NEWS & INTERVIEWS

NIDA

NIDA is inviting children and young people on a journey of creative exploration over the spring holidays with performing arts classes designed to excite and inspire.
From September 25 - October 8. 2017, NIDA Open will be running its popular short courses ar NIDA Melbourne and Wesley college with introductory to advanced classes in everything from musical theatre and drama classes to writing for theatre and TV presenting.
Discover your inner actor, learn how to write for performance, venture into new worlds, or find the creative path that you've been searching for. School holidays are made for new and exciting experiences, as well as the furthering of personal interests, but, above all, they are made for fun!
NIDA Open's spring holiday classes offer all that and much more.
With credentials in theatre, TV and film, NIDA Open tutors deliver inspiring experiences with ervery class, for the varied artistic interest and skills of students.
Book for weeeks before class commencement date to receive a 10% earlybird discount. Whether you're looking to become a star of the stage or just have an interest in expressing yourself creatively, NIDA Open can deliver you an enriching and exciting school holiday experience.
For more information on NIDA Open spring courses go to nida.edu.au/spring

About NIDA Open
Delivering prgrams across Australia, NIDA Open gives people of all ages and experiences the chance to benefit from NIDA's world-renowned training methods and explore their own creativity through short courses, holiday classes and intensive pert-time studio courses.
Som of NIDA Open's spring holiday courses in Melbourne.
NIDA Drama School:
October 2- 6. 2017 Age: Gredes 3 - 10. Time: 10 am - 5 pm. Price $800 inc GST.
Venue: Wesley college Melbourne
What: A comprehensive course for committed young people. Developing skills including imnptovisation, voice and singing, move,ent and dance, devising and acting to camera. The program includes a session on auditions and screen tests. Perform scenes at the end of the course for family and friends.

NIDA ACTING 101.
Date October 2 - 6. 2017. Age Grades 11 - 12. time: 10am - 5pm. Price $600 inc GST.
Location. Wesley College Melbourne.
What: sharpen your performance skills through a comrehensive workshop with a theatre practitioner drawing on NIDA acting techniques. Develop key principles of actor training, and extend into characterisation and scenework, interpret, rehearse and present some of the most exciting writing produced for young people today.

ACTING BOOT CAMP:

DateL October 7 - 8. 2017. Age Grades 3 - 10. Time 10 am - 5 pm. Price: $325 inc. GST
Location: Wesley college Melbourne.
What: Identify and experience the essentials of screen acting,. Build your on screen confidance as you develop skills in improvisation, character development ansd scenework. Perform scenes for family and friends at the end of the course.

SCREEN ACTING BOOT CAMP:
Date: September 30 - October 1. 2017 Age: Grades 3 - 12. time 10 am - 5pm. Price $325 inc GST.
Location: Wesley College Melbourne.
What: Identify and experience the essentials of screen acting. Build your screen confidnece as you develop skills in improvisation, character development and script work. Rehearse and prewsent live and recorded scenes for family and friends at the end of the course.

MUSICAL THEATRE BOOT CAMP.
Date September 30 - October 1. 2017 Age Grades 7 - 10. time 10 am - 5 pm. Price: $325 inc. GST.
ocation: Wesley college Melbourne
What: Work with a NIDA musical theatre expert to create a short song and sory presentation for stage! This is a great wa to introduce yourself to the magic of musical theatre and find out just what it takes to become a musical theatre star! Presnet your song and story presentation to family and friends at the end of the course.

HITTING YOUR MARK: SCREEN ACTING:
Date: September 25 - 28. 2017. Age Grades 7 - 10. time: 10 am - 5 pm. Price $500 inc. GST
Location: Wesley College Melbourne.
What: Whether you're in Home and Away or The Avengers, one of the most important skills is being able to "hit your mark' It can also be the hardest to master. Develop the technical ability to be on target, scene after scene, with this intensive screen workshop. Explore working with scripts from television and film, acting in high stakes situations while maintaning the ability to master positions and props with precision.

MUSICAL THEATRE 101:
Date: September 25 - 29. 2017. age: Drades 11 0 12. Time 10 am - 5 pm. Price: $500 inc GST.
Location: NIDA Melbourne. Southnbank.
What: Designed for those passionate about musical theatre, learn songs, choreograohed dance routines and spply NIDA acting principles in an energised approach to all things musical theatre. Be guided in a reliable approach to song and dance routines and examine what it means to complete a show stopping mudical theatre audition!

LEAGUE OF NIDA SUPERHEROES"
Date: September 25 - 26. 2017. Age. Grades k 2. Time 10 am - 4 pm. Price: $265 inc GST.
Location: Wesley College Melbourne.
What: Discover incredible new powers as you create your own superhero to join the NIDA League in its battle against evil. Come to the rescue in front of the family and frieds as you perform in action-packed scenes at the end of the course.

TV PRESENTING 101
Date September 30 - October 1. 2017 Age Grades 11 12. Time 10 am - 5 pm. Price $325 inc GST
lLcation: NIDA Melbourne Southbank.
What: Build vocal and physical presence as you explore interview techniques and present lifestyle pieces to camera. Developm your on screen persona in this practical exploration of TV presenting.

WRITING FOR THE STGE 101.
Date October 2 - 6. 2017. Age Grades 11 - 12. time 10 am-5 pm.Price $600 inc GST.
Location NIDA Melbourne Southbak.
What: Discover the craft of writing for the theatre. build your ability to use strcture, style and narrative. Create the beginnings of an original wotk that resonates with our audience.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QTC Award

The Queensland Premier’s Drama Award is a national development award assisting writers and performance makers to grow their first drafts, pitch documents, sample scenes, concept sketches, or creative development findings into a production-ready text.

The Queensland Government, through Queensland Theatre, is seeking submissions from individual artists and collectives of all levels of experience working across different performance practices, for the 2018-19 cycle of the Award.

The goals of this Award are:

  • To produce a platform for Australian theatre makers and playwrights to develop new works that reflect our contemporary culture, and expose audiences to this work.
  • To promote the creation of high quality, original, artistic work
  • To recognise and develop creative artists, their work and their standing within our society.
  • To enhance the employment of Queensland actors, creative teams and production artists

Artists are invited to submit material (such as first draft scripts, recordings or pitch documents) that will form the basis of a new theatrical performance of quality and relevance to Australians today.  Long-listed entrants will be interviewed by a judging panel to speak further about plans for their work, and in early 2018 three finalists will be selected to further develop their project. The process of development includes workshops with industry experts and culminating in a play-reading of the artists’ work for the judging panel. The finalists will each receive a development fee during this period of work.

Following the presentation to the judging panel, a single a winner will be announced. The The winner will work with industry experts and Queensland Theatre towards a fully staged professional production in Queensland Theatre’s 2019 Season, and receive standard box office royalties.

Entries are now open for QPDA 2018-19.

Please read Conditions of Entry

SUBMIT ENTRY

For further information contact Shari Irwin, Producer (New Work and Development), 3010 7607 or sirwin@queenslandtheatre.com.au


 

PREVIOUS FINALISTS:

2016-17
Michele Lee, Rice (winner)
Kathryn Marquet, Furious Creatures
Suzie Miller, I Looked Up and There You Were

2014-15
Tim Benzie, The Overflow
Daniel Evans, Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (winner)
Megan Shorey, One in Seven (music-theatre)

2012-13
Stephen Carleton, Bastard Territory
David Megarrity (for The Human Company), The Empty City
Maxine Mellor, Trollop (winner)

2010-2011
Rebecca Clarke, Belongings
Philip Dean, Unreliable Bodies
Marcel Dorney, Fractions (winner) 

2008-2009
Richard Jordan, 25 Down (winner)
Katherine Lyall-Watson, Tinder
Sven Swenson, Dangerfield Park

2006-2007
David Brown,  The Estimator (winner)
Anthony Funnell,  The Tram
Michael Riordan,  String

2004-2005
Adam Grossetti, Mano Nera (winner) 
Stephen Carleton, Constance Drinkwater and the Last Days of Somerset
Philip Chappell, Welcome to Dreamland

 

 

Opera Australia - new Patron in Chief.

