PROMPTSIDE

People & Theatre

Meet the Little Ones Theatre Creatives

Posted on 12/04/2014

In preparation for MTC NEON season’s Dangerous Liaisons, Little Ones Theatre’s creatives have been diligently scheming up a tryst.

 

 

Little Ones Theatre's Key Artists Tessa Leigh Wolffenbutell Pitt, Eugyeene Teh, Stephen Nicolazzo and Katie Sfetkidis.

Little Ones Theatre’s Key Artists Tessa Leigh Wolffenbutell Pitt, Eugyeene Teh, Stephen Nicolazzo and Katie Sfetkidis.

 

 

 

Director Stephen Nicolazzo

Director Stephen Nicolazzo

 

 

 

Lighting Designer Katie Sfetkidis

Lighting Designer Katie Sfetkidis

 

 

 

Costume Designer Tessa Leigh Wolffenbuttel Pitt.

Costume Designer Tessa Leigh Wolffenbuttel Pitt.

 

 

 

Set and Costume Designer Eugyeene Teh

Set and Costume Designer Eugyeene Teh

 

 

 

 

Little Ones Shoot17_

In Deep Water

Posted on 12/04/2014

I was stoked to have been able to photograph my friend Katie Sfetkidis’ FOLA show In Deep Water.  Her study of bioluminescent deep sea creatures came eerily to life within the black mass of Theatreworks and Ian Moorhead’s riveting soundscape complete with muffled explosions from beyond.

 

I kinda felt like the National Geographic underwater photographer I’ve dreamt of becoming (only I didn’t even need to get wet.)

 

If you’ve missed that chance to experience this other-worldly environment of mystery and wander, the show will be on again shortly for one night only at Blindside Gallery.

 

In Deep Water02

 

In Deep Water03

 

 

In Deep Water13

Pacific Overtures – Backstage Pass

Posted on 27/02/2014

New independent-music-theatre-company kid Watch This is back again with yet another gorgeous Sondheim musical, this time the musical master’s  Pacific Overtures, so ethereal it has barely ever been performed in Melbourne. Backstage, cast are humming about at their one-hour call, whitening their faces and blackening their brows. They will don delicate white paper-doll kimonos soon, but meanwhile, show blacks keep them neat and well-groomed.

 

 

Andrew Kroenert and Nick Simpson-Deeks

Drawing a line and a circle- Andrew Kroenert and Nick Simpson-Deeks.

 

 

Sonya Suares

Cast member and Watch This’ Artistic Director Sonya Suares

 

 

Leighton Young

Leighton Young projects a stern focus as he prepares his face.

 

 

Reece Budin

Part of the ritual of preparing the voice. Reece Budin and a mouthful of water.

Theatreworks 2014 Season Launch and Opening Night of The Wost of Scottee

Posted on 23/01/2014

On Monday night, we attended the opening of Midsumma Premier event, the exquisite The Worst of Scottee, followed by the launch of this year’s season at Theatreworks.  It’s been a much anticipated lineup meticulously put together by Daniel Clarke and his team, featuring some of the very best that Melbourne’s indie scene has to offer.  Beginning with Gary Abraham’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, the program also includes a Sondheim, works by Elbow Room, ARTHUR, Natalie Cursio and Nicola Gunn, Little Ones Theatre, Bryony Kimmings, and Four Larks’ The Temptation of St. Antony for Melbourne Festival, as well as the Theatreworks commissioned Encounter(s) projects which includes works by Yana Alana and Katie Sfetkidis.

 

An informal launch at the idyllic Theatreworks in St. Kilda.

An informal launch at the idyllic Theatreworks in St. Kilda.

 

Artists at the launch.

Some of the artists in this year’s program getting into the spirit.

 

Graphic designer Danny Brookes and friend

TW programme graphic designer Danny Brookes and friend

 

Mister Richard Watts

Mister Richard Watts

 

Mister Nick Pelomis

Mister Nick Pelomis

 

Dan Clarke and Simon Matthews with Scottee (middle)

Dan Clarke and Simon Matthews with Scottee (middle)

 

 

 

 

Leopards Vs Flamingos – Rose Chong Christmas Party 2013

Posted on 23/01/2014

What? Christmas Party? Remember that fun season that came and went so quickly as we all slide back grumpily into work mode?

 

Partly due to the fact that my switch has been on ‘lazy,’ these summer-fun photos are coming out well into the new year.  That said, the sun is still shining and the pool parties are still happening, so it’s time to revisit this cool soup of frisky bathing animals!

 

 

There were the flamingos;

 

Sisters Esther and Rebecca Hayes as entwined flamingos.

Sisters Esther and Rebecca Hayes as entwined flamingos.

 

Neel Morley pets the dog as Peri Jenkins drinks champagne.

