"Marsupialiminal - The world is terrible. Furry animals, intrepid chickens, talking pizza. A spring roll argues with a fox terrier at the opera. Spending the last 7 years as a full time professional political cartoonist has given me a unique…
Redemption is the gripping story of two priests who harbour a terrible secret. One night in a remote country parish - Ben arrives at the home of Terry – his life long mentor and close friend of a retired Monsignor,…
See article in its original context here by Raymond Gill for Daily Review.
Before Kate Durham (pictured right) became an activist for refugees’ rights she was an artist.
In the 1980s her extravagant, bejewelled, and jumbled glass and plaster jewellery, head-pieces, drawings, paintings, sculptures, busts, mirrors, frames and even furniture, were in stark contrast to the dark minimalism creeping into every area of art, design and architecture.
Durham’s anti-fashion fashion with its shards, scraps, remnants and rubbish created a sort of urban tribalism. In the case of her jewellery, which she exhibited from Tokyo to New York to London, it seemed to demand a certain confidence, defiance or even contrariness of its wearer.
Since the late 1990s when she met the human rights lawyer, Julian Burnside (now her husband), she has been an activist for the rights of refugees attempting asylum in Australia. That too requires a confidence, defiance and contrariness as she (and he) front the apathy of many Australians and the chest-thumping fear mongering of conservative media and politicians.
After many years Durham has returned to jewellery making in an exhibition of 140 works titled “The Decorated Self” at Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs gallery from tomorrow until October 11.
See review in its original context here by Coral Drouyn for Stage Whispers.
In one remarkable night of theatre last week we cried, were horrified, grew angry and outraged, had our hearts broken, marvelled and finally stood and cheered to toast the birth of a new theatre company – The Collective – and its remarkable gift to us all – Jason Robert Brown’s and Alfred Uhry’s sensational multi award (including Tonys for book and score) winning Parade. A critical success but a box office failure (one can imagine how Americans hated to see their bigotry “paraded” on stage), Parade is having its professional Australian debut here in Melbourne – and how blessed we are. Could musical theatre possibly get any better than this?
The true story of a quiet and dignified Jewish businessman, accused of an horrific crime he didn’t commit, and the travesty of a trial that follows, hardly seems the material for a musical…but then neither does Next to Normalor Spring Awakening. To be treated, as an audience, like thinking, caring, and compassionate human beings is a rarity. Yes it’s a harrowing show, but the rewards are enormous, the music is glorious and, in this case, the production and cast are so outstanding that you feel privileged to be allowed to participate in some small way.
See review in its original context here by Reuben Liversidge for ArtsHub.
One of those rare occasions where creative team, cast and performance space combine in perfect symbiosis to present a fantastic piece of theatre.
Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s Parade is pretty much as dark as music theatre gets. The plot details the real life case of the murder of thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan (Jemma Plunkett) and the criminal trial and subsequent conviction of prime suspect Leo Frank (Luigi Lucente) in Marietta, Georgia in 1913. Frank was a Brooklyn native of Jewish descent who married Southern woman Lucille Selig (Laura Fitzpatrick) and he was Mary’s boss at the pencil factory where she was employed. The events caused a national sensation while highlighting the corrupt nature of the judicial system and the anti-Semitic underbelly of the community. A lynch mob hanged Frank after his sentence was reduced to life in prison following a lengthy appeal process.
See review in its original context here by Chris Hughes for Theatre People.
Parade tells the story of Leo Frank, a factory manager who in 1913 was accused of raping and murdering a thirteen year old girl. The book by Alfred Uhry and music by Broadway legend Jason Robert Brown sets a rather ugly story against a truly beautiful score. It’s a heavy piece with only an occasional smattering of dark comedy. It’s a lot to get through. New kids on the block, The Collective theatre company, have taken a bold approach to a challenging piece and have delivered a show that audiences will adore.
See review in its original context here by Standing (inn)Ovation.
THE COLLECTIVE’S PARADE – REIMAGINING THE THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE
When Parade opened on Broadway back in 1998, it unfortunately didn’t resonate with audiences closing only 89 performances later. In their current production of Parade, The Collective have completely reimagined the theatrical experience and found what the original Broadway production was missing to create an incredibly moving and involving piece of immersive theatre.
