Friday, November 9, 2012

My Love Letter to 'A Tribute of Sorts'

"Ivan and Juniper have a peculiar task. Over the course of one night, they must reenact a list of alphabetically ordered, but altogether unfortunate events. With lo-fi charm and eisteddfod zest, each incident is luridly reimagined, becoming more outrageous and elaborate as the night progresses."
Edward Gorey noted that "Ideally, if anything was any good, it would be indescribable". That quote is perfect when applied to Monsters Appear's current production at La Boite Indie. I remember that when I saw and reviewed the prelude to A Tribute of Sorts at World Theatre Festival earlier this year (titled A Spectacular of Sorts), I laughed so much at what was happening on stage that I started laughing at how much I was laughing, and in turn the entire audience started laughing along. I marked it as one of the highlights of the festival, and I recommended that everyone make the effort to see the show in its next incarnation at La Boite Indie. I didn't think that a few months later I would be involved in working on the same show as a stage hand.

After working with him on another show for university, Ben (the writer and director), invited Jordan, Tom and me to coffee to invite us to work on the show. It was prefaced that this wasn't going to be a paid job and it was going to be a lot of work, but we were immediately absolutely committed to the project since we knew it would be a great and valuable learning experience, and that it would be a lot of fun.

Turns out it was exactly what we though it would be. The narrative revolves around cousins Ivan and Juniper Plank, who take it upon themselves to coordinate a grim but hilariously inappropriate homage to children who find death "a little too quickly". Ben's vision, which was devised collaboratively with the stunningly talented and attractive actors Dash Kruck and Emily Curtin, is utterly charming, with an achingly funny script, superb acting skills and an irresistibly odd concept.

It has been an exhausting few weeks for all involved - for Jordan, Tom and I it's been insane. As ASMs we have to move sets in and out as quickly and quietly as possible, ensuring that the audience don't notice anything going on backstage. There are dozens of props, several of which don't make it out every night since I usually screw up something, numerous costume changes and countless curtain pulls. It's been stressful (we didn't even manage to have a full dress run before our preview), but it's now clicked and we're totally capable and able to manage the show. We're overseeen by Tenneale, a total daemon bitch who is just awesome - she coordinates the entire show, making sure we know what we're doing and keeping us quiet while simultaneously feeding us with candy and love. She resonates power. The rest of the creative team - including Jason, Whitney, Ashleigh, Lucas, and Jeff - were awesome and so slick at what they do. Everything just seemed to work so smoothly.

The show is insanely funny, and it has been overwhelming to hear how much people have enjoyed it. There have been so many great reviews, the show has been pretty much consistently sold-out, and people have said that they have adored it. I'm really proud to have had some involvement in the show, and I'm so glad for Ben, Dash and Emily that their creation has been so popular and so enthusiastically received. They're such generous and gorgeous people, and I really hope I get to work with them all again to some extent one day. Their talent and creativity is makes me want to cower into a ball and panic that I'll never be able to create something that has so much heart and soul while being simultaneously entertaining!

I've loved the process and feel lucky I've been a part of it. Thank you to everyone who attended, to everyone who bought a ticket, and to everyone who helped to bring this piece to life. The final two performances are sold out, although at the rate people have enjoyed it, I'm sure it'll be back at some stage.

Tickets for Monster Appear's A Tribute of Sorts are $18-$28, and is showing at La Boite Theatre Company from October 25th until November 10th. Duration of approximately 70 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment