Saturday, 30 November 2002



*F GR Shush                      La Mama, Melbourne, VIC               22/01/2002
*F GR  The Saucy Cantina          Victorian Arts Centre: Black Box      22/01/2002
 F GR Perverse                   Victorian Arts Centre: Black Box      20/01/2002
F GR Art On Trial               George Adams Gallery, Melbourne, VIC  18/01/2002
F GR Open Wide, Come Inside. The Bears are Back         Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran  17/01/2002
 Chookahs                   George Fairfax Studio, Melbourne,     16/01/2002
*F GR I should be so lucky       Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC       15/01/2002
GR Pinocchio                  Melbourne Concert Hall, Melbourne,    12/01/2002
*F GR Love in a Cubicle          Mechanics Insitute, Melbourne, VIC    09/01/2002
 F GR The Singers' Guide to the Universe    Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC       09/01/2002
*F GR Lucky Stiff                Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC       08/01/2002
* F GR Women in Love              Rippon Lea, Elsternwick, VIC          07/01/2002
*GR  Oh! What a Night           State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC         03/01/2002
*F GR I am Not a Fag Hag          Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC      31/01/2002
 F GR Sailing on a Sea of Tears   Span Gallery, Melbourne, VIC         29/01/2002
F GR Tim McKew turns 25          Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC      27/01/2002
**GR  Sweet Bird of Youth         The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC        26/01/2002
* F GR My Life as a Dyke Too: The Shequel        La Mama, Melbourne, VIC       23/01/2002
 F GR This Is Our Youth           The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC        23/01/2002
F GR Hell in a Handbag           Victorian Arts Centre: Black Box     22/01/2002
F GR Naughty Little Showtunes    Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC      22/01/2002

*D GR  Belonging                   CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, VIC        12/02/2002
**** F/D GR Three Dark Tales            Merlyn Theatre, South Melbourne,     11/02/2002
 F GR Dogs Barking                Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC            08/02/2002
 F GR  Apartment 1397 Act 1        Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC      07/02/2002
*F/Cab GR Terra Paradiso              Dante's, Fitzroy, VIC                07/02/2002
 Cab GR The King & Di               Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC      07/02/2002
* GR Enuff                       Beckett Theatre, Sth. Melbourne,     05/02/2002
*D  GR Conversations With the Dead    CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, VIC     26/02/2002
 Dance? GR Beyond 40                      State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC     22/02/2002
*D GR Blue/Orange                    George Fairfax Studio,            22/02/2002
*F GR Moon Babies                    La Mama, Melbourne, VIC           20/02/2002
 *D GR Casting Doubts                 Playbox Theatre, Melbourne, VIC   19/02/2002
*D GR Crow Fire                      Playbox Theatre, Melbourne, VIC   19/02/2002

