Our Man in Beijing in the winter season at LaMama has a new leading lady Diana Nyugen of Phi and Me fame…she is hilarious, sings like an angel and so much fun to watch…
Me and Phil Trainer just completed our tour and boy! was it awesome or wot! We landed in a Great Britain that was about to celebrate the golden jubilee of QE2 and what a performance that was. But our greatest thrill was attending the Playback Theatre Festival in London and meeting its wonderful actors, directors, musicians galore from all over the world. We met the artistic director of Trueheart Theatre Company and her multi-cultural cast of talents. There is no doubt that London is the place for theatre makers. Everyday and night there is a show somewhere worthwhile going to. By sheer chance, I happened to have a cousin playing in the London mandolin festival. That was exquisite. In Margate I enjoyed Tom Thumb, the smallest theatre in the world (or so it claims) that seats apparently only 30 people, hmm.. methinks 50 or so small bums can be squeezed in somehow. I told them that Our Man in Beijing was performed in my kitchen and we managed to get 34 bums on seats! I have no doubt that our ACT is the smallest theatre in the universe! Then off to Mt Snowdia in Wales and we happened upon yet another festival but the rain and cold saw me and mine driving off in our wicked van to a warm bed in Betwsy-co-ed. Our Man In Beijing ain’t going to git there in Wales much as I adore the Welsh choir. They can keep their weather! Our Man In Beijing is off to La Mama theatre in Carlton back in Melbourne. Look out for the premier on Saturday 25th August 2012! Something to look forward to folks!
After a successful season in Brighton, Our Man In Beijing is going to La Mama in Carlton. Two opposite ends of Melbourne. Brighton is on the bay and Carlton is on the city’s edge in the heart of Little Italy. Our Man is very honoured to be performing at La Mama, the most famous of Indie theatre company with an awesome history. La Mama began life in the 60s and now lives in an old Victorian terrace that was threatened with closure a few years ago. It was saved almost overnight with the magic that is community support. The community raised over one million aussie dollars and bought the building so that the show or shows can go on! La Mama has spawned many a famous Australian playwrights who have attained international stardom such Williamson and Hibberd. Our Man in Beijing, the first inter-cultural play with Australian and Chinese elements, the first in the world, will be be performed over 3 weekends beginning 25th August 2012. Please check for updates, news and gossip about Our Man on Facebook under the Australian Chinese Theatre or my personal timeline Moni Lai Storz.
Playback theatre really is a wonderful tool if one is exploring performance pieces which are not written as yet or are so few that one is totally frustrated…that is my current situation in my search for intercultural pieces that highlight the differences among Chinese and Australian (or any ‘western” culture for that matter). I wrote Our Man in Beijing as a response to the intercultural wilderness as far as Chinese ‘western’ pieces are concerned. Playback theatre is improvisional, unscripted and spontaneous theatre. I like the unscripted bit. Just think if I could get a group of people together from diverse ethnic backgrounds in one room…throw in a few musicians…a piano, a guitar, a violin perhaps…and see what happens in the hands of aconductor, and lots of story tellers/audience and of course some actors…yes, i think we will have some “scripts” emerging out of this. YES! perhaps a series of sessions, perhaps a workshop, perhaps …let me know if you are reading this blog..
A desert city, a dust bowl, eternally shrouded in mist and that is Lima, one may think. But Lima is more than this. Musicians and actors are found all over in Lima and the rest of Peru. Everywhere we went from Lima to Macchu Picchu, music followed us, wafted beneath our noses like a lingering fragrance …Felipe and I are touring Peru. Following the successful production of Our Man in Beijing in Melbourne, we took off on a 3 month tour to refresh our souls, to rejuvenate our minds for fresh performances. Felipe busked in his usual way and i danced but these days the dances seem to occur more in my mind than body!
The ACT will go to Beijing next September for the Beijing Fringe Festival and my mind is ticking away on how to raise the money for the cast and crew of Our Man ….perhaps a concert? ah well, we will wait and see if our grants applications are successful…being a producer is a full time job…the mind never stops planning how to get some funds.
I finished writing Our Man in Beijing 2009. It was a sad moment as I just got news that my best friend died. A friend since primary school. She would have been the first to produce it in Malaysia. I returned to Australia and after several failed attempts at finding an appropriate director, Our Man in Beijing is finally opening on 18 March, directed by Wolf Heidecker. I am over the moon. The cast is fabulous and the crew is awesome. The venue is a boutique theatre space. Richard Lyford-Pike, a talented interior designer had created out of my garage adjacent to my house in Brighton. Waaaaahh as the Chinese would say: we have a theatre venue next to a pool and open air stage surrounded by bouganvilleaes, banana trees and BAMBOOS…the whole garden is reminiscent of an ancient Greek amphitheatre.
Jacy Teh built the website for OMIB almost over night under great pressure as i was so excited by the beautiful E flyer he created that I immediately sent it out to 50 friends and put it on my facebook…that was cool except that the website was on it. And the website was not built yet! My first panic attack! Second came the rains and flooded out my lovely venue!!!! Second panic attack. What’s next?