home at the Ellington Jazz Club, a very supportive and frankly, really cool space for musicians. They sit on high stools, various guitars and ukuleles casually arranged nearby. Tonight’s show will be completely different to all the others – picking from a set list with 33 songs on it, the audience shouts out the numbers to create a unique show every time. The chemistry between these guys is infectious – they really have a deep friendship, the same sense of humour, and an incredible affinity for each other’s musical improvisation. Beginning with a silly quickie in ‘Ragg Mopp’ the two remain faithful to the list system, Gordon attempts to introduce each number with a cute little anecdote but mostly Turner just starts playing!

Because they are best friends and are so comfortable with their setting, the show has a jam session vibe and it’s wonderful to be privy to that. Mark Turner and Jessie Gordon: Best Friends is the most fun you’ll have this FRINGEWORLD 2019. It’s casual and laid back but definitely not at the expense of the talent – every song packs a punch and showcases Gordon’s phenomenal voice and Turner’s flawless guitar playing. There are original songs, jazzy/blues arrangements of old classics, and of course old classics themselves – each one is performed to perfection.

So, join the circle of friends, these guys have a lot of love to spare! Oh, and go and buy their CDs – I’m pretty sure Mark Turner mentioned it once at the beginning – faintly…


WHEN: 13 – 17 February 2019 | 8:45pm

WHERE: The Ellington Jazz Club | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $21 – $30 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: sexual references | WA ARTISTS | MUSIC




FRINGEWORLD 2019: Age of Stephen | 4 STARS

Review | Link Harris

Age of Stephen is exactly as the description states: “a night of unforgettable music, stories, and laughs in an epic celebration of the greatest voice our country has ever produced” as Stephen Valeri tries his hardest to convince the audience not only that John Farmham is the greatest voice our country has ever spawned – not that you would be here if you didn’t love him already however if you aren’t a fan, you know where the door is – but that his spirit animal is or that he is spiritually connected to Farnham.

Valeri’s voice is incredible doing near perfect renditions of some of Farnham’s biggest hits from ‘Sadie’ to ‘Chain Reaction’ – backed by Caleb Garfunkle on guitar/backing vocals and Kelly Ann Kimber on keyboard/backing vocals – Valeri takes us on a very tongue in cheek look at their similarities – Valeri and Farnham – all the while cracking jokes and interacting with audience members displaying exceptionally good improvisational skills – as you never know what is going to be said when throwing the audience into the mix – even going as far as recruiting “boy band members” from the audience and choreographing dance moves to songs.

Valeri’s charisma, presence and vocal range are highlighted in this production and are without a doubt  why this is such a brilliant show. If the season hadn’t already ended I would say get off your bum and go see this hilarious and brilliantly entertaining look into an artist such as Farmhan by arguably one of his biggest fans Valeri.

WHEN: 14 – 16 February 2019 | 8:30pm

WHERE: King’s Lair | His Majesty’s Theatre | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $31 – $35 | Duration 60 mins | Age suitability: PG | CABARET/MUSIC




FRINGEWORLD 2019: Beautiful Girls: The Bruno Mars Show | 3 STARS

Review | Amanda Lancaster & Link Harris

Walking up the stairs of Air Nightclub the music is pumping, everyone is smiling, drinking and generally having fun waiting for the show to start as Jake Dennis, his dancers and band finally get on stage and Beautiful Girls: The Bruno Mars Show begins.

It’s unusual for a Northbridge Nightclub venue to be described as mellow and chilled out but that was exactly the type of setting that came along with all attending this performance, much to the – clearly mixed generational – crowd’s satisfaction and delight.

Treated to a plethora of Bruno Mars’ hits spanning his three albums and interspersed with a DJ  playing top 30 R&B hits from similar eras – like that of the recently made popular throwback sessions   introduced by well known radio stations- you can be assured there is a little something something for everyone to be enjoyed.

