ARTICLES

on now, Review

REVIEW | D*ck Pics In The Garden Of Eden | Paradise lost, suburbia found

Review | Laura Money

It’s the oldest story in the book – according to some. Boy meets girl made from his rib. Girl becomes Boy’s personal sex toy. Girl is reprimanded when she begins to pleasure herself and is doomed to live a life of sexual repression while Boy gets to plaster images of his d*ck everywhere. You know, straight out of Genesis. The Last Great Hunt are back with their signature blend of surrealism, hyper-reality, screen mediated hilarity with a poignant thread throbbing underneath. D*ck Pics In The Garden Of Eden sees writer Jeffrey Jay Fowler in top form – biting satire, clever script, and an almost uncanny knack of parodying unpolished theatre and comedy. Every second is acted to perfection and the set, lighting, and sound design as flawless as the costumes. While that sounds like a rather basic review of everything, it’s only because you can’t embellish perfection. This show will have you craving eggplant and biting your lip in satisfaction.

Physical humour and puppetry is played up in the opening sequences and throughout to represent the Garden of Eden – the performers cavort in costumes made from everyday objects – stockings, foam, mattresses. Laughter is embedded into the very fabric of this show, as demonstrated by Maeli Cherel‘s exquisite costuming – Tyrone Earl Lrae Robinson hilariously pokes his head out of a Christmas Tree-esque Tree of Knowledge, complete with face cam, which is hilariously removed in one fell swoop after serving its plot-line purpose. Adam (David Vikman) and Eve (Arielle Gray) wear body stockings with

cartoonish whimsy, each carrying their hilariously oversimplified genitals in their hands. It’s a brilliant move – Fowler captures the playful nature in these naive and childlike characters – Vikman and Gray embody innocence with flawless comic timing. After the fall, we see Adam and Eve played by Ben Sutton and Jo Morris respectively although now they are middle aged and dealing with teenagers. Sutton’s ‘everyman’ schtick is nauseatingly real as the white, privileged literal king of the patriarchy – wheedling with Lilith for her to delete his infidelity-riddled private pics. Morris plays her repressed psychotic breakdown behind the eyes, captured by closeups and writ large behind her onscreen. Every move these characters make is scruitinised as it’s filmed from every angle and projected onto an image of suburbia that sways and almost dissipates as the cloth background wavers – perhaps suburban life isn’t as solid and perfect as we think it is.

Fowler provides a biting social commentary on sexual politics and the destigmatisation of sex. Adam and Eve’s son, Cain (Robinson) fittingly chosen as the slayer of Abel and all-round sinner is very open about his love of sex. He sends d*ck pics in class – setting off a sexual awakening in his substitute teacher which is a whole other thing, delights in pornography, and literally gets in bed with the devil. Robinson’s turn as the debaucherous Cain is inspired. His facial expressions and juxtaposition of hypermasculine posturing and chest muscles complete with He-Man wig, with a feminised wiggle of the hips brings a level of complexity to the character. Something Fowler always nails is multiple character casting – with a costume that represents each character, he explores different aspects and nuances of their personalities. Gray’s Lilith is cool and stand-offish, she expresses her pain in disdain for men and remains impassive when they scream outcries of emotion. When Iya Ware takes on Lilith there is a dynamism not present before – this Lilith channels her anger into creativity and is not afraid to shout in a passionate plea to men to do better. Embedded within the overarching themes of sexuality and oppression – which they manage to make hilarious as well as sad – there are a few references to badly performed comedy and theatre. With the majority of The Last Great Hunt cutting their teeth on the stand-up comedy scene it should come as no shock that they can write a pretty terrible tight five. Chris Isaacs will have you in absolute stitches with his badly written, stiltingly performed routine that manages to be derivative, sexist, homophobic, and a swathe of other insults at the same time. I know a certain 2010s Perth ‘comedian’ whose material about their name being ‘dick’ seemed to be the peak of their talents and seeing Isaacs absolutely nail the parody brings nothing but hilarity. The character turns out to be far more nuanced than his performance and it all comes back to repression. Joanna Tu rounds out the cast as Lulu, Adam and Eve’s rebellious daughter. She wants to act and auditions for Lilith’s one-woman show all about her treatment at the hands of Adam and her subsequent fall. Tu is perfect as she provides a satirical monologue reminiscent of student feminist theatre. Not that Fowler is discrediting either the emerging stand-up comic or youthful, exuberant theatre makers, but Tu’s impassioned monologuing gently ribs proving we all have to start somewhere but no-one said we weren’t allowed to cringe in the audience!

D*ck Pics In The Garden Of Eden is a bizarre and clever commentary on sexuality, and the roles we have created in society. Derived from the rich literary fodder that is Genesis, it explores themes that run deep in a heavily visible society – when d*ck pics sliding into your dms and eggplant emojis are standard and sexual violence normalised to the point of erasure. This is a very important show. It’s also a very funny show – leaning into the kitsch and exaggerating every move like a bad porno, even close-up shots are reminiscent of the genre, every single performer gets the money shot.

D*ck Pics In The Garden Of Eden is playing at Subiaco Arts Centre until 3rd December 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

on now, Review

REVIEW | Oil by Ella Hickson | Love is an infinite resource

Review | Laura Money

Topical and richly layered, Oil by Ella Hickson is the final sweeping epic in Black Swan State Theatre Company‘s 2022 season, and it is a beacon of light in the Perth theatre scene. Ella Hickson writes boldly and with heart – Oil runs through as a theme at times subtly, and at others at the forefront of the piece. Hickson’s style is ambitious – she paints with big strokes and bright colours to create strong, sharp scenes. Hurtling through time from a family in Cornwall seeing an oil lamp for the first time through conflict and energy crises to the inevitable arrival of new technologies, Oil sees the many manifestations of May (Hayley Mcelhinney) exploring themes of love and loss, sustainability and identity. Expertly directed by Adam Mitchell and Scott McArdle (assistant director), who take the scope of the play and mould it around a stunningly impressive set, Oil by Ella Hickson is a pertinent show with relevant themes and a gutsy message of hope.

Zoe Atkinson‘s sets are always impressive but this time the bar has been raised. An impressive array of eras and places are deftly brought to life with her attention to detail. Beginning with a run down farmer’s cottage complete with woodblock and coming full circle with the modernisation of the same set – its starkness mirroring the characters’ despair. There is the richness of a turn of the century exotic homestead in Tehran full of opulent tessellating designs and Imperialism, and a simply stunning 70s British kitchen with appliances that light up. Each section is an insight into the people and their story must be told instantly – Atkinson provides every detail to give an instant precis of the characters and their situations. Hickson uses May as an anchor character – from new pregnancy in rural Cornwall to single mother in Persia and beyond, May and Amy appear as threads throughout the work – vestiges of the past that echo through time. Atkinson uses red to symbolise the essence of May – her scarlet dress evolving from Victorian modesty to 70s wraparound to 2000s girlboss suit. It’s a clever way to indicate that these characters have the same spirit whilst placing them firmly in the time and place that their segment requires.

There’s so much packed into this play – much like oil itself, a little bit can go a long way. Mcelhinney’s May is punchy and spirited throughout, yet there seems to be an insatiable desire that on occasion comes out. Her husband Joss (Michael Abercromby) poetically describes her as a woman walking, walking, and walking. He delivers a poem at every transition that encompasses the restlessness of May – Irish lilt perfect for the narrative. May’s story is our story. Every iteration of her sees her fascinated by the Pandora’s box that is oil and technology. Mcelhinney gives Cornwall May a husky tone that exposes her raw ambition – her desire to be more to want more than just living hand to mouth. A little charmed at first by American travelling salesman William Whitcomb – played with all the charm and sleaze required by Will Bastow, May comes across as a bit selfish and stuck up – she doesn’t embody the hard working lifestyle of her extended family. This changes when her pregnancy is revealed – why shouldn’t May want a better life for her baby? Subsequent iterations of May see her grow and thrive as a confident, strong woman – quite stubborn, yet always thinking of her daughter. Mcelhinney has brilliant comic timing – there are absolutely riotous scenes where she doesn’t batter an eyelid – delivering quips in a deadpan tone that proves her acting prowess. The final scene is an absurdist postmodern stripping back of theatre. Mcelhinney shouts like a character straight out of Samuel Beckett and gives cantankerous yet vague commentary from deep within her red parka.

On one level Oil is about oil, its initial, revolutionary properties, the political battles fought to control its sources, the physical skirmishes, and the misuse of it. The destruction oil has caused and the grand social impact it has had on every single life. But these commentaries are undercurrents in a family story that explores feminism and ways to be women. From Violette Ayad‘s portrayal of women of colour to Abbey Morgan growing and finally finding her autonomy as a single woman as Amy, the plight of women is explored from all angles. Ayad in Tehran is distrusted by the English, and jealously mistreated as she is seen as favoured by the young Amy. A later vignette sees the pair reunited as friends, however while Amy is merely playing at conflict, Aminah passionately explains that she doesn’t have a choice. The 70s sees the rift between May and Amy crack and divide – unable to be fully reconciled down the generations. Amy, a hippy riles up her mother, this time a big executive in a oil company. Their back and forth appears light at first, but Hickson is the master of the double meaning. Discussing ice-cream and boyfriends gets just as heated as large corporations and war. Mcelhinney gives a death stare like no other – May tells it straight and gives some damn good advice to boot. Morgan’s Amy physically distorts herself to get out her frustrations, lashing out violently but in the end, May doesn’t hold back and tells Amy that she has so much potential – don’t waste it on anyone else.

Oil by Ella Hickson is a brilliant work that takes something that should be at the forefront of our collective minds and keeps it steadily there – pulsing throughout every section. It’s scope is epic – Imperialist Iran, power crises UK, war-torn Syria and beyond with more than just these historical eras explored but their derivative genres as well. Hickson is a genius – each era references theatre styles that relate to it, something Mitchell’s direction embraces fully. From Chekhov-style struggles to Bernard-Shaw Imperialism, even kitchen sink dramas of the 70s and an Ender’s Game reference that brings it all back full circle, Oil by Ella Hickson is a show for theatre-lovers. It’s also completely its own thing, creating an entirely new way of presenting theatre whilst standing high on the platform of its predecessors – and if that’s not a metaphor for oil itself, then I don’t know what is.

Oil by Ella Hickson is on at The State Theatre Centre of WA until 27th November 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Past Production, Review

REVIEW | SITU-8: CITY | Nostalgia and revival combine

Review | Laura Money

Picture this: the sun is setting and you’re lining up outside your favourite theatre to see a movie. You can smell the popcorn, feel the excitement rise as you mount the stairs and hear the music drifting above your head. But something is wrong – the candy bar lies empty and cold, the stairs creak underfoot and the music is a creepy remnant of an abandoned theatre’s last ditch attempt to revive: Mr Demille, The Liberty Theatre is ready for its close-up. STRUT Dance and TURA are no strangers to site-specific works. They are both masters of utilising spaces in ways others wouldn’t dream of. In yet another year of SITU-8, this iteration CITY sees STRUT revamp the old Liberty Theatre – a gold rush era building that twists and turns with surprises and stories. After laying abandoned for 25 years, SITU-8: CITY inhabits every corner of this beautiful home of cinema. It’s a visceral plunge into a bygone era that explores body horror and the avatars we project our inner selves onto up there on the silver screen. Enter a haunting vestige of times gone by and be entertained again by this invigoratingly new yet nostalgic show.

Entering through a laneway, almost keeping the secrets of this stunning building to ourselves for just one more look, the empty cinema room stands – a mere shadow of its glory days. Inside the vast hall, exposed beams bear witness to Demake/Demaster a physical performance that combines found footage from cinema history and special effects to create a weird hybrid of body and screen. Questioning what it means to be a body and what occurs when we capture those bodies on screen, the piece provides a literal feedback loop as our screen mediated society is scrutinised in a chicken and egg scenario. Above and behind the scenes is the old projector box. This time, it’s Antonio Rinaldi in The Melody Haunts My Reverie which sees Rinaldi lip sync to old sound grabs from films. Adjacent to the first piece, Rinaldi provides a camp, drag-like performance with mannerisms reminiscent of the divas – Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn. The sound bytes are haunting, like being in the middle of a dream and hearing the phone ring – it’s unnerving in the most delicious of ways. In between stage and projector comes La Dolente, a powerful spoken word and madrigal that explores notions of the female figure in fiction. What does the femme fatale say about cinema? Talitha Maslin explores the subtext of cinematic portrayals of women in an unflinching physical performance that sees the women up close and personal – weaving their truth throughout the audience, this time without the screen as a barrier. It’s a film studies class in the form of a feminist physical rending of heart and soul.

