Interview, Summer Nights

Sum Up Summer Nights | Kuda Ndlovu | An Evening of African Poetry | SUMMER NIGHTS 2023

Kuda Ndlovu is one of the co-presenters of An Evening of African Poetry at The Blue Room this Summer Nights 2023. We caught up ahead of the show to find out what it’s all about.

What is your show about?

An Evening of African Poetry and Storytelling (EAPS) is a collection of stories carefully woven to capture the modern-day migrant experience. Sizzling rap, beautiful melodies, and spoken word performances, accompanied by a live band, take you on an endless journey that engulfs 5 oblivious homes. The destination? A sense of belonging.

Favourite part of the show, no spoilers!

We’re honestly most excited to introduce the live experience of the show. This will include a special element that wasn’t possible during the digital presentation of the first-ever iteration of EAPS. Summer Nights will be the first time we get to share the experience with our audience and we can’t wait for the audience to join in for the crowd-friendly portion of the show. Yes. A jam session. The jam session is our favourite part.

How important is the Summer Nights program to the Perth theatre scene?

Hugely important. The journey of independent creators and performers is quite a harrowing experience as it is, even worse when you have limited outlets willing to let you showcase your talents. Speaking from the independent artist experience, as well as the CaLD community experience, we are simply finding our feet in the space. It’s hard to find opportunities to develop as artists while gaining industry insight and soft skills along the way. What The Blue Room Theatre has achieved with the Summer Nights program is making that impossible burden, a reality. They’ve intentionally sought out independent and emerging artists and provided a platform for them to shine. More importantly, what the general public doesn’t see in the background is the amazing support The Blue Room Theatre provides, elevating our industry preparation in the process. We can’t thank them enough for the opportunity.

What inspired you to create this work?

A very real lived and shared experience. The Outsiders was formed as a result of a university assignment callout gone horribly right. Outsiders co-founder Mohammed ‘Ayo Busari’ put a callout for a university assignment titled ‘Afro Lookbook’, meeting fellow Outsiders co-founders Lisa Watson and ‘Kuda Mic’ Ndlovu, as well as TAB Family lead vocalist Ayuba SOQS whom he had briefly met on a few different occasions while at university in the UK. Since that day, the group has never looked back. In getting to know each other during the process of developing and curating numerous shows, exhibitions and events, there was a growing understanding of our shared experience. We all originated from different parts of Africa, yet adopted temporary homes, before finally landing here, in Boorloo (Perth, Western Australia) where we undoubtedly met each other for a purpose. We are unique because of our experiences, yet we share an inexplicable connection through them. Having experienced the joy of building up a community of BIPOC creatives through our various projects, we felt it was only right to present a theme that we believe is fundamental to the strengthening of bonds in the African diaspora community. It starts with an introspective look into what ‘home’ means and an acceptance of the individual’s role in building their new village.

Describe your show in 3 words:

Captivating. Stirring. Togetherness.

You can catch the energetic evening of African poetry at The Blue Room Theatre until 4th February 2023. TICKETS

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

on now, Review, Summer Nights

SUMMER NIGHTS 2023 | 600 Seconds | HIIT | 4 Stars

Review | Laura Money

HIIT or High Intensity Interval Theatre is a fully immersive night of fast-paced theatre that will keep you in the edge of your seat. Each artist had 10 minutes to present their story – just 600 seconds. The result? Five emotionally distilled works that give us a glimpse into the lives of the writers.

There’s Hero by Simeon Neo which sees Will (David Vickman) unable to leave his parent’s home after 10 years of video gaming. Vickman puts the right amount of heart into the role, even if he’s only onstage for a small amount of time. Bolstered by Ramiah Alcantara who plays one of his game characters turned imaginary friend he attempts to get out of his funk only to be brought down again. My only criticism is that female characters only exist to serve Will – Alcantara is literally his cheerleader and it is the ex-girlfriend’s second rejection that spirals him down again. Will was literally only going to go out because he felt entitled to her – when she was no longer available he was no longer interested.