Parade dramatizes the 1913 trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank who was accused and convicted of murdering a thirteen-year-old girl. Confronting media sensationalism and anti-Semitism in the southern states of America, this musical broaches some pretty difficult topics complemented by an incredibly varied score by the every underappreciated Jason Robert Brown.
See review in its original context here by Simon Parris his blog Man in Chair.
The Australian professional premiere of harrowing musical drama Parade is blessed with ingenious staging and compelling performances from its superb cast.
Revered for Jason Robert Brown’s Tony Award-winning score, Parade has been a favourite of music theatre enthusiasts since its all too brief Broadway season in 1999. This production uses the streamlined cast and reduced orchestrations of the 2008 Donmar Warehouse version. Besides being a most welcome premiere from a brand new company, the production is set apart by its canny use of fortyfive downstairs to create an intimate staging that is all the more riveting for its immersive design.
A true “concept” musical, on par with Cabaret and Company, Parade is an unflinching examination of the variable forces that govern human nature. Alfred Uhry’s book presents society’s role in Leo Frank’s brutally unjust downfall as unthinkable and yet inevitable. A clever contrast in the two acts shows how bad news spreads like wildfire whereas truth and justice are a much slower burn.
See review in its original context here by Bradley Storer for Theatre Press.
See review in its original context here by Erin James for Aussie Theatre.
Australian Professional Premiere of Parade opens in Melbourne
Melbourne’s newest professional theatre company The Collective are making waves in the independent music theatre scene this week, with the opening of their debut production Parade, by Jason Robert Brown.
Staged at the little space that could, fortyfivedownstairs, this production features some of Australia’s brightest music theatre talent in a cast led by Rob Guest Endowment finalist Luigi Lucente and Melbourne independent theatre darling Laura Fitzpatrick.
Playing until September 28, Parade tells the controversial yet true story of the 1913 murder trial of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank in Atlanta, Georgia. The show’s title refers to the annual parade held on Confederate Memorial Day, for it was on that day in 1913 that the murder took place. The parade (which is seen at the start, middle and end of the musical to mark the passing of years) was a rallying point for proud Southerners still affected by their defeat in the Civil War.
See review in its original context here by Rebecca Harkins-Cross for The Age.
The Collective’s Parade explores the unsettling case of Leo Frank
While greats like Stephen Sondheim have repeatedly demonstrated that the musical is not only a place for lightness and frippery, Parade explores a particularly dark chapter of American history: the death in 1915 of Leo Frank, a Jew persecuted and lynched for a murder he didn’t commit.
There’s something rightly unsettling about a crowd of rosy-cheeked patriots singing about the former glory of Georgia beneath a Confederate Flag, and not only because that zeal will soon turn savage. The tone never quite befits the grave subject matter.
James Cutler has directed a very watchable production, delivered by a vigorous ensemble, but the play itself niggles somewhat. The audience is positioned like onlookers in the courtroom, but we’re never given the true drama of that theatre. The bible-waving publisher (David Price) baying for blood is a cartoonish bad guy, goading the ambitious prosecutor Hugh Dorsey (Tod Strike) and flaming small-town hysteria.
See article in its original context here for Beat Magazine.
The Sound Of Waves Coming To fortyfivedownstairs
fortyfivedownstairs will present Gareth Ellis’ The Sound of Waves for a run of shows this October.
The Sound Of Waves focuses on Shelly, a normal girl who unexpectedly finds herself becoming more fish-like everyday until she decides to take refuge in the sea. One day, finding that the sea is not enough, she now must search for a way to walk on land again.
Some six years in the making, the allegorical play tells the tale of performer/creator Jodie Harris losing her hearing, receiving a cochlear implant and the impact that had on her life. She worked closely with writer Gareth Ellis and director Naomi Edwards on the piece.
PARADE is featured on page 4 of mX today!
This new series of maquettes by Dayne Trower is a study into the modifications made to the natural ground for the purpose of a new dwelling. An elongated site with a gentle incline is excavated, levelled and retained through the…
NORTH excerpts and essays meander the wide-ranging north Queensland landscape from Julie Poulsen’s home town of Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands onto Cooktown via the Savannah Way. The interpreted views are mixed elucidations: a broad perspective of the far north…
in/animate investigates tensions between nature and culture. Informed by both art and science, Louisa Ennis-Thomas’ biomorphic installations explore recurring themes of transformation, symbiosis and temporality. Humans are antithetically at odds with, yet inextricably linked to nature. Mimicking aspects of the…
See article in its original context here by Allison Hilbig for Theatre People.