 *D GR  Stolen                         Playbox Theatre, Melbourne, VIC   11/03/2002
** D GR Life X 3                       The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC     08/03/2002
 F GR ? Can't Help Myself ,Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow  , Mother Lode ,  Shoes of Desire: Part 1 , The More We Change, Turn ,Yellowing Yvonne Bowden Memorial Theatre,   07/03/2002
**F GR Ordinary Misery                La Mama, Melbourne, VIC           06/03/2002
** D GR The Loves of Shakespeare's Women Athenaeum 2 Theatre, Melbourne,06/03/2002
*F GR The Bull-Ant                   Theatreworks, Melbourne, VIC      05/03/2002
*F/Cab? GR Eccentric Acts               Theatreworks, Melbourne, VIC        27/03/2002
 Cab GR In and Out of Focus          Capers Cabaret, Hawthorn, VIC       27/03/2002
 Cab GR Industrial Waste             The Comics Lounge, North Melbourne, 27/03/2002
F GR Lord of the Ringos           The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC       27/03/2002
F GR One Man's Business           The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC       27/03/2002
F GR Screaming in America: The Bill Hicks Project    The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC    27/03/2002
 F GR The Dodge                    The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC       27/03/2002
F GR The Feel Appeal              The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC       27/03/2002
F GR Shut Up And Love Me          National Theatre, Melbourne, VIC    22/03/2002
F GR Tangled                      Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC     21/03/2002
*F GR Dead Caucasians              Carlton Courthouse, Carlton, VIC    20/03/2002
**Opera GR Cavalleria Rusticana         Victorian Arts Centre: Black Box    19/03/2002
**Opera GR Pagliacci                    State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC       19/03/2002
*F GR  Counting Icebergs            Cooks Cottage, VIC                  14/03/2002
Cab GR A Song for You               Capers Restaurant, Hawthorn, VIC    13/03/2002
*F GR Four Small Deaths            Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC     13/03/2002
*F GR Judith                       The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC       13/03/2002
 Youth Rave New World               St Martins Theatre, Melbourne, VIC  13/03/2002
***F GR Uncle Bob                    Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St. Kilda, VIC 13/03/2002
 Com GR Port Out, Starboard Home in the company of Chris Addison Melb THall,28/03/2002
 Com GR Scum Nation                         Melbourne Town Hall,         28/03/2002
F GR The Trade                           7 Alfred Place Downstairs,   28/03/2002
Opera GR   Don Giovanni                        State Theatre, Melbourne,    27/03/2002
Bad -Com GR Christ on a Bike             7 Alfred Place Downstairs,          28/03/2002

Opera GR Faust                    State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC 09/04/2002
 Cab GR Puppetry of the Penis            Forum Theatre, Melbourne, VIC 09/04/2002
MT GR  Man of La Mancha                 Regent Theatre, Melbourne,    06/04/2002
 F GR OZACT: A Feast of Shakespeare      Heatherlie Quarry, VIC        06/04/2002
 *GR Still Angela                       CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, VIC 06/04/2002

F  GR The Fall of the Roman Umpire       La Mama, Melbourne,   04/04/2002

****Opera GR Sweeney Todd             State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC           27/04/2002

* F/D  GR Scissors, Paper, Rock    Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, VIC     26/04/2002

 *D GR Richard 3                The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC           25/04/2002
* F  What do you think of me so far?   Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC         25/04/2002
D  GR Post Felicity            Playbox Theatre- The Malthouse, South   23/04/2002
*D GR Svetlana in Slingbacks   CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, VIC           23/04/2002
***D GR True West                George Fairfax Studio, Melbourne, VIC   19/04/2002
*F  GR Paradise                 La Mama, Melbourne, VIC                 17/04/2002
D? GR The Dreaming      Westside Performing Arts Centre Shepparton, VIC 16/04/2002
Com GR Say Nothing              Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC     13/04/2002
***** F GR  Yes, Yes, Yes            Melbourne Concert Hall, Melbourne, VIC  13/04/2002
F GR Cold August Night        Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC     11/04/2002
D GR  Stories from the Hidden City        Melbourne Museum, Carlton, VIC          11/04/2002
*F GR Fat and Skinny in Lab Rats             Carlton Courthouse, Carlton, VIC        09/04/2002

***F GR  The Dunny                Carlton Courthouse, Carlton, VIC        01/05/2002
**F GR The Understudy           Carlton Courthouse, Carlton, VIC        01/05/2002
*Inn F/ F GR  Journey to Con-fusion #3        Dancehouse, North Carlton, VIC   17/05/2002
 ****GR Proof                           The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC    17/05/2002
 CAB GR Girls, Girls, Girls!!!          Capers Cabaret, Hawthorn, VIC    16/05/2002
 F GR Dawn / Day / Dusk               Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St. Kilda, VIC 15/05/2002
F GR The Viet Boys From Down Under   La Mama, Melbourne, VIC          15/05/2002
*  F GR The Waiting Room                Trades Hall, Carlton, VIC        15/05/2002
* *** F GR Roulette                        Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC  14/05/2002