The set-up is clear: one big performance and then multiple vignette pieces to stumble upon once given free reign of The Liberty Theatre. This means that some things may not be seen but that’s just a great excuse to come back! There’s a futuristic piece reminiscent of Alien and Predator that thrusts you into the sci-fi genre and delves into the world of man and machine hybrids. The candy bar comes back to life as the figures of jaunty 1920s bathers peel themselves off the wall and move to a 1980s synthesised soundtrack that is jarringly whimsical and nostalgic, and all of these pieces combine to witness Mercury Bones which addresses identity and themes of intimacy, feelings which are usually evoked by cinematic experiences. SITU-8: CITY provides that delightful frisson between nostalgia and haunting. Every piece transports you to the world of film but digs deeper, exploring notions of celebrity, editing one’s persona, influence, and identity. It’s a pastiche of hyperreality, the transience of film, portrayals, and even just different eras and in that, SITU8: CITY sidesteps reality in the cocoon of The Liberty Theatre – as the world bustles around us on a busy city night, we escape together.

SITU-8: CITY played at The Liberty Theatre, Perth 1-11 November 2022. See what TURA and STRUT are doing in 2023.

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Review

REVIEW | You’re So Brave | Health and political upheaval explored

Review | Laura Money

You’re So Brave is writer/performer Georgi Ivers‘ memoir performance piece reflecting on her time as a Youth Ambassador to Hong Kong and how chronic pain and disease has affected her homecoming. Recounting her experiences from diagnosis to travel, and finding her place in the world, Ivers takes us on a nonlinear journey through her most intimate feelings. Accompanied by an intricate and clever set designed by Adelaide Harney, Ivers bends and shifts her memories into funny anecdotes and heartbreaking vignettes that reflect the huge feelings circulating a semi-broken body.

Bamboo themes permeate this work – from the silk and bamboo structure housing projections and providing a little intimacy for Georgi, (she reveals so much of herself it feels too formal to refer to her by surname) to the condition she suffers – bamboo spine. Georgi’s gentle nod to the condition that is always present through clever reminders is subtly and intelligently achieved. Vacillating between memory and motion, Georgi traces her personal history of pain and intertwines it with the political upheaval of her contemporaries in Hong Kong. As she struggled with her body attacking her, her counterparts struggled against authoritarian bodies. For Georgi, finding her feet meant finding the pole – enrolling in pole dancing classes, Georgi transcends the pain and moves elegantly and freely. Gifting the audience with a lesson in pole, Georgi’s life experiences culminate in the getting of wisdom – in acceptance and love of one’s flaws. She is every bit the fighter, which ironically makes her so brave.

Georgi Ivers gives a brave performance – she displays her bravery by exposing herself and baring her soul. It’s a delightful show that proves age is nothing compared to experience.

You’re So Brave is on at The Blue Room Theatre until 29th October 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Review

REVIEW | Homeward Bound | Exploring inner space and isolation

Review | Laura Money

Have you ever looked at migratory birds and wondered how they know how to do it – like really know how to fly halfway across the world and then get back home to the exact same spot? The notion of homing and drifting is explored alongside isolation and humanity in Isaac Diamond‘s Homeward Bound. Diamond takes his fascination for ‘the incredible intelligence of animals and the awesome absurdity of people’ and creates a show where these elements merge and assist each other in a symbiosis of thoughts. Deeply philosophical, at once human and primal, Homeward Bound is a moving work that examines the importance of community in human identity.

Featuring a strikingly simple set designed by James McMillan in collaboration with lighting designer Rhiannon Petersen, The Blue Room Theatre‘s Main Space is transformed into a space ship. Strips of light form a hull as they are activated representing energy surges and create a visual frame for the action. Petersen’s lighting works in concert with a pared back, futuristic soundscape by composer and sound designer Rachael Dease. When Diamond wakes up from deep sleep alone and must navigate his newfound isolation with very little hope of ever seeing Earth again, the lights pulse and throb around him. As he enters strange dream-like hallucinations where he reimagines his past a surreal soundtrack and weak lighting contribute to this disturbia. But Diamond isn’t really alone. Kylie Bywaters plays the personification of the ship’s computer and does so with an infectious cheerfulness and humanity not usually present in AI.

Diamond’s unravelling is perfection. He vacillates between upbeat and energetic to morose and paranoid. Each time he lapses into a past memory, it behaves like a lucid dream. Twisting and turning in slow motion, Diamond embodies the very birds he needs to channel in order to discover the secret to going home. These moments display his mental breakdown but also his only hope of rescue – morphing and changing in a body horror-stricken dance symbolising the next stage of human evolution. Diamond’s script proves that all human ingenuity has its roots in nature. We learn from animals and each time we use a technology derived from them (velcro for example) we strengthen the bond between us and the rest of the animal kingdom. In this case, the technology that allows for hibernation makes us closer to animals, and the computer technology that Bywaters represents pulls her closer to Diamond. Bywaters plays it factual and robotic, yet there is a warmth and humanity that shines through. Diamond’s Perry receives more kindness and love from her than his dream mother – which is a bold statement on what humans need for comfort.

Homeward Bound is a down to earth play about humanity and community. It may feel like this story is detached but dig a little deeper at its philosophies of interconnectedness and identity. With a strong team of brilliant theatre-makers behind it, this show hits home.

Homeward Bound is playing at The Blue Room Theatre until 22nd October 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

AWESOME FESTIVAL, Review

AWESOME FESTIVAL 2022 | The Whale’s Tale | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Did you know there’s a whale in the Museum? No, not the bony one! Another whale washed up and sick. The Whale’s Tale sees our intrepid Navigator investigate why the whale is sick and how we can help. Enlisting the help of Dr Walrus – a flatulent but kind Dr – the pair try everything to make the whale well again.

Through puppetry, whimsical costumes, and hilarious interactions with the audience the crew from Born In A Taxi Collective really get you thinking. The Navigator is hilarious and her voice quirky and tailored to an audience full of kids. Dr Walrus has everyone in stitches with his antis and the Shark makes a hilarious 180 degree turn, delighting the crowd.

The Whale’s Tale is a thought-provoking show that enlists the youth of today in the fight against plastic – enthusiastically rallying everyone to do better.

The Whale’s Tale is on at Boola Bardip WA Museum until 1st October 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

AWESOME FESTIVAL, Review

AWESOME FESTIVAL 2022 | Hutan | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

We are all here in the forest. Hutan is a felt and puppet recreation of a Singaporean forest, complete with animals, rain, and leafy canopies. Children are encouraged to explore through gentle play and a series of dances and music that capture the senses and prove that the forest is a beautiful and fascinating place.

This show is the definition of inclusive – each child (and some adults!) are given a name label and welcomed by name into the forest with a welcome song. The music is gentle but reflective of different elements of the forest – getting louder and more rhythmic with the rain and the gibbons, and softer with sunrise. There are puppets to discover and interact with, each animal bringing a different energy to the forest scape.

As Hutan draws to a close, everyone feels a sense of wholeness and wellbeing that nature can gift. It’s a gentle exploration of a unique place that will remain in your heart.

Hutan – A Sensory Forest Adventure is on at Boola Bardip, WA Museum until 1st October 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

AWESOME FESTIVAL, Review

AWESOME FESTIVAL 2022 | Dreams of a Lonely Planet | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Flying Bicycle Collective are the quirky new children’s theatre group bringing whimsical and beautiful theatre to children and the young at heart. Dreams of a Lonely Planet is a joy to watch, taking imagination and yearning and wrapping them up in a warm hug of a show.

The three characters – all seeking adventure with a desire to explore – magically travel from planet to planet, fish for stars and fall in love with lamps and more. With fun costumes and a vintage soundtrack, this gentle show looks and feels as beautiful as a silent film and features more than a few nods to this genre – in particular the stunning costuming and design of Georges Melies moon films.

Adventures akin to those of The Little Prince unfold through short vignettes that engage and delight the audience. Dreams of a Lonely Planet is a gentle break from reality that takes adventure into its natural dreamlike state.

Dreams of a Lonely Planet is on at The Blue Room Theatre until 1st October 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

AWESOME FESTIVAL, In Brief

AWESOME FOURSOME | Rob Kronk: We Live Here

Interview | Laura Money

Rob Kronk is the Director of Flipside Circus and co-Director of We Live Here, a physical performance that gives a voice to people from Hummingbird House. We asked Rob our Awesome Foursome questions to see what it’s all about.

What is your show about?

The stories of children and families at Hummingbird House. The show is a celebration of life and the power of creating and sharing memories. 

Favourite part of the show, no spoilers!

I have lots of favourite bits of the show – I love Mum’s to do list which is a scene that gives us a window into the life of a parent who’s also a carer, and the swimming routine where we get to create an entire, very silly, synchronised swimming routine, it’s a lot of fun. Our acrobats had to create the freedom of swimming – without any actual water. 

What do you love about performing for children?

I love how honest young audiences are. If they love something they will tell you, they really love it. And if they don’t they will definitely tell you. 

Describe your show in four awesome words:

Moving. Inspiring. Funny. Joyous. 

You can catch We Live Here as part of AWESOME ARTS FESTIVAL at STCWA until 30th September 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

AWESOME FESTIVAL, Review

AWESOME FESTIVAL 2022 | We Live Here | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

We Live Here is a stripped back and beautiful homage to the people of Hummingbird House – a youth hospice that provides a comforting and warm home for families undergoing medical treatment. Presented by Flipside Circus and Circus WA, the show is a gorgeous representation of courage and love.

Featuring voiceovers and a thrumming soundtrack, We Live Here sees the physicality of Hummingbird House. From joyful play to the breakdown of time in a day, each sequence reflects the memoirs of its inhabitants – past and present. There is a stunning sequence where a mother outlines her day, physically holding up every other member to f the troupe with grace and strength. There’s laughter and pure goofiness in a touching date sequence and synchronised swimming.

Each vignette has a depth to it, the acrobatics are impressive but so is the story being told. We Live Here is a must-see this Awesome Festival.

We Live Here is on at STCWA until Friday 30th September 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

AWESOME FESTIVAL, Review

AWESOME FESTIVAL 2022 | Creation Creation | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Windmill Theatre Company present the big questions – and some of the answers in the fun and chaotic Creation Creation. Dressed in lab jumpsuits, surrounded by various white cardboard objects the two crash test dummies set out to answer life’s burning questions. Voiceovers of community members provide the narration as they ask and answer the queries of people aged between 8 and 102!

It’s fun and genuinely hilarious. The topics tackled are big – how did the world begin? Where do babies come from? Can you lick your elbow? (We’re yet to answer the last question in the affirmative though not from lack of trying) Our intrepid testers are so funny together as they physically demonstrate how things work in a creative blend of physical theatre, puppetry, and props that would easily fit in on the set of Play School.

What’s refreshing about this show is it’s not a lecture – all the answers provided are from the same people asking questions. It’s great to see several options for how the earth got started instead of just a scientific explanation and then a Judeo-Christian perspective. The diversity and inclusive element to the show is heartwarming.

Creation Creation is the big show to see this Awesome Festival but it’s really just a small show with a big heart. You will leave with a smile on your face and so many conversation starters, this show will continue to entertain long after you’ve left the theatre.

Creation Creation is on at the STCWA until Saturday 1st October 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

AWESOME FESTIVAL, Review

AWESOME FESTIVAL 2022 | Seashore | 3 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Seashore is an immersive experience for children under three to make believe and move to the natural rhythms of the seaside. Presented by Sally Chance Dance, the room is deftly transformed into a gentle beach through chalk lines and a rainmaker.

Children and their parents/carers move in harmony with one another to complete the immersion. Chance begins by encouraging each child to pick up a shell and listen to the whooshing ocean inside. Each gentle movement and lulling guitar recreates the playful nature and harmonious seascape.