The real life mystery of Parade: was Leo Frank innocent or guilty?
With book by Alfred Uhry and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, Parade tells the true story of the trial of Jewish factory worker, Leo Frank, who was accused and convicted of raping and murdering a 13 year old employee in Atlanta, Georgia in 1913.
Luigi Lucente (Rocky Horror Show, Pippin, The Last 5 Years, Assassins, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Guys and Dolls) plays the lead role of Leo Frank. In preparation for this role, Lucente undertook extensive research: reading books, searching the internet, watching documentaries and mini series. What he discovered was that 100 years later, this story is still a hotly debated topic with people fiercely divided about what they thought really happened. As Lucente says, “The first casualty of Parade, in my mind, is the truth.”
Certain elements of the story have been extrapolated for dramatic effect but these are minor details within the show. What remains is a fairly true depiction of what actually took place – something Lucente refers to as “hauntingly scary.”
During the first rehearsals the cast spent some time sifting through all their research to understand what really took place. Lucente described it as a very collaborative process, with everyone submitting ideas from their individual research. While the cast need to be true to the text, the research helped to inform them of the differing opinions and assisted in the establishment of their characters.
Lucente describes the show as an incredibly rich tapestry of mystery, lies and secrets. The writing is crafted in such a way that the audience (and even the performers) are not necessarily certain if Leo Frank is indeed guilty or innocent. Intrigued, I asked Lucente how the show will leave audiences – is there a resolution? Lucente expects the show will linger with audiences for some time. Parade does not attempt to resolve this true story – there still remains divided speculation about whether Leo Frank was indeed innocent or guilty.
Read article in its original context here by John Bailey for The Age Dream team of Daniel Keene and Ariette Taylor reunite for Dreamers The creative collaborations by playwright Daniel Keene and director Ariette Taylor that went under the moniker of…
We are delighted to announce that we will be celebrating the Birthday of Dr. Barry Jones AC, a most notable public treasure, at an evening of poetry and music performed by some of his many admirers, including actor John Stanton,…
ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the year, Hoang Pham will perform twelve eternal masterpieces from J.S. Bach (1685-1750) to Thomas Adès (1971- present) in chronological order. Each work will be discussed by pianist Sean Hennessy-Brose, who will focus on how to…
See review in its original context here by Mark Brandi for ArtsHub.
Trudy Hellier builds the reality of a fragile life and loves, and in doing so creates a sympathy bordering on kinship.
In Waking Up Dead, writer Trudy Hellier goes behind the headlines to expose the tragedy of those left behind.
A successful businessman inexplicably vanishes following a business trip, leaving a wife bereft and police scrambling. A business deal gone wrong? Revenge? An affair? The truth, however, was more shocking than anyone imagined.
Caroline Lee (Bell Shakespeare, MTC) is the widow, poring over the fragments of the life she shared. Lee embodies a brittle tenacity as she grieves not just for a lost husband, but for a life they had created together – a life now rendered a fraud.
Lee is outstanding. She delivers a searing but measured one-hour monologue spanning twenty-five years. Sparsely staged on a large sheet of white paper, Lee retraces their past and illustrates the icons of her memories: the cheap furnishings of a share house; the window of their first apartment; the office they shared as business flourished and their family grew.
The use of illustrated outlines in the set is reminiscent of Lars Von Trier’s Dogville. This sparse environment cleverly focuses the audience on the intensity of the storytelling.
See review in its original context here by Kate Herbert for The Herald Sun.
IMAGINE waking up one day to discover that your partner has died in mysterious circumstances and that he was living a secret and disturbing double life.
Such is the distressing and poignant experience of the woman in Waking Up Dead, written by Trudy Hellier and developed with imagination and vision by collaborators Susie Dee (director), Caroline Lee (actor) and Ian Moorhead (sound designer).
Lee is quietly compelling as this reserved, conservative woman, playing her with a haunted and bewildered quality that epitomises her grief and masks her repressed but seething rage.
She is confined to a cell-like space that is framed by a white paper wall and floor that create an atmosphere of entrapment, but also a sense of privacy as the woman struggles to make sense of her life and her grief.
The white environment also provides her with blank surfaces upon which to sketch her memories of her past life with the man she no longer recognises as her husband.