Internationally recognised philanthropist and passionate oper lover, Dr Harusha Handa, Chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture has been announced as Opera Australia's new Patron in Chief.
The announcement follows Dr Handa's increasing commitment to Australia's national opera company with a significent contribution over the next three years, with an option for another three through hid International Foundation for Arts and Culture.(FAC).
Opera Australia's Chairman David Mortime AO warmly welcomed Dr Handas generous sonation and his commitment to the art form and the artists in particular the young artists who will take opera into the future.
"Dr Handa's dedication to arts and culture in australia, his love of music and hands0on approach to his philanthropic ventures is truly valued by Opera Australia and we look forward to a very long and productive partnership.
In Sydney to accept the appointment on behalf of Dr Handa, former NZ Prime Minister and IFAC Patron Sir John Key said the partnership between Opera australia and IFAC has always been strong.
"Both organisations are acutely aware of the importance of the artistic legacy in opra, yet have the courage to explore new realms of the art for its growth and development with times. Ww are proud of the success we have enjoyed through the Hansa Opera on Sydney harbour for the last six years and are excited about what cha be done together through our new and expanded level of partnership in the fuure," said Sir John.
Dr Handa has been quoted as saying "music has the power to transform human hearts and minds, to draw us inward and upward to our better selves." A phiosophy shared by Opera Australia's Artistic Sirector Lyndon Terracini who has come to know the philanthropist and businessman well.
"We very much have a shared vision, and our collaborations have already proved incredibly succesful for Opera Australia, particularly with the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour series tghat has cemented its place as one of ht eworld's greatest outfdoor opera events.
This new partnership and the appointment of Dr Handa to Patron in Chief will encompass the ongoing commitment to Hnada OPera on Sydney Harbour from 2018 to 2020 along with other noteworthy patronages that will be announced in due course through the 2018 and 2018 seasons," said Mr Terracini.

 

Patrick Nolan to take OperaQ reins as new Artistic Director

Award winning Australian director Patrick Nolan has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of Opera Queensland and will relocate to Brisbane to commence on 1 November.
Mr Nolan is a prolific director of opera, theatre, physical theatre and large-scale outdoor events, as well as the former Artistic Director of internationally acclaimed company Legs On The Wall.
 In a career spanning nearly three decades, he has directed for many of Australia’s major performing arts companies and internationally for Seattle and New Zealand Opera.

Mr Nolan has created work for every major city festival in Australia, including the Helpmann Award winning Kura Tungar-Songs from the River with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter and the Australian Art Orchestra for Melbourne Festival and A Flowering Tree by John Adams for Perth Festival.  The new Australian opera he created with Paul Grabowsky and Joanna Murray-Smith, Love in the Age of Therapy, for Opera Australia, Melbourne Festival and Sydney Festival was also Helpmann nominated.As Artistic Director of Legs On The Wall, Mr Nolan transformed the company’s artistic program and financial viability, establishing it as one of the country’s busiest cultural exports.  During his five-years at Legs On The Wall, revenue increased 75 per cent and eight new productions toured far and wide, attracting audiences of more than 50,000 in Australia, Asia, UK and Latin America.  In 2015 he was awarded a prestigious Australia Council Fellowship to research the creation of performance in public spaces. He serves on the Sydney Chamber Opera board, a role that fuels his passion for new opera. Dr Sally Pitkin, Chair, Opera Queensland, said Mr Nolan’s multidisciplinary creative works ranging from baroque to contemporary opera, large scale events, and physical theatre, together with his commitment to collaboration and community engagement, made him the clear choice to lead the company. “As Artistic Director Patrick will be an extraordinary contributor to the Queensland arts community and the national cultural landscape. We are excited by his vision for the company, his passion for opera and his deep commitment to engaging all communities in Queensland with this vibrant artform. All of this together with his understanding of new audiences and how to engage them in spaces from the most intimate venue to the largest public arena, to new digital channels, made him the standout candidate.”
 Mr Nolan said opera’s combination of story, staging and song creates a multi-dimensional space in which we can feel our humanity.
 “As the new Artistic Director of OperaQ I want this space to be alive to the time we are living in and open to audiences of all ages and walks of life. I’m excited about working with local and international artists, in Brisbane and throughout regional Queensland, to create work that will allow us to experience opera as an artform that responds to the energy and diversity of the contemporary world - a world that is passionate, intense, tragic, joyous, complex, humane. I can’t wait to start the conversation.”
 OperaQ’s current Artistic Director Lindy Hume welcomed Mr Nolan’s appointment.
 “Patrick Nolan is a splendid choice to be the next Artistic Director of Opera Queensland. His directorial skills and reputation as an arts leader and opera, theatre and events director of international stature are ideal credentials and skills to lead our company, and this extraordinary artform, into the future. I look forward to celebrating the company’s progress under his artistic leadership in the years to come.”  

Lindy Hume will finish her term as artistic leader at the end of October.
 

 

The Young King

Slingsby's critically-acclaimed production of The Young King is set for a world tour after receiving the prestigious International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Victor Award at the 39th IPAY Annual International Showcase in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
The Victor Award was established in the late 1990's as a way of recognising excellence in performing arts for young people.
The Young King's achievement at IPAY continues a tradition of success for South Australia at the event with Slingsby becoming the third SA theatre compay to win the Victor Award in just the last six years.
The Young King, qhich had its international premiere at IPAY, was selected by international delegates at one of the world's leading performance arts markets.
The Annual event attracts over 450 delegates each year, looking for the world's best professioanl performing arts group for young audiences available for touring and presentation.
With IPAY bringing The Young King to thwe attention of the world's theatres and artsd festivals, negotions are now underway for extensive touring with multiple sessions in USA, Canada, England, Wales and Ireland.
the continuied success of The Young King is criticsl for Slingsby which os facing an uncertain longer-term financial future after being told that it had lost its Australia Council Funding n May 2016.
Slingsby's Artistic Director Andy Packer said the IPAY Victor Award was a well-deserved reward for the cast, crew and all the loyal supporters of slingsby who've helped the company during a difficult period.
In November 2017 Slingsby will take The Young King to the Sydney Opera House.
The Young King is an interactive, fable-like tale of a naive young goat-herder, leading a simple life, ignorant of his birthright as heir to a kingdom, fate finally catches up with the boy, taking him from his forest to assumne his kigly duties. As a quest ensues for treasures to create his tobes, crown and sceptre, the boy faces a series of internal struggles and contemplations.

Arts Centre Melbourne

Working in partnership with Creative Victoria and the Victorian Government, the Artts Centre is proud to announce a major new project that celebrates and promotes Australia's extraordinary contemporary music story - the past, present and what it may look lke in the future.
The Arts Centre maind exhibition space in the Theatres Building Gallery 1, will be reconfigured to become a home for a new interactive exhibition on Australian Contemporary Music.
Containing a national 'hall of fame' concept, the Australian Music Vault will feature innovative digital experiences, iconic objects and an online presence for the exhibition that is a fully intergrated extension of the visitor experience. Ther will be also ongoning and extensive calendar if performances, programs and events.
The Australian Music Vault will showcase many of the treasured music-related items from the Performing Art Collection, providing an invaluable opportunity top deliver broader public access to this imporant community asset.
As an important part of the agreement with the Victorian Government to deliver this project, significan resources hace also been provided to ensue that many elements of the eider Performing Arts Collection will be made available to the public. IN addition to our ongoing care and preservaion of this significent Collection, the Arts Centre will be providing enhanced visibility and access through onsite expereinnces, digital engagement, research and outreach initiatives.