Chance has thoughtfully integrated children’s curiosity with a guiding adult hand, encouraging intergenerational play, however it’s not as inclusive as it claims to be. This work was developed with and presented by the family groups on stage and whilst ticket holders are encouraged to get up on stage, in practice they are not interacted with sufficiently to foster a sense of inclusion.

Seashore speaks to those who enjoy gentle play and thriving imaginations. Go and enjoy – you won’t even get your feet wet.

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Review

REVIEW | GLORIA | A mesmerising night of movement and sound

Review | Emma Brand

GLORIA by Douglas Wright after VIVALDI brings vitality and movement to the stage. It is a visual and auditory feast for the senses. Douglas Wright (1956-2018), who is considered one of New Zealand’s most consequential artists in the contemporary dance space, originally brought GLORIA to life in 1990. Over the following seven years, GLORIA saw several return seasons in New Zealand and internationally.

Artistic director of Co3, Raewyn Hill honours the past achievements of Wright in her presentation of GLORIA, as Wright honoured the past achievements of Vivaldi’s work. It is an incredible achievement and evident of Hill’s vision for Co3 that this performance graces the WA stage. Co3 Contemporary Dance Australia is joined by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and St George’s Cathedral Consort, conducted by Dr. Joseph Nolan.

The staging does not hide the orchestra or consorts, with soloists being highlighted on stage throughout the performance. This is of note, as this Perth season, hosted at the Heath Ledger Theatre, is the first instance that GLORIA has been performed with live music and accompanying voices from consort. The talent and successful merging of dancers, live music and consort provide an exceptional theatrical experience not to be missed! It is hard to fault a performance where a collaborative process has been so well presented.

The choreography feels natural and embedded in the music. Vivaldi’s work Gloria is the foundation and inspiration of Wright’s piece. Wrights honoured its namesake, by utilising its twelve short movements to encapsulate the emotional highs and the sombre lows with the movement and vitality of its dancers. Executed to precision, Co3 move in harmony with the music, observing its constantly changing pace and mood.

Curtain Raiser: A Trio is performed as a stand-alone work presented at the beginning of the evening. Performed by Co3 artistic director Raewyn Hill and artistic director of LINK Dance Company at WAAPA, Michael Whaites. It is tied together by the accompaniment of Bach’s Partita for Solo Violin No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 104:V performed by the incredible Laurence Jackson, concertmaster of WASO. Jackson’s accompaniment shines as he is afforded the same spotlight as dancers Hill and Whaites. It is the physical presence of Jackson on stage that reminds us, the audience, that performance is a collaborative moment between both dancer and musician. A trio is aptly named, as each artist works in unison to create a composition that provides a visual exhibit for the audience. It is a well-matched performance to prelude GLORIA, as it pulls the audience focus onto the stage.

Co3, WA Symphony Orchestra and St George’s Cathedral Consort collaboration make this an exception presentation of the thirty-year-old work GLORIA. It is a performance not to be ignored!

GLORIA is on at the STCWA until 18th September 2022. TICKETS

GLORIA by Douglas Wright (2022) Co3 Contemporary Dance.  Photo: Shotweiler Photography

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Review

REVIEW | BLUE/ORANGE | A gritty, psychological thriller at its best

Review | Laura Money

Social commentary and psychology collide in Theatre 180’s latest offering, BLUE/ORANGE written by Joe Penhall. The gritty three-hander pits old school and new against one another in a brutal game of chess with an innocent patient as the pawn. Expertly directed by Stuart Halusz, the tension remains high throughout and will leave you questioning where you stand.

Jarryd Dobson begins the piece – a young psychiatrist analysing a patient. He seems caring, concerned and capable. Christopher – portrayed by newcomer Tinashe Mangwana, is unstable. Instantly likeable, he paces the stage with a manic, unpredictable energy. Mangwana embodies the disenfranchised minorities of Britain. He is at once friendly and intimidating. Dobson’s Bruce can’t help but try to help him. Dobson comes across as a bit officious but ultimately just a bit of a dork trying to understand his patient. Witty exchanges ensue and you find yourself wrapped up in the banter.

After some passionate dialogue, written with just the right amount of tension to keep you on edge, Robert the senior psychiatrist enters to observe Bruce in action. Things rapidly speed out of control as Andrew Lewis as Robert cannot contain his duplicity. What follows is a manipulation worthy of a very slick psychological brain. Lewis turns on his sinister charm in a slick and silken voice with subdued mannerisms. As tensions rise, Dobson becomes unravelled almost matching Mangwana as he attempts to regain control.

BLUE/ORANGE is important theatre. It addresses race and mental illness in turn of the century, pre-Brexit Britain but is no less punchy for it. The script is sharp and honed to perfection, the characters are complex and multifaceted, and Theatre 180 play everything to precision. Featuring a raised platform, this in the round perspective forces the audience to see every angle. With interrogation like lighting there is nowhere to hide from your opinions, throwing these important issues kicking and screaming into the spotlight.

BLUE/ORANGE is on at Burt Memorial Hall until 3rd September 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Review

REVIEW | Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All | A twisty post-apocalyptic drama

Review | Laura Money

Beyond The Yard Theatre tackle a theatrical escape room in their one-room drama, Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All – a clever title tat alludes to not only an apocalyptic setting but the caving in of the characters’ realities. Entering The Blue Room Theatre‘s Studio space through the thick bunker doors, the set designed by Owen Davis is dramatic and complex. Featuring curved walls and bunk beds, every bit of the structure feels legitimately like being in a bunker at the end of the world. Set against the backdrop of a mysterious virus and apocalyptic conditions, Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All deals with family dynamics, nostalgia, and human nature in a pressurised situation.

At the heart of this show is a family drama – full of secrets, lies, and complex familial relationships. Strip away the bunker, the end of the world, the rationing and Virus X and it distils into a family who is distrustful of one another, yet wholly supportive at the same time. Writer Terence Smith has clearly taken some cues from childhood and coming of age, as Marcus (Liam Longley) doesn’t need the trappings of the bunker to tell his story. For him, it’s all about latent sexual awakenings, identity, and exploring his sexuality – culminating in acceptance. Trapped in the bunker underground for five years with his older sisters, Marcus enjoys a gay baptism by fire in the pressure-cooker situation that takes a normal queer teenager and heightens every element of his life. Longley perhaps plays Marcus a bit too naive, at times he comes across as babyish – the character does suffer from arrested development being trapped in a bunker for his teen years, but he was still not that young when he went in.

The entire aesthetic is a chaotic pastiche of nostalgia, from the Bowie records and vintage 80s and 90s stars adorning the walls to the obsession with Labyrinth and playing Monopoly (a perfect metaphor, as I don’t think I know any family who comes out of Monopoly unscathed) combined with glitchy video diaries of the character’s thoughts, everything looks like it’s yearning for a world pre pandemic. This is typical of Gen Z’s obsession with Millennials’ era (Friends is my favourite tv show, anyone?) but plays into the definition of nostalgia – the past is a foreign country and you can’t go back. Anyway, this millennial loved the vibe! In all honesty, the videos could be dropped, they don’t serve the plot and are seemingly in real time so don’t really help much. They would be much better if they were filmed after the events and were being replayed throughout but I understand why this can’t happen.

Holly (Bubble Maynard) does a great job of keeping everyone together. It is only when she loses the plot so too does everyone else. Maynard is a great performer, her portrayal of Holly is self-assured and strong – she’s a great character. As the tensions rise, however she does lose momentum and if she only explained herself a lot of heartache could be avoided. Carrie (Bianca Roose) is a typical younger sister – her energy knows no bounds. Always trying to prove herself, it’s interesting to see how often she still defers to Holly. Roose contains Carrie’s energy well, only unleashing the crazy in certain scenes. And then along comes Rich (Joe Haworth) swaggering into the piece like every YA novel cocksure antihero love interest ever written. His character is perhaps the most trite but played brilliantly by Haworth – if you want to get up and slap him, he’s doing a great job!

The conclusion of Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All is a bit anti-climactic – the stakes could have been higher and the reasoning behind all the character’s actions bigger. Then again, the fact that is was really at the heart of the matter about family and the drama is contained within that framework is a clever snub to the environment, proving that despite how bad the world gets, it’s the issues that are close to home that are worth fighting for. Interpret the show either way, but you will definitely be entertained no matter what.

Trust Me, It’s The End Of Our World After All is on at The Blue Room Theatre until 3rd September 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Review

REVIEW | The Glass Menagerie | American fragility on show

Review | Laura Money

Tennessee Williams‘ timeless classic is a humble jewel in the opulent crown of His Majesty’s Theatre. The nostalgic piece shines at the helm of Director Clare Watson, keeping things classy yet hauntingly whimsical. The Glass Menagerie is restrained and poised, yet an energy burns underneath it – at times contained and at others bubbling over through heated expression. Every single performer in this small cast is at the top of their game and it is an absolute privilege to watch this intimate play from a bygone era, set in a period of transition. As the world around them churns and changes, the characters in Williams’ world remain fragile and still – afraid to move for fear of breaking.

Staging The Glass Menagerie in His Majesty’s Theatre is a brilliant move. The play itself speaks to a loss of wealth and nostalgia for the character’s heydays. Tom Wingfield (Joel Jackson) frames the piece as the theatre does – he openly describes the play as a ‘memory’ – immediately rendering the whole thing with a hint of rose-coloured glasses. The set and costumes designed by Fiona Bruce reflect this idea of memory as a character with their somewhat shabby coats and old furniture clinging on for dear life. It is not overt, the dining table and lounge furniture look quite nice but there is the distinct impression that once they are worn out there will be nothing to replace them. Bruce instictively breathes life into the characters with her clever costuming – from Laura’s (Acacia Daken) mousy and unassuming attire to Amanda’s (Mandy McElhinney) fancy nightwear hidden under a housecoat. Her dreams and desires are hidden just under the surface but flashes of them appear.

Accompanied by the gentle tinkling of composer and pianist Tom O’Halloran and projections by Michael Carmody the whole thing has a surreal vibe to it. At times the keys of the piano – hidden behind scrim at the back of a stage and ever present – provide the soundtrack of the past and at others represent the fragility of the glass both literally and figuratively. The projections provide emphasis on important points and serve to create a collective image that cements the idea of nostalgia. Tennessee Williams, inspired by the movies, always intended to use film in his staging and now in the twenty-first century mixed media brings the whole thing together. The music and projections add a frisson that ripples throughout the audience every time the gentleman caller is mentioned.

The Glass Menagerie is about a terribly shy girl, Laura, who only wishes to spend her days caring for her collection of glass animals. Her brother Tom, who wishes to escape but is the main breadwinner for the family, and then there’s the mother, Amanda. With an absent father figure, Amanda is presence enough for both. McElhinney shines as the aging southern belle, she is overbearing and dramatic, yet there is a sympathy there – desperately clinging on to her faded youth she casts her lifeboat adrift with Laura in it. Of course, we are only seeing Tom’s memory of the events so McElhinney’s Amanda is able to shift and erratically jump about from drama queen to sad and broken. Perhaps the saddest moment comes when Laura’s arranged gentleman caller finally arrives for dinner. Jim O’Connor (Jake Fryer-Hornsby) charms everyone in the family, including Tom which is why he views his mother’s attempts at seduction as being far more overt than they probably were. Emerging triumphant in an early 1910s dress from her youth, Amanda flounces about and McHelliney plays it as though she is regressing, collapsing in giggles. Even in such a prone position, Amanda is formidable. It is her unpredictability that gives her power.

Bruce’s clever costume designs shine here as Daken’s Laura emerges like an awkward butterfly in a gossamer dress – becoming one of her own beloved glass figures. Fryer-Hornsby and Daken have genuine chemistry and their conversation, though initially cringeworthy, evolves into a coming together of two minds. Once again, this is Tom’s memory of events so it’s complete fantasy, as he wouldn’t have been aware of the conversation between them. His imagination sees Laura graceful and confident, Jim as charming and kind. When everything inevitably goes wrong, Daken’s stiffened demeanour and McElhinney’s over the top physical theatrics serve to firmly stamp this play as it’s own fragile menagerie of glass memories.