The singing  voice of Dennis is superb but unfortunately seeming as though it wasn’t quite given the opportunity it could have been to show us just exactly how vocally talented he truly is. The choreography of Dennis and his dancers was on point an in fine form, the backup band was excellent, the lighting and backdrop screen set the scene beautifully lighting up all of the excellent Air Nightclub but unfortunately the music always seem to be a half or full beat ahead of where it should have been and drowned out Dennis’ voice…

If you like Bruno Mars and can forgive minor alterations to his music go along and have fun and even if you can’t get past these changes go along anyway and have a good night and a fun time. Regardless of these minor issues  these reviewers can attest to being seduced by the soulful and  upbeat  funk atmosphere enough that by the end of the show they had us on the dance floor enjoying ourselves.
WHEN: 15 & 16 February 2019 | 7:30pm


INFO: Tickets $25 | Duration 120 mins | Suitable 18+ (restricted) | WA ARTIST | CABARET/MUSIC


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FRINGEWORLD 2019: Femme | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

FEMME is a variety night about issues facing women and/or if you identify as femme. The creation of a warm and giving burlesque artist in Lola Cherry Cola, who wants to create a supportive environment for femmes to explore their feminine side and promote feminist issues. Host, Cherry Cola knows that some sensitive issues are going to be put out into the audience and that you can leave the room at any opportunity. There are also fans in the shape of pussy – cats that this MC jokes that can be flapped!

Each night has different performers that are part of FRINGEWORLD 2019. The night I watched it, Charlotte Glance, a stand-up comedian opened with zeal and gave the right number of well-timed punchlines to get the audience open to laughing at life and thinking about double standards.

To mix things up, the experimental cabaret comedian, Jamie Mykaela mixed energetic wit with sombre spoken word poetry and then finished highlighting her amazing voice, with a quirky ukulele song with attitude.

To add to the interesting introspection, Camden Champagne decide against showcasing her famed burlesque dance act by instead doing a monologue on smiling and why it is OK not to smile. It uses computer slide images in bringing attention to how often fake smiles often used to please people in power and that a ‘natural’ smile is quite rare to find.

Then burlesque performer, Chelsea Smiles did a strip with a dark side to it. Coming on fully clothed, and these clothes displaying messages of prudishness. Then as she stripped the messages were more about being a sexual piece of meat and had audience members pull off the meat images, one by one, with each displaying real stories of sexual harassment and assault.

To clear all this heaviness, Gabe Hogan give us a beautiful visualisation meditation. We all then came together from the heart of Cherry Cola to be strong and speak out against forces hurting the FEMME spirit.

For a wonderfully constructed, socially aware show, come see FEMME for a message that more should embrace.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 7:45pm


INFO: Tickets $20 – $25 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content Warning: Sexual References, | THEATRE | PERFORMANCE ART


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FRINGEWORLD 2019: Let Me Finish | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Let Me Finish is the brilliantly titled brainchild of the hilarious Charlotte Otton – WAAPA graduate and relative newcomer on the Perth Independent theatre scene. It’s a collaboration and celebration of and with women and what it means to identify as women. There’s laughter, pain, insecurity, a capella singing, and solidarity in a series of sketches, monologues, games and devised pieces that showcase the sheer power of women and what it is like to be a woman in this world.

Everything is covered – from harrassment while dancing in clubs, to the solidarity of the ladies toilets! The cast work so well together and each bring something unique to the work. Jess Moyles acts with dignity and sincerity as she searches for love and recounts her terrible account of sexual assault. Perth wonder, Izzy Macdonald provides a manic energy that is hilarious and becomes calmed down throughout the work. Ana Ika and Angela Mahlatjie are both hilarious and heartfelt – Ika has a mature quality about her, way beyond her years. Mahlatjie’s laugh out loud account of finding a cheating boyfriend and her over-the-top reaction is all of us.

The sketches are hilarious – from parodying the ladies’ book club type with Otton’s face a masterclass in comedic acting, to a clever piece on race Let Me Finish brilliantly and succinctly tackles intersectional feminism head on and doesn’t care if any feelings get hurt along the way. There are moments of intensity – the game ‘Don’t Know, Now You Know’ sees rapid-fire stories shouted at the audience, and a moment of pure rage is expressed by the women literally reduced to their hands and knees chanting ‘fuck off, fuck off’. It begins with laughter and intensifies as their pure rage finally finds an outlet.

Let Me Finish takes the thoughts and feelings of women and thrusts them, warts and all, into the spotlight. It features some truly heartbreaking moments of introspection when looking at old photographs, and a beautiful love story (I totally ship Jess & Ana!) and will certainly resonate with anyone identifying as a woman. It’s an important piece of theatre that #YesALLMen should see.


WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 9:40pm


INFO: Tickets $28 – $35 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: PG | Content Warning: Occasional Coarse Language, Sexual References, Strobe Lighting, Sexual Assault, Mental Health, Loud Noises | WA ARTISTS | THEATRE



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FRINGEWORLD 2019: A Migrant’s Son | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Musical powerhouse Michaela Burger (Exposing Edith) graces the stage once again, this time with a biographical tale of the most important person – her father. In Exposing Edith, Burger told Edith Piaf’s story through theatre and song – now she has dug deep into the roots of her family tree and shares the struggles, love and loss, hard work, and delights of her own family. Her father, Vincent Luke was A Migrant’s Son and Burger explores what that really means in an absolute triumph of song, dance and theatre. With original compositions, and beautiful community choirs led by the wonderful Carol Young, and an old suitcase full of memories, A Migrant’s Son is the heartwarming tale that will prompt you to go home and call your father.

When Michaela Burger set out to write this show, she wanted to showcase her father’s strength – through adversity, heartache, love – but as she dug a little deeper, she realised that his indomitable spirit came from generations before him. Beginning with her Yaya (Grandmother) and her journey to Australia at the age of 14 in 1936. Burger dons a gypsy-style long skirt (sequinned of course, this is a cabaret show after all!) and sings a heart-wrenching ballad about her grandmother’s apprehensions and mixed feelings leaving her homeland. She goes even further back to her Propappous (great grandfather) a man who left war-torn Greece to become a baker in Adelaide. The absolute passion and love that Burger injects into his character is overwhelming at times. She never met him but every word she sings in vibrant and full of love.

Every family has a story, and Burger tells her father’s story with heart – building up the fundamentals of his family and the work ethic drilled into him as a young boy baking and delivering bread for hours before school, to opal mining in Coober Pedy – this plucky, quick-thinking, soulful man is brought to life in the most stunning way possible. One of the most interesting elements of this show is how often Burger references Victor’s pride in his family – he sounds like an absolute character! From bursting with joy at his daughter’s wedding, to holding his first grandson with tenderness and trepidation, and even proudly declaring that his daughter was the best performer in Australia to any celebrity who would listen. But to me, the most touching part of the whole show is the pride that Michaela Burger feels for him.

A Migrant’s Son is a stunning piece of theatre. The music is simple, sweet and full of emotion – swelling to majestic heights with the voices of Indie Mix Pop Choir and the Dal Segno Singers. It is a spiritual experience to hear Burger’s clear and heavenly tones. She is passionate and loving and every note is sublime. Brimming with emotion, this exquisite show will pull on every heartstring and you will have to clap and cheer through eyes blurred with tears. This is one for the family.

WHEN: 13 – 16 February 2019 | 8:00pm

WHERE: Upper Burt Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH

INFO: Tickets $30 – $35 | Duration 80m | Age suitability: PG | Content warning: Occasional coarse language | CABARET



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FRINGEWORLD 2019: Equinox | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Equinox is a love letter to all the witches and magical creatures who have graced our stages and screens. Velma Celli is utterly spellbinding as she sings the siren songs of the hags and creatures that go bump in the night. She weaves her magic in the truly bewitching arrangements of any song with a link – tenuous or not – to magic.

Black sequins shimmy through the crowd as all eyes stick to the divine mistress herself. There are classic witch manifestos in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ and ‘Defying Gravity’ – immaculately performed. Celli’s voice is so phenomenal that the audience’s jaws cannot fight the forces of gravity and remain firmly on the floor! There’s a stunning reimagining of ‘1000 Years’ and the most chilling rendition of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ that is gentle and giving and warm.

Of course, no evening with Velma Celli wouldn’t be complete without a few surprises and she doesn’t disappoint. Equinox will bring out your dark side, so embrace it and howl at the moon a little. With bitchy, witchy and wonderful tributes to the devilish and disenfranchised, Velma Celli will put a spell on you and now you’re hers!

