353 episodes

STAGES is the podcast that accesses a variety of people whose professional life is about connecting with an audience. A host of creative artists and practitioners reflect on their career, their process and what matters – to them.
Some have made the arts a lifetime pursuit, some explain how their career became a happy accident … but all describe the challenges and demands – and ultimately celebrate why there’s no business like show business!
STAGES talks to talent from front of house and backstage - directors, designers, drag artists and doormen … performers, producers and publicists ... teachers, technicians and talent!
Whatever stages it takes to engage and affect an audience – or whatever it takes to carve out a career in the arts – we’ll examine it in STAGES.
STAGES is the recipient of the Best New Podcaster Award at The Australian Podcast Awards in 2019.

STAGES with Peter Eyers Peter Eyers

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 98 Ratings

STAGES is the podcast that accesses a variety of people whose professional life is about connecting with an audience. A host of creative artists and practitioners reflect on their career, their process and what matters – to them.
Some have made the arts a lifetime pursuit, some explain how their career became a happy accident … but all describe the challenges and demands – and ultimately celebrate why there’s no business like show business!
STAGES talks to talent from front of house and backstage - directors, designers, drag artists and doormen … performers, producers and publicists ... teachers, technicians and talent!
Whatever stages it takes to engage and affect an audience – or whatever it takes to carve out a career in the arts – we’ll examine it in STAGES.
STAGES is the recipient of the Best New Podcaster Award at The Australian Podcast Awards in 2019.

    ‘Because She Can, Can, Can!’ - Entertainment Icon and Trailblazer; Carlotta

    ‘Because She Can, Can, Can!’ - Entertainment Icon and Trailblazer; Carlotta

    Carlotta is an Australian cabaret performer and television celebrity. She began her career as an original member of the long-running Les Girls cabaret show, performed entirely by heavily costumed males, which started in 1963 in the purpose built Les Girls building which stood on a prominent corner in the heart of Sydney's Kings Cross, New South Wales. The building was owned by Sydney identity Abe Saffron.

    Carlotta rose through the ranks of the show to eventually become the show's compere and its most famous member. Les Girls and Carlotta soon became must-see attractions for visitors to Sydney and the show was popular with visiting international celebrities. The show continued in the Les Girls building until 1993, the Les Girls show went on-the-road, touring Australia, which inspired the film "Priscilla Queen of the Desert". The Les Girls building, which was still standing intact with original 1960s features, throughout the 1990s was the venue for alternative cabaret, including the much loved Sunday night club The Tender Trap (club).

    Carlotta was featured in the soap opera Number 96 in 1973 as Robyn Ross, the new girlfriend of Arnold Feather. In the story it was soon revealed that Robyn was in fact a transsexual showgirl, a revelation that led to the character's quick departure from the show. To preserve the shock ending to this storyline the true identity of Robyn's portrayer was kept secret from all but a few central cast and crew members of the series, her scenes were shot on a closed set, and Carlotta was credited as "Carolle Lea".

    Carlotta's sex-change operation in the early 1970s was not the first such procedure in Australia, but due to her celebrity status it became the first to receive publicity there. Carlotta was also one of the inspirations for the film Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. She had a few short breaks from Les Girls for international tours, but overall by the time she left the show for the final time in 1992 she had spent a total of 26 years performing with the troupe.

    In 2005, she featured in her own half a million dollar stage production, "Carlotta's Kings X", presented at the Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney. Produced by Brett Elliott and Richard Bernardo, the 90 minute show delivered classic storytelling, stand up comedy, lavish costumes, and team of 'Les Girls' dance performances throughout.

    Carlotta has toured Australia with her "Carlotta - Queen of the Cross; show and regularly features at all sorts of festivals and gala premieres, including Melbourne's Midsumma, Gold Coast's Glitter and Brisbane's Melt festivals.

    On 26 January 2020, Carlotta was the recipient of Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to the performing arts, and to the LGBTIQ community.