The Glass Menagerie is on at His Majesty’s Theatre until 21st August 2022. TICKETS

Acacia Daken and Joel Jackson as Laura and Tom. Image Daniel J. Grant

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022.

Review

REVIEW | WALK | Immersive choreography across a stunning dreamscape

Review | Laura Money

Described as an immersive, dreamlike experience WALK embodies this from the outset. The Blue Room Theatre production takes you through a stunning dreamscape designed by Opie Robinson – floating amongst clouds and shedding the reality of the world behind as you find a place in Bobby Russell‘s unique consciousness. If that sounds dramatic, it’s because the pure theatricality of WALK sets you up for the immersive and adrenaline-fuelled experience you are about to witness. The set proper looms in semi darkness. Huge structures reaching the ceiling and spreading across the floor of mismatched swatches of fabrics paired with a low throbbing soundtrack by Peter McAvan puts you on edge, bristled with anticipation.

There is tension at the start of the piece – sitting in the dim light, the set appears to move in an optical illusion worthy of a dream, and the constant thrum adopts an almost heartbeat rhythm. Just as you’re falling under a flash of light dazzles you and Joe Lui‘s brilliant lighting design hits over and over. Each flash gives you a glimpse of Russell as they move from state to state throughout their own personal dreamscape. Bathed in green, pulsing light Russell moves through the set to a McAvan’s simple yet effective music. They move as if finding their feet, crawling and clawing in a primeval struggle to exist. Russell walks through their own evolution – at times struggling, at times battle-scarred and triumphant – taking us through the very formation of self and the world to medieval constructs of bravery, and ending with the rebirth of the century.

WALK ends in a celebration of self. Russell leans in to the kitsch and pure joy to be had bopping around in your bedroom lip syncing to a tuuuuune. Free of the shackles and restraints they needed to be held back by to reach this point, they release themselves in a celebration of self and victory. The nightmare may be over, but WALK is a candid exploration of how every part of ourselves – the good, the bad, the easy and the hard – culminate in our sense of self. Identity is a murky journey and this work proves you must WALK before you can run.

You can catch WALK at The Blue Room Theatre until 30th July 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Interview

IN CONVERSATION | Acacia Daken | The Glass Menagerie

Interview | Laura Money

Acacia Daken is a stage and screen actor who has been working in the UK after being accepted into the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Daken is performing in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s upcoming production of The Glass Menagerie a timeless classic written by Tennessee Williams. We asked Daken five questions ahead of the show to see what it’s all about.

What is your character, Laura Wingfield like?

Laura is deeply traumatised. She suffered a terrible illness as a young child, which left her with a physical impairment, but it is her ongoing anxiety which leaves her truly crippled. She is a deeply caring soul who values sincerity, and if only someone truly saw her – she would have the chance to shine for who she is.

Why is The Glass Menagerie still a pertinent play in 2022?

We are at a time where it feels like we are going backwards in the world – rights are being taken away, the cost of living is high, people are suffering. This play reflects the inner world and mess of a family, struggling with all these issues. The relationships are eerily familiar as the characters navigate ambitions, dreams, personal conflicts and the physical limitations of the reality they live in. 

Favourite moment on stage?

Any time I’m on stage with Mandy McElhinney. And Laura’s journey in scene 7 is a gift!

Apart from The Glass Menagerie what is your favourite piece of mid-century theatre and why?

I have to stay in the land of Tennessee and say A Streetcar Named Desire. The richness of the language and the characters is an actor’s dream and I hope to one day do the show professionally. 

Describe the play in 3 words:

Poetic, haunting love

You can catch all the drama at His Majesty’s Theatre from 2nd – 21st August 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Review

REVIEW | Cicada | It’s never too late to embrace life

Review | Laura Money

Barking Gecko Theatre are on the top of their game with this beautiful adaptation of Shaun Tan’s book Cicada. The intimate interpretation sees the little Cicada puppet manipulated by Tim Watts with additional puppetry provided by Arielle Gray as he navigates his tiny world. Cicada takes to his miniature stage and learns to outgrow the confines of his little existence.

Watts and Gray have fantastic chemistry – their playful banter in the beginning and in hilarious mini interludes, interacting with the audience. Chloe Ogilvie brings Cicada’s world intimate with innovative lighting design that cleverly creates the slightly oppressive shadows from office blinds and windows to a gentle glow from a monotonous television. Combined with a magical sounding composition by Jonathon Jie Hong Yang the charming Cicada’s world appears to close in on him.

Cicada is a charming little tale of change and renewal. The hilarious extra commentary added into the script a blistering indictment on greed, and an important lesson in living in the moment. Gray and Watts imbue a humble humanity to the endearing little fellow and his ultimate transcendence is beautifully done. It’s an absolute gem of a show that will linger every time you hear insects sing.

Cicada is on at the State Theatre WA until Saturday 6th August 2022. TICKETS

Regional Tour 2022:

Koorliny Arts Centre (Kwinana) 16 – 19 August

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre 23 – 24 August

Harvey Recreation and Cultural Centre 26 – 27 August

Queens Park Theatre (Geraldton) 31 Aug – 1 September

Broome Civic Centre 8-9 September

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Review

REVIEW | Once | A dynamic, whimsical musical meditation on love and passion

Review | Laura Money

I don’t know you, but I want you all the more for that

So begins the signature song from Once – a stunning duet called ‘Falling Slowly’ that features poignantly throughout, perfectly placed for maximum effect. It is the feature piece of a strong musical score, written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova with book by Enda Walsh. This multi-Tony Award winning show is beautifully realised by Black Swan State Theatre Company in collaboration with Darlinghurst Theatre Company and is a whirlwind of music and passion that shines from a vibrant cast. Once is deftly directed by Richard Carroll – the whole stage bursts with the dynamic energy of Carroll’s direction and musical direction by Victoria Falconer who leads from the stage. It’s full of energy and vibrancy as movement director Amy Campbell captures the lively energy of the Celtic score and literally brings each note to life – fizzing and bursting in the air.

On the surface, Once is a love story with a stunning score but its deep connection to music with a fully collaborative ensemble, the relatively short time we spend with the characters reveals it to be about passions lifting and weaving patterns along with the music that doesn’t merely serve as accompaniment but is embedded throughout every element of the show. Bursting onto the stage and leaping on tables, rollerskating, and dancing exuberantly the entire cast play instruments and their movement is like watching a musical score’s notes leap from the page to create a dynamism that makes it difficult to know where to look. The set is the only part of the show that is static, designed by Hugh O’Connor it consists of a pub, music store, dingy bedroom, crowded share house, bank office, recording studio, and vacuum repair shop among other things! O’Connor creates the perfect base of wood panels and furniture that are moved about as needed – not just shuffled by a stage hand but thrown and slid and passed in time to the music by the talented cast who make every scene-change an exciting guessing game of how innovatively the objects can be used.

Guy (Toby Francis), Dublin born and bred is suffering in the throes of heartache. He sings a tortured number at a small pub and then rejects his guitar wholesale before being confronted by Girl (Stefanie Caccomo) – a bold and forthright woman who bluntly saves him by focusing on the music that is so integral to both their beings. Francis plays the confused figure perfectly – he begins stand-offishly and confused by the attention he’s suddenly receiving but it is obvious that his passion for music is part of his soul. Encouraged by a blunt Caccomo, he softens throughout the show and a thread of purity shines through whenever he sings. Caccomo’s character is unique and she plays her well. The fiery passion she has for helping others hints at a vulnerability when internalising, something Caccomo does with her incredible facial expressions. The entire cast is phenomenal, it’s an ensemble that fit perfectly with one another and their love and chemistry glows through the entire show.

If anything, music is the final character in Once, it’s ever present and adds nuance to every single scene. From the Czech folktunes that serve as a greeting to Guy as he enters the world of vibrant dancing and table-top stamping, to a literal guitar army adding their strings to bolster Guy as he applies for a bank loan, to the exciting studio session full of nerves and raw energy, and the beautifully reflective a capella reprise of ‘Gold’ by the men of the show every single music choice is perfectly performed and stunningly realised in this beautiful production. Special mention must be made of Gus Noakes who hilariously sings ‘Abandoned in Bandon’ – his bank manager persona’s foray into singer-songwriting. It’s terrible, and that’s a huge compliment, as you have to be a really accomplished singer to perform deliberately badly. Once is about passion and love, and missed opportunities, and so much goes unsaid. ‘Falling Slowly’ is a gorgeous song – with Francis’ strong, unwavering voice combined with Caccomo’s powerful and resolutely passionate sound the two form a memorable and heartbreaking duet that is impactful enough at the beginning but is truly devastating when reprised.

Black Swan State Theatre Company have a great reputation for musicals, but Once elevates the company to new heights as it is such a beautiful celebration of music and love it’s going to be hard to top. This is a five-star, 100%, phenomenal musical that will stay with you forever, and maybe even encourage you to jump up on the tabletops and let its music course through your veins!

Once played at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco from 28th May – 12th June and we already can’t wait for the revival! For more information about the production click HERE.

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

In Brief, Interview

IN CONVERSATION | Rupert Reid | Once

Interview | Laura Money

Rupert Reid is a stage and screen actor with an impressive resume including The Matrix trilogy. Reid is performing in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Once an eight time Tony winning musical set in Dublin that tackles love and everything in between. We asked Reid five questions ahead of the show to get an insight.

What is Once about?

Once is about a lot of things. It’s about the power of music to connect us, the healing effect it has on us and the leaps of faith we all have to take in our lives to let love in or to let it go when we need to.

Favourite part of the show, no spoilers!

There are too many favourite parts of this show to mention! The most rewarding part is seeing how audiences react night after night to this beautiful production. I get to watch the audience from onstage in some quieter moments. My character happens to be the kind of guy who’d imagine a crowd of people watching him play guitar every night so it’s all above board! Also, the curtain call is pretty special. We have a really fun finale. No spoilers!

How does the show relate to today’s society?

Outside the world is a mess, inside we’re all a mess too, more or less. That’s being human. Themes of love, loss, missed opportunities but essentially an optimistic view of the world make Once a story of hope and connection. The music is played by and for each character in the show and is a vital part of who they are. It speaks to our instinctive need for meaningful relationships and the ability to heal ourselves once we’ve learned to open up a little and let human connection work on us.

Apart from Once what is your favourite musical and why?

My favourite musical is The Lovers, by Laura Murphy. It’s a pop infused reimagining of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The word ‘pop’ seems tame. Sounds too cute. Nah. It’s insanely good and it will blow your mind. (opens in October at the Sydney Opera House presented by Bell Shakespeare Co.) 🙂

Describe your show in 3 words:

Irish. Musical. Mayhem.

You can catch all the mayhem at The Regal Theatre from 28th May – 12th June 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Review

REVIEW | Earthside | Giving birth, no one can hear you scream…

Review | Laura Money

Entering The Blue Room Theatre for Earthside feels a lot like boarding a space-craft. You are greeted by performer Kaitlin Tinker dressed in a boiler suit looking every bit like Ellen Ripley herself. Once you’re strapped in and ready for launch, Tinker gently guides you through her traumatic birth story. But don’t worry – this show isn’t tragic or even depressing (granted, it may be triggering for some but does not seek to minimise people’s experiences) it is a truth-telling memoir using the impressive metaphor of space travel and female autonomy in film.

Using space travel as an analogy for childbirth, Tinker navigates her way through the story with humour and multiple references to science fiction. Much like childbirth, a theatre piece is not a one-woman show and Earthside features a great set consisting of a shuttle chair with multiple compartments and stunning graphics by Jeremy Turner create a space-like quality. Tinker ties her story together brilliantly, prefacing it with ‘yes, at some point something will burst from my chest’ and we all wait for it to happen. The alien chest-bursting is such a clever reference – it’s the sci-fi equivalent of ‘the money shot’ and the only part people usually care about in any birth story – boy or girl? Did it cry? Ok, I guess we’re all done now (no consideration for the placenta or stitches or even the mother’s well-being.)

