Exploring the thriving Melbourne arts scene
Richard Thornton – JukeBox
The Musical Comedy Jukebox. A dash of theatre, a pinch of comedy, a splash of cabaret and a smidge of technology set this up to be a unique, high-energy musical experience.
After 18 months of online performances during COVID, Richard expected to bring his digital shows to life. But with Melbourne’s extended lockdown, he will be back behind the camera! An on-screen QR code lets you control the song list and some unique interactions. Every show will be a totally unique experience.
His original songs draw from the moments we all experience; wasting hours on the phone to call centres, accidentally telling an inappropriate joke at the office, family dramas at Christmas… You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll want to see the show more than once. And his Sunday show is kid-friendly!
Cabaret Artist Tash York talks to the Sunday Arts Magazine team.
Swan Hill Art Gallery
In response to COVID lockdowns in regional Victoria, Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery is proud to present the online presentation of The Artist and the Mermaid, a new artwork by Catherine Bell, presented as part of exhibition Video Now in partnership with NETS Victoria.
The Artist and The Mermaid (2020) is a silent film that documents the shared artist residency undertaken by “The Two Cathies” at Venus Bay 2020. Cathy Staughton and Catherine Bell are artist collaborators and have been each other’s muse since 2009 when they met at Arts
Project Australia. The silent film genre has been selected because for a brief time in history, it provided an inclusive experience for the hearing impaired who could fully participate in this popular cultural form as equal members of the audience. This silent film is both a documentary and performance artwork. It documents Cathy painting a series of nude portraits of Catherine Bell, while she performs the role of a mermaid that Cathy Staughton discovers on the beach.
Director of NETS Victoria, Claire Watson says: “NETS Victoria is excited to work with Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery to present Catherine Bell’s The Artist and the Mermaid online. Until audiences can once again visit the gallery in person, everyone with a screen and Wi-Fi can enjoy a part of the exhibition Video Now from home.” Catherine Bell says: “The film and portraits explore the ageing female body and bodily difference through this mythological character. The seaside is a site where negative body image is often experienced, so selecting the beach setting and mermaid guise aims to promote positive images of older women and dispel negative stereotypes of ageing. Mermaids are usually depicted as young women and their transition from sea to land involves surrendering their unique anatomy. Cathy’s acceptance of her mermaid friend’s bodily difference subverts this traditional narrative, and through their creative exchange, promotes body positivity, interdependence and empowerment.”
Direct from a best-selling season at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Wil King (ABC/Netflix’s Why Are You Like This, Strangers in Between) and their real-life partner, award-winner Patrick Livesey (The Boy, George, Gone Girls) now bring Melbourne audiences Angus Cameron’s thrilling new work; DIRT.
Directed by Bronwen Coleman (The Actors Studio, NYC), DIRT is a thrilling and seductive exploration of sexuality, solidarity and persecution that won four awards at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and earned a dozen five-star reviews.
Traversing the compelling course of one night, DIRT presents as a simple meet cute – but all is not as it seems. When a Russian and an Australian walk into a bar in modern-day Moscow, they decide to drink and party together – but both need something from the other, and both have something to hide.
“Wil and I had talked a lot about queer persecution across the Russian Federation and were aware that not many people in Australia knew what was happening.”, explains Actor/Producer Patrick Livesey.
“During last year’s lockdown we decided to commission Angus Cameron to write a play to spread awareness and also to raise money through ticket sales for LGBTQIA+ organisations in Russia. DIRT is a thriller that really plays with the audience’s perception of what is real and what is not. We wanted the tone of the work to emulate the experience of being persecuted, of having to be on guard constantly. It’s hard to bring thrillers and live theatre together, but we feel we’ve achieved that here.”
Rohan Shearn – Talks to the Sunday Arts Magazine Team
Rohan is back chatting to the team.
Brigitte Bardini – Heartbreaker
Even though Brigitte Bardini’s debut album ‘Stellar Lights’ has been two years in the making, the record evokes a sound and aesthetic that has taken a lifetime to craft.
Emerging into the world with singles ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Wild Ride’, and ‘Heartbreaker’ – and now a 14-track album – the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter has carved a niche for herself in the realm of dream pop with ethereal electronica beats and pulsing piano rhythms.
While reminiscent of ’90s legends Mazzy Star and The Cure, Bardini’s cultivation of art keeps her firmly planted in the garden of the present.
The album was conceived from a dream the 21-year-old artist had featuring meteor showers that doused her in heat and caused her ears to ring.
The vivid, apocalyptic experience awakened her to the existential ideas that influences her songs.