  F GR My True Colours                 La Mama, Melbourne, VIC          11/05/2002
F GR Northcote Country Soul          The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC    11/05/2002
F GR An Existential Romp         The Butterfly Club Cabaret, South Melbourne, VIC 10/05/2002
 F GR Claws Out                       The Storeroom, Melbourne, VIC    08/05/2002
* D  GR  Milo's Wake                     Merlyn Theatre, South Melbourne, 3205, VIC08/05/2002
***D GR The Hollow Crown                Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, VIC 08/05/2002
OPERA GR  Lohengrin                       State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC    01/05/2002
* F GR Reckage: The Tar Machine and The Great Divide       Chapel Off Chapel, 01/05/2002
*F GR The Lord of Misrule                  Carlton Courthouse,         31/05/2002
F GR Remember Ronald Ryan                 Theatreworks, Melbourne,    29/05/2002
*F GR The Aliens                           La Mama, Melbourne, VIC     29/05/2002
*DANCE  Hot Shoe Shuffle                     Athenaeum Theatre,          24/05/2002
 DANCE Wanted (Australia's Most Wanted: and Clear Pale Skin) Ballet for a Contemporary Democracy, The Workshop, Southbank,    24/05/2002
MT GR  The Music Man                        State Theatre, Melbourne,   22/05/2002
 YOUTH The Last Episode of the Bubble Teens St Martins Theatre21/05/2002
  CAB GR John Bucchino                  Lido Cabaret Restaurant, Hawthorn, VIC 20/05/2002
 F GR  Child                       Theatreworks, Melbourne,    19/05/2002
  CAB GR Mitchell Butel's Excellent Adventure Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, 19/05/2002

F GR  Discontinuities: Beyond Nothingness / What Lies Ahead / Last Jugement  La Mama,  20/06/2002
 F GR the Oval Office Week       Northcote Uniting Church Hall, Northcote, VIC 20/06/2002
 I NF GR Circus Oz                            Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, VIC 19/06/2002
 *F GR A Sweeter Fern - That's Red!      Carlton Courthouse, Carlton, VIC 18/06/2002
F GR It's a Family Affair      North Melbourne Town Hall Arts House, Melbourne, VIC 06/06/2002
F GR Linger                               La Mama, Melbourne, VIC     06/06/2002
*F GR June...The Place does not Matter     La Mama, Melbourne, VIC     05/06/2002
* F GR Winter as Frida Kahlo                Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, 05/06/2002
 F GR Chocolate Monkey                     Gamma Space, Melbourne, VIC --/06/2002

  D GR Half and Half     Playbox Theatre- The Malthouse, South Melbourne, 29/06/2002
MT GR  The Wizard of Oz                Regent Theatre, Melbourne, VIC   29/06/2002
**  D GR Slow Love                       Beckett Theatre, Sth. Melbourne, 3205, VIC 21/06/2002
  D GR The Recruit                     George Fairfax Studio, Melbourne, VIC 21/06/2002