WHEN: 11 – 17 February 2019 | 7:45pm


INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 75m | Age suitablity: M | Content warning: occasional coarse language, sexual references | CABARET



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FRINGEWORLD 2019: Angels’ Share | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

The top ten percent or so of whisky in a barrel gets evaporated – just dissolves straight into the air for the angels. It is the angels’ share.

So the saying goes. When writer Michael Ramus discovered this and the life of ‘whisky boys’ on a trip to the Scottish Isles, he was, quite rightly enamored. Angels’ Share is a quirky tale about two ‘whisky boys’ – best friends entrusted to guard the barrels of whisky in the long abandoned distillery on an isolated island. Nicknamed Feints and Fallshorts, slightly derogatory terms for the unusable whisky as part of the distillation process, the two lads realise they are sitting on a goldmine and then all hell breaks loose.

Angels’ Share sees Carl (Mark McDonald) and Mike (Jordan Valentini) distill their philosophies through small town sensibilities and isolation. Their realisation that the barrels are worth a lot of money is the catalyst for both their recklessness and their guardedness. McDonald is hilarious as the goofy Carl. He bounces around the stage and one can’t help but feel affection for him As his budding relationship with Claire (Jen Bagg) grows, a real tenderness creeps in and you start to care for this character. Valentini’s Mike is a little more brooding. As a homosexual man hiding his true self from people who probably wouldn’t care anyway, he is a tortured character who has grown a little too big for the island he inhabits. Hanging over his head like a cloud is the alcoholism that has seen him lose almost everyone he loves, and the dire warning that he is heading in the same direction.

Jen Bagg is great as the impish Claire – you kind of don’t like her much at first as your loyalty will be with Carl, but after a while you realise how well she performs the role. Likewise, Sophie Lester who plays the cheerful police officer, Rosie and a rather sinister character later on. She’s a great foil for the two boys and her charm is in her teasing delivery. Director Jared Barkla does a fantastic job of keeping the action concentrated. The set is small and intimate, at times taking on the claustrophobia of not only the space but the plot squeezing down on the characters. He also steps in as Richard, Mike’s lover and provides a reasoning voice to the whole thing.

Much like the barrels of whisky that are guarded so tightly, the story of the ‘whisky boys’ is a quirky one that has long been forgotten to the outside world. I for one, am glad that some of its magic leaked out, that we got the Angels’ Share of the tale.

WHEN: 14 – 16 February 2019 | 6:30pm

WHERE: Nevermind Smallclub | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $25 | Duration 60m (Likely to run overtime) | Age suitability: PG | Content warning: Occasional coarse language, Sexual References, Depicts Violence | THEATRE



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FRINGEWORLD 2019: Stephen Valeri | Age of Stephen | 5 With Fringe

Stephen Valeri is the die-hard fan of John Farnham gracing Perth stages with his tribute show Age of Stephen this FRINGEWORLD 2019. He answered our 5 With Fringe series ahead of the show.

Describe your show in 3 words: 


What is your show all about?

It’s a very, very loving tribute to Aussie musical icon, John Farnham. I spend the show attempting to convince my audience that John and I share a spiritual connection, whilst cramming as many of his iconic hits as possible into an hour!

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout?

I’m loving the vibe at our venue, His Majesty’s Theatre – the place is buzzing with audiences grabbing a drink and bite to eat before and after seeing their shows. There’s also pop up performances every night that add to the lush atmosphere.

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019?

I haven’t had a chance to see a lot of shows just yet, as we’re only here for the last week of the festival – but I am enjoying everyone’s friendliness! Fringe Artists are usually a pretty friendly bunch, but everyone in Perth is so relaxed and up for a chat – it’s great!

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend?

  • Dolly Diamond’s ‘BLANKETY BLANKS’ – Not many people in the world make me laugh like Dolly! She doesn’t miss a beat and this show is her in her absolute element. Downstairs at the Maj until Saturday.
  • Sinsational Rita & Mae – Melody & Lucinda Beck are bringing back old school glamour with their classy (and cheeky) tribute to Rita Hayworth and Mae West. And they can SING! King’s Lair (His Majesty’s Theatre) until Saturday.
  • The Boy, George – Patrick Livesy’s show tells the future story of Prince George (yes, the sassy son of Will & Kate) and his quest to take over the world. His show sounds hilarious and I can’t wait to see it this week! Shambles at The Woodside Pleasure Garden til Sunday.

