'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

30 May 2013


The Australian String Quartet
Tuesday 28th May. Again I attended another wonderful concert by this group of talented string players at the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre. We were first given the Haydn String Quartet in D major 'The Lark',  which was a lovely and lilting piece with a fun vibrant finale and beautifully played. Next the Bartok String Quartet No. 3 which I found astoundingly powerful. The depth of Bartok's sound is grand and stirring to my blood. Lead violin Kristian Winther is tall, thin and gorgeous and so wonderful to watch on stage. His recent thorough involvement with Bartok music showed in his total immersion into the piece. He was in a world all of his own and the joy burst out through his body and on his face time and time again. 
After interval they were joined by guest Cellist Timo-Veikko Valve from the Australian Chamber Orchestra and thus we were ready for the Schubert String Quintet in C major. I immediately recognised the music and realised it was once a favourite of mine that I played over and over with the CD by the LASALLE QUARTET with the addition of Lynn Harrell (extra cello). I am not a musically trained anything, but I do have large collections. This Schubert performance was stunning, passionate and familiar. Once again Kristian was the focus of my attention. His playing and stage aura are magnetic. Every player I met were singing his praises. Without prompting I found myself screaming bravo at the conclusion. A thoroughly satisfying evening. I left oi on such a high that kept me up for hours mulling over the joys of live performance and also genius playing.
At interval and then hanging around after the concert I was introduced to so many string players from The Queensland Symphony, Camarata of St John and also one of the stars of the night the viola player Stephen King from The Australian String Quartet. He generously encouraged my desire to become an ageing theatre and musical groupie as I seem to be these days. I have not come away from a performance of anything of late without meeting with or becoming friends with some of the cast or members as well as the audience.

Mother Courage

Bertolt Brecht's 
'Mother Courage and Her Children'
Saturday evening 25th May at the Playhouse at QPAC I was honoured to see a huge and brilliant performance of the German play reworked, rewritten and restaged for an all indigenous cast and set in a Queensland of war torn devastation controlled by mining. Artistic Director of The Queensland Theater Company and Director of this play also translated and adapted this along with Paula Nazarski. The set was vast and one could see the full extent of the stage, occasionally sectioned off by curtains of corrugated iron descending from above. There was also a complete view into the wings that gave the feeling of the expansive outback of Australia, the loneliness and the diminished size of  people set against troubled times. It was huge. Interspersed with musical numbers and set around the wagon (an old motorless ute)drawn about the stage by the actors, the characters lived and died, struggled and came and went with the effects of a dehumanising war from which the strong and adaptable Mother Courage managed to manipulate the attempted survival of herself and her children.
The cast was led by the truly awesome Ursula Yovich as Mother Courage. Her presence was captivating, acting spellbinding and her voice is stunning. She was described by the Australian as a powerhouse Mother Courage. Others have reviewed her performance as absolutely Mind-Blowing and her voice exquisite. I just ordered her CD 'Ursula Yovich Live'
As the Chaplain we were also blessed to have the multi award winning composer, singer and co founder of The Bangarra Dance Theatre the wonderful David Page (left above). His cheeky character and beautiful voice was also a joy of the night. I took a particular shine to the endearing Swiss Cheese played by Eliah Watego. The gentle, innocent and simple son of Mother courage was a stark contrast to the evils that beset him. I was distraught when he died at the end of Act one, but relieved to see the actor return as another character soon after interval. All the cast were impressive and for a long night they held me captive:- Mark, Atkins, George Bostock, Luke Carroll, Ghenoa Deemal, Dave Dow, Roxanne Mc Donald, Paula Nazarski, Robert Preston and Michael Tuahine.
The cast in costume on the wagon outside the theatre.
Our treasure Wesley Enoch and the fabulous Ursula Yovich
Check this link to see and hear Ursula singing on ABC
They won't let me embed the file.
I have a copy of the beautiful CD 'Ursula Yovich Live'

Briefs: The Second Coming

Friday night the 24 th May at the Powerhouse and the boys of Briefs:The Second Coming had people enraptured. My Facebook comment the next morning began with "Dazzling sequins, bare butts, boys legs in lace, somersaults, comedy routines and that was just the audience."
Trapeze sensations, water over everyone, a penis hidden inside a knitted willy warmer, handsome nudity, feathers galore, a raffle winner licking salt off a gorgeous boys stomach and drinking Tequila, hoops, dancing, drag, circus and all round spectacular entertainment. You should see what a 99% naked boy can do with a Yo-Yo. Boy are they strong, beautiful, fun and generous.
Mark Winmill in Briefs
I was at a table with the amazing Mark Winmill's parents and dad is a performer through and through who still has tricks up his sleeve. They were so nice and the audience loved them as well. The cast made loving references to them throughout. I felt quite honoured to be at that table.
This is brilliant.