F GR Cyclops Alley                   La Mama, Melbourne, VIC          17/07/2002
 OPERA Cavalleria Rusticana/Gianni Schicchi Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne,12/07/2002
  DGR Talking Heads        AL OVER VIC           Horsham Civic Centre, Horsham,   10/07/2002
F GR Down the Road                   Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St. Kilda, VIC 10/07/2002
D GR Soulmates                       The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC    10/07/2002
DANCE Giselle                         State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC    06/07/2002
 F GR The Man Who Mistook His Wife  for a Hat          Horti Hall, Carlton,         04/07/2002
D GR Hamlet                          Athenaeum 2 Theatre, Melbourne,  03/07/2002
 CAB  Rick Price                      Capers, Hawthorn, VIC            03/07/2002
F GR School                          Carlton Courthouse, Carlton,     03/07/2002
DANCE  Spirit of the Dance             Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, VIC 02/07/2002
 DANCE Walkabout                       The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC    02/07/2002
F GR Boredom Protection Policy      Trades Hall, Carlton, VIC         30/07/2002
 F GR The Girl Who Wanted To Be God  Carlton Courthouse, Carlton, VIC  30/07/2002
  DGR The Recruit                    Merlyn Theatre, South Melbourne,  30/07/2002
F GR Focus 4 (Preparation Anthem); Upside  Down and Back to Front; Fall;  Utterance; A Miniature Replica of a Much Larger Reality;      Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne,   28/07/2002
OPERA  La Boheme                      Williamstown Town Hall,           27/07/2002
 GR ? The Wheel of Life              Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, VIC26/07/2002
F GR 4xBeckett (Come and Go, Eh Joe,Rough for Theatre 2 and Footfalls)  The Storeroom, 24/07/2002
F/? D GR A Poor Student                 CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, VIC     24/07/2002
 F GR Foreign Body                   La Mama, Melbourne, VIC           24/07/2002
 F GR Snakeskin                      La Mama, Melbourne, VIC           24/07/2002
 F GR Under the Weather              Gasworks Theatre, Albert Park,    23/07/2002
F GR The Big Conundrum              North Melbourne Town Hall Arts House, Melbourne, 19/07/2002
 F GR Kan Yama Kan (Once Upon a Time)Trades Hall New Ballroom, Carlton, 18/07/2002
DANCE  Lord of the Dance              State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC     18/07/2002
MT GR The Witches of Eastwick   Princess Theatre, Melbourne, VIC       07/08/2002
COM   Barrackers                The Comic's Lounge, North Melbourne,   07/08/2002
F GR In the Mirror             La Mama, Melbourne, VIC                31/07/2002
 F GR The Cool Room             La Mama, Melbourne, VIC                31/07/2002

 F GR      I nhabited                 Centre Place Lane, Melbourne, VIC      16/08/2002
*****   D GR  Your Dreaming             Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, VIC  16/08/2002
 F GR Antigone                  Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne, VIC    15/08/2002
 F GR The Speculator            The Black Box, Melbourne, VIC          15/08/2002
F GR Trophies                  Fitzroy Gallery, Fitzroy, VIC          14/08/2002
 F GR And Baby Makes Seven      Red Stitch Actors Theatre, St. Kilda,  07/08/2002
 CAB Serious Cabaret: Phil Scott         Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran, VIC        03/08/2002
 CAB The Boy Who Knew Everything: Andrew Threlfall  Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran    03/08/2002
D? F GR The Dreamers                    Alexander Theatre, Clayton, VIC  30/08/2002
 F GR United! (Trilogy: Black Cake;  Subtle Sequence of Revelation; Mercurial Manoeuvres)  State Theatre, 29/08/2002

*** D GR Copenhagen Michael Frayn Sydney theatre Company Athenaeum 1
*D GR The Simple Truth Michael Gurr Playbox 11/9/2002
D GR Fever Melbourne Workers Theatre trades hall  18/9/2002-
* F GR Great expectations MTC    19/9/2002
*FGR Spoilt Store Room 26/9/2002
*F GR Elixir Store Room  26/9/2002

*F GR Angina Monologues Trades hall 1/10/2002-
F GR Doctor Cade Neil Cole Courthouse 2/10/2002-
F GR Pig cabaret stoer Room 3/10/2002-
F GR The Concert ( by the Business ) Store Room 5/10/2002
F GR Impro melbourne Shakepeare Improvised from 4/10/2002
F GR Impro melbourne Gorilla Theatre from 6/10/2002
** GR Hello Dolly State Theatre 9/10/2002
**F GR Still Jane Bodie Store Room 10/10/2002
*F GR Piece of Pie Store Room 10/10/2002
**F GR  Gangland Mirra Todd Store Room 10/10/2002
F GR Direct from Broadway Store Room 10/10/2002
***GR Interior Sites MIFA IRAA 15/10/2002
F GR Mabel Dawn Woman on Stage ( Drag) La mama 16/10/2002
D GR Motherland                    CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, VIC      31/10/2002
 Dance  GR Same, Same But Different      The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC      30/10/2002
F GR kNOT@Home                     RMIT Capitol Theatre, Melbourne,   30/10/2002
 * **D GR Emily of Emerald Hill         George Fairfax Studio, Melbourne,  29/10/2002