Tinker is a great performer. She is highly engaging and goes through every bit of her story again and again. Her dogged determination to be heard is touching and even though there are lots of laughs, expect a few tears to escape too. Earthside is touching and funny, performed with guts by a super badass mother – it’s childbirth but not as you know it.

You can catch Earthside at The Blue Room Theatre until 7th May 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Review

REVIEW | The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker | Encouraging children and grown-ups to hold onto their wonder

Review | Laura Money

What would be in your box of wonder? Barking Gecko Theatre present intergenerational audiences with this very question in The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker – a charming tale of adventure and, well wonder! Writer Dan Giovannoni and long-time collaborator Artistic Director Luke Kerridge take a young boy’s sense of wonder at the world and sees him grow up and forget to revel in the marvels of the world. Grown up Wilbur (Adriano Cappelletta) embarks on an epic quest into the far reaches of outer-space to explore his inner space and regain his sense of wonder before he loses it forever. It’s an enduring tale of imagination and our capacity to dream.

As a boy, Wilbur Whittaker is a dreamer. He fills a bright red shoebox with his hopes and dreams and inventions to send him into space. You see, Wilbur wants to travel further in space than anyone else. Then he grows up and his shoebox of dreams is relegated to the dusty realm under his bed. In a cleverly depressing series of vignettes, Cappelletta as Wilbur is rendered boring. Trading his backpack for a bland tie he is buffeted into conformity by Jonathan Oxlade‘s phenomenal set. Sliding beige screens create a boring office cubicle, small dining table, ironing station, and train. Kerridge’s direction encourages dynamic movement that mimics Wilbur’s descent into becoming a cog in the adult world. A production line of bodies jostle on the train, piles of paperwork creep higher and higher, and through Oxlade’s clever sliding panels a mechanical calendar is set. But the beauty of the story is captured when Wilbur actually begins his journey. Following a path to his Guardian of Wonder set on a dimming star, the set and sense of adventure gets marvelously thrilling and surreal.

Drawing on influences from eighties adventure movies and media, Giovannoni creates a sense of nostalgia for a lost childhood – as Wilbur heads to fantastical lands the journey feels familiar with a tinge of a past worth recovering. Not only is the plot super tight and cleverly realised, but the characters are phenomenal – the stand out being Princess Fantastic (Grace Chow) a She-Ra inspired thousand year old badass who is incidentally Wilbur’s Guardian of Wonder. Chow is perfect as the plucky and headstrong Princess, full of energy and sure in her convictions. She reacts as a child would, impulsively running headlong into danger but with such zest for life and wonder she is utterly compelling. With a customised theme tune and killer visuals by Tee Ken Ng she joyfully embeds herself into our hearts. Luke Hewitt and Laura Maitland comprise the ensemble cast and both absolutely nail a swathe of lovable and memorable characters. Hewitt’s turn as the charismatically pompous fox Francis gets the kids giggling, and Maitland’s portrayal of The Seeing Star oracle is hilarious and a bit intimidating. They both thrive as administrators of the Bureau of Wonder with dry Aussie delivery that hits a little too close to home to anyone who has ever been on hold in a customer service queue!

The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker is one of those plays that sparkles with life. It is an important work for children to watch with grown ups and encourages reflection and a sense of adventure. Not only is the work a nostalgic gem, it takes the essence of those eighties fantasy adventures and grounds them in an invitation to reinvigorate a sense of play. Princess Fantastic is one of the purest characters to ever grace our stages, and the endearing charm of Cappelletta’s Wilbur has you rooting for him the whole time. So, what is in your own box of wonder, and is it with you at all times? Let’s hope so as the message of this show is clear – always hold on to your wonder – but don’t worry as there are always ways to get it back.

The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker is on at STCWA this school holidays until 16th April 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Review

REVIEW | The Velveteen Rabbit | 100 years of pure enchantment

Review | Laura Money

The Velveteen Rabbit has been delighting children for one hundred years firstly through Margery Williams‘ enchanting picture book and adapted for Spare Parts Puppet Theatre by Greg Lissaman in a stunning production that continues to charm audiences. Lissaman distills the essence of the unique story and gives it a modern twist that is able to be both contemporary and timeless – powerful writing indeed. Featuring stunning design by Zoe Atkinson, a sweeping score by Lee Buddle featuring some classic works, and passionate performances The Velveteen Rabbit is a simply beautiful production that should remain on stages constantly and is deserving of its place in Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s repertoire.

Atkinson’s set design is highly memorable – the stage is covered where curtains would traditionally be and black panels slide across to create a shadow puppet or toy theatre effect. This focusses attention on the smaller scale of the toy’s world where they are the lead characters – puppeteers wearing camouflage-like suits that blend in with the wallpaper or background. Director Philip Mitchell‘s style works in concert with Atkinson’s cleverly rendered nursery and hidden shrubbery realm, he uses different perspectives to great effect and with the panels create a storybook come to life. Along with Graham Walne‘s clever lighting design, the backgrounds take on a surreal quality. Performers Michael Barlow, Rebecca Bradley, Nick Pages-Oliver and Louis Spencer are all amazing, imbuing the already expressive puppets by Jiri Zmitko with humanity and distinct personalities. From the hilarious Bandito to the stoic and wise Horse each character comes to life with such vibrancy there is genuine heartbreak when something sinister befalls them. Bradley absolutely shines as both the little boy and the titular Velveteen Rabbit. The naiveite and pure essence of the rabbit is palpable as Bradley stuffs her heart and soul into the little puppet.

Spare Parts Puppet Theatre are leaders in charming children’s theatre for a reason. This stunning production of The Velveteen Rabbit is an enduring example of their ability to provide enchantment and pathos to children’s entertainment without losing engagement. This production is remarkably simple – creating ingenious perspectives (a vertical bed with large versions of the puppet’s heads framing the tableau is a brilliant moment), using existing classical music to render the scale of the toy’s world epic, and passionate performers who bring the charming characters to life – The Velveteen Rabbit embodies hope and love and it’s a top pick for this school holidays and many more to come.

The Velveteen Rabbit is enchanting audiences at The Spare Parts Puppet Theatre this school holidays until 23rd April 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Interview

IN CONVERSATION | Dan Giovannoni | Writer of The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker

Interview | Laura Money

Dan Giovannoni is a writer and collaborator with Barking Gecko Theatre, he has brought us classics such as Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories and HOUSE. Giovannoni’s latest project – another collaboration with Barking Gecko Artistic Director Luke Kerridge, is The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker – an enduring tale of adventure and discovery. We caught up with Dan ahead of the show to find out what it’s all about.

Laura Money (LM): Why this incredibly long title, The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker? I love it!

Dan Giovannoni (DG): I guess one of the things that we wanted to do – the show is drawing off of a lot from us (the makers) with references to our childhoods, including the poetic images and ideas from The Little Prince and other eighties cartoons like SheRa and eighties adventure films like Labyrinth and The Princess Bride – so we wanted a title that gave us a sense of adventure and of the epic kind of adventure that our protagonist goes on. So the title came bout from trying to embed this sense of the epic nature of the quest that he has to go on.

LM: It is reminiscent of those epic adventure books and films of people’s childhoods and really does give a thrill up your spine.

DG: Yeah, and for us as makers we were trying to pull in the things that were the foundations of our own kind of wondering and sense of imagination – this was the place we found our creativity and did our imagining and I found that interesting.

LM: Well, you’ve been very imaginative in your other projects so far – what was your first foray into Barking Gecko Theatre?

DG: Luke [Kerridge] and I worked together first on Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories in 2015/6 maybe? We were actually working on that before he took the job at Barking Gecko and we were invited by Barking Gecko Theatre to come and make the show with them. And these other two projects, HOUSE and Wilbur were projects that Luke and I had been working on in our own time, just bubbling away for a while, and when he got the job at Barking Gecko we were able to realise them in quite an extraordinary way.

It’s such a thrill you know to be able to really take someone on an adventure in a flying house or into outer space, it’s such a gift as theatre artists and for our supporters.

LM: It sounds like you’ve found the perfect fit, Barking Gecko was the right place for these shows to go.

DG: I think so, I mean, Barking Gecko makes work that takes their audience seriously, sometimes work for kids can be a bit, maybe not derided but I think um, it’s great to be with a company that is dedicated to its audience – who understand their audience and want to bring their audience on a journey with them. 

LM: With that in mind, how do you approach a work written for children? Do you write it for children or like it’s for everyone?

DG: We are trying to make work that is primarily for families, that means that we’re expecting intergenerational audiences and it’s the sort of show that I think really benefits from a conversation in the car on the way home – so grandparents could chat with grandchildren, have a great time at the theatre and then have big conversations about creativity and loneliness and growing up. I don’t really sit down and say ok, there’s stuff I can’t say because it’s for kids, my job is to find a way to say what I want to say for kids.

You know children experience the same spectrum of emotion that grown-ups do – it’s not like they’re these magical other creatures and so all of the things that affect me as an adult were the same things that affected me as a child and affect other children and that really stays with me as I sit down to write. Obviously I want to inject it with a sense of fun and adventure and hope. I think the only thing I really feel is I have an obligation as an artist to present, to offer hope.

LM: I think that’s really important and it certainly shines through in both Bambert’s and HOUSE, how does that sense of hope come through in Wilbur?

DG: It comes through in the sense that it’s a show about the importance and necessity of wonder, of imagination and creativity and dreaming, and those things in a capitalist society. [They are] routinely disregarded and devalued by the grown up world. I think creativity and imagination are considered the domain of flights of fancy and they’re not serious or sensible. And they are, ironically the things young people are going to need if they’re going to tackle the problems they will encounter as grown ups. The world is a pretty wild place, and I think stepping out into the world even if it wasn’t as wild as it is, it’s pretty daunting.

For Wilbur, we have a 41 year old man as the protagonist of this show,  um so he’s not a kid, and so he’s been on a really big journey already through his life and the glimmer of hope offered to him is a gift to our adult audience but also an invitation to the kids to hold onto their wonder, to hold onto their creativity, their dreaming and their imagination because everything sort of comes and goes but in our world – the world that we’re building – wonder is something that is in everything. There’s wonder to be found in space, there’s wonder to be found in milkshakes, there’s wonder to be found in creatures that talk and those are the things that will fuel you in your life, so that’s sort of the hopeful nugget that we want the audience – kids and grown ups – to take away from it. 

LM: I think that’s fantastic, and I’m sure they will – how much of you is in the character of Wilbur? Did you lose your sense of wonder and came back to it or have you always retained it writing for theatre?

DG: Well it’s funny, we’ve been working on this show for maybe on or off for 5 or 6 years, and a lot of the more fantastical elements – the kooky characters and the adventure part came quite easily, with my imagination just sort of running wild but the character, to be honest, took a little longer to land and draft after draft I’d send it to Luke and I didn’t really quite know who Wilbur was and it was in between like draft 5 and 6 that it came – a large chunk of it came in lockdown, I live in Melbourne and I realized that yeah, I sort of had become a bit of a Wilbur myself and I’d lost my adventurous spirit and I’d lost my sense of wonder. 

I had to go on a pretty personal quest of my own to refind it but through the writing, through this character kind of constantly asking me to look into what he needed, I was able to work out what I needed too. Definitely there’s a lot of me in Wilbur, there’s a lot of Luke in Wilbur. Both Luke and I have worked for many years with young people and we’ve observed their creative spirit and sense of play and imagination and I’ve often watched that diminish as they get older – a lot of kids have spoken quite eloquently about their own parents losing their imaginations and their sense of play so all of that played into Wilbur too, the knowledge that kids see how the adult world works through their parents, their teachers, other grown ups in their lives who struggle to maintain their sense of wonder and then they distribute that knowledge to other young people. 

LM: When you approach a piece of theatre as opposed to just writing a short story or whatever it is, how much do you have staging and directing and sound design or costuming in mind? Or do you just let them take it and run with it?