Briefs Second Coming from browndog on Vimeo.
Facebook page of BRIEFS All Male All Vaudeville All Trash Circus Cabaret
Starting in the back of a bookshop not far from where I live this grew into a now world travelling troupe  Apart from the original guys the full group only assembled five weeks ago and what a show they created. All professionals and all gorgeous and setting off to London soon.

Some assorted images of the boys.

After the show which ended in a cheering standing ovation, I hung around at the bar and met some of the guys who came out in their brief costumes to mingle before changing and I also met a heap of beautiful people. We partied and drank until we were all thrown out. Then off to a party with new friends until 2 am and met even more cast boys. I had a brilliant evening and gathered some permanent friends that night, thanks to the atmosphere created by the Boylesque boys.
We are at the bar with new friends.
 Poster for back to roots performance at West End Brisbane where I live. Also a London Poster.
My earlier post on Boylesque

18 May 2013

Sons of Sin

Who run the world?
Friday 17th May
The Danger Ensemble
My third production by this new and exciting company.
At The Judith Wright Centre For Contemporary Arts
Opening night of Sons of Sin and if you wandered in from the bar when the doors opened 15 to 20 minutes prior to the official commencement you were treated with the cast chanting as each of the nine in turn was dunked in water and ceremoniously stripped naked to be then led across the floor blindfolded to don a black suit for the performance. Standing around the edge of the space the audience was then given an evening of intense power, fun, depth and even disgust. The theatre was left as a cube with a three level scaffolding structure one end and a proscenium stage opposite leaving the main performance area in the centre of the floor around which we gathered with drink in hand. 
Not only were the cast in constant frenetic and at times dangerous motion on the blood, sweat and beer soaked floor, but we also were ushered or herded around the room by snapping, barking dogs (the boys on all fours) from one place to another to observe and participate in the next compelling experience. Constantly drinking beer after beer throughout the show, they explored diverse facets of male behaviour. The self-identity, the mateship, the levels of passion, the fears, the conditioning, the vulnerabilities, the sex, the coming out, the chauvinism, the good the bad and the very nasty side of testosterone and bravado.
There were some stunning set pieces throughout, but the play was largely improvised around rehearsed elements prompted by drinking games and the draw of a card to decide what happened next and to or with whom. There were tiered (the scaffolding) dance numbers to cheers and hoots of involvement from the crowd, a harrowing rape scene of one actor in a dress, people were drawn on stage for declarations of love, a sexy lap dance for a brave young man in the audience, moments of tenderness and assorted stages of nakedness and physical energy that defined cruelty or daring. 
There were sections where an actor had to respond honestly from the scaffolding to questions from the audience or cast as to some of the most intimate and private experiences of their life, often with a heavy leaning towards the crude or challenges from a fierce woman. Other cards demanded a dare from anyone in the audience which resulted in making out with a girl from the audience, a boy pissing into the central bath-tub and another downing two beers and throwing up. It sounds confronting and it was, but I assure you it worked brilliantly. It was up to the audience as to which direction occasional scenes travelled. Some scenes led subtly to a prearranged conclusion that displayed the incredible training these young actors have had to respond to random prompts. No two shows will ever be the same in composition or even in duration. The evening came to  two dramatic sequences as gallons of fake blood poured from the ceiling (I still have some of it on my clothes as it splashed from cast members) and the final chant as to the state of the world as a revealing moment of spirituality also descends from the ceiling.
This is one of the best evenings in theatre I have experienced. It is not for all and it is not exclusively what theatre should be, but it is a strong and essential element of what makes up the important, invigorating and enlightening scope of the writers' and actors' art. I am so pleased it has made its mark in Brisbane.