 * D GR  Fire, Fire Burning Bright     CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, VIC      28/10/2002
 F GR Keene / Taylor Theatre  Project ( Dog) Project (River)  Fortyfivedownstairs, Melb,28/10/2002
 ** D GR Mil Quinientos Metros Sobre el Nivel de Jack Victorian Arts Centre: Black Box   25/10/2002
 F GR Cinnabar Field                North Melbourne Town Hall Arts House, Melbourne 24/10/2002
** D GR  Genesi                        State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC      24/10/2002
 I N F  or F GR K                             Melbourne Museum, Carlton, VIC     23/10/2002
**** VCA  Rememberance of Things Past   Space 28, Southbank, VIC           23/10/2002
Youth  Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights St Martins Theatre, Melbourne,22/10/2002
 DNCE ??      Recent Experiences            The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC      22/10/2002
 D GR Keene / Taylor Theatre Project (To Whom it May Concern) / (Two Shanks Fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne,21/10/2002
D GR  Play Dirty                    Victoria Docklands: Shed 4,        18/10/2002
  DANCE Tense Dave                    Chunky Move Studios, Melbourne,    18/10/2002
 CAB And Then There's Bea            Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne,    17/10/2002
OPERA  Love in the Age of Therapy      The Playhouse, Melbourne, VIC    17/10/2002
**F GR  Medea                           Horti Hall, Carlton, VIC         17/10/2002
F GR Soft                            Victoria Docklands: Shed 4,      16/10/2002
F GR A Trilogy of Revolution (The Designated Mourner) Uniting Church, Fitzroy,     15/10/2002
 F GR A Trilogy of Revolution (The Fever) Tribeca  Development, My Dinner with Andre).    The Windsor, Melbourne     15/10/2002
* ***  D GR Interior Sites Project (The Water Room)          Undisclosed Location, 15/10/2002
 F GR Les Liaisons Dangereuses        Athenaeum 2 Theatre, Melbourne,  10/10/2002
 D GR   Slava's Snowshow                Comedy Theatre, Melbourne, VIC   09/10/2002
  CAB Caravan                         Dantes, Fitzroy, VIC             08/10/2002
  CAB Do You Want a Smacked Bottom?   Altitude Bar, Melbourne, VIC     05/10/2002
 CAB  Ronnie Burns: The Way of the Heart            Capers Cabaret, Hawthorn, VIC    02/10/2002
*MT  Hello Dolly                     State Theatre, Melbourne, VIC    01/10/2002
*GR Emily of Emerald Hill
*GR Total Masala Slammer MIFA
*GR The Life of Charles Dickens Ath 1
OPERA Motherland Chamber Made
*GR Genesi
***NO Remembrance of Things past VCA
OPERALove in the Age of therapy
*GR  Milquiinetos
  GR  Soft
GR Play Dirty
F GR    Decoupage Skin la mama 30/10/2002-

**** MT Oliver
*F GR The Play About the baby Redstitch 1/11/ 2002
 GR MIFA Captain Corelli's Mandolin the Concert Melbourne Concert Hall,05/11/2002
*F GR Sugar Story of a boxer la mama Nick Papas 6/11/2002
*F GR Sweet Phoebe Store Room 12/11/2002-12-01 
**FG R Krapp's last Tapes la mama 13/11/2002
* F GR Lonely Lennie Lower la mama 14/11/2002
*GR Rapture Playbox Joanne MS
*F GR The changeling la mama 19/11/2002

***GR Laughter pn the 23rd Floor Neil Simon MTC 20/11/2002
**F GR Faust Chapel off Capel 21/11/2002
F GR Shadowlands Ath 2 Chambers Nov
F GR Teratology Project  PANCH 26/11/2002
**F GR The Grand Feeling 45 Downstairs 27/11/2002
F GR Bearhunt Hoist ACCA 28/11/2002
*F GR Love and Understanding red stitch 29/11/2002