Neel Morley pets the dog as Peri Jenkins drinks champagne.

 

Neel Morley with Rose Chong

Neel Morley with Rose Chong

 

 

Casey Scott-Corless straps on some heels.

Casey Scott-Corless straps on some heels.

 

There was good ol’ fashioned bathing;

 

Rebecca and Esther Hayes with Mistletoe man.

Rebecca and Esther Hayes with Mistletoe Santa man.

 

2013 Wrap

Posted on 31/12/2013

Admittedly, this blog has not been completely forthcoming during the year.  There were large pockets in the Promptside calendar where it appeared as if this theatre cockroach had failed to report back about things he has seen. Many apologies; Rather than saying I’d been too busy with work, let’s just say I wasn’t very eager to put down my glass of bubbles to bring out the camera.

So this is not so much a retrospective as a thank-you to the fabulous creatives I’ve had the pleasure of working with and spending time with throughout the year.

 

I spent a whole lot of time with the delicious people of Little Ones Theatre who never fail to entertain, on or off stage.  Because of this, I sometimes get to photograph them hanging around candidly being sexy.

 

 

Genevieve Giuffre, in between performances of Salome

Genevieve Giuffre, in between performances of ‘Salome,’ in bed with the hot dog, microphone and string of pearls.

 

 

I got to run a photo booth at the Theatreworks Fundraiser, Abundance, where I played dress-ups with a whole lot of kids, one of whom was the gorgeous photographer-about-town Sarah Walker.

 

 

Sarah Walker at Abundance

Sarah Walker at Abundance

 

Rose Chong and the Chongettes are, and have always been, avid supporters of the theatre, and I’m so glad my job allows me to stop by every now and then at this Aladdin’s cave of fabulous costumes, which is always a welcome breath of fun and colour! This year, I was honoured to collaborate with the formidable Rose to do their window for the Gertrude Street Projection Festival.

 

Rose Chong and Hannah Cuthbertson at the Leoard X Flamingos Rose Chong Christmas Party

Rose Chong and Hannah Cuthbertson at the Leoard X Flamingos Rose Chong Christmas Party

 

 

I worked on a few developments this year; One of which was with Renae Shadler, the most enthusiastic and energetic theatre maker I know.  It was a collaboration with artists of Generation Y, including Felix Ching Ching Ho, Yusuf Harare Jr, Cameron Stewart, Neil Triffett, Penny Harpham and Kris Chainey about Generation Y, called Y? Ironically, I’m not of that generation, but learnt a lot about them, and about myself.

 

Renae Shadler and I in a Telstra phone booth.  Doing selfies.

Renae Shadler and I in a Telstra phone booth. Doing selfies.

 

 

The other development involved a bunch of queens in the room, including Stephen Nicolazzo, Ash Flanders, Art Simone aka Jack, and Marion Potts, exploring the pearls of wisdom of some of our dear friends, the women of Youtube.

 

 

Ash Flanders with Art Simone

Ash Flanders with Art Simone during ‘The Woman Project’ development.

 

I also found these women online, but they were presenting something quite different altogether. When Tanya Dickson and I conceptualised the set of a men’s magazine for Lucy Kirkwood’s NSFW at Red Stitch Actors Theatre, there were ethical considerations of how people, and images of people are portrayed in this day and age. Ultimately, we decided that it was OK to have this kind of nudity on stage. For the sake of art. Thank you to all at Red Stitch and lovely production team, led by the very graceful Dawn Holland.

 

NSFW set at Red Stitch

NSFW set at Red Stitch

 

Speaking of sets, I had the pleasure of recreating two other settings for The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe’ when it toured to Geelong and Brisbane this year.  Last year, the play was set on the set of ‘The Intensity Collective’s Hedda Gabler.‘ This time around, it was an amateur production of Les Mis at the Geelong Courthouse Arts and then a few days later, a Molière at the Brisbane Festival. Many thanks to the team including Declan Greene, Zoey Dawson and Glyn Roberts for letting me play designer so many times over.

 

'The Unspoken Word is Joe' at Geelong Courthouse

The barricades of Les Mis for ‘The Unspoken Word is Joe’ at Geelong Courthouse Arts

 

'Joe' cast at Brisbane Festival

‘Joe’ cast at Brisbane Festival

 

When I was away from home in Brisbane, it was so nice to see all my Melbourne friends who were also part of the Brisbane Festival.  The team from Arthur for Cut Snake, Nicola Gunn’s Hello My Name Is, MKA and, of course, those psychos at Little Ones Theatre were all there, making it seem like a really fun school camp!