Hadal Zone by Sophie Minissale is a darkly hilarious monologue performed by Daniela Da Costa about the dangers of the unknown parts of the ocean. It’s funny and thought-provoking and played with just the right amount of paranoia to stop it sounding like a presentation. Minissale’s writing is strong, and you can see where her mind wanders, only to come crashing back to shore like a wave. Next is CRUSH by Benjamin Quirk – a charming one man piece about crushing really hard on a guy only to find out he’s straight. Quirk’s exuberance is infectious, he brings a fun camp energy to the piece that becomes melodramatic – we literally see Quirk’s emotions on show.

(the entire happy birthday song at half speed) is written and performed by Laura Liu and is the story of her grandparents meeting. Framed around looking at old pictures, Liu’s style is fresh and ancient at once. Her constant refrain – that a character would die just however many weeks/months later hearkens to the best narrators. It has a similar tone to MAUS – warts and all – and is not to be missed. Finally there is Call Me Mother by Scarlet Rose. It’s a funny yet heartbreaking exploration of birth trauma and identity. The stage is filled with washing and the detritus of life with a baby that has become integrated into the story – where does Scarlet’s identity split from that of her baby? Is it her queerness? It can’t be. Is it how her body works? Is it all of those things? You’ll have to see it to find out.

You can catch HIIT at The Blue Room Theatre as part of Summer Nights until 28th January 2023. TICKETS

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

Interview, on now, Summer Nights

Sum Up Summer Nights | 600 Seconds crew | SUMMER NIGHTS 2023

600 Seconds is a hot new program playing at The Blue Room Theatre as part of Summer Nights 2023. We caught up with the creative folks running the program to find out what it’s all about.

What is 600 SECONDS?

600 SECONDS are short works programs that run throughout The Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights. These programs are a training ground for performance that puts makers through their paces to create and present a 10-minute short work.

There’ll be five shorts in each 600 SECONDS program, and there’s three programs to choose from: storytelling and theatre in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Theatre), dance with MOVEMOVEMOVE, and experimental late-night spots in AFTER HOURS. Each week of Summer Nights will have a new program.

Favourite part of the show, no spoilers!

The variety! A 600 SECONDS program is like seeing five shows in one. Plus, each program is going to be so unique as they span different artforms and practices. I’m also excited to see what our program curators and mentors bring to the experience – poet & theatre maker Andrew Sutherland (HIIT), dancer Janine Oxenham (MOVEMOVEMOVE), and performance artist legend Ash Baroque (AFTER HOURS). They not only curated the line-ups but have been working closely with our 600 SECONDS artists to turn their ideas into a 10-minute performance piece.

How important is the Summer Nights program to the Perth theatre scene?

Perth comes alive during the summer festival season and it’s a good time for a little spontaneity. For audiences, Summer Nights and particularly 600 SECONDS is a welcoming and warm way to experience live performance and get to know The Blue Room Theatre. For artists, being in a festival line-up means they can develop new audiences, reveal something new to their existing following, and connect with other artists. 

What inspired this program?

We wanted to offer a low-stakes platform for veterans of our stages to try a whacky new idea and for fresh faces who want a chance to shine. Our program artists have the opportunity to test out the nugget of an idea, work with a brilliant mentor, turn their idea into a 10-minute performance piece, be part of a five-show line-up, and from there … who knows! We produce and tech 600 SECONDS in-house, which means the artists can focus on being creative – not admin. 600 SECONDS also exists for audiences who can’t decide what to see during the busy summer festival season. This sort of tasting plate of performance is appealing and adds a lot of energy to Summer Nights.

Describe your show in 3 words:

Fresh, Energetic, Assortment

You can catch all of the 600 SECONDS shows throughout Summer Nights finishing on 11th February 2023. TICKETS

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

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.