You can grab your tickets to Age of Stephen HERE.

FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019 | Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage | 4 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

Space: the final frontier and often an area that artists are scared to explore because some feel that science and art are domains that do not overlap. Weeping Spoon Productions attempt to tackle this challenge by use improv comedy and this is possible with star actor and producer, Shane Adamczak being a Sci Fi geek. Meet Captain Spaceship (Esther Longhurst) and follow along as she brings her rag tag crew (regulars Shane Adamczak, Daniel Buckle and sound tech Alwyn Nixon Lloyd) along with a rotating lineup of guest improvisers, as they hurtle through space and time.

As they all they all have performed on the theatre sport creation of The Big Hoo Haa, their comedic chemistry is excellent. However, there is much difference as this team has to each night create a new storyline that goes for an hour that only relies on crowd suggestions and their improv skills.

Adamczak gleefully sets the scene for the night by interacting with the audience, asking what Sci Fi shows they are fans of. Happily, this host acknowledges the few hard core geeks in the crowd and makes some great jokes about it. It is all from the top of his head as he states the night before had much weirder, drunker audience. Still with his long experience in the comedy caper, Adamczak easily goes with the flow. The crowd suggestions can be hit and miss, so the most potentially funny and challenging suggestions get chosen.

The hilarity of the show comes from each performer having a different interpretation of what is suppose to go on and seeing their creative minds deal with the chaos. A beginning, middle and end is masterfully made that incorporates the unpredictability to make you wonder at incredible skill they must have.

Captain Spaceship: Maiden Voyage is a great show to see a creative way to achieve comedy on the spot.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 8:20pm


INFO: Tickets $20 – $22 | Duration 50m | Age suitability: PG | WA ARTISTS | COMEDY


FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Paper Doll | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Gripping from the very start, Paper Doll is confusing, intense, and packs an emotional punch. A man stands at a woman’s front door, dripping wet and clutching at a plastic bag. He is expected but still shocks her. Martin Ashley Jones and Hayley Pearl are absolutely flawless in this two-hander that will put your guts in a vice and slowly squeeze. Jones is welcomed in and immediately things are awkward. You can’t quite work out their relationship – ex-lovers? Father and daughter? As the play progresses it becomes clear that the answer is somewhat more sinister.

It is clear that Pearl is on edge – her tone is light and airy, but her eyes bulge out of her head in fear and she approaches Jones with a wariness borne of pain. She clearly doesn’t want to get hurt again. Jones is phenomenal. He speaks to Pearl as if approaching a frightened animal. His words trip and stumble in nervousness – revealing a tenderness unexpected in someone so rough. He is like a pressure cooker, fighting to hold back his intensity – but there are moments when the steam escapes and we glimpse the monster underneath. Jones is quite simply, acting his heart out and I could watch him all night long.

Paper Doll is not for the faint-hearted. It is intense. It peels back layer after layer and reveals at its heart a twisted knot of thorns. Playwright Katy Warner was inspired by Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge and has stripped back the key relationship in the play. The language takes you on a rollercoaster of emotion – from sweet and almost cautionary first love, to hatred and resentment, fear, and affection. Jones and Pearl pour their hearts out onstage every night. Their stuttering and inability to complete sentences whilst talking over each other not only create a realistic feeling but intensifies the gritty reality of the action.

If you like your theatre intellectually and emotionally stimulating, do not miss out on this gripping psychological thriller, played to perfection by two actors at the top of their game.

WHEN: 12 – 16 February 2019 | 8:00pm

WHERE: The Main Space | The Blue Room Theatre | FRINGE CENTRAL

INFO: Tickets $24 – $28 | Duration 45m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: Occasional coarse language, Sexual Assault, Sexual References | THEATRE



FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Tony Galati the Musical | 5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

When we think of the word Perthanlity, it’s hard not to think of Tony Galati – known as the ‘Spud King’ for his potato revolution that lead to the business Spud Shed. Aarnav Productions have maximised their creative skills to make a musical that tells the story of Tony Galati, right from when he was a child and his family travelled all the way from Sicily to Perth. Using some of the best talents from local theatre groups, like The Big Hoo Haa – this show is certainly a perfect fit for FRINGEWORLD 2019.

