Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bamboo Moon: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

I loved Studio Ghibli's 2013 film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, based on the ancient Japanese folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. What a beautiful, honest and tragicyet equally upliftingfairytale about love and loss. And told with a particularly delicate minimalism which only Studio Ghibli can make sexy.

So when I heard local Darwin youth theatre company Corrugated Iron was putting on a new adaptation of the very same Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, I obviously got myself up in that hotness. Bamboo Moon was the title of the production, and it reshaped the classic story into a dynamic short live show.

It was put on as a free show with a three night run at the start of August. It was also staged outdoors in the wonderful dry season air, at the George Brown Botanic Gardens, and with excellent set design, props and costumes; it was a visually spectacular show.

That's a snap from a rehearsal. I played Haru, the son of the Emperor, a very important and pretty cool guy, whose only real flaw is that he enjoys a wee bit of violence and war. Doh! There also is Taylor who played the eponymous Princess Kaguya and Tahlia who was my guard and lieutenant.

There's me on the night. In character. Feeling things. Emotions. Drama. Acting.

That's some of the other actors being funny on stage. Don't worry, they were also in character.

As a dynamic outdoor youth performance, this show of course also included music, dance and circus! Look bamboo spirits on stilts!

And aerialist moon people!

Unfortunately there are far more wonderful images of all these people than I can include here, but you can have a look at the show's photo gallery on the Corrugated Iron website.

Finally I want to congratulate the dedicated crew, some of whom can be seen here...

...and the enormously friendly extended cast, some of whom can be seen here:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Darwin Fringe Show: Vaudeville Variety starring Chaplin

Here's the facts.

The Darwin Fringe Festival was a month ago. It was good. I got to perform in two shows. One of them was "VAUDEVILLE VARIETY STARRING CHAPLIN".

It was... well, it was what it sounds like. A madhat Vaudeville-inspired couple of hours of comedy, song, slapstick and skits. It was produced by an insane chap who I shall refer to simply as Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith, and directed by a terrific gentleman called Tony Rive.

Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith (shown above) was the centrepiece of the evening, singing and larking through a variety of comedy bits. One of these was a slapstick restaurant skit starring the titular, aforementioned and again shown above Charlie Chaplin, played by Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith.

That photo displays a few other characters from the very same skit: (left to right) Haylee the gangster, Isaac the waiter, Damon the gangster, and me! I was the generically named "Male Lover". In this case referring to the facts that I was A) a lover and B) of the male gender, as opposed to my defining character feature being that I "love males".

This one's a snap from the night itself (thanks videographer Nathaniel Kelly!) in which Russell "Rusty Rhubarb" Smith and I can be seen performing the famous Abbott and Costello skit, Who's on first. Beast of a piece to learn, but it's mega funny.

Thanks to all of the wonderful cast and crew and brilliant musicians and everyone who came to see it. A great experience.