White Night 2017

White Night Melbourne will return to the streets, laneways and gardens of the CBD from dusk till sawn on Saturday February 18, 2017 and the inaugural; White Night Ballarat will follow on Saturday March 4. 2017.
The Miniater for Tourism and Major Events, John Erenm Artistic Director and Executive Producer david Atkins and the Mayor of Ballarat, Councillor Samantha McIntosh joined together at the State Libraryof Victoria to announce the first instalments of the White Night Melbourne and the White Night Ballarat programs which deature local, historical, national and international artists.
Artistic Director David Atkins commented " I am both excited and honoured to have been granted the opportunity to guide and support the team and the artistswho will deliver Malbourne's fifth and Ballarat's first White Night. In the course of one evening, over just 12 hours, White Night transforms the city into a great canvas for works of almost every conceivable art form - For one night in Melbourne and Ballarat, "we are of such stuff as dreams are made of" - William Shakespeare.
Highlights of the White Night Melbourne program include the mondtrous fire-erupting Pyrophone Juggernaut at the Melbourne Museum Plaza The Pyrophone Juggernaut is the largest hand-operated, multi=octave fire organ in the world and built entirely from reclaimed metal and industrial salvage. This massive metallic beast bellows an unearthly music of heart pounding rhythms, all powered by monstrous jets of stupifying flame. Operated by multiple musicians and performance artists the Pyrophone Juggernaut promises and infernal spectacle like no other!
Flinders Street buildings will come alive from The Forum Theatre to Chapter House with Electric Canvas' Fractured Fairytales projections. a selection of chidren's favourite fairytales, inspired by the Shrek filnms and the original Rocky and bullwinkle cartoons of the 60s and 70s.
The majestic domed La Trobe Rwading Room at the State Library of Victoria will be transformed into an eoic underwater 360 degree specatacular with Seadragon's Lair, Sherree Marris, Brad May and Lisa Greenway have created a world-class animation wiht soundscapea and underwater cinematogratophgraphy to create a living canvs in Melboutne's own marine metropolos.
If you ever wanted to cut a rug on Collins Street, now's your chance as the 12-hour dance marathon is back! Swing Sixty presented by Vichealth will be set to the swinging sounds of big band music from the 30s. 40s. and 50s. courtesy of big-band legend John Morrison and everyone is invited to join in.
Birrarung Marr burstr to life with alex Sanson's flower-like sculpture of vast proportions Spherophyte which unfurls before your eyes. As you gaze into the beauty of the giant Spherophyte the 48 moving arms come alive inder lights, 'breathing' in an endlessm effortless ccle, folding and uinfolding as shapes intersect, combine and dicolve.
Free from their collaboration with Portuguese creative OCUBO at White Night Melbourne 2026, the Pitcha Makin Fellas return with a power5ful collection of 24 portraits celebrating indigenous faces of Ballarat at St. Paul's Cathedral Black Face (Real Face) is a series of black-on-black portraits and with the use of three different gross values of black paint means that as you move around the paintings, they change and therfore there is cenver one night spot from which to see them.

WHITE NIGHT BALLARAT HIGHLIGHTS

Highlighs of the White Night Ballarat program and exclusive to Ballarat include Night of Gold which explores the nightlife of Ballarat during its 'roaring days ' pf the gold rush. The Electric Canvas presents an architectural projection across several prominent buildings along Lydiard Street, encompassing three distinct themes relating to mid-1800s nightlife in Ballarat.
Wadawurrung Walkling with Waa invites you to take a walk through time from the Aboriginal Creation Story to the present day. Aunty Marlene and her daughter Deanne Gilson will project their paintings into the walls of ballarat, presenting their stories that include an Aboriginal perspective of the goldming era. Accompsnying the historical walking tour, aunty's son Barry Gison will sing Wasawurrung songs in te language of his ancestors.
Crate Expectations is a playful robotic sculpture made from vintage packing crates, moving furniture and disembodies libs, performing a choreography of warped sound and sequenced lighting to draw audiences from the dark night into its warm, dreamlike glow. Crate Expectations will roll throught the streets, seeking out and respnding to audiences throughout the night.
More than 1 Nation is an unique collaboration tnat sees the stunning patterns and colours if the Pitcha Makin fellas' paintings, cut outs and stamps transposed by The Electric Canvas onto the former Bank of NSW building in Ballarat, constructing a visually beautiful of redemption, honour, triumph and reward.
White Night Melbourne and White Night Ballarat are the cities as you know them, but reimagined and transformed under the ephemeral cloak of night. From sunset to sunrise lodal, national and international artists, musicians and performers will weave a spell ove the cities in a celebration of culture and creativity. the evnet transforms the impossib;e into the possible through installation, lighting, exhibitions, street performaces, film, music, dance and interactive events for 12 gried hours in Melbounre and Ballarat.

The Bodyguard - the Leading Lady announced

Producers John Frost, Michael Harrison and David Ian on October 25 announced that one of Australia's finest voices and performers, Pauline, will play the leading role of Rachel Marron in the Australian premiere of the international award-winning hit musical The Bodyguard. The 2017 Australian tour of The Bocyguard will commence at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on April 22. 2017, before playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane from July and the Regent Theatre, Melbourne from August.
Australia first fel in love with Pauline and her impressive five octave range during the inaugural series of Australian Idol. ONe of her childhood idols was Whitney Houston, and Pauline won the National Star Search Competition in her teens with her redition of Whitney's timeless classic When You Believe. The Fijiwn-born singer, songwriter went on to release three highly acclaiemd albums, and has travelled the globe from New York to Los Angeles, Paris and LOndon, collaborating with some of the world's best musc producers. With her incredible voice, stunning looks and engaging personality, Pauline os one of Australia's most uniquely talented performer.



 
 

 

 

 

Andrew Hollsworth Interview

 

Andrew Hollsworth
Choreographer for Anything Goes.
Interview:

Andrew said that this morning (Tuesday December 2,) that they had open calls for new talent for the oncoming musical Anything Goes.
Q. What was the talent like this morning?

  1. This morning we had open calls so that anybody that couldn’t get an audition through their agent or don’t have an agent so we decided to do some open calls on this just to see if there were anyone out there that we could discover a find some that haven’t been through WAPA’s  or whatever.