Amazing Photography by Dylan Evans

Photos below by Morgan Roberts

And two pics from The Weekend Edition.
Pre show stripping of the cast and David, Sante and I in the foyer.
The End and May It Resurrect
Pic by Morgan Roberts
 Directed and designed by - Steven Mitchell

Alex Fowler
William Horan
Thomas Hutchins - I also saw in As You Like It.
Aaron Wilson
Ron Seeto
Chris Farrell
Samuel Schoessow
Charlie Scache - I also saw in Children of War
Stephen Quinn

Also one of the audience rounders who were assisting the play was Johnny Legobye an actor from The Choir in a sweet uniform dress.

My page with comments of The Danger Ensemble's -  I WAR with singer Brendan Maclean who is in the new Baz Luhrmann film 'The Great Gatsby' with Leonardo Di Caprio and the now uber-famous tenor Luke Kennedy. 

12 May 2013


Fractal Theatre on Facebook
Last night I experienced a staged version of Frankenstein adapted and directed by the Artistic Director of Fractal Theatre - Brenna Lee-Cooney. This theatre group was formed by Brenna and her husband Eugene Gilfedder in 1989. I have coincidentally now seen Eugene Gilfedder in three productions in the last year: Elizabeth:Almost by Chance a Woman by the Queensland Theater Company and Holding The Man at La Boite Theatre. I also had the pleasure of meeting him at Benjamin Britten's War Requiem a few weeks ago.
Victor Frankenstein was played beautifully by Andrew Lowe and the Creature by the virile and impressive Cameron Hurry. The remainder of the cast played multiple roles:- Eugene Gilfedder, Thomas Yaxley who was particularly wonderful in some lovely and endearing roles, Johancee Theron, Zoe de Plevitz and the young Adam Florence.
It has been decades since I have been to The Arts Theatre when friends used to act there in great old classics like Charlie's Aunt. Arts Theater has been on the Brisbane scene since 1936 with the current building emerging and burning and re-emerging in the 60's. Many famous Australians like Garth Welch and John Batchelor put in their time there.

08 May 2013

Fire and Forest


Australia being an old dry country is prone to fire and has been for a very long time. So much of our vegetation depends on regular burns to encourage re-growth and seed distribution. It is a cycle that was aided by the indigenous population who regularly set controlled fires to help in their hunting. Fire, as elsewhere, is the centre of communal life, cooking and ceremony. One of the great turning points in mankind's development was the discovery of fire and how to preserve what was created by nature's lightning and eventually the discovery of how to make it. It is part of our soul to contemplate and be absorbed by the flame; the dance of the bright yellow fingers, the warmth, the light.
Ceremony and entertainment is made powerful with fire.

From Brian Kenny's channel
The Boy with Fire in His Eyes 
The boy with fire in his eyes
Stands there waiting.
It is his soul inside;
It keeps him standing. 
And if ever the fire goes out,
He will freeze in the cold.
It is his heat
And all that keeps him living. 
Or if it never is put to use,
It will consume him;
He will burn to the ground
His ashes left behind.
But if the fire blazes,
If kindled, kept and carried,
If the boy with fire in his eyes
Finds life inside that fire,
His fire will light the world,
Will pierce the mist,
A fire to drive the dark away
Forever and ever more.
Boys playing with fire.
Mankind came down from the trees and walked upright across the grassy plains, but the safety of the forest as a place to hide, to forage, to sleep and to seek protection from the elements is second nature to us. Have you walked through the bush and felt the spirit of the plants that surround you. Have you been aware of the smell of life and the symbiotic nature of the exchange of carbon of which all living things are made and the oxygen which fires our life process.
From the Trees to the Grasslands
Meditate in the bush.
As mentioned Australia is prone to fire and is largely desert. Forests do exist but we mainly refer to of unique trees etc as the Bush or the Scrub. Huge Tropical Rain Forests do exist on the East Coast and we also have pre historic trees still growing. It is varied and one can still find the unknown, the unpopulated and the surroundings worthy of contemplation.
From the wonderful work of Eduardo Restrepo
Forest Fantasy
'Boy in Forest' from the work of Vittorio Carvelli http://vittoriocarvelli.blogspot.com.au/
Fantasy, Magic and Fawns also live in the Forest
Forest Light
Spirits of the Forest?
Performance from Marcel Antunez Roca - Barcelona
Amazing Work - http://marceliantunez.com/
Pure Happiness in the Bush
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