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

16 February 2016

MELT - LGBT Arts and Culture Festival

More Melt Events
Brisbane Powerhouse
The whole of Melt was so enjoyable. Adam Gardnir put together a busy 11 days that I managed to fit in several shows and some exhibitions at the Powerhouse as well as a couple of visits to QPAC at the same time. The festival involved participation of about 25 friends and I chatted to heaps more who were there to watch, support and enjoy the feast. I made several new friends, drank more than a few Red wines, got heaps of photos, hugs and memories.

"Dangerous Liaisons"
3rd February 2016
Powerhouse Theatre
Melt has got off to a bang up start. Last night the Brisbane Powerhouse was full of people. I was there with a good friend Sante to see the quite brilliant and beautiful gender fluid (borrowed phrase) performance of Dangerous Liaisons presented by Little Ones Theatre.

Christopher Hampton's 1985 play Les liaisons dangereuses, is a theatrical adaptation of the 18th-century French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Full of bawdy innuendo, seduction, ammorality and stunning acting. Pants roles were so well performed, singing was both fun and wonderful. The only jarring note I heard was one Rap sounding overplay music. Probably not Rap but I do not understand these transitory sub genres. There was so much laughter but I could feel people holding back at times because this is a big dialogue piece. Rapid fire words and action and no one wanted to miss one succulent moment. A treacherous feat to work with but a thrill to see the skill and the wonderful characters. Closes on the 5th so hurry.
Directed by Stephen Nicolazzo
Performed by The Little Ones: Alexandra Aldrich, Janine Watson, Brigid Gallacher, Amanda McGregor, Zoe Boesen, Catherine Davies, Anna McCarthy, Tom Dent.
Produced by Jo Porter

5th February
Visy Theatre (next Post)
"Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars"
6th February
Powerhouse Theatre
Third night at the Melt Festival and Michelle Boyd (took photos of me sucking up),Phil, Sante and I went to a big concert of some of Brisbane's best musos playing the entire Ziggy Stardust album and then heaps more of the greatly loved genius David Bowie, This was planned a long time before his surprise departure from this planet and had to be rescheduled from one performance to three which immediately sold out. The enormous band was thrilling, tight and displayed sensational playing Violins, cello, drums, percussion, keyboards, a grand Mouth Organ, electric and acoustic guitars, horns. Just a beautiful and rocking sound from the best of the best. Then there were the vast array of singers who bought individuality to each Bowie Masterpiece. Singers from different styles and backgrounds that created a broad musical palette of rousing interpretations. 

Originality that came together as a whole and a standing ovation. There were some fans who just had to leave their seats and dance in the aisle. Foremost for me was seeing the great Lucinda Shaw whom I adore on stage and love to see off stage as well. What a smart and brilliant singer. James Lees the musical director and percussionist for the event was a treat to finally meet after the show as was keyboards player, the extraordinary Parmis Rose. It wasn't until out in the carpark in the rain I finally got to chat to the amazing actor/performer/singer Sandro Colarelli who put on an enormously rock performance. All musicians and singers were outstanding. Outside I bumped into drummer the lovely Fionn Ellwood who was working off stage last night.
While there for the third night I also caught up with the leading theatre woman Margi Brown Ash, radio and eurovision rep Blair Martin and The Naked Magicians' Christopher Wayne (dressed for this show) who had come off stage after their last performance of Gaybies in another theatre there. I also managed to chat to the other half of The Naked Magicians Mike Tyler who turned out to be a friend of my cousins and family. I was thrilled to once again see the adorable Joel Devereux and we chatted and posed with his portrait of Joe Simons on the walls there. There is also a painting of Joel entered in the same portrait competition. It is all voted on but I noticed the Premiere of Queensland has been there today judging the portraits. I drank several reds and a beer, had a short chat again with Barbara Lowing waved at lovely ALP candidate 'Patrick O'Neill, spoke to dancer Joe Simons and Melt festival director Adam Gardnir yet again, met an arty punk guy I saw on a bus this week and had a thoroughly great time in the place I love the best - a theatre.

ps I borrowed the Ziggy photos from my facebook feed.

10th February
Turbine Studio
The Turbine Studio at The BRISBANE POWERHOUSE is a remarkable intimate venue with gorgeous old brick walls and an arch or two. Just the venue for a very bohemian performance piece. It has the perfect atmosphere and I felt a new vibe. Thomas Markiewicz was quite spellbinding in this theatre piece that is one huge poetic monologue. Full of shades of the characters he tells of from being a homeless bisexual existing in love and loneliness on the fringes and the streets of Paris. The longings, the hope, the disappointment, the adventures and most of all the need for love. It is one hell of a script by Stephen House who I met. He wrote from his own times in Paris and as an actor he has also performed it himself all over the country over a 100 times. The reinterpretation as a cross dresser is new to this production and was carried off so brilliantly by the somewhat younger Tom Markiewicz. On or more precisely to the side of the space was musician Silvan Rus adding beautiful, emotional and pointed guitar accompaniment to the performance. I sat just in front of Zoe Tuffin who was producer and Shane Pike who was the director. This couple have created Wax Lyrical Productions which got off to an amazing start with a sensational 'Carrie' a few weeks ago and now another startlingly good production of 'Appalling Behaviour'

Part of the Adam Gardnir's Melt Festival (yes I saw him again) the building was again full of friends out being entertained and supporting great theatre. I have friends in different rooms/theatres. Dan Venz was with us in the Turbine Studio and Tom Oliver, Kimberly Hodgson and Chris Kel Lett were there watching Joe Simons who I see on Saturday night. Before and after the shows I had such great times with all the above, drank red wine, took photos, discussed at length what can be done to see how performers can actually earn some money, increasing audiences, pride in the sensational talent we have, staying here to build, approaching politicians to grill them on their support for the arts, the shortage of venues and the high cost of hiring a venue which ends up leaving those who give up their time and energy to learn a role, rehearse and then come out every night and some afternoons to provide it to the people in this and other cities for nothing or next to nothing. There are three levels of government and all have a responsibility towards the arts and in Brisbane they seem to own most of the venues. Unfortunately the entertainment in them is more often than not a gift of charity to us on behalf of the artists. Constantly importing expensive shows does little for supporting local talent. So many succumb and decide to move to get the roles. We train them so we should bloody well try and keep them and pay them with respect and money.

"First Things First"
13th February
Visy Theatre
Well it is almost Melted, the carnival will be over today and I had a wonderful time. My final show last night was Joe Simons joyous celebration of first times, the excitement, generally, of the first time for everything before it becomes ordinary . 'First Things First' Joe is an actor, a sublime and agile dancer, he speaks with physical theatre, he can tell a tale, he can engage every member of the audience and address them by name he is charming, he is funny and he is just sexily splendid to watch as he dances, prances, shakes, leaps and twists all over the stage. Sadly it is now over so you missed it if you did not go this week. I ran into the charming Joe every night I was there but missed my usual photo op. Next time.

 This is Joe in one of my favourite photos that I have loved a long time before we became friends.
Joseph Simons as King Louis XIV as The Sun King
by amazing photographer Joel Devereux which was in the portrait competition at the Melt Festival

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