So we didn’t find too many because it’s an open call and they came in all shapes and sizes. We have specific requirements at which we are looking at but we found a couple of nice guys that we never would have seen. So that’s good and probably a handful of girls that we would never have seen.
Q. Is it easier to find men nowadays?
A. Well sure. There were about 70 guys who came in this morning which is a fair amount of guys have agents to get there.
This afternoon we start with proper professionals coming in.
Q. You were a dancer yourself?
A. Yes I was. I did shows and musicals. I did my first show at the age of 17 years in Sydney which was 42nd Street. Did lots of shows After that then started choreography 15 years ago.
Ross Coleman and I worked together., He took me under his wing and we had a great sort of relationship until he died and the last show we worked on was Priscilla, so now I take Priscilla around the world. Yes I have done lots of shows.
Q. Where did you train to be a dancer?
A: I just trained in a dancing school in the weekends. There was nothing around then. When I started doing shows WAPA hadn’t even started then. I just found out about 42nd Street through word of mouth auditioned for it and got it. It was a great production, a huge show and a Broadway production. Mark Bramble came out to direct it and he directed it on Broadway and worked with David Merrick and all that.
It was just a fantastic time. Tod McKenney in his first main role together with Nancy Hayes and Toni Lamond.
I was the resident director on Fiddler on the Roof and I worked with Judith Roberts and Topol very closely they were great mates. We did the last season of Fiddler a few years ago now and Topol was 70. We had three 70 year olds in the show. We had Warren Kermond and Barry Crocker who played Lazar.
Q. Anything Goes starts in Melbourne in May ?
A. We open in Melbourne in late May or early June.
Q. How long do they rehearse for before that?
A. We have about five weeks which is quite normal now so getting into the room and go crazy.
Q. How long do you think you will go for in the season?
A. There are limited seasons in each place, I think it is about eight to ten weeks in each town. I think we will go fine. We have a stellar cast on board. Caroline O’Connor is coming back to town to play Reno which is going to be amazing. Just to see her sing at the launch and she’s just going to eat it up.
Q. Are you looking forward to a good season?
A. Yes I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming because we did a version for The Production Company about three years ago and that’s when we started talking about commercially putting the musical on, it’s been a long time coming.
Q. What is it like coming back to your home town?
A. It’s cool. All our schedules lined up to get Caroline, Tod, Dennis and I in the same room. It opens in Melbourne, then Brisbane and to finish up in Sydney.  It is a good run for the company it’s about eight months.
Dale Ferguson is doing the set. He is one of our top designers and he has a beautiful set design and of course Dean Bryant is directing it and I am doing the choreography. Yes it’s a very classy team.  

         

 

Sue Natrass Award

BELOVED THEATRE DOYENNE
PATRICIA BOGGS
ANNOUNCED AS RECIPIENT OF
LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA’S INAUGURAL
SUE NATTRASS AWARD It is with great pleasure that Live Performance Australia (LPA) has today announced that Patricia Boggs has been awarded the inaugural SUE NATTRASS AWARD for her outstanding service to the Australian live performance industry. The industry achievement award will sit alongside the JC Williamson Award which saw this year’s recipient, John FrostOAM, honoured recently at the JC Williamson Award dinner in Brisbane. The Sue Nattrass Award, which will be presented as part of the 2014 Helpmann Awards, is a new honour named in tribute to and commemorating the lifetime service of Sue NattrassAO who, amongst many achievements, has been a long serving LPA President and the first woman to hold the position. This prestigious Award has been set up to recognise outstanding service to the live performance industry in a field which may not enjoy a high public profile. It has been established to shine a spotlight on people in service roles including arts administrator, academic or teacher, technical supplier, marketing professional, ticketing professional, agent, archivist, historian, public servant, and member of the media. “Patricia Boggs’ career has spanned many decades and many productions in most of our country’s theatres and many overseas. Having a career of a similar length and sharing some of those experiences, I have been in a handy position to observe the tireless, devoted work of this generous woman. I have seen the respect shown to her by her peers and the positive outcomes of her innovative thinking and her support for both the producers and the public. I have a deep respect for Pat and I am delighted that she is the recipient of the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award. I can think of no-one more fitting.” said Sue Nattrass. The first person honoured with this new award, Patricia Boggs has worked in many and varied roles during her long career, but she is best known for being Australia’s best and most respected Ticketing consultant. She has worked on nearly 150 shows from small plays to the biggest productions and with Australia’s, and indeed the world’s most prolific producers. After also working on more recent productions such as Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You, Billy Elliot and Mary Poppins, she is a woman who has made an incredible lifetime contribution to live performance in Australia, certainly shaping the way current ticketing processes are implemented throughout the industry. “When I was told I was to receive the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award, I was amazed – Sue has been an inspiration in all facets of the Australian theatrical scene for as long as I can remember. I was overjoyed and honoured. I believe to reach any goal you must accept that there are no problems only solutions.” Pat commented on her award.
Patricia Boggs, or Pat as she is affectionately known, is a true trailblazer of Australian theatre, starting her theatrical career in circa 1964 at Sydney’s Tivoli Theatre with a JC Williamson production of Hadrian VII. From here Patricia joined the Metro Theatre where she started as a booking clerk, becoming the treasurer of the Box Office soon after for the production of Hair. She went on to manage the Playbox Theatre before co-managing the Capitol Theatre working for Harry M. Miller on Jesus Christ Superstar. It was after returning to the Metro Theatre where Pat first met a very young John Frost who was sent to her by Harry M. Miller for an education in the box office. “This award could not have gone to a better person. Pat Boggs is a wonderful mentor and friend to so many people in the performing arts industry - she taught us all our sums and wrote the book on ticketing. Boy, can she sell a ticket or two!” said John Frost. In 1974 Pat became the Greater Union Theatre’s first female Manager before becoming Theatre Manager and Box Office Manager with the MLC Theatre Royal Company holding that position for 14 years. Pat was passionate about providing access to the theatre to some of the city’s most underprivileged children and schools. While working on Cats she convinced the
HELPMANN AWARDS MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday 23rd July 2014
producer to give away free tickets on many Wednesday matinees to the next generation of theatre-goers. This dedication continued throughout her career, and she believed that all people regardless of economic circumstance should have the ability to experience the joy of theatre, especially children. In 1989 she joined the Cameron Mackintosh organisation working on Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon. Pat was key in the establishment of an independent Box Office Operation for Cameron Mackintosh Australia in 1992, launching a retail shop front box office as well as an independent telephone call centre for The Phantom of the Opera Sydney season. Pat also played a key role in developing the opportunities for selling tickets to the travel industry via ticket/flight/hotel packages. Cameron Mackintosh said, “I first met Pat in 1980 when she was running the Box Office of the Theatre Royal in Sydney. From the first “hello” I knew I was in the presence of a Presence, as she sized me up deciding whether “I would do”. Luckily for me I passed the test and in a very short time came to realise that this indomitable personality was smart, sharp, funny, wise and on occasions totally intractable. Her moral strength is matched by a phenomenal constitution that has triumphed over illnesses that would have finished off a mere mortal.” “Pat is a marvel, a living legend, so it is terrific news that she has been chosen as the first recipient of an award named after another Australian theatrical legend, Sue Nattrass. I cannot imagine a more worthy choice than the Great Boggsy. Many Congratulations,” he added. Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner congratulated Patricia Boggs on receiving the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award in recognition of her contribution to Australia’s live performance industry. “We often talk about the unsung heroes and heroines, those people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly and to plan, and so it is fantastic to see Patricia Boggs recognised through the Sue Nattrass Award for a career of outstanding service to Australian theatre,” he said. She has also served as a Trustee of The Sydney Opera House Board from 1996 to 2002. LPA President Andrew Kay said “We are delighted to be honouring Pat this year with the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award. Renowned for her passion, loyalty and honesty, she is universally respected and admired, a most worthy recipient of this prestigious Award.”

 

John Frost

ACCLAIMED THEATRE PRODUCER

JOHN FROST OAM

ANNOUNCED AS 2014 RECIPIENT OF THE PRESTIGIOUS

JC WILLIAMSON AWARD

 

Live Performance Australia (LPA) has today announced that revered theatre producer John Frost has been named the 2014 JC WILLIAMSON AWARD™ recipient.

 

The JC WILLIAMSON AWARD™ is the foremost honour that the Australian live entertainment industry can bestow. The award recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Australian live entertainment and performing arts industry and shaped the future of our industry for the better. Past winners include such iconic figures as Dame Joan Sutherland OM AC DBE, Barry Humphries AO CBE, Michael Gudinski AM, John Farnham AO and Graeme Murphy AM to name but a few.