DG: Look it’s a bit of both. Our collaboration on Bambert and again on Wilbur is with the amazing designer, Jonathan Oxlade who has built the world for both of those shows and that conversation with Jonathan, you know he’s in the room right from the beginning of the process so there’s a part of me that is conscious of how we’re going to do it but really the invitation from Jonathan and Luke is go wild. We’ll build the thing and we’ll work out a way to realise it. They never turn around and say you can’t do that – they might ask ‘why do you want to do that?’ and ‘what’s a different way that we can realise it?’ but we’re more interested in making theatre, it would defeat the purpose if you can just ‘CGI’ everything – especially with a story like this which goes right through outer space into all these kooky, crazy worlds so we’re always trying to find a theatrical solution to the ideas that we want to explore. So, yeah I’m thinking about it sometimes but I mean, certainly I didn’t ever think that we’d be able to achieve some of the amazing images that we’re going to be able to in Wilbur when I was sitting down to write it. 

LM: That’s the great thing about theatre, isn’t it? It’s wondrous in itself and it takes the brains of everybody’s specific talents and when you put them all together it creates something so unique that you don’t see anywhere else.

DG: Yeah, it’s amazing and I think the creative team are all probably within ten years of age of each other so I think that we’re drawing on our references, it’s a shared reference – you know the same eighties adventure movies, everyone is transported back to that time when they were a child and they know what that sounds like, and looks like, and feels like.

LM: So just when you hear some of that music does it take you straight back to being a kid and watching those movies?

DG: Yeah, totally! We have this wonderful character who is sort of, she’s not inspired by but certainly is in the legacy of a character like SheRa and she has a really sick anthem, her superhero anthem that plays – I caught a snippet of it the other day in the rehearsal room and it just transports you immediately. 

LM: Obviously you’ve been drawing on that particular era – the movies, books and shows that endured are usually the ones that have stood the test of time in terms of intersectionality and strong female characters – do you think that you’ve built on that legacy? Or do you include it in a way that it’s normalised?

DG: It’s always a conscious decision, I think anything we put on stage you have to be conscious of otherwise you’re doing yourself and the audience a disservice. So, we’re definitely talking about those things and the kind of characters that we want to put on stage, the kind of messages that we want them to be sharing and the ideas that we want them to represent. We want what goes on stage not only to reflect the world that we are in, but also offer them a future. You should be able to look at what’s happening on stage and go, either that is me or that’s for me or I’m going to grow into that world. 

LM: It sounds like the approach of using a family story is a very smart move because some of these adult quest movies such as Hector and the Search For Happiness, are very much from the legacy of like Jack Kerouac – single man goes on journey has affairs and finds himself – it’s a very narrow narrative. I love that you’re revelling in this idea of wonder and how children aren’t corrupt. At what point did we become this cynical product of our culture?

DG: There is a conversation in the work about growing up and yes, Wilbur is a grown up but his – she isn’t a sidekick but his co-journeyer is Princess Fantastic who is six and a half thousand years old but she has the spirit of a ten year old and that has allowed us to crack open that conversation about growing up and at what point do you let stuff go and why does that happen, and how do you get it back, it’s a really important part of our entry point into the work. Luke came to me with this idea after having this kind of passion of kids having their creativity and their imagination gently squashed by the world as they get older. So it’s embedded right at the core of the story, the relationship between childhood and adulthood.

And so even though we have a grown up protagonist, it’s much more about the balance, because you have to grow up, you can’t remain a child forever, that’s preposterous and there are heaps of great things about being a grown up – there are heaps of great things about being a child and I think that our society has carved the two apart. We’re sort of positing that there’s another way. We’re reconsidering the connection between grown ups and kids.

LM: That’s so interesting because we do so much in that space between, a lot of identity building. I find that a lot of my personality is the same as it was at ten years old but I lost it and had to come back to it. 

DG: Yeah, and I think that’s a common story, you know I think the last two years have brought that home for a lot of adults they’re like, wow this machine that I was part of has ground to a halt and when it all stopped people looked back and went, hang on a second do I want to get back on? 

LM: Apart from seeing this show, The Great Un Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker, what advice would you give to adults to bring back a sense of wonder into their lives?

DG: That’s a great question! The way that our protagonist discovers his sense of wonder – part of it is about recalling childhood and thinking about who he was once, but more importantly I guess it’s about – it’s a tricky thing I think to do as a grown up – trying to investigate your inner space. There’s a metaphor in this work about inner space and outer space and the galaxies that you have inside your heart and that you are a full and rich person inside. If you can tap into even just a glimmer of that then you’re off – the journey begins.

The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker starts at The State Theatre Centre WA from 9th -16th April 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Review

REVIEW | It’s Dark Outside | Celebrating 10 years of wonderful theatre

Review | Laura Money

It’s Dark Outside makes a triumphant return to Perth in the intimate Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre WA. Debut show of The Last Great Hunt ten years ago, It’s Dark Outside is a powerful piece of theatre that is still as potent and emotional today. With its original cast of founding members, this show’s return to stage is a beautiful reminder of how remarkable The Last Great Hunt truly is and that they are on top of their game. As for the show – it’s stunning and sweet and packs an emotional punch that will leave you thinking about your own little clouds for a long time to come.

Brainchild of Perth theatre makers Arielle Gray, Chris Isaacs, and Tim Watts It’s Dark Outside sees all the fledgling hallmarks of what we know to be distinctly The Last Great Hunt. There’s incredibly detailed puppetry, bodily transformations, inanimate objects coming to life, shadow play, and mixed media interplay. Add in a heart-warming story and a distinct soundtrack and you’ve got an intimate and unique take on aging and dementia. That one hits you like a body shock – as the old man (Gray) in mask form and Watts and Isaacs in puppet form goes on what appears to be a whimsical journey full of Western clichés and a few surprises all the while losing parts of himself in the form of clouds that just float from his head. At first they seem fun, like cute little ideas, until you realise they are parts of him that he desperately struggles to retain. There is so much expression and heart in the old man – from Gray’s slow and deliberate movements, to the gorgeous puppet dancing in a reverie of his own past you are rooting for him all the way.

It’s Dark Outside is a true gem of Australian theatre. Almost entirely non-verbal, it takes you on a journey of discovery, memory, and hope. Let’s hope that The Last Great Hunt continue to remount this piece as it thoroughly deserves to be in the spotlight.

You can catch It’s Dark Outside at the State Theatre of WA until 2nd April 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

Review

REVIEW | City of Gold | Own voices eloquently weave a tale of mourning and hope

Review | Laura Money

Meyne Wyatt‘s City of Gold is the kind of theatre that’s worth shouting about. It’s an honest and raw depiction of Aboriginality in a contemporary era. A post Sorry Day era. A post Eddie Mabo era. A post ’67 Referendum era. So why does it feel like nothing has changed? Drawing on ways of storytelling, Wyatt threads lineage and culture flawlessly into every element of the show in a brilliantly realised non-linear story that at its core is a pertinent take on Australian identity. It’s clear that something’s got to give because the current climate is stifling and we can’t breathe.

In this semi-autobiographical play, Wyatt returns to his Kalgoorlie home following the death of his father. Sister Carly (Simone Detourbet) warily welcomes him with open arms, but her stress is clear as she struggles to keep it together. Brother Michael Cooper is more reserved as he openly shows disdain for Wyatt’s apparent ‘selling out.’ His combative attitude towards his little brother comes to a head in his later defence of him. Ian Michael plays Wyatt’s hearing impaired cousin in a sensitive and endearing portrayal of familial loyalty.

All moments of time pass seamlessly through the brilliant set by Tyler Hill which weaves past and present through its dreamlike layers. With a tangible front and patio the set extends into the back of the stage in an essence of house. It’s perfect for the representation of Wyatt’s father (Trevor Ryan) whose echoing voice and distinct figure reminds Wyatt that dreaming is ever present. As important as family and culture is to this piece, it is Wyatt’s phenomenal monologue about Aboriginal and black identity that cements his place as an important voice of a generation. Standing on top of the patio he uses his literal platform and shouts his truth from the rooftops. Wyatt’s call to arms is electrifying. It scathingly attacks Eurocentric myopic depictions of Aboriginal people and culture and expresses justified anger and frustration in an elegantly delivered piece of spoken word. There is a charge in the air for the rest of the work which contributes to the emotionally draining climax.

City of Gold is a brilliant start to Black Swan State Theatre Company’s 2022 season – Kin. It proves that family is complicated but that cultural notions of kinship create a tightly woven connection that may sometimes get frayed but never breaks.

City of Gold has now finished its run in Perth but you can still catch it with Sydney Theatre Company at The Wharf Theatre 7th May – 11th June 2022. TICKETS

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Dirty Jazz and Clean Living | 4.5 Stars

Review | Peter Spence

Can she do no wrong? Queen of the Perth jazz scene Jessie Gordon has once again blown the FRINGEWORLD stage away with another whirl wind season of performances, showing us all that jazz really is the epitome of sexiness. Mark Turner, Karl Florrison and Michael Perkins team up with Gordon to bring a most enjoyable hour of classic tunes and some original content.

Whether it’s the guitar or saxophone, Turner is an absolute master of melody, backed up by an incredible voice, a perfect vocal accompaniment to the impeccable ensemble. The rhythm is delivered with snappy and classy gentlemen, Perkins looking sharp and bringing some faultless flurries on the drum skins, Florisson with his beaming smile making the stage light up and keeping the rooms energy high.

The collection of masterful musicians and the angelic voice are undoubtedly a highlight of the whole festival year after year, and would easily be the choice if you could only catch one show per season. Settled in at our very classy table, with a dimly lit room and a softly lit stage, the Ellington Jazz Club always makes for the perfect night for a little Dirty Jazz. We are treated to some of Gordon’s own original music as well as some of the naughtiest and delectable classics delivered in style by the always amazing fiery redhead on the microphone.

Dirty Jazz and Clean Living has ended for FRINGEWORLD 2022 but you can see what Jessie Gordon and the gang are up to throughout the year HERE

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to!

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | ’80s Up Late | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Do you remember the 80s as a sexy time full of cross dressing, leather, and power ballads? If you can remember when big hair graced the pages of Playboy magazine then you will love ‘80s Up Late a circus show that’s not afraid to get a bit steamy. Featuring riske silks, hoops, and acrobatic routines alongside sexy feats of strength and classic ‘80s references dropped by a hilarious host this is one show that has so much hairspray in the air you’ll be afraid to light a match!

Pulling absolutely no punches from the start, every act kicks down the door the second the lights go down and the performers light up. The skimpy outfits requiring host Andrew Silverwood to get out the wet floor sign and the skilful yet sensuous high stakes silks demand that the sign stays out! Playful and sexy, the show features leather and chains – these steamy bondage scenes slaying in their sensuality. The stakes get higher and higher – from a three way tousle of acrobatics and hand balancing to ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ – salt bae moves hilarious and hot at the same time, to launching a leather clad performer straight onto a trapeze each vignette is sizzling.

Silverwood is the perfect host for this show – role playing several well known ‘80s stars and reading the room with ease. The displays of strength are so much hotter in the steamy version of the show. And speaking of steamy how about the chemistry between these performers? There is fire on spread legs, lip biting heat in aerial bondage, and a blindfolded silks act that is guaranteed to hit the spot. So, pop on your diamonds and pearls and get ready to break free with the sexiest circus you’ll ever see. If you want to know what love is, then ‘80s Up Late can show you.

You can see all the steamy 80s action at The Pleasure Garden until 13th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Dolly Parton: Here I Come Again | 4 Stars

Review | Amanda Lancaster

Think you know Dolly? Well, I bet you’ve never seen Dolly done like this! Dolly Parton: Here I Come Again is the second instalment of the performative love letter that takes us through drag diva Barbie Q’s number one crush.

Barbie Q is probably the most well known and loved name on the drag scene in Perth and a community fan favourite with crowds year after year. This is one diva that puts her heart and soul into absolutely every last thing that she does. Be it emceeing, performing, choreographing or producing and my god does it show. With so many fabulous drag and cabaret shows available around the fringe time of year it takes a real powerhouse to continue to draw sell-out crowds night after night to each and every one of their shows. Barbie Q is that powerhouse, her name is synonymous with perfection and quality and this latest show is no exception.

Barbie Q is a fabulous Dolly Parton, a perfect homage and tribute to the country starlet’s name. Both ladies are well known for radiating positivity, smiles, a sassy whip quick tongued sense of humour and of course assets we could only all dream of being in possession of. Barbie Q’s always spectacularly over the top costumes and attitude are perfect to play everyone’s favourite busty blonde. Dolly would be proud!