F GR Kaidan Store room 6/12/2002
* F GR harry's  Christmas Chapel off Chapel 6/12/2002
**F GR Love is the Best Doctor Chapel 6/12/2002
*F GR Cabaret  11/12/2002-12-01 Umbilical Bros Ath 1 12/12/2002
F GR Just DisgustiNG RMIT 13/12/2002Lion Witch Wardrobe 31/12/2002-12-01

Friday, 29 November 2002

Love and Understanding, Red Stitch, Nov 29, 2002

What: Love and Understandingby Joe Penhall Red Stitch Actors Theatre

Where: 80 Inkerman St. St. Kilda

When: Wednesday to Saturday  8pm Sunday 6.30pm

Until: December 20, 2002

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Three's a crowd - particularly when the third party is selfish, manipulative and living in your house uninvited.

Joe Penhall's play, Love and Understanding, examines the exhausted relationship of a young, professional couple, Neal (Vincent Miller) and Rachel (Verity Charlton). Neal's childhood friend, Ritchie, ( David Whiteley) lands on their doorstep when the two young doctors are frantically busy.

Ritchie is a compulsive liar and  a journalist - or he may be  lying about the newspaper career as well as everything else.He is fast, seductive, fun and completely untrustworthy. Ritchie is the worst kind of drug consuming, manipulative intruder.

Ritchie is insidiously dangerous. David Whiteley plays this unpleasantly attractive smiling villain as a jumpy, wretched, bad boy in leather jacket. He is the most interesting character in the play and Whiteley is the most interesting actor on stage.

The other two actors' performances are still uncertain. The shifts and balances of Neal an Rachel are nto quite credible.

Denis Moore keeps the direction clean and simple, concentrating on the relationships between the three.
The stage is uncluttered so we must focus on the characters.

Penhall's dialogue is often smart and well-observed. However, there are sections that are florid or clumsy. Characters talk at each other rather than to each other.

Although the narrative is bleak and the main casualty is Neal and Rachel's a relationship, Penhall does little to garner our sympathy for any of the three characters. They are not likeable so it is difficult to care about their lives, foibles and failures.

Penhall's script, after interval, has a surprise for us. The problem is that the as a dramatic turning point seems contrived. The play feels bumpy as it travels to its ending. Penhall's script feels fragmented and there are several false endings.

Love and Understanding needs some refining and some heart.

By Kate Herbert

Thursday, 28 November 2002

The Grand Feeling, Nov 28, 2002

What: The Grand Feeling by Paradigm Productions
Where:  45 Downstairs 45 Flinders Lane
When: November 27 & 29, December 5 & 7, 2002
Time:  7.30pm
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

The Grand Feeling is a production with oodles of charm. Directors, Nadja Kostich and Jeremy Angerson, bring to the stage the stories of three very different older members of our community.

The three featured players are Frances Barton, Lesley Coles and Djo Soemardjo.

 The charm derives from the absolutely untheatrical manner of the three elders as they unaffectedly tell parts of their story to us live or on film.

On stage with them are three other performers, singer-violinist, Ria Soemardjo, writer-film maker Michael Carmody and dancer-choreographer, Tony Yap.

The very simple and moving stories were discovered in a workshop called All My Love during 2001.

A completely white set (Nina Sanadze) incorporates  shadow screens, white chairs and an exceptionally beautiful hanging of enlarged snowflake designs.

The elders move easily in the space and are invited or assisted onto the stage by the actors. There is no pressure on them to perform.

They look to the actors for prompts when they lose the thread of their story, They pause, change tack or alter the answers to the prompts as they feel inclined.

" I'll do it my way," Lesley challenges Carmody as she steps towards the audience. They want me to say this but I don't want to," she says about telling us she might find love at her age.

