Home' InDaily : January 8th 2010 Contents www.independentweekly.com.au
Riddle me this: What is
a performance with no
Julian Rickert from the Betty
Booke ensemble didn t know, so
he decided to find out.
And the answer is en route.
En route is an interactive live
art "experience" and it will be
in town during February and
March as part of the Fringe
A boatload of artists will
be joining the en route crew in
Adelaide for the festival, which
this year boasts more shows
than ever. The full program
is available tomorrow in the
Fringe Guide, but details of a
few shows have slipped out.
Two of these, en route and
Yuri Wells, are imports from the
Melbourne Fringe. Every year
a panel in Melbourne picks a
performance piece and visual
or live art show to travel to the
Adelaide Fringe. Both these
shows are given $2000 to help
cover the cost of transferring
an entire production interstate.
For Rickert and the en route
team, the money is a help,
but there are more complex
challenges involved in bringing
their unconventional show
"It s a mobile event," he says.
"People walk through the city
streets and lanes and places and
they re listening to audio on
an ipod which contains some
music, some philosophy, some
poetry, bits of narrative and
Because the event was origi-
nally designed for Melbourne s
cityscape, considerable work
is involved in adapting it to
Rickert is Adelaide-born
and says his knowledge of the
city has helped, but the main
difficulty lies in capturing the
different feel of Adelaide in the
same form as the Melbourne
"We ve learnt some things
from Melbourne and we re
trying to take those general
principles over but there s also
a very different quality to the
city," he says.
"Some of the music, which is
just extraordinarily right when
we play it in Melbourne, doesn t
work in similar Adelaide
places. In Melbourne it s a little
more covered and closed and
held in. In Adelaide you keep
coming to space."
Rickert and his collabora-
tors, Suzanne Kersten, Clair
Korobacz and Paul Moir, are
working towards adapting
the show with use of local
musicians to better express the
"The city is trying to make us
do its own version of en route,"
he says. "One of the things we
really want participants to get
from the piece is that the places
they walk through regularly
gain another quality. You move
from looking to really seeing
The focus on audience is
part of Betty Booke s desire to
engage people directly in the
process of art.
"Our work has increasingly
been about the audience,"
Rickert says. "Theatre is sup-
posed to be about the audience
and we ve created something
which is just audience, no
performers. We just create
parameters in which people can
have their own experience."
More traditionally structured
Fringe-fare will be offered in
the other Melbourne Fringe
award winner, Yuri Wells.
This one-man show, from the
Hayloft Project, was devised by
Benedict Hardie and Anne-
Louise Sarks. Audiences will
be familiar with the form as
Hardie takes to the stage with
only a musician for company
-- but the content might be
Yuri Wells treads the line
of belief in the audience s
mind. The character portrait
wants the differences between
"sympathetic hero and tragic
villain" to be counted, and
there might be fewer than you
These two shows will sit
among the flood arriving soon
from all over the country and
the world for Fringe. Thorough
examination of the soon-to-
be-released guide is your best
chance of survival. Grab it
The Fringe Guide will be
available from tomorrow at
the Fringe office, in branches
of BankSA, in more than 100
Foodland outlets across SA and
in city centre pubs, clubs and
January 8 - 14, 2010
The Independent Weekly
1) Pensioner s Half-Price
Ticket to Nowhere
Her ill-fitting false teeth
click clack in her mouth
in time to the train s rhythmic beat.
Her look is of disinterest
as she watches the countryside
race by at high speed,
a blend of green paddocks, red roofs
a few sheep and cows.
It s all a blur, to her fading eyes.
She can t really remember her destination
or even if there is one.
Her daughter put her on the train
and will no doubt meet her
on her return journey.
She takes a pepper mint from her bag
pops it in her mouth.
Her teeth are stilled for that short time.
The trains slows down.
She wonders if she is meant to get off
but remains in her seat
heart pounding with uncertainty.
The train resumes its journey.
Her teeth continue their clicking
as she waits for her half-price journey
so she can return to the safety
of her own small world.
Jill Gower convenes the Hills Poets Group and is a
previous contributor to Poet's Corner.
Reader unpublished poems to 30 lines can be emailed with
postal address to email@example.com.
au or posted with a SAE to the Poetry Editor, Independent
Weekly, GPO Box 114 Adelaide 5001. A poetry book will be
awarded to each contributor.
POET S CORNER Compiled by John Miles
WAGON CABARET CLIFF
GROOVE ADO DEMENTIA
E ENSIGNS I
EMBODIED LEA EVOLVE
ASSEGAI COBRA DIVOT
PLATO SALON ADMIRAL
ELDEST COP ROULETTE
T HOPEFUL L
EMBRACED AIT BEAGLE
DALES DEPARTS ANGEL
Solutions from 8
The Adelaide Festival Centre
started 2010 with a caterwauling
success if the opening night
standing ovation for Cats was any
Cats is, as they say in the
blurb, a phenomenon. Since its
London premiere in 1981 it has
won a record-breaking number
of awards, including two Olivier
Awards for Musical of the Year
and Outstanding Achievement of
the Year in Musicals, and seven
Tony Awards. It holds the record
as the longest-running musical in
the West End, having played for
21 years, along with 18 years on
Broadway, and has been staged in
300 cities around the world. All this
for a piece of poetry about alley cats
set to a score that contains only one
vaguely memorable song.
Thomas Stearns Eliot s Old
Possum's Book of Practical Cats
was the first book of poems I recall
reading as a child. I was intrigued
by the magical language and the
line drawings in the small hardback
on my sister s bookshelf. Even then,
I could see in our own brood of
moggies those feline qualities Eliot
captured so perfectly. Cats has to
re-create this magic and bring those
assorted felines to life.
This new production opens with
flashing lights and a "spaceship"
centre stage that seems alien amid
the stylised hard rubbish of the
set. Giant lampshades and tennis
rackets compete for space with old
trunks and battered refrigerators, a
perfect setting for the Jellicle Ball.
As the cats gather, each takes it in
turn to tell a tale. It is the dancing
that matters most, and the choreog-
raphy moves, from Shirley Temple
tap and big-top gymnastics to
Jackson s Thriller and traditional
jazz moves, each style given a catty
Cats is the quintessential
ensemble piece with no clear
leading roles, but the swaggering
Rum Tum Tugger, played to the
hilt by John O Hara, and the lonely
Grizabella, sung beautifully by
Delia Hannah, stood out. Some
of the funniest moments occur
off-stage as the performers prowl
through the theatre, sometimes
popping up unexpectedly in the
This all-singing, all-dancing,
musical is perfect feel-good reces-
sion programming and a wonderful
three hours of theatre for audiences
of all ages. Everybody can enjoy the
magic of Cats.
- Diana Carroll
Presented by Lunchbox Theatrical
Productions and David Atkins
Enterprises in association with the
Really Useful Group and Adelaide
Festival Centre. At Adelaide Festival
Theatre until January 24.
a festival highlight
Award-winning Yuri Wells comes straight from the Melbourne Fringe.
A festival goer samples en route in
One of the
things we really
to get from the piece
is that the places
they walk through
Cats -- Now And Forever
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