 

Cast and creatives of Psycho Beach Party at Brisbane Festival

Cast and creatives of Psycho Beach Party at Brisbane Festival, including (right to left:) Me, Kevin Kiernan-Molloy, Stephen Nicolazzo, Zoe Boesen, Amanda McGregor, Paul Blenheim, Peter Paltos, Caitlin Adams, Ash Flanders, Daniel Clarke, Owen Phillips,  Tessa Leigh Wollfenbuttel Pitt, Kris Chainey, Kurt Phelan and Tom Dent, though there are other equally as smiley and miraculous kids in the Little Ones Theatre team who aren’t in this picture.  Thank you all.

 

I worked on a short film with the wonderful  people of Access. It’s being packaged up as we speak, so keep an eye out for this cute little short about superheroes. Who doesn’t love a film about a group of superheroes, right?

 

The cast of SUPER at a shoot at the SUPANOVA convention

The cast of SUPER at a shoot at the SUPANOVA convention

 

James Deeth at Piedimontes for the SUPER shoot.

James Deeth at Piedimontes for the SUPER shoot.

 

The very lovely director Samara Hersch got some help from writer Louris Van de Geer to write the SUPER script.  She ended up being in the film in the end.

 

Louris Van de Geer at the SUPER shoot.

Louris Van de Geer at the SUPER shoot.

 

The other Samara-Louris collaboration I worked on was the development of Hello There, for Next Wave Festival.

 

Aaron Orzech at 'Hello There' development.

Aaron Orzech vacuuming confetti at ‘Hello There’ development.

 

Genevieve Giuffre eating corn at 'Hello There' development.

Genevieve Giuffre eating corn at ‘Hello There’ development.

 

 

I’m also glad I got to remake that iconic pink dress that Nicola Gunn wore to emcee for Abundance, and in that large ‘billboard,’ in SEQUINS, for In Spite of Myself.

 

 

Nicola Gunn in that pink dress for Bang Bang in 'In Spite of Myself'

Nicola Gunn in that pink dress for Bang Bang in ‘In Spite of Myself’

 

Along with the moments of fun and celebration, there have also been moments of beautiful contemplation.

Blizzard, directed by the very elegant Natalie Cursio, existed in space where the sparse soundscapes were created by Caroline, Melissa and Alice incidental to their dance, which was as beautiful to watch as it was to meditate upon. This particular image reminds me of The Three Shades.

 

Caroline Meaden, Melissa Jones and Alice Dixon at 'Blizzard'

Caroline Meaden, Melissa Jones and Alice Dixon at ‘Blizzard’

 

The year began with I Know There’s A Lot Of Noise Outside But You Have To Close Your Eyes in Sydney where I spent some time with the girls (Allison Whiltshire, Anna McCarthy, Zoey Dawson and Katie Sfetkidis, who is the rock star lighting designer I continued to work with on quite a number of shows this year) and introduced Zoey to Sushi Trains.

 

Zoey Dawson in cocoon dress, in 'I Know There's A Lot Of Noise Outside But You Have To Close Your Eyes.'

Zoey Dawson in cocoon dress, in ‘I Know There’s A Lot Of Noise Outside But You Have To Close Your Eyes.’

 

Last year, I worked on Triangle, for which Russell Goldsmith and Chris Wren used the theme music of ABC Radio National’s Late Night LiveEliza Aria from The Wild Swans, performed by the immaculate soprano Jane Sheldon. This year, I got to work with her on the one-woman opera Exil, directed by Adena Jacobs for the Sydney Chamber Opera. We both agreed earlier on, much to Adena’s amusement, that it should be set in a spaceship. Obviously, it wasn’t.

Jane Sheldon with Adena Jacobs at a rehearsal for 'Exil.'

Jane Sheldon with Adena Jacobs at a rehearsal for ‘Exil.’

 

Daniel Clarke’s Palace of the End at Theatreworks reminded us of the Iraqi wars through the compelling performances of Hannah Morris, Robert Meldrum and Eugenia Fragos. Thank you, Daniel, and the cast and creatives including maestro Russell Goldsmith and Rob Sowinski, for this, the most real, emotional and shocking piece I’ve worked on this year.

 

Set for 'Palace of the End'

Set for ‘Palace of the End’

 

 

Having recounted some of the invaluable experiences and chances to foster memorable creative relationships in the theatre this year, I feel all the more richer. Perhaps it’s a bit backward in thinking, considering Wesley Enoch’s recent I Don’t Do it for the Money speech at Belvoir.  Perhaps one day, it would be nice to receive an award wage for what I do.  But in the meantime, I’m OK with this kind of reward.

Thank you all for making it a worthwhile experience, and I’ll see you all again in 2014.

 

 

Caroline Meaden in 'Blizzard.'

Caroline Meaden in ‘Blizzard.’

Festival Hopping 03 – Melbourne Festival

Posted on 20/10/2013

Melbourne Festival is well and truly underway. At the opening weekend party, artists gathered to celebrate a hotly anticipated  couple of weeks of world class ART.