    Carlotta returns to the stage in Trevor Ashley’s Christmas panto, Moulin Scrooge. The annual entertainment is a much anticipated indulgence on Sydney’s theatrical calendar. This follows a triumphant turn earlier in the year, performing in Priscilla; Queen of the Desert at The Star on The Gold Coast.

    We cannot wait to have her back on the boards in Sydney. Like Dolly Levi returning to Harmonia Gardens - “It’s so great to have you back where you belong!”

    Moulin Scrooge plays the Seymour Centre from December 1st.

    The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au

    • 47 min
    'You Have to Believe we are Magic'- Showman, Illusions Designer and Magician; Adam Mada

    'You Have to Believe we are Magic'- Showman, Illusions Designer and Magician; Adam Mada

    Adam Mada has been entertaining audiences and creating custom magic and Illusion shows internationally for more than 20 years. As a leading magician, entertainer and Magic / Illusions consultant Adam Mada has his audiences spellbound with spectacular stage shows and cutting edge magic performances with an affectionate nod to the golden era of magic.

    He was the Magic and Illusions coach to the Australian production of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child – parts 1 and 2, and the magic & illusion consultant and coach for the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art. Adam is also the magic/illusion designer for the highly anticipated stage adaptation of Mem Fox’s Australian classic ‘Possum Magic’.

    Adam’s highly sought after live and digital performances are in demand throughout the world, playing everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to The Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

    He is the founder and director of Magic Inc. a company that creates bespoke custom magic illusions and performances for advertising and special events. Magic Inc. also fosters emerging magic talent including Australian and New Zealand Junior champions “The Cardistry Boys” as well as Tik-Tok Magic sensation Ash Magic.

    Among his many other achievements, Adam Mada has supported the Starlight Children’s Foundation as National Magic Coach for the Captain Starlight Program and is a member of Band Of Magicians – the world’s first supergroup of magicians. He was also magician in residence at experimental cabaret show El Circo.

    Whether wowing high-end, private parties or massive-scale corporate events, Adam mixes his signature blend of wit, spectacle and invention and delivers the slickest of interactive experiences, stealing away the breath of each and every audience member and keeping it safely up his sleeve until the final curtain.

    The art and craft of magic and illusion has fascinated me for a lifetime. The craft has been practiced on stages around the globe for centuries.  As an entertainment it always inspires awe and delightful confusion. As an art, it requires incredible discipline and skill. I can’t wait to investigate the artistry further with Adam Mada.

    STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).

    www.stagespodcast.com.au

    • 1 hr 1 min
    ‘Dedicated Housewife and Part-time Hostess’ - A.K.A. Vanessa Wagner; Tobin Saunders

    ‘Dedicated Housewife and Part-time Hostess’ - A.K.A. Vanessa Wagner; Tobin Saunders

    Tobin Saunders is a freelance performer, writer, choreographer, dancer, actor, DJ and events Co-ordinator/producer. Combining elements of contemporary dance, expressive movement, popular culture, social comment and satire, Tobin’s work could be described as - Pastiche!

    Over the past 30 years he has been involved in theatre works, production and performance at Mardi Gras, in fashion parades, film, and dance variety at Belvoir St Theatre.

    Tobin is now working solo with the Vanessa Wagner character and is also freelancing as an actor. He appears on TV as a social commentator and contemporary icon. His eclectic experience and skills have enabled Tobin to produce work that is fresh, challenging and innovative. Avoiding the labels of “Dance”, “Theatre” or “Comedy”, he combines all into a vibrant hybrid.

    Vanessa Wagner is one of Australia’s most colourful and entertaining identities. She started as a dedicated housewife and part time hostess. Vanessa was crowned Sydney Mardi Gras Miss Fair Day 1993 and for seven years she coordinated and hosted the spectacularly successful Drag Race Meet at Bondi Beach for the Sydney Fringe Festival.

    From early 1993 till 1996 Vanessa captivated audiences with ‘Jamie and Vanessa’ parties and stage shows. Vanessa now produces her own parties, events and shows. She is proud dance mistress of her very own Crystal Stepz Dance Company, creating works of a kind rarely seen! Her sell out hit dance show, Vanessa Wagner’s History of Dance broke box office records  during its premiere season.