Dolly Parton: Here I Come Again is quite literally a show all about Dolly Parton. But don’t let that put you off.  This reviewer can vouch for the fact that if you aren’t a lover of country or the cowgirl songstress to start with, you sure as heck will be by the end of the hour. With a Dolly fan by my side and the embodiment of the lady on stage in front of us it was impossible not to be swept along by the infectious nature of it all.

Her music, her outfits, her sass, her style are all showcased in a nonstop singalong upon the always glamourous setting and stage of the Connections Nightclub venue. You can expect a whole lotta sequins, smiles and songs by Miss Dolly Parton, lots of tunes that you know and love and some you didn’t even know were from our starlet. Dolly is accompanied of course by the always talented backup dancers. A group of the most energetic and energizing boys and girls to date. The choreography doesn’t miss a beat as Dolly struts her stuff amongst not only her dancers but the audience too.

And what would any good cabaret show be without a little variety hmm? Well, you can rest assured Dolly has definitely bought some friends with her this time around, including Tammy Wynette, Billy Ray Cyrus and Kenny Rodgers. Yep, It’s a full blown ho down of country camp you are about to be treated to my friends, so get ready to put those boot scooting moves to good use! Dolly Parton: Here I Come Again is a show born out of the love of Big Hair, Big Voices, Big Dreams, Big personality and of course Big Boobs. So, folks, what are you waiting for? Time to mosey on down to the box-office and get yourself tickets to a heck of a good time.

You can grab your tix to the Dolly show at Connections until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Review, Summer Nights

SUMMER NIGHTS 2022 | Takatapui | REVIEW

Review | Laura Money

Writer and performer Daley Rangi slowly but surely details the events of a single night of a (bad doesn’t even come close) dating experience. Amidst a haunting soundscape elegantly designed by Anesu Matondo, the effect of candid storytelling akin to a beat poet’s is jolting in its impact. Armed only with a microphone, a mixing board, and a magnetic personality they unpack the events with an emotionally haunting eloquence. Takatapui is a proud piece of theatre that invites you in for a symbolic embrace (Daley doesn’t like physical ones) and holds you in their kind openness.

Rangi’s commitment to your comfort is refreshingly welcome as they ensure the door remains open. Such a simple gesture is enough to sum up the show – it demonstrates kindness, an understanding of healing processes, and invites contemplation – all present in Rangi’s story. Interspersed between explorations of sound, random thoughts, philosophical ones, and disco interludes, Takatapui is part story and part philosophy, it both recounts it and reflects on it, hoping that by thinking deeply around trauma one can rewrite the narrative. Rangi’s is a powerful voice in the world. They probe their bruises and display them as badges of honour but wish they weren’t there at all. The story is approached in a free written monologue that is lyrical and humourous and painfully beautiful. It experiments with sound and manipulates parts of the story to provide a bigger impact – horrendous refrains of hate language on repeat but altered in an attempt to parody them into insignificance.

Takatapui deftly pulls the chaotic thoughts from a neurodivergent head and weaves them into a stunning piece of spoken word literature. Rangi is an instantly sympathetic figure, enveloping the audience with their emotional prose and gentle soul. The intensity rises in parts, spiking when recalling violence but also anxious thoughts. Strap in to the roller coaster that is Takatapui because although it’s a bit of a scary ride, the view is beautiful and Rangi will keep you safe.

You can catch all the action with Daley at The Blue Room until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this SUMMER NIGHTS 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Review, Summer Nights

SUMMER NIGHTS 2022 | Leo/Taurus/Taurus | REVIEW

Review | Laura Money

Are you INFJ? Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff? What are your humours like? What kind of cupcake are you? These questions and many more are explored in this rich and humourous piece of theatre, stunningly performed by five exceptional talents and created by a loving team of artists. This warm hug of a show explores humanity’s obsession with labels and boxes, proving an innate sense of wanting to fit in and be seen. It’s a fun and fresh approach to an age old phenomenon, and despite being funny it’s also deep and contemplative.

Beginning with the four young performers standing together looking up as constellations are projected throughout the room. The gentle stylings of live sound designer Georgina Cramond washing over them as they examine people’s obsession with the stars – astrology and astronomy alike. Ruby Liddelow, Andrea Lim, Lily Murrell and Lainey O’Sullivan all take a different way of categorising people and explore it in a series of spoken word pieces, sketches, dance, comedy, and song that are fun and memorable. From the little singing plant who wants to meet their perfect Taurus owner, to the Four Humours enjoying very different experiences at King’s Park the show is punctuated by contemplation and introspection. Cramond’s sound design and music is stunning – vibing with the performers in a perfect match. Their chemistry is heartwarming, and this cute little indie show will keep you grinning all night, even as you try to figure out what kind of personality you have.

Murrell is hilarious as she attempts to guess an audience member’s star sign based on a series of questions. The idea of star signs, these little feudal system-rigid trait spinners is scrutinised alongside more ancient ideas. Murrell also slays as a Kinsey-type professor delivering a ‘Bed Talk’ about love languages. Nods and chuckles of assent as people recognise their traits turning to laughter at her whacky antics. Liddelow tackles ancient ideals with a humour-filled explanation of the humours – her calm demeanour playful and not quite convincing. Lim is so funny leaning into the #metime stereotype and gives an impassioned monologue about identity in a moment of introspection. It is O’Sullivan however that has the task of delving into the Meyer’s-Briggs test and approaches it in a hilarious Russian accented piece of audience participation that is eagerly received.

As much fun as it is putting oneself in a box and agreeing to personality tests when they’re flattering (hello Gryffindor) but scoffing when they’re not (Hufflepuff? Huff…), Leo/Taurus/Taurus recognises the dangers of relying too much on arbitrary forces or questions to determine identity. Autonomy, wisdom, experience, and intuition all combine to create our distinctions – a conclusion drawn by the amazing devisors of the show. But then again, Murrell is right when it comes to the audience member’s star sign, so who knows? From this Ravenclaw, Sanguine, ENTP, Pisces reviewer, I say it’s still a topic worth exploring. Oh, I’m also a vanilla-matcha cupcake, FYI!

You can see which type you are at The Blue Room until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this SUMMER NIGHTS 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, In Brief, Interview

FIVE WITH FRINGE | Simone Springer | SOLO

Simone Springer is the funny-woman behind her SOLO show all about being single for the first time in a while. We caught up with her ahead of her FRINGEWORLD 2022 show to see what we’re in for.

What is your show about?

I’ve been single for the last five years after spending 17 years not. This show is a combination of jokes and stories that I’ve built up over the last five years but also a reflection on relationships in general. Find out why I’m banned from tinder! And about the worst date ever! 

Favourite part of the show, no spoilers!

At the end of the show I give the single people in the audience the only advice they will ever need. It’s so fun even I struggle to keep a straight face. 

These are unprecedented times, how does it feel to be a performer in 2022?

Lucky! Grateful. Forever grateful.

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

The Confessional – you won’t see another show like it – go be forgiven for your “sins”. Matt Storer’s new show (Hot Nonsense) – I saw his show last year and it was amazing. Worship if you want art coming to life and Sugar Blue Burlesque if you want something sexy. The Laugh Resort’s Galentine’s Day Gala (all female comedy lineup) I’ll be hosting this year. Oh, and Sunday Singles!! The MOST fun show I host. 

Describe your show in 3 words:

Tinder, Dating, unsolicited d… oh, look at that, I ran out of words in the nick of time!

You can catch all the dating ups and downs at The Shoe Bar until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, In Brief, Interview

FIVE WITH FRINGE | Amy Hetherington | Crying Over Spilt Milk

Amy Hetherington is the hilarious comedian who has been gracing Perth stages for years. This FRINGEWORLD 2022, she is stuck in Darwin so will be live at Shoe Bar on the big screen! We caught up with her ahead of her silver screen debut.

What is your show about?

Crying Over Spilt Milk is about the joy, pain and madness of being a new parent. Stories about sleep deprivation, weird advice from strangers, sore nipples, and crying over spilled milk. I’ve got a 5 month old baby who also makes an appearance in the show.

Favourite part of the show, no spoilers!

Well this has changed for Fringe World cos the fact I’m doing the show (at all) is my favourite part! Given border closures I wasn’t able to get to Perth from Darwin but the legends at The Laugh Resort have organised the technology for me to perform live, on a life-sized screen with audience interaction. It’s really cool and I’m so proud we’re doing it rather than cancelling.

These are unprecedented times, how does it feel to be a performer in 2022?

It’s exhausting… but also there’s a lot of pride in being a performer in 2022. Sure there are challenges and we’re jumping through hoops and filled with unknown anxiety, but I still feel like it’s a privilege to entertain people and to have other humans choose to spend their time with me as an artist. People need to laugh and be entertained in these unprecedented times so I feel like my job is more important than ever.

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

I recommend all the local comedy, Perth has an excellent scene at the moment. In this final week make sure you see Simone Springer SOLO, Cameron McLaren’s Big Dumb Game Show33 Years Single (Daniel Delby), Luke Bolland: Bubble Boy and also I always love Matt Hale Comedy Hypnotist.

Describe your show in 3 words:

Mums Night Out

You can catch this unique event from The Laugh Resort at Shoe Bar until 13th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Cecelia | 4 Stars

Review | Amanda Lancaster

Welcome to my midlife crisis cabaret says our star for the evening as she proceeds to regail us with recent events and anectdotes that have bought about this very show’s existence.

Presented by multiple award nominated Susannah Thompson and Adam Keshwar, Cecelia is a show about what it means to be a woman. From heath scares to turning 50 to a teenage daughter who thinks she’s a meek and mild mannered Hufflepuff in a world of no real viable role models to be seen. This is just the beginning of an evening of autobiographical narration punctuated by some of the most amazing vocal talent you’ll ever hear.

Flawless song stylings are effortlessly crooned to the audience as an example in melody of whatever point in her life Susannah is retelling and the feelings it evoked for her at the time. This is a brilliant idea for a show and a lovely way to remember that song and stories are just another way by which human beings best learn, communicate, and remember each other and what it is that is important to each of us as individuals and as a whole.

Soft spoken, calm, perfectly timed tales are told with honesty and delivered with just enough humour to take the sting of being to harsh to hear out. A wonderful expose of feminine stereotypes and issues faced over one woman’s lifetime that is totally relatable to all even now. Each era described has its own musical anthem appointed to it and this lady’s voice doesn’t miss a beat. She’s hands down one of the most amazing, understated songstresses I’ve seen. She nails every tune to perfection. The crowd will be absolutely transfixed the whole night. Everyone is encouraged to sing along, and you really can’t help but join in as the songs are all ones you know and love.

Fifty years of life laid bare for all to see, from her first and favourite party as a child, through the oppressive and wild 70s and 80s, all the way through to see her own offspring grow into their own strong personality and deciding whether or not to continue to be offended by being unofficially placed into the Hufflepuff house.

“And so I keep quiet and say nothing”
Such a seemingly tiny phrase. A string of harmless little words reiterated over and over throughout the show’s sixty minute duration gives the viewer a subconscious sense of almost discomfort. A beautifully subtle method of using something small to shine a much needed light on something so big. This is not just your average caberet performance folks, prepare to not just choose to listen and watch but to be made to think and feel.

This show is an open letter to all the people out there that think they need to make themselves small, to all those who stay quiet and need the courage to help find their own voice. This is as lesson for all about the importance of what it truly means to be not just listened to – but heard. I’d say that’s pretty Gryffindor and not that Hufflepuff wouldn’t you?

You can catch the time-travelling Cecelia at ACES Cabaret until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | This Is Where We Live by Vivienne Walshe | 5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

This Is Where We Live by Vivienne Walshe is powerful theatre. Written like a lyric poem full of Australian bush poetry rhythms, the raw performances and impactful movement on a minimal set enhance the script into a timeless account of humanity. Stripping the Orpheus and Eurydice myth to its elements, each part of this continuous monologue blazes with intensity. Walshe’s script is economical with its words, distilling themes of loss, violence, and disadvantage into a sharp and memorable work. It’s definitely one you won’t resist looking back on.