 

John Frost has produced some of Australia’s most successful musical theatre productions over the past 3 decades. From the early days of the Gordon Frost Organisation with Hello Dolly!, The Secret Garden, Cabaret and Crazy for You to blockbuster musicals of more recent times such as Wicked, The Sound Of Music, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, Grease The Arena Spectacular, Chicago, South Pacific and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, John Frost has nurtured and steered the careers of hundreds of cast and crew with his passion and imparting knowledge. This year alone sees him producing multiple shows around Australia including Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Wicked – 10th Anniversary production, The King and I with Opera Australia, and Once with the Melbourne Theatre Company.

 

John commenced his impressive career at the age of 16 when he was employed as a dresser on the J.C. Williamson Ltd production of Mame. The dedicated teenager worked his way up within the theatre world to Wardrobe Master, Stage Manager, Company Manager and eventually Producer. Having produced countless successful Australian productions over the years John has also gained international respect having won 2 Tony Awards for the Broadway productions of Hairspray and The King and I and currently has 2 shows playing on London’s West End, The Bodyguard and Blithe Spirit. John’s Australian productions of The Producers, Wicked and Legally Blonde – The Musical won Helpmann Awards for Best Musical in 2005, 2009 and 2013 respectively.

 

“I am truly grateful to Live Performance Australia and the JC Williamson Award Committee for this incredible honour. Receiving the JC Williamson Award™ is the highest tribute that can be bestowed on someone working in the performing arts industry, and to be acknowledged by my peers for a job I love is gratifying and inspiring. I'm humbled to be in the company of Googie Withers and John McCallum, Kenn Brodziak, Clifford Hocking, Tony Gould and other past recipients of this prestigious award. Thank you.” said John.

 

John Frost will be honoured at an industry celebration hosted by LPA in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane on Monday 19th May. The night will include special performances as well as a host of special guests paying tribute to the theatre impresario and his outstanding contribution to the live performance industry in Australia.

 

LPA President Andrew Kay said, “We are thrilled to announce John Frost as this year’s JC Williamson Award recipient. John joins the ranks of a group of individuals who in their own way, and in their own field, have made extraordinary contributions to shaping and changing the landscape of our dynamic live performance industry. John’s contribution to commercial musical theatre in Australia is internationally renowned and esteemed in this country. We are delighted to be able to formally recognise his contribution and achievements at a celebratory dinner in May and at the Helpmann Awards on 18 August.”

 

NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Minister for the Arts, George Souris today congratulated Mr Frost on his prestigious award, which will be presented at the Helpmann Awards at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in August. The Helpmanns, supported by the NSW Government, recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the performing arts industry.

 

“Over the past three decades, John Frost, who hails from Sydney has produced some of Australia’s most successful musical theatre productions, many of which have premiered right here in Sydney.” Mr Souris said.

 

“It has been a great joy to work with my friend John Frost during this exciting period of development for Opera Australia. John is the ultimate professional and his advice and knowledge of the music theatre business is not only highly perceptive but it is fuelled by a real passion for the theatre. He is also a wonderful human being whose generosity of spirit and his genuine love of the theatre is inspiring to everyone who has had the privilege of working with him. He has been (and still is) an extraordinarily strong advocate for Australian artists and I believe that there is no-one who is more deserving of this prestigious award than John Frost....and there is no-one who is a finer ambassador for our industry.” said Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director Opera Australia.

 

QPAC Chief Executive Mr John Kotzas paid tribute to Mr Frost calling him one of the great legends of the stage in Australia. “I’ve worked with John for many years now and the professionalism and consistently high quality productions that John tours around Australia are remarkable. John is a well-respected and most welcome producer and guest at many venues around the country – I know QPAC staff are always eager to work with him and our audiences certainly show their support. Well done John!”

 

The 14th Annual Helpmann Awards will be presented live in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre on Monday 18th August and broadcast on Foxtel’s Arena.

 

The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, is LPA’s Strategic Partner for the 2014 Helpmann Awards.

 

www.helpmannawards.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circus Oz

 

Gerry Hall Interview

Jerry Hall Interview
12/3/13

I am happy to be back in Melbourne a city of always loved.
When asked how she started in show business Jerry said that she went to a nightclub and met Helmut Newton a leading photographer and in a few weeks I was on the cover of French Vogue. Helmut to work with was quite difficult but I’ve always had a way with difficult men.
Helmut was wonderful if you did what he wanted He was quite precise in what he wanted. A wonderful photographer.
When asked about theatre Jerry replied with ‘ I had taken drama in high school and studied in New York at the Actor’s Studio when I was 18 and studied in the National Theatre in London when I was 19. I always wanted to act and always loved performing I did bits and pieces of movies but theatre was always my favourite. I didn’t start theatre till I was about 31. It was quite late. Still it was lovely to get into the theatre, that has always been my great love performing in front of an audience specially doing comedy because you feel you get instant reaction from the audience. You very much connected to them, there’s instant feedback and it is so much fun.
I find audiences around the world are different. I remember when I did The Graduate in London and because The Graduate is such an American play there is this one line that I thought was terribly funny and I could never understand why the audience wasn’t laughing. I was obsessed with trying to get it right and kept working in it then I did it in America and they laughed at that very lie. I thought, what a relief, because it was a very American line. When I sis it in Perth they seemed to get it. I guess they watch American television and American comedy shows.
The show always changes with the actors. In Perth, Benjamin the lead actor was from the American Touring Company and in Melbourne Benjamin will be played by an Australian actor.
I am very pleased to work with a whole new group of Australians.”
When questioned on the nude scene Jerry’s response was” When I first did it, the first couple of months I hated the nude scene and then it became my favourite part as it shocked the audience. The first time I did the scene in London at a preview about 50 photographers stood up and took pictures. It took a while but it is very beautiful and very tastefully done and I am wearing high heels so I am not completely nude.
I am looking forward to the Melbourne season of The Graduate at Her Majesty’s Theatre in September.”

 

 

 

How does theatre change the lives of children?

Warwick Business School is to investigate how theatre impacts on the lives of children.

It will look at an innovative attempt by Birmingham Repertory Theatre to create theatre-goers of the future and see how theatre has changed the lives of hundreds of children involved.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s ground-breaking project, REP's Children, offers all babies born in City and Heartlands hospitals during the theatre’s 100th birthday week (February 11 – 17 2013) a free theatre experience every year for the first 10 years of their lives.

The project will begin with the newborns and their families making their first visit to the newly reopened Repertory Theatre in October 2013, for a brand new theatre production called Open House, an interactive and sensory show created especially for babies. REP’s Children aims to engage families and children with theatre, and create a lifelong relationship between local people and The REP.

The first REP's Children project was launched in October 2004 at City and Sandwell Hospitals and The REP now has 140 REP's Children families who regularly attend events and performances at The REP.

Now Birmingham Repertory Theatre want to find out just how much the 2013 scheme will change the lives of the babies and their families involved.

They have joined forces with Warwick Business School Professor Jonathan Neelands to research the impact of REP’s Children.

Professor Neelands said: “The research programme will cover 10 years and we will look to see how many of these children have carried on going to the theatre and how going to the theatre has changed their lives.

“Many of the families involved might never have gone to the theatre before. We will look at how the different families have taken up this offer and see if it has made any difference to ‘cultural engagement’, which is something the arts and theatres are striving to achieve. We want to find out what difference going to the theatre makes to the lives of these children.

“It is a very innovative scheme. Their free tickets are tailored for that age group. We plan to track all 10 years of the REP Children’s project and have just secured an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Collaborative Studentship to study the first three years of this exciting work.

“Birmingham Repertory Theatre is committed to widening participation and a sustainable future by creating future theatre-goers. We need to see how that has worked and what we can learn from the project.”