They talk about their families, meeting their spouses, courting, falling in love and challenges of age and the failing body and mind.

The audience gasps as Frances tells us she is one of eighteen children of an aboriginal mother and a White American father. They lived in three rooms and mum burned the fence for heating in winter.

Lesley, from Yarram in Gippsland, plays waltzes for us and tells of marrying her husband after only six meetings over three years.

Djo is a fine, still presence on stage. Parkinson's disease, he says, makes his body and hands shake. His romance with an Australian woman brought him to Melbourne to escape the difficulties in his native Java.

Ria Soemardjo is a sublime element in this show. Her violin playing and unusual vocal quality is transporting. All I can say is see this. It is delightful.

By Kate Herbert

Wednesday, 27 November 2002

Theatresports Pacific Rim: San Francisco & Melbourne, Nov 27, 2002

Theatresports Pacific Rim San Francisco and Melbourne 2002
Article by Kate Herbert
Nov 27, 2002

San Francisco  may be 14 hours away, but it is just the other side of the Pacific Rim.  In Melbourne and San Francisco, two improvised theatre companies are doing parallel seasons of TheatresportsTM.
On Sundays from July 14th to August 18th at Theatreworks  in St. Kilda,   a never-seen-before-in-Melbourne,  original Canadian  format will be played.  
Says Jenny Lovell, Director of this Melbourne season, “For the first time, we will be playing an entire season in North American format - two team challenge competition.”
“I have taken a boxing style theme this season,” says Lovell. “Two teams of improvisers each week will play open challenges, no time limits, no need to be funny, no holds barred.”  
“Players will form new teams each week. The strongest two combinations will compete for the 2002 trophy,” says Lovell.  
Meanwhile, in San Francisco, two teams are playing the same game weekly at the Bayfront Theater, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.  
Impro Melbourne has the exclusive rights to TheatresportsTM   in Melbourne. In San Francisco, the sister company is BATS Improv Theatre.  Both are members of the ITI,  (International Theatresports Institute)   a committee that takes care of the rights and execution of TheatresportsTM  "! around the world. 
The two companies have a special relationship across the Pacific. Several members of both companies (yours truly included) travel regularly to visit the other city to share ideas and skills.  
In April, Impro Melbourne hosted Keith Johnstone,  creator of Theatresports and three BATS members visited to share skills for two weeks of workshops. Members of Impro Melbourne visit BATS Summer School each year.  
Regina Saisi, Artistic Director of BATS, says, “ Improvisation has changed form. It used to be bastard short scenes, make ‘em laugh comedy club stuff. Then there was the birth of long form.”
She refers to the full length improvised play that is also explored by Impro Melbourne in its recent season at La Mama.
 “It is an exciting time for improvisation”, says Saisi. “I would love to see it more accepted in the theatre world. It’s always been the bastard child.”
One major difference between the two companies is that BATS has its own theatre, a full-time school of improvisation, offices, paid staff, classes running every day, a summer school in August and a large performance group working at three levels and a loyal audience.  
Australia bastardised the Canadian format in 1985. We were not satisfied with playful competition and low-key hosts. We wanted blood, a grand final atmosphere and losers - lots of losers.  
So we created a form with a knock-out, gladiatorial style of play, eight teams of improvisers, time limits that left performers gasping and a crowd that screamed for lollies, bayed for blood and cheered their favourite teams. 
It was such a hit, the ABC TV  made a series out of it. As a result, during 1987-88, 800 people came every week to watch the live show at the Playhouse.  2000 came to Grand Finals   at the Melbourne Concert Hall.   There are football teams begging for that size crowd.  
But it seems Melbourne has grown up. The new format concentrates more on the skill of improvisation rather than comedy. The company is an ensemble developing new forms of improvisation.

July 14th to August 18th @ 7.30pm
Theatreworks 14 Acland Street St Kilda
Tickets: $14 Full - $10 Conc and
$12 Groups of 10 +
Bookings: 9534 3388