Aarnav Productions are a collaboration between Dan DeBuf and Sonia Arakkal, who with those surnames would have experienced the prejudice of old school WASP thinking – especially in small-town, isolated Perth. Intelligently, this musical does not adhere to revision history but keeps it light with plenty of well peppered gags, and we first learn that Tony’s passion for the potato came from his father, Francesco (both roles played by Thomas Papathanassiou).

Tony’s voice is beautifully captured by Papathanassiou’s acting and DeBuf’s writing. It is surprising how respectfully this is done, as ‘The Spud King’ is mostly caricaturised by the media in a typical simplistic manner. There is even a hilarious mimic of an interview with the Sunrise Team of David “Kochie” Koch and Samantha Armitage, where two of the performers from the Perth Improv troupe use their comic talents to bring many great moments of laughter.

In terms of musical direction by Caleb Garfinkel, the songs are aptly coordinated to align with the theme of the story – from old Italian music sounds to up beat music to signal the Perth’s obsession with modernisation, in the expense of character and charm.

This weaves all together to create a friendly show that will make you feel good inside. Go see Tony Galati The Musical to laugh and sing with a local Perthanality hero.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 6:00pm

WHERE: De Parel Speigeltent  | Pleasure Garden | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: All ages | THEATRE | MUSIC | COMEDY


FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: 10,000 Decisions | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

We make approximately 10,000 Decisions every day. No wonder we’re exhausted by the time we go to bed! US comedian, Robyn Perkins is here to help you make some of those decisions easier. It’s an interesting premise – the self-confessed most useless person at making a decision (to the point she has literally gone hungry in restaurants) aiding us, but Perkins has the (pseudo) science to back it up!

Perkins used to be a biologist but now spends her time making people laugh and I for one, am glad she made the switch. Sorry ecosystems – we need this funny-lady more than you. No-one is more aware of the need for laughter than Perkins herself – an American in London – what a sucker for punishment.

The show is educational as Perkins gives you a crash course in neuroscience and how the brain goes about making a decision. She is hilarious! Self-depreciating but not self-hating, Perkins’ inability to decide in love, lust, food – thankfully not politics – will probably scrape close to the bone – Perkins is all of us.

As a comedian, she is great at getting an audience on side but it feels so much more than that. Perkins is conversational and honest, she is just like that funny friend who comes to you with their love-life issues and gets drunk with you. At least one decision will be made tonight – what it will be is up to the audience as Perkins offers up not only a sympathetic ear but a great feeling of togetherness.

Making the decision to see 10,000 Decisions is a no-brainer – let your amygdala blurt our yes and your frontal cortex pay for the tickets! It’s one decision you won’t regret.

WHEN: 11 – 17 February 2019 | 6:30pm


INFO: Tickets $18 – $25 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: M | Content warning: coarse language, sexual references | Note: Performance on Saturday 16th February will be at Teatro in the WOODSIDE PLEASURE GARDEN | COMEDY



FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Underemployment: A Show about Not Enough Work and Way Too Much TV | 5 Stars

Review | Amanda Lancaster & Link Harris

Employment: Use, purpose, the activity in which one engages or employed. An instance of such activity. This show however is a clearly and cleverly a demonstrable instance of the ensuing consequences of those instances of inactivity.

Written and performed by Keren Schlink who made us laugh in Pupperotica: Foreplay, Underemployment: A Show About Not Enough Work and Way Too Much TV is exactly as the title suggests – a show about not being employed and watching way too much TV but it is oh so much more than that.

Think Bridget Jones diary meets a kind of ironic 12 step program and you might be almost in the ball park of just how terrifically funny and self identifying this performance piece will become over the course of this non stop channel hopping 45 minute laugh fest with every member of its audience in some way. So hilarious, charming and talented is our one-woman powerhouse and with such effervescent personality that its hard to remember that this piece was itself created in the face of such unlucky and seemingly ongoing mishaps and misfortune.

Be uplifted by the downward spiral of knowing someone else and in fact numerous someone else’s out there know just what it is like to tread the waters of not the “employment vs unemployment” deep end of the work pool. Empathise in guilty pleasure as the phases of loss of purpose and identity have not only the good, bad and ugly laid out for all to see but also the eccentricities and inanities of exactly how it feels to be human in today’s day and age.