Dr Steve Ball, Associate Director at The REP, said: “This collaboration provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our communities and to evaluate the impact of this exciting intervention. We are delighted to be working with Warwick Business School who have an outstanding reputation for research in the Arts and Education.”

Professor Neelands, who is Professor of Creative Education at Warwick Business School and Chair of Drama and Theatre Education in the Institute of Education, has won a grant of £40,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to fund Dr Jane Woddis to begin the work on the 10-year study.

Warwick Business School, which is part of the University of Warwick, is one of 45 universities to be handed grants as part of the AHRC’s Cultural Engagement Fund pilot scheme.

Dr Ian Lyne, AHRC’s associate director of programmes, said: “The range of projects and the variety of local partners involved has been terrific. We have been hugely impressed by the number of Universities that have decided to co-fund projects.”

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Rawlins

Australian Ballet

Rachel Rawlins

Rachel Rawlins' final call with The Australian Ballet

Principal Artist announces her retirement from the stage after 21-year career.

One of Australia's most acclaimed ballerinas will take her final curtain call next month.
After a stage career spanning 21 years, 18 of those spent at The Australian Ballet Principal Artist Rachel Rawlins has announced that she will retire at the end of the Swan Lake season in Sydney. Her last show in the title role of Odette will be Wednesday December 19, 2012.
Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister said Rachel would be remembered for many leading roles in her remarkable career.
'Rachel is a beutiful dancer to watch and she's carved out a unique reputation as one of the company's great classicists' said McAllister.
'Her superb performances in hallmark ballets such as Swan Lake, Manon, Giselle and The Nutcracker will be remebered fondly by audiences and fans that have followed her career.'
Rawlins grew up in Canberra before moving to Melbourne as a teenager to study ballet. She joined The Australian ballet in 1991, later leaving to spend two years with The Royal Ballet in London. She re-joined the company in 2001 and was promoted to principal artist three years later.
Showcasing her trademark lyricism in much-loved clasics such as Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote , Rawlins quickly established herself as a leading ballerina capable of bringing deep emotion to narrative works.
She took her talents to the world stage with appearances at the Ena Ballet Festival Gala in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, The World Festival of Ballet in Tokyo in 2009 and numerous international tours with The Australian Ballet.
In announcing her decision, Rachel said " I will be forever grateful to have had such an exciting and fulfilling career with The Australian Ballet. I have been so fortunate to have danced in so many beautiful ballets and to have worked with incredible people."
"I will treasure the friendships I have made in the company and ballet community and would like to thank my family and the audience for all they have given me. I leave the stage feeling sure I will always miss it but that my journey is complete."

Productions:
Odette in Stephen Baynes Swan Lake 2012
Cio-Cio San in Stanton Welch's Madame Butterfly 2011
Sugar Plum Fairy in Peter Wright's The Nutcracker 2010
Aurora in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty 2009
Clara the Ballerina in Graeme Murphy's Nutcracker - The Story of Clara 2009
Manon in Manon 2008
Kim in Don Quixote 2007
Raymonda Grey in Stephen Bayne's Raymonda 2006
Giselle in Giselle 3008, 2006
Jiri Kylian's Forgotten Land and Petite Morte 2005
Juliet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet 2003.

 

 

 

First Indigenous dancer to join The Australian Ballet . Ella Havelka goes from Bangarra to ballet.

Ella Havelka

The Australian Ballet is delighted to announce that Ella Havelka will be joining the company.
She will be the first indigenous dancer to join The Australian Ballet and will start rehearsing in Sydney in November 2012.
Artistic Director David McAllister said he was thrilled that Havelka had accepted the offer to join the company.
"We've been watchng Ella for many years and have witnessed her grow and develop into a beautiful artist, in particular, she was sensational in Warumuk - in the dark night part of our infinity program, in which she also performed in New York City on our 50th Anniversary tour.
We're very excited that she will become part of The Austrlian Ballet family, and know that the ballet community will eagerly await her first performance with us" said McAllister.
Bangarra's Artistic Director Stephen Page said "Ella is one of this country's greatest young talents, and as she continues her journey as an Aboriginal woman and an Australian dance artist, we wish her every success."
Havelka, a descendant of the Wiradjun people. graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 2007 and toured with the company's regional arm, The Dancer's company. She joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2008 and made her debut in Fire - A Retrospective in 2009.
Havelka said the offer was a wonderful opportunity.
"I feel very humbled and excited to be given the opportunity to return to the Ballet world with fresh eyes and new inspirations through my experiences since graduating from The Australian Ballet School. I am looking forward to the new challenges I will encounter and am honoured to be working with such amazing artists, dancers, mentors and choreographers within The Australian Ballet.
Although I am sad to be leaving Bangarra, a community I will always call family, I find comfort in knowing I will always carry their spirit with me on my journey and development as an artist. I can only hope to inspire others within the indegenous community to pursue their own dreams and passions". said Havelka.

Production Centre

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of The Australian Ballet, the Federal Government is providing $2 million for the fit-out of the company's new production centre to be constructed in Altona, Melbourne.
Arts Minister Simon Crean said the centre will be a state-of-the-art facility for the creation, maintenance and storage of the scenery, propd, lighting, and costumes for the company's critically acclaimed and well-loved productions.
The company has 90 ballets in its repertoire with sets and costumes estimated to be worth $40 million. Mr Crean said.
The custom-designed centre will ensure these valuable assets are preserved so that the ballets can be restaged and enjoyed by future audiences, including younger and first time audience members.
The centre will support the outstanding work the company does in bringing world-class performances to the nation's regions and will transform the way The Australian ballet undertakes production work. Projects such as this illustrate our commitment to sup[porting not just what we see on stage, but the work that goes on behind the scenes to bring these performances to fruitition.
Mr Crean said the centre will also be used as an education resource, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at howe a ballet production comes together.
In the future, interactive digital tours will be ezplored for interstate and regional dchools, harnessing the4 high-speed broadband capabilities of the National Broadband Network, Mr Crean said.
Valerie Wilder, Executive director of The Australian Ballet said that the new facility will not only store our ballets, but will provide dedicated areas for assembling sets (where for the firs time, we will be able to stand up and support 10 metre high scene pieces), painting scenary and preparing and despatching touring freight.
The new Production Centre will also have an office area, including a virtual design studio where we will use computers to create 3D models of or set desigs and light them using virtual lights, saving us valuable time in the theatre, and workplaces for our production and technical staff.
Scenery,. props and costumes represent major long-term assets for any ballet company. Over the past two years, our colleagues at Houston ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Ballet, have recognised the importance of proper asset stewardship and have built new production centres.

 

 

 

 

 

New Chairman for Opera Queensland


Opera Queensland is pleased to announce the appointment of current Treasurer Robert Hubbard as the new Chairman of Opera Queensland following the company’s recent Annual General Meeting.
Mr Hubbard replaces Mr Martin Kriewaldt, who retired from the Board at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) after 14 years as Chairman. Also retiring at the AGM were long standing Board members the Hon. Prof. Peter Fardoulys AM and Dr Cherrell Hirst AO.
Robert Hubbard has been a Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for over 20 years, first joining the company in 1984. During this time, he has been the auditor of some of Australia’s largest companies and has led both the Advisory and Assurance practices of PwC Brisbane. He has been Treasurer of Opera Queensland for the last 4 years and believes passionately in the role of not-for-profit bodies in the arts and broader charitable sectors. He is also the Chairman of Multiple Sclerosis Australia and a Director of UQ Health Care.
Mr Hubbard gratefully acknowledges the significant personal and financial contributions made to the company by Mr Kriewaldt, Professor Fardoulys and Dr Hirst during their tenures of 15, 31 and 9 years respectively. The company was able to acknowledge the substantial commitment of Mr Kriewaldt, Professor Fardoulys and Dr Hirst at a function following the first performance of Verdi’s Macbeth in its semi-staged presentation in the Concert Hall (QPAC) last month.
“Opera Queensland, like many other not-for-profit enterprises across Australia, depends on the generosity and goodwill of its Board members who give of their time and experience to guide the fortunes of the company,” said Mr Hubbard. “The commitment from these three individuals has been exceptional and will not be forgotten. We wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.”