 

 

Melbourne Festival Opening Weekend Party down low in the bowels of Hamer Hall

Melbourne Festival Opening Weekend Party down low in the bowels of Hamer Hall

 

 

Nikki Shiels from Daniel Schlusser's M+M

Local talent Nikki Shiels from Daniel Schlusser’s M+M

 

The Rabble's Emily Melledge (right) and friend

The Rabble’s Emily Melledge (right) and friend

 

 

Danny Delahunty and friend

Danny Delahunty and friend

 

 

Chrissie Robinson

Chrissie Robinson

 

 

Actor Marcus McKenzie and Dancer Amy Macpherson

Actor Marcus McKenzie and Dancer Amy Macpherson

 

Fun with animal print

Fun with leopard print!

 

 

Bang Bang! Pistol chic.

Bang Bang! Pistol chic. Party on!

 

 

Spotty goodness

Spotty goodness

 

Hat

 

 

Disco Magic

Disco Magic

 

 

Dancing King

 

Melbourne Festival13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Festival Hopping 02 – Melbourne Fringe Festival

Posted on 26/09/2013

At the opening night of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, we saw Kevin Rudd in a peeled apple suit.  I’m not exactly sure why he was wearing a peeled apple suit, or if it was supposed to be a peeled apple at all- maybe it’s a peeled grape, or some sort of unpeeled fruit, even.

 

Regardless of whether it’s peeled or unpeeled fruit, there’s a lot of different kinds of fruit, pixelated and unpixelated, at the Fringe worth checking out.

Kevin Rudd wearing a peeled apple suit.

Kevin Rudd wearing a peeled apple suit.

 

 

Bold at Fringe

Outstanding at the Fringe Festival.

 

 

Leila Rogers, who is performing in Laika and Wills.

Leila Rogers who is performing in Laika and Wills, with that pout.

 

 

Flowers

Flowers and beer!

 

 

Felix Preval, Independent Arts Manager

Fringe Independent Arts Manager Felix Preval, man of mystery.

Festival Hopping 01 – Brisbane Festival

Posted on 24/09/2013

Brisbane Festival kidnaps a busload of Melbourne theatre kids, including enfants terribles MKA: Theatre of New Writing with The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe,’ those crazy camp show ponies from Little Ones Theatre with Psycho Beach Party, that enchanting Nicola Gunn with the piercing blue eyes and her show Hello My Name Is and those sexy tumbling Arthur Productions kids primed for a Jane Fonda exercise video in Cut Snake.

 

Brisbane Festival Melbourne Bus

Brisbane Festival Melbourne Bus

 

Independent performing arts curator David Berthold has stolen the four of six companies programmed to be in next year’s MTC 2014 Neon season so that the launch was not as meaty as it might have been.

 

 

MKA 'Joe' cast

MKA ‘Joe’ cast

 

For a couple of weeks, at least, this is where it’s at.

 

Pier Carthew enjoying a deer and beer deal at a local BrisVegas pub.

Pier Carthew enjoying a deer and beer deal at a local BrisVegas pub.

 

Little Ones Stephen Nicolazzo and Caitlin Adams

Little Ones Stephen Nicolazzo and Caitlin Adams

 

Catherine Davies, latex pants.

Catherine Davies, latex pants.

 

MKA Man Glyn Roberts

MKA Man Glyn Roberts

 

Brisbane Festival Bek Berger

Bek Berger, who appeared in Brisbane to help bump in Psycho Beach Party

Salome. Sexy X Sexy

Posted on 05/09/2013

I remember telling Stephen after rehearsal one day that the air in there feels like a sick zoo, and reminds me so much of Aubrey Beardsley’s illustrations of Wilde’s Salome.

 

 

Tom Dent as Namaan, the executioner

Tom Dent as Namaan, the executioner

 

 

Beardsley's illustration of Salome- Enter Herodias

Beardsley’s illustration of Salome- Enter Herodias

 

 

Nick Pelomis as Herodias

Nick Pelomis as Herodias

 

 

Alexandra Aldrich as Herod

Alexandra Aldrich as Herod

 

 

Peter Paltos as the Young Syrian

Peter Paltos as the Young Syrian

 

 

Zoe Boesen as the Page

Zoe Boesen as the Page

 

 

Genevieve Giuffre as John the Baptist

Genevieve Giuffre as John the Baptist

 

 

Paul Blenheim as Salome

Paul Blenheim as Salome

 

 

Tessa Leigh Woffenbuttell Pitt, my co-costume designer

Tessa Leigh Woffenbuttell Pitt, my co-costume designer

 

 

Meanwhile, go see Little Ones Theatre’s Salome at Malthouse’s Helium season.