This show will resonate with anyone who has been through unemployment and rigmarole of dealing with Centrelink, applying for jobs, getting rejected from jobs either you are qualified, under-qualified or over qualified for, going to job interviews and your pants being too tight – they fit when you were employed- not to mention the day to day happenings of getting out of bed or being too drunk and binge watching TV in such a clever manner that you will just love this show even if you haven’t had the misfortune to do any of the above.

Not so much a statement about the underemployment of one within the work force but the underemployment of oneself within our own existence to feel useful needed worthy successful and fulfilled in our very own lives

Forget the it could always be worse idiom and instead o yourselves a favour when I tell it could always get better …. just as it does with each and every one of Schlink‘s performances I’ve viewed to date.

If we could give this show a 10 out of 5 we would.

WHEN: 13 – 16 February 2019 | 8:30pm

WHERE: The Windsor Hotel | SOUTH PERTH

INFO: Tickets $15 | Duration 45 mins | Suitable 18 | WA ARTIST | THEATRE/MUSICAL THEATRE



FRINGEWORLD, on now, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2019: Bumble Me Tinders | 4.5 Stars

Review | Peter Spence

Patrick Melton from Las Vegas’s hilarious, naughty and revealing show will have you red in the face from laughter and excitement as Bumble Me Tinders reveals the best, worst and most embarrassing Tinder stories from the audience. Cheesy pick up lines that do and don’t work? You decide. The audience are engaged throughout the whole show, including a “perfect-match” style live SWIPE OFF. Even midweek this show is a sell out and an absolute riot!

Each night a different special guest comedian joins Patrick on stage to roll with the jokes and politely poke fun, with the help of saucy and suave sidekick Chad, deciding on the best and worst pick up lines, you’re likely to ever hear.  *cue air-horns*

Stories from the audience flow as best stories earn liquid rewards and one lucky punter perhaps winning a prize which brings to mind – there’s always time for lubricant!

The vibe is red hot and the audience are entertained to the point of not getting up to refill their drinks, a few dry mouths but a few damp seats.

SWIPE RIGHT for this high energy, riot-risqué – not a dry seat in the house!

4.5/5 right-swipes

WHEN: 18 January – 17 February + 14 February VALENTINE’S SPECIAL! | 8:20pm & 5:00pm

WHERE: Terrace Lounge | Universal Bar | NORTHBRIDGE

INFO: Tickets $21 | Duration 55m | Age suitability: 18+ | Content warning: coarse language, sexual references | COMEDY




FRINGEWORLD 2019: Sian Murphy | Angels’ Share | 5 With Fringe

Sian Murphy is the Public Relations Manager for the brilliantly Scottish play Angels’ Share playing this FRINGEWORLD 2019. She answered our 5 With Fringe questions ahead of their 3 show run.

Describe your show in 3 words: 

Dark, scottish, and spirited!

What is your show all about?

The play follows the adventures of ‘Feints’ and ‘Fallshorts’, two best friends and uniquely Scottish characters who have spent the last 10 years as caretakers of an abandoned Scottish whisky distillery on their remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. One of them is content with life as is, however the other is struggling with his identity and family and feels trapped on the small island.

Their adventure begins when they do the math and work out the value of the whisky they are safe-guarding and start to plan on how they can change their lonely lives on the island…with some dangerous consequences for them and the people they love.

Favourite FRINGEWORLD 2019 hangout?

Our team loves the Pleasure Gardens! It’s super close to Nevermind Smallclub which is we’re Angels’ Share is playing and is a garden of delights. It’s just like a big bar with some of the worlds best entertainment!

What is the best part about FRINGEWORLD 2019?

The broad range of high quality shows on! No matter what mood you’re in there is something for you. Also the way it ignites the city and Perth in general, it’s just buzzing at this time of year!

Apart from your show, what other shows would you recommend?

This is a tough one because there are so many great shows on so we’ll have to list!

* YUCK Circus- was a fantastic show

* Let Me Finish. -If you didn’t get a chance to see this when it sold out at The Blue Room Theatre then definitely get along!

* The Summer Nights Program at the Blue Room in general, but I love DAD and have seen so many good things there this season!

You can get your tickets to Angels’ Share HERE.