She starts her story in 1980, then moves forward chronologically by increments to 2007, scribbling dates, notes and quotes, and sketching furniture that identifies locations and conjures a black and white landscape of her murky past.
See review in its original context here by TimeOut Melbourne. With a stage set comprised of just a roll of paper that acts as a canvas, actor Caroline Lee gets to express herself through words and pictures simultaneously. She plays…
See review in its original context here by Myron My for Theatre Press.
In Waking Up Dead, writer Trudy Hellier explores what happens to a woman when her husband dies in an unexpected and shocking way, only then to discover he was also leading a double life.
With direction from Susie Dee, Caroline Lee succeeds in captivating our attention with her portrayal of the grieving woman. Her fragility is evident throughout and you can see her slowly unraveling as she recalls moments of her life with her husband, leading up to that fatal moment and beyond.
Her dialogue is delivered earnestly and from the heart, and Hellier has created a script that really captures the emotions and reactions a person feels when not only someone they love dies, but also someone they love turns out to not be who they thought they were. Ian Moorhead’s sound design is used effectively with interspersed sound bites throughout Waking Up Dead. TV news reports and police interviews all point to the inevitable and add more despair to Lee’s character’s story.
See article in its original context here by Amy Campbell for Melbourne. Arts. Fashion.
An invitation to sip tea and talk trinkets with Kate Durham is not something one stumbles across everyday.
But if you ever find yourself ringing the doorbell to her eclectic home, notebook in hand and excitement uncontainable, I can promise you it will be an afternoon well spent.
Jewellery designer, Co-founder of the Fashion Design Council, Refugee Advocate and charming soul, Durham’s accolades and charisma are just as decorated as the treasures she creates. Thus, it makes perfect sense her upcoming exhibition is titled The Decorated Self. A collation of her most recent work, the show embraces age, femininity and the socially subdued freedom to indulge in ‘a little dressing up’.
“In a sense, I’ve taken up where I left off in the ‘80s,” Durham explains, “but my early jewellery was much brasher, more overtly funny… I think this jewellery still contains little jokes, but it’s a bit wiser… more muted. Less judgemental, perhaps.”
See review in its original context here by Cameron Woodhead for The Age.
Waking Up Dead appears to be inspired by the Herman Rockefeller murder. The successful Melbourne businessman led a sordid double life, and his grisly killing at the hands of swingers unearthed it for all to see, leaving his family to cope not only with sudden loss but also the humiliation of the sensational circumstances around his death.
Trudy Hellier’s play represents an empathic engagement with what a wife thrust into such a horrific situation might feel, how she might reflect on and reassess the course of her life, and her marriage.
The prime visual gambit in this one-woman show is to use blank paper for the set, which is drawn on with charcoal, ex tempore, as the story emerges. It’s a winning device, adding a contingent, cartoonish dimension to the act of remembrance.
The script and Caroline Lee’s performance are both at their best in describing the contours of love, from youthful infatuation in a student house in the early ’80s to raising a family. And later, in presenting the wife’s gradually acquired habit of turning a blind eye to her husband’s infidelity.
See review in its original context here by Suzanne Carbone for The Age.
There is no minimalist art for Kate Durham, the maximalist aesthete with distinctive spectacles. While doing a post-graduate diploma of fine art at the VCA, the rebel with a cause winced at the austere preaching that blank was best. “I’m not interested in single-statement art,” she said.
Walking through her magnificent Hawthorn home, the wife of Julian Burnside, QC, points out the art: Bill Henson, Juan Davila, contemporary Chinese embroidery and a framed relief she made of John Howard drowning on a boat.
That’s a bold symbol of her campaign for refugees that began in 2001 when the Tampa freighter was refused entry after carrying 438 Afghani refugees. The human-rights campaigning of “Burnside” – as his wife calls him – is public knowledge but as a private reminder, on their wall is a postcard of Jesus, the word “Refugee” and his heart surrounded by thorns.
The artist and jeweller, who calls herself a “wild child”, was expelled at 16 for “political activity” and incensed during the Vietnam War. The Tampa incident spurred the proud Labor voter to drop her creative tools and establish Spare Rooms for Refugees, a project to provide community accommodation. She opened her door to several refugees.
Afghani refugee, Mosa, 21 has lived with the couple for 11 years as their foster son and is studying nursing and paramedics. “He loves fashion, too,” Ms Durham said.