Impeccably performed by Lauren Beeton as Chloe, and Samuel Addison as Chris the two etch out a frenzied yet tender love story amidst their challenging home lives. In a heartfelt monologue, Beeton begins pedal to the metal in a fast-paced spoken word piece alluding to checking out of the life she is forced to live with an abusive step-father stuck in a small town. Mirroring her words, Addison moves in concert under semi-darkness – each move a visceral hit punctuating the air. Director and movement coach Teresa Izzard ekes out every centimetre of the stage with her spare movements, perfectly aligned with the cutting dialogue. Beeton’s Chloe is a powerfully memorable character – scrappy, hilarious but deeply scarred and hurt with a darkness insinuating itself across her defensive stance. Addison transforms under the veil of each character – sweet-natured and tender as Chris, pathetically patriarchal as his father, and horrendously cruel as the abusive step-father.

This Is Where We Live by Vivienne Walshe is a sharp script rendered intense by Beeton and Addison’s high-octane performances. They approach the writing with a stripped back efficiency that combined with simple yet exact movement is extremely potent. Watching Chloe attempt to escape her small-town confines and constantly take two steps forward, one step back is heartbreaking and the impact of the inevitable conclusion is a tragic gut-punch delivered by a powerful group of theatre makers.

You can catch this amazing show at The Girls School until 13th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Review, Summer Nights

SUMMER NIGHTS 2022 | The Ugly | REVIEW

Review | Laura Money

Is desire ugly? In a society where social currencies lie in your hotness or your meekness how can anyone’s desires be anything but? Phoebe Sullivan and Joe Paradise Lui strip desire to its elements in a blistering attack on gendered, racial, and political lenses, shattering normalised perceptions into rose-coloured shards along the way. In a guns-blazing attack, The Cowboy and The Showgirl give cultural stereotypes the ride of their lives. So buckle in and don’t forget to holler and cheer because this is one show you don’t want to sleep on.

The Ugly takes typical tropes and parodies them in a dark and funny disfigurement – twisting and laying bare the sinister nature of stereotypes. Sullivan is The Hot Blonde Slut crudely sexual, lewdly shaking her body in a poorly drawn caricature of burlesque. Nicole Marrington’s stunning red costume packing a punch as Sullivan embraces discomfort, bouncing about to Bobby Russell’s eerily realistic showgirl choreography. With a big dumb smile plastered on her face, the sexually provocative movements rendered grotesque by Sullivan’s overt cries of pleasure. The male gaze is broken down and scrutinised itself in a pattern of eyes upon the garments and by Lui talking the audience through the process. As Lui narrates the exchange between performer and voyeur he holds society accountable for misogynistic cultural constructs that dictate a particular performance. Sullivan invites you to probe the performative nature of women’s bodies in public under the ever-present panopticon of the male gaze.

Lui displays impressive musical talent, writing and performing original songs that all have a soulful quality, spewing truths from his impassioned guitars. He is Yellow Fever – an Asian stereotype incarnate – complete with Asian silk robes, tassels, lucky red, and cowboy boots. Well, the boots are more like slippers but they serve a purpose – demonstrating the silent subservient nature of the Asian stereotype. He sings a hilarious yet dark folk song called ‘Yellow Fever’ that examines Asian bodies and is particularly pertinent in pandemic times – a stunning metaphor tackling harmful attitudes.

As the show unravels – surreal at first with a distinct avant-garde tone – Sullivan and Lui express their actual desires. Lui just wants to be seen as a sexual being and Sullivan wants to shy away from the glare of constant sexualisation. In a blistering tirade, Sullivan lashes out at the misogyny and patriarchal constructs that should never have been manifested yet continue to hound women and those who identify as femme. Lui and Sullivan’s friendship is touching as Lui apologises to Sullivan in a heartfelt expression of love and is subsequently encouraged by Sullivan to be the beautiful, sexy person he is. The Ugly puts notions of sex, race, and more distinctly under the microscope and probes them unforgivingly. It flips the idea that the performer’s desires are unconventional and ugly and exposes the normalised ideals of sexiness and racial stereotypes as brutal and crude – the mainstream is The Ugly.

You can catch all The Ugly at The Blue Room Theatre until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this SUMMER NIGHTS 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Me, My Cult and I | 5 Stars

Review | Peter Spence

Refreshing, real, comical, raw, cathartic and captivating! Here is a show that will take you through the widest range of emotions, making you actually feel something, stronger than anything any other act can make you feel.

Laughter – and plenty of it, as you would expect from one of Perth’s most established comedians, Colin Ebsworth, who has been on the scene since his teens, and still going strong almost a decade later. A FRINGEWORLD main stay, his award nominated performances have sold out countless shows over the years.

Let’s be honest though, with the title Me, My Cult and I, and with the show description telling us it was about him growing up in a cult family, we are ALL here to hear some crazy stories about life within a cult, and to be honest we aren’t disappointed.

What we weren’t betting on was the raw emotional rollercoaster of depth into the most interesting lifetime of the Ebsworth family. Not a typical slide-night at your grandparents, but with a few pictures for reference, Ebsworth brings us in and gives us an autobiography worth watching. Crazy cult stories – don’t worry they are there, and they are as entertaining as you could ever imagine, and some you wouldn’t want believe!

A dark yet beautiful view of a family who were more than met the eye, which laid the personal foundation to one of the most entertaining people in the comedy scene and FRINGEWORLD 2022. A born entertainer, Ebsworth takes a step aside from his comedy roots and live late-night shows, to bring you a show that will make you laugh a real laugh and cry a real tear. Certainly a more refreshing take on a show than anything else you’ll see this year.

You can join the cult at The Goodwill Club until 13th February 2022 with an extra show on the 17th. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | A menage a trois | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Live out a night of the most commonly held fantasy, A menage a trois with the Champagne Show Girls this FRINGEWORLD 2022 as they lead you in a night of hedonism, fantasy, burlesque, and impressive circus elements that will get your own threesome of hands clapping, feet stomping, and mouth cheering going all night long! Hosted by cheeky and suave Mike Mayhem, this is a variety night that delves into the idea of giving in to temptation. It tackles every element of relationships including passion, heartache, and of course hot and heavy sexual desires. So call your mates but don’t be afraid to invite them to this menage a trois as it’s the best night out you’ll have with your clothes still on.

Mayhem’s songs are funny and cheeky, a complete parody that sometimes lean into the male gaze a little excessively, but ultimately show off his brilliant compositional skills and sultry voice. He keeps the, uh *energy* up all night. The incredibly bendy Gigi Go Bang and Pepper provide some steamy dances including one of the sexiest routines ever with muscle-man Nevio. The moment you’re waiting for is hot as hell, dancers bringing a Mills and Boon romance novel cover to life in a sexy af threeway dance. Danielle takes to the skies in super impressive silks routine that sees her soar through the air above her admirers – twisting and contorting like a rubber band.

Each act is sexy and shows off the multiple talents of the incredible cast, however it is the classic burlesque acts where these performers shine. From Pepper’s incredible expression of betrayal where she bares her soul in a contemporary dance filled with passion and fire to her literal fire act that is sure to heat things up, to Nevio’s show of strength in a handstand grandstand that need to be seen to be believed! But it is Champagne herself who gets the crowd going as The Floosy. In a fan dance that is burlesque incarnate, she flirts and teases with her feathered headress firmly upon her head. Culminating in a stunning iconic birdbath act, Champagne isn’t the only person who’s wet in this room! Everyone’s energy is through the roof in A menage a trois, Gigi Go Bang cute as hell dressed as a Cupid, delighting in shooting everyone is everything. The Champagne Showgirls are a gorgeously glittering troupe, full of stardust – and they want to sparkle for you so go along to A menage a trois and see where the night takes you.

You can catch all the saucy action at Air Nightclub on Fridays – Sundays until 13th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this FRINGEWORD 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

Review, Summer Nights

SUMMER NIGHTS 2022 | Mother of Compost | REVIEW

Review | Laura Money

Theatre is like compost. It’s made up of all that came before it but is ultimately new.

This beautiful sentiment starts the show with a gentle smile and kind homage to theatre making. Self-styled queer troublemaker, Noemie Huttner-Koros alongside director Andrew Sutherland (also a queer troublemaker, fyi) have birthed a show that is as fresh as the compost in it. Mother of Compost tackles climate change and social responsbility through the lens of young artists as they contemplate nature and regeneration, what legacy we will leave on our children, and whether it is, indeed a good idea to birth at all. Equal parts love-letter to and manifesto on ecology, Mother of Compost is ground-breaking theatre that serves to enrich the mind.

Huttner-Koros invites the audience to participate before entering the space – gathering leaves and spraying water in life-giving mists – the collective experience an enduring metaphor proving that theatre-making and gardening are similar community processes. She approaches quite dire and scary prospects as she discusses the precarious future of Earth’s ecology in a way that simultaneously conveys gravity and a deep sense of joy. The sheer delight when discussing the composting process, and reproduction/regeneration absolutely radiates from Huttner-Koros’ entire being. There are major implications here as compost gives way to plastic – a visual reminder that hushes the audience with a hollow gut-punch. Working in a passionate frenzy breaking the fourth wall with composer Lyndon Blue as they produce live sounds that mould around the set almost psychedelically, Huttner-Koros breaks down theatre conventions like compost itself, creating a rich and thought-provoking piece.

Mother of Compost is a pertinent and important work that everyone should see. Drawing on seventies aesthetics and philosophies whose influences are evident in the stunning stage design by Molly Werner and AV/photography by Edwin Sitt, the piece encourages you to approach it holistically before analysing the individual components. Sutherland’s signatures are present in Huttner-Koros’ movement and contemplative stripping bare of the set. It’s a visual expression of starting over, but with so much soil piled up underneath us, can we ever really reset – or have we reached the point of no return? Either way, Noemie Huttner-Koros – your Mother of Compost is here to encourage you through it, together.

You can catch all the composting action at The Blue Room Theatre until 12th February 2022. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to this SUMMER NIGHTS 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

FRINGEWORLD, Review

FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Gavin Nicklette: Cabaret Roulette | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Last year, a post-pandemic Gavin Nicklette took to the stage with a brand new show concept – writing a bunch of different emotions on a ‘money wheel’, Nicklette opened up infinite possibilities for shows. Each emotion corresponds with a true story and a song that represents it – and Cabaret Roulette was born. FRINGEWORLD 2022 sees the triumphant return of this gorgeous show with a few more options built in. It’s loose, it’s fun, and it’s fabulous – and guaranteed to have you on your feet!

The most compelling element of Cabaret Roulette is Gavin Nicklette himself. Dubbed the Lady Gaga of Jazz, I would go even further and suggest that he is Lady Gaga on valium – there’s an energy there but it’s contained and poised. Nicklette slinks about the stage like a cat – pure class with just enough diva in him to keep you in awe. He rocks his signature look: mermaid hotpants, angel wings, giant flamboyant eyelashes and lots of glitter. But Nicklette is a deliciously layered performer – on the surface is this larger than life, energetic powerhouse covering a blushing and humble persona. Nicklette peels back his layers one by one as he reveals each song choice.

Most of the songs are uplifting enough – he strips off another layer to reveal a stunning voice and genius arrangements. Nicklette takes a song and intuitively strips it of pretence, recomposing it into a simplified yet powerful piece of music – no-one arranges like Nicklette. He is a musical alchemist, creating magic in every chord. With each spin of the wheel comes another layer, and the night I attended the wheel stripped Nicklette to his core. What followed were stories of homophobia, of childhood shame, found families and great love, but equally great loss. A raw, and emotional Gavin (after seeing this outpouring, I feel surnames are not intimate enough) opened deep wounds and asked us to bear witness to his suffering. This was not morbid – Gavin is a kind and generous storyteller – nor was it selfish. Gavin is not degrading about any person who has wronged him, rather just trying to feel out his response to their actions. Every single person in that audience is closer now to one another because of Gavin’s beautiful and genuine openness. Each note, each vocal restrained of anguish weaving emotion and healing in through music has an everlasting effect and we can all thank the amazing human being that is Gavin Nicklette for sharing.

Gavin’s FRINGEWORLD 2022 season has ended but you can check out what he’s up to throughout the year HERE

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2022

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.