    She Co-hosted the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade telecasts on Channel Ten for 5 years. She also had a regular appearance as talk back host, on national youth radio station Triple J. Vanessa’s intelligent, opinionated and funny repartee is a sure crowd pleaser.  She was the most colourful and loved entrant in Celebrity Big Brother, has made Australia laugh featuring in a saucy Snickers TV commercial and keeps Australia laughing with TV and Cable appearances.

    As a tireless advocate for HIV health education and safe practice, Tobin’s work has had far reach in many communities. In July 2022, Academic Daniel Reeders commented - “Tobin’s ground-breaking work as Vanessa Wagner with Kath Albury as Nurse Nancy was a key inspiration for Michael Hurley’s theory of cultures of care that has had a sustained and powerful influence on HIV health promotion practice in Australia. Vanessa and Nancy used glamour and humour to bring audiences on a journey through sensitive topics like having a positive sex life and managing complicated medication regimes in the emerging era of antiretroviral treatments.”

    With a myriad of corporate speaking & charity works across Australia, Vanessa has proved her flexibility and has cemented her position as a loveable Australian icon. As has Tobin!

    It is always an absolute treat to catch up with this icon(s).  Always genuine. Always passionate. Always opinionated. And always inspiring!

    The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au

    • 50 min
    ‘The Showman’ - Arts Reviewers and Ardent Audience Members; Simon Parris and Ian Phipps

    ‘The Showman’ - Arts Reviewers and Ardent Audience Members; Simon Parris and Ian Phipps

    As a teen I religiously tuned into a weekly program broadcast nationally on ABC radio. This program, was the ‘go to’ source for everyone to learn the latest theatre news. This treasure trove program was called ‘The Showman’ and was hosted by a celebrated announcer called John West.

    Demonstrating an enormous appreciation for the theatre and the arts, West was able to combine his profession and passion through ‘The Showman’.  Other than subscribing to monthly theatre magazines, and without the existence of the www, this much anticipated weekly radio broadcast was our window to what was happening on stages around Australia; and also carried news from New York and London.

    Correspondents such as Terry Hughes and Stan Pretty would enthusiastically provide details and description of what was ‘the latest’ from Broadway and West End theatres. Via the platform of radio, and through informed and passionate announcers, the show ignited imagination and informed intensely to those listening from afar.

    Two of STAGES favourite Arts workers have recently returned from pilgrimages to New York and London and delved into the latest in musicals and plays on the Broadway and West End stages. And they join us in this episode to provide first-hand insight and some degrees of envy in their descriptions of what we could expect, if finding ourselves in these theatre meccas over coming months.

    Simon Parris is a theatre reviewer based in Melbourne. His review blog ‘Man in Chair’ regularly reviews musicals, plays, opera and the arts. Access to these reviews can be found at simonparrismaninchair.com

    Ian Phipps is one of Australia’s leading publicists, promoting theatre and its stars around Australia. If you know that a show is happening, no doubt it’s because Ian has communicated this to you via a myriad of masterful means.

    This episode of STAGES is dedicated to ‘The Showman’ program, and John West, for inspiring, informing and igniting the imagination of theatre fans, around the country, from 1964 to 1990. While also being a terrific round-up of present production around the globe, and what we can expect on Australian stages in 2023.

    The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Recipient of Best New Podcast at 2019 Australian Podcast Awards. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).

    www.stagespodcast.com.au

    • 1 hr 19 min
    STAGES SPOTLIGHT - CONVERSATIONS REVISITED: Maureen Howard - from March, 2019

    STAGES SPOTLIGHT - CONVERSATIONS REVISITED: Maureen Howard - from March, 2019

    With episodes nearing 350 in the STAGES archive, it’s time to revisit conversations featured in our previous seasons. STAGES spotlights such episodes, in case you missed them the first time ‘round - or so you can simply savour, a second listen. Either way, you’ll be accessing precious oral histories from the people who were there, on and around our stages.