Sally Pitkin
Mr Hubbard is also pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Sally Pitkin to the Opera Queensland Board.
“We are very lucky to be able to attract someone with Sally’s legal and commercial background to the Opera Queensland Board as we guide the Company into the future. Sally’s appointment ensures continuing access to a high level of knowledge and skill following the recent departures,” said Mr Hubbard.
Sally Pitkin’s corporate career as a lawyer and company director spans 30 years. She is a former Partner with national commercial law firm, Clayton Utz, and acts as a consultant to the firm. She is the Deputy President of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Queensland Division), the Deputy Chairman of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, and a Director of Super Retail Group Limited (ASX:SUL), Billabong International Ltd (ASX:BBG), UQ Holdings Pty Ltd, ASC Pty Ltd and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. She is also a member of the Queensland Competition Authority. She is a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology holding graduate and postgraduate qualifications in law. She is currently a doctoral student with The University of Queensland and is completing her doctoral thesis on governance in independent schools.

 
 

 

SYDNEY TO HOST WORLD PREMIERE OF

STRICTLY BALLROOM – THE MUSICAL

 

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell today announced the stage musical of the iconic Australian film Strictly Ballroom will have its world premiere and first run in Sydney at the Lyric Theatre from September 2013.

“Today I’m very pleased to announce Baz Luhrmann and producers Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan of Global Creatures have chosen Sydney over London and New York for the World Premiere of the much anticipated, Strictly Ballroom - The Musical,” Mr O’Farrell said.

A worldwide cinema hit, Strictly Ballroom re-ignited interest in ballroom dancing both in Australia and internationally.

“Producers in London and New York have been pursuing the rights for Strictly Ballroom for many years. It is a major theatrical coup that Sydney has secured the premiere ahead of Broadway and the West End,” he said.

“It shows Sydney is not only Australia’s global city, close to major tourism markets across the Asia Pacific, but the home of the creative industries in Australia.

“Securing the Strictly Ballroom premiere demonstrates Sydney’s re-emergence as the number one city for first run musicals.”

Originally devised in Sydney at NIDA, creator Baz Luhrmann said the decision to premiere Strictly Ballroom in Sydney was a natural one for a quintessentially Australian story with global appeal. 

“Of all of my shows, Strictly Ballroom is the most personal,” Mr Luhrmann said.

“From escaping into the world of competitive ballroom dancing as a child, and my mother going on to be a dance teacher, through to the formative moment at the National Institute of Dramatic Art when a group of talented students and I brought together the classical myth of triumph over oppression and placed it in this world of suburban theatre, the first production of Strictly Ballroom was born,” he said.

“That little act of truth and defiance, born as a 40 minute student play, went on to win a competition in communist Czechoslovakia, was revised at my first theatre company and was extended, and finally was transformed into the little film that danced all around the world. A journey like this is likely to happen once in a creative person's lifetime, if they’re lucky. 

“It's a simple show, with a simple truth, and a simple heart, that seems to have grown and grown and now completes the circle of its journey, returning to the city where it all began, Sydney, as an all-singing all-dancing musical production," Mr Luhrmann said.

CEO of Global Creatures and producer of Strictly Ballroom Carmen Pavlovic echoed Baz Luhrmann’s delight at the decision to open the production in Sydney.

“As a company committed to creating world class work in Australia and then taking it to the world, we could not be happier that Strictly Ballroom will open in the city where it all began. Our partnership with Baz Luhrmann is consistent with our strategy to create new experiences for audiences and we are excited that Strictly Ballroom will provide a chance for the whole city to engage with the creative development of the show’s journey back to the stage.”

Ms Pavlovic praised the work of Events NSW and the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government in securing the production for Sydney.

“We have been impressed by the pro-active and collaborative approach shown by Events NSW in making the dream of a Sydney opening for Strictly Ballroom a reality.”

Mr O’Farrell said pursuing major events forms part of our strategy to rebuild the NSW economy, a strategy that includes Sydney attracting the finest in musical theatre.

“Events NSW estimate that internationally renowned musicals can generate close to $20 million over a 6 month run in direct economic impact,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“Last week we announced Sydney was chosen for the Australian Premiere of The Addams Family. I said we’d bring major events back to Sydney – here’s the proof.

“This is in addition to the recent and highly successful first run of Doctor Zhivago, as well as Legally Blonde opening in Australia in June 2012.

“These premieres will add to a diverse range of world-class productions showing in Sydney right now, including Mary Poppins and Jersey Boys.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said this is a fabulous coup for Sydney, one that will highlight and enhance the City's global status for cultural excellence, bring enjoyment to music and dance enthusiasts of all ages, while building on a groundswell of major locally-produced shows of world standard appearing in Sydney first.

"Such large scale events lift the spirits and are an economic boost for the City's hospitality, accommodation, retail, transport and fine dining industries, and we are chuffed to be a support sponsor,” Ms Moore said.

Mr O’Farrell said we are getting runs on the major events board and further enhancing the NSW Events Calendar.

“We will ensure that Sydney, the gateway to Australia and NSW, remains number one when it comes to securing and hosting major events in Australia,” Mr O’Farrell said.

Vision of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Baz Luhrmann, Carmen Pavlovic (Global Creatures), and HD re-mastered Strictly Ballroom is available for download from 2pm at:

URL: www.ismedia.tv/download/strictlyballroom   

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW.

Judith Roberts

Topol Judith Roberts

Well known and gifted Judith Roberts returned to her favourite theatre Her Majesty's on June 10, 2007 and recreated her role as Golda in Fiddler on the Roof. Readers may remember Judith in this role at Melbourne 's Regent Theatre starring opposite Topol...

Originally Melbourne and the Regent Theatre was to be the only venue in Australia for Fiddler on the Roof. But the popularity proved too great and the production has recently completed an eight week season at The Capitol Sydney and moved for a short season in Brisbane before returning to Melbourne .

Judith has appeared in all the Australian professional productions with Topol.

Her background is the daughter of a schoolteacher who taught in country schools and on visits to Melbourne used to drop Judith and her sister into whatever theatre was open such as Her Majesty's, The Tivoli, The Princess and The Comedy. At four years of age Judith accompanied her older sister to dance classes and loved it. At school she entered in all the school plays not only acting but doing everything to do with the production. She told her teacher that she wanted to be a dancer and an actor. Judith was told that you cannot do both but Judith's reply was Sir Robert Helpmann did it.

Fortunately for Australia and the theatre Judith did not let such comments deter her and went on not only with dancing and acting but later included singing. One her first companies was when she was working full time was The Spanish Ballet Company of Caramina. Caramina was an Australian who studied the art of Spanish Dance in Spain and England returning to Australia to form her own company. During her studies with the Spanish Dancer Company Judith choreographed a Spanish ballet which proved very successful.

While with the Spanish company her performance came to the attention of Betty Pounder the choreographer of J. C. Williamson the leading theatre owner and producer of the time.

Judith's first professional role was Gertie in the musical The Sentimental Bloke. This was followed by My Fair Lady, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Sweet Charity and Promises, Promises. These were all with J. C. Williamsons. As a member of J. C. Williamsons you were assured of moving onto the next production.

Life on stage is never easy but in the days when Judith commenced there were no such courses as The College of the Arts, NIDA, West Australian Performing Arts and the Music Theatre, University of Ballarat . Judith found classes in acting and singing while doing dance classes with such people as Borovansky and all this while performing on stage.This training in the three disciplines referred as the Triple Threat allowed her to continue performing in many musicals, reviews and cabarets such as Tikki and John's and The Old Vic in Melbourne

Judith Roberts' TV career include Prisoner, Special Squad, Homicide, Carson 's Law plus many others. Her films include You and Your Stupid Mate and strange Fits of Passion which was entered in the Cannes Film Festival.

With all this experience her agent contacted her re a role in Fiddler on the Roof. Even with all her experience Judith had to audition like everyone else. Passing the first audition she was asked to return and a tape was made of her audition and sent to Topol in Tel Aviv, Israel . Topol liked what he saw, passed the tape onto New York with his recommendation. The rest as they say is history. Judith handles the role as Golda with expertise and has a great rapport with Topol, so when the production returned to Australia Judith was automatically Golda.

The Melbourne repeat production is to be directed by Sammy Dallas Beyes who is reproducing the original Broadway production. The Book is by Joseph Stein, Lyrics by Sheldon Harwick and music by Jerry Boch.

The story is set around the Ukrainian village of Anatevka jointly shared by Cossacks and Jews and both under the thumb of the Russian invaders. The little village whose population is represented by the milkman Tevye (Topol) and family plus all the characters of such a village. It shows the family life, the difficulties of living with two different cultures in one village and the persecution ordered by the Czar.

It is a story of displaced people which is still relevant today.

 

Judith Roberts Topol

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The Australian Ballet's Coryphée Amber Scott.

 

Amber Scott a pleasant natural young lady who when talking to gives no idea of the talent and expertise that she has shown with her years of dancing and place in The Australian Ballet.

She started dancing at the age of three, born in Brisbane and then before the Australian Ballet School trained at the Anne Fraser School of Dance and the National Theatre Ballet School .

Amber was awarded the 1998 Bronze Medal at the Adeline Genee Awards, First place in the Junior 1999 Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition and The Australian Ballet Society Scholarship in 2000. She performed Dawn and Prayer in the 2000 Dancers Company tour of Coppelia.

Amber graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 2000 as Dux of her year, before joining The Australian ballet in 2001. She has performed in ballets such as Giselle, Manon, Etudes, Beyond 40, Sentimental Bloke, Coppelia and Spartacus. She has also performed soloist roles in Swan Lake , Catalyst and Symphony in C. In early 2003 Amber spent five months in Denmark with the Royal Danish Ballet as part of a dancer exchange program. She told your correspondent that she loved her time in Denmark where she learnt a lot, found the dancers laid back and friendly and was surprised that the Danish Royal family take a great interest in the Royal Danish Ballet Company. Amber said that the Danish company don't do as many shows as The Australian Ballet,they do one international tour a year and occasionally a rural tour. One of her delights was learning the August Bonneville style of ballet which is a feature of the Royal Danish Ballet.

She was excited to new styles and new faces the great opportunity to learn and develop herself as an artist. With the knowledge learnt Amber will enhance her future performances and considers these overseas trips an advantage to her future in the arts.

Amber, after this trip is amazed at the work that ballet dancers in Australia put in. Also considers that the Australians do not go for the star system as much as abroad.

On return to Australia in 2003 she performed with The Dancers Company as guest artist in their production of Giselle.

She has danced in Darwin at the Darwin Performing Arts Centre and in outdoor venues where she found that with a temperature around 32Degrres it was very easy to dance as the body did not need the warm up as in colder climes. Unlike most young people these days she realises the value of the correct food and is fortunate the Ballet Canteen serves nutricius food as the body does need plenty of energy.

In July of 2004, Amber was promoted to coryphée. She was one of four leading artists from The Australian Ballet to tour with The Dancers Company in 2004 and starred in Nutcracker For the Alice Springs and Darwin sector of the tour.

2004 saw Amber win the Telstra Young Ballet Dancer of the Year award, the highest accolade of its kind available to an Australian dancer. Making a clear sweep of the competition Amber collected both the award judged by The Australian Ballet artistic staff and Principal Artists and the coveted People's Choice Award.
Some of her favourite choices of dance are modern and classical. She loves Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake with its balance of a modern outlook but keeping the traditional as well. Amber feels that it is a great vehicle for a ballerina.

A young girl with a great future Amber Scott is a delight to talk to and understands the difficulties of the dance but quite prepared and happy to work hard to obtain her dreams.

 

Tiffany Speight

One of Opera Australia's rising young stars is Melbourne 's own Tiffany Speight. Chatting with Tiffany she told your correspondent that she was originally a dancer and appeared with Famco and Doncaster companies in such productions as Annie Get Your Gun, Brigadoon and Oklahoma . Like many of our professional theatre people Tiffany started in the amateur circuit with the above groups. With very supportive parents she started on stage while she was still studying. Not only successful on stage Tiffany also passed her exams. Unfortunately for her dancing career but fortunately for opera lovers she was involved in a car accident and injured her feet. Her mother persuaded her to take up singing and the results speak for themselves.

She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts which she thanks for giving her discipline and maturity which has helped her career. At the college she was awarded the Dame Mabel Kent Scholarship for singing. She has been awarded several scholarships including a Queen's Trust Award, which enabled her to study in Paris, the Richard Divall Encouragement Award and the Kitty Fisher Gift which was awarded at the finals of the Mathy Singing Competition held n the Sydney Opera House.

Tiffany made her opera debut as Cupid in Semele with the Victorian State Opera and in 1996 was a Young Artist with the VSO, where she sang Despina in Cosi fan tutte and Dienerin in Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Melbourne Festival.

As Tiffany continued to develop her craft, she performed roles such as Giannetta in The Gondoliers, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, Barbarino in The Marriage of Figaro, Ida in Lindy Hume's production of Die Fledermaus for Opera Australia, Angelica in Orlando (for Ozopera).

As Tiffany started off in dance and has acting experience and was told that if her singing voice did not reach the standard required for opera she would have a successful career as an actor. Due to this versatility Tiffany is in constant demand on the concert platform. She has given performances in such various venues as Opera Under the Stars in Broome, the Castlemaine State Festival and Opera by George, the Prime Minister's Olympic Dinner for the Australian Olympic Team, a gala farewell to the Korean team for Music Theatre Australia with the Seoul Symphony Orchestra, concerts with the Australian Pops Orchestra including From Camelot to phantom and Gilbert & Sullivan.

As the recipient of the 2002 Vienna State Opera Award, Tiffany spent the first part of 2003 in Vienna and made her European debut at the Vienna Staatsoper in the role of Countess Ceprano in late January. Tiffany enjoyed her time in Europe and was interested in the differences between European and Australian views on performing. In Europe they go on and off without being told much about what they are doing. Australians apparently are more versatile and learn more about the production as a whole. The Australian has a more freer and independent attitude then the Europeans and Americans. The Americans are more toward confirming and developing as others whereas the Australian voice is free and open, and the Australian performer is more independent and develops their own individualistic style.

Tiffany told your correspondent that some the hardest audiences to deal with are children. She toured Victoria with Ozopera's Sid the Serpent and found the children did not hesitate in letting the performers know what they felt. Tiffany said it was also very satisfying to hear an honest reaction.

2005 sees Tiffany Speight will sing Frasquita and Micaela in Carmen, Pamina in Die Zauberflote, Josephine in HMS Pinafore and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel for Opera Australia. For Opera Queensland she sings Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Above is just a small summary of Tiffany Speight's career and to talk to she is a sheer delight obviously thoroughly immersed in her art and a bright, cheerful and happy person.

 

 

 

 

 






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