Margi, Travis and Leah. Opening night of Eve. Photo by Stephen Henry
The Australian Review today: Photo by Stephen Henry
Well we opened the Double Bill shows last evening and you were there with your smiling faces. I posed a provocation right up front "What if this is where you belong right now" and off we went...headlong into the contrasting worlds of Train and Eve.
You had an hour break where you ate at the wonderful Bar Alto, (many of you preordered food), you ate at Watt (i always love the calamari), you walked our river, you sat and dreamed, you had conversations...all the things that make belonging thick and potent...you then headed back into the theatre and met Eve, the quintessential artist/mother who does not "believe in my own talent...but to write. that is something i am sure of. To write the lies of living. The Great Australian loneliness. That old disease of mine"
Our creative team with Travis, Leah, Margi and Ben. Photo by Stephen Henry
I want to thank our team, our glorious team...theatre cannot happen in a vacuum...two people may be on-stage, but there are many many people behind the scenes, and in our case we had two beautiful directors, Benjamin Knapton (also Executive Producer/Designer/Co-devisor) and Leah Mercer (my 'theatre wife', my long term collaborator, who is co-artistic director of our companies The Nest Ensemble and Force of Circumstance) and my son, Travis Ash, who came up from Sydney University in the middle of his honours year in philosophy to write/perform/compose/design for us...generous beyond belief...our dear producers Verity Woodford and Brodie Peace, our outrageously capable project manager, Freddy Komp, a man of many talents (who left his family in Adelaide to be with us, a most generous thing to do), stage manager Stephanie Ganfield) who manages our two shows with ease and grace) and our glorious designers...Benjamin Knapton (who designed the set and conceptualised/designed AV of He Dreamed a Train with Nathan Sibthorpe) and Aaron Barton (who designed Eve and who has just been nominated for a Helpmann Award for his co-design of The Wider Earth...Aaron created a playground for us to play in...and I will always be grateful, and of course our sound designer Travis Ash. Finally we have Gaby and Mark from Griffith University doing a splendid job as assistant stage managers...its been a joy watching them grow into the life of the theatre and I hope they know that they now 'belong'.
Then there is Yvonne Henry and Stephen Henry, a powerful and most capable union who manage our marketing and photography, going beyond expectation; Tania Stibbe who is our publicity manager and manages to get our faces out all over the town/country again and again...today we are the pick of the week in the Australian Review. Thank you Tania! Thank you Australian Review.
A huge thank you to everyone involved in these little gems!!!!!
I make theatre because I deeply believe it changes us on a cellular level, not just the people who make the plays, but far more importantly, the people who see the productions...our job is to tell you a story, and in doing so, provide ideas, provocations, shifts of consciousness so that when we all leave the theatre, we leave as we did back in Ancient Greece, more alive than before. More engaged than before...every health centre in Ancient Greece had a theatre next to it, because the Greeks understood the power theatrical transformation...the Greeks did not have psychologists, they had Socrates, Plato, Homer...they had Athena, Hecate, Persephone...
I hope to see more of you over the next couple of weeks: we finish 16th July and run from Thursday to Sunday...
Travis Ash in He Dreamed a Train, Photo by Stephen Henry
Warmest love to the city of my choice,
I do love you