    In February 2020 we lost a great artist. Maureen Howard was a star across many platforms - radio, television, musical theatre, operetta and opera. STAGES was enraptured to be in her company and record a conversation of such extraordinary history, contagious humour and fierce reflection. Long after the recording stopped, Maureen entertained with anecdote and cheeky reminiscence. It was a thrill to be in her audience - even in her kitchen!

    A brief stint as a hairdresser lead Maureen Howard to a career in musical theatre and then Opera, after a customer enquired if she’d planned to do anything with her singing.

    Maureen had been a regular performer on Channel 7’s Sunnyside Up in the early years of television in Australia.

    Roles in The Music Man, Man of La Mancha and The Most Happy Fella for the Garnett Carroll organisation quickly followed, allowing her to explore the dynamic quality of her voice.

    Proving that she had an instrument that could extend to Opera, she soon established herself as one of the country’s leading voices, singing roles in Madama Butterfly, Tosca and La Boheme during the 1970’s.

    In recent years she returned to Opera Australia to perform in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and as The Witch in Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel. Her final performance was that of Old Heidi in Sondheim’s Follies - in Concert, singing the ethereal ‘One More Kiss’.

    Maureen was a wonderful human being. She was also a very fine artist of whichever form she chose to interpret. Please enjoy this treasured memory from the STAGES archive.

    The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, and where you find your favourite podcasts. www.stagespodcast.com.au

    • 1 hr 7 min
    STAGES SPOTLIGHT - CONVERSATIONS REVISITED: Eva Grace Mullaley - from December, 2019

    STAGES SPOTLIGHT - CONVERSATIONS REVISITED: Eva Grace Mullaley - from December, 2019

    With episodes nearing 350 in the STAGES archive, it’s time to revisit conversations featured in our previous seasons. STAGES spotlights such episodes, in case you missed them the first time ‘round - or so you can simply savour, a second listen. Either way, you’ll be accessing precious oral histories from the people who were there, on and around our stages.

    The Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company is Australia’s leading Aboriginal theatre company, based in Perth, WA, in the heart of the Nyoongar Nation.

    Formed in 1993, Yirra Yaakin provides the means and environment to assist the nurturing of Aboriginal community cultural development. Yirra Yaakin means ‘stand tall’ in the Nyoongar language. At the commencement of 2019, Yamaji woman, Eva Grace Mullaley was appointed as Artistic Director.

    Eva Grace grew up predominantly in the South West of Western Australia and moved to Perth in 2002. She is a graduate of the Aboriginal Theatre course at WAAPA. She soon joined Yirra Yaakin as an actor performing in Whaloo is That You?, and with Black Swan in the production, Tear From a Glass Eye.

    In 2005 Eva Grace lectured the Aboriginal students at WAAPA on script writing and directed the collaborative piece Black Tracks. She assisted David Milroy during the Windmill Baby creative development for Yirra Yaakin and was Stage manager during its first public season.

    She has keenly embraced the extensive roles existing in the theatre. Such work has included roles as a tour manager, producer, event manager, dramaturge, actor and extensive time in administration - essential experiences that have informed her work as a director.

    At her appointment, Eva Grace was looking forward “to continuing such an inspirational legacy and building on the shoulders of those that came before (her) to lead Yirra Yaakin to a new era.”

    Four years on, it is a delight to return to an early conversation with Yirra Yaakin Artistic Director, Eva Grace Mullaley.

    The Stages podcast is available from Apple podcasts, Spotify, and where you find your favourite podcasts. www.stagespodcast.com.au

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
98 Ratings

98 Ratings

flo vassey ,

Brilliant record of our local industry

This is a much needed and timely series brilliantly put together and hosted by a man in the know. It’s a gift to all who are interested in theatre and our own industry aside from the cliches and rhetoric of Broadway.

MellieTea ,

Love this pod

Love hearing about this history of Australian theatre and the amazing stories of people I’ve been watching for years. Congratulations Peter this is an important record.

Awesome Amazing Fabulous Darcy ,

Entertaining

Inspiring and well-spoken, great job Mr Eyers!

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