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Roadkill Confidential Cast: Alison Bennett

Lest you start to think this is a male-dominated play, it's time to talk to our lead, Alison Bennett, who plays the enigmatic artist at the centre of it all...

Hi, Alison. What role are you playing?

Trevor.

Favourite moment in rehearsals?

Watching Jasper Dad dance.

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What has surprised you most about this process?

How much physical work there was which I LOVED and how abstract we got sometimes.

What is your favourite part of the show?

When Melanie says "I don't know what I'm talking about."

What do you think of the Kings Cross Theatre?

Thank God we have a new space and this gorgeous little theatre district developing in Kings Cross.

What is the craziest art piece you ever saw?

Looking at a goldfish in a blender and being invited to blend it.

What is something you're obsessive about?

Cleaning behind the nobs on the stove.

Tell us about a strange ritual you have.

Cleaning behind the nobs on the stove.

Can art go too far?

Nope it cannot. Art is art. If it's being expressed then it exists in our nature. Like it or lump it. 

If you had $104.7 million to fund arts, what would you do?

Give it to the artists.

What's the strangest art idea you've had that you'd never get away with actually doing?

A whole piece dedicated to shoulder dancing.

What would you do if you were famous?

I would intellectually cut down every dispicable journalist (I love journalists, I only mean the shit ones, not the good ones) that asked me a dumb question about nothing.

What would you name your band?

The angry shoulders.

What is your moral imperative?

To not have a moral imperative. Not a big fan of morals.

Do you ever want to punish others for things you find horrible in yourself?

Yeah I do. I know I can be difficult and I want to make life difficult for others who are difficult.

See Alison in Roadkill Confidential at the Kings Cross Theatre, 11-28 November. Get your tickets here.

 

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Roadkill Confidential Cast: Jasper Garner Gore

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What role are you playing?

Sometimes I'm a forty-four year old art historian who is perched precariously on a plug holding back an ocean of shame. Other times I'm a doctor.

Favourite moment in rehearsals?

Partially because he expects me to write this, I have two say pouring two full glasses of water over Michael Drysdale's head. There was some context for that. But, well. It was hiliarious. I'm an asshole. He still loves me (I think?).

What has surprised you most about this process?

Movement. I have an old hangup that I am 'not a dancer' based on some gently traumatising ballet lessons as a kid. But this piece has developed a physical language, a style of movement, that belongs utterly to itself and has been stupidly engaging to explore. I'm a text guy. I like words and what they do. So for me to get out of that at all and find some purchase in kinetic expressions is pretty cool.

What do you think of the Kings Cross Theatre?

I think it exists! I think that King's Cross is evolving at a crazy pace, that the lockout laws et al have forced a violent reconfiguration of the orientation of the place and then a new theatre! A possibility for the performing arts community to actually have a community i.e. a theatre district? Time will tell.

What is the craziest art piece you ever saw/heard/experienced?

I don't know if it's the craziest. In fact I'm certain I've seen crazier (I mean, I have legit seen a dude take a dump on stage in service to some slightly tortured metaphor for capitalism) but the work that stays with me the most, that still feels like a waking dream, was this piece I saw once, years ago. And I couldn't tell you where it was, or who the artist was, or anything else about it. But the image of it is pretty crystal. It was a bare white room, decently large, containing nothing but a suitcase. Which, as I recall, was closed. And that was it. But if you went over and opened the suitcase, you could look down through the floor, through some old iron bars into the body of a lake. Fish swimming about. And there were a pair of feet standing in the water. I know this sounds like I/Salman Rushdie made this up. He swears we didn't.

What is something you're obsessive about?

Not getting up before midday without a damn good reason?

Can art go too far? Have you seen/etc an artwork that went too far?

Wasn't a huge fan of the guy taking a dump on stage. But, you know, that's mostly because it was a shitty (ha!) metaphor. Maybe there's a totally laudable way to use that device? The device in question is I assume All-Bran.

If you had $104.7 million to fund arts, what would you do?

I have thoughts about this. I would divide it up into packages of around $10,000. And then I would distribute it to companies and individuals basically at random. And yes most of the result of that would be terrible rubbish. But I think that outcome directed arts funding (and this isn't just shitting on government by the way, the top end of town does the same thing) ends up producing the utterly unsurprising. It sort of has to. Grant applications are a way of ensuring that your work can be neatly politically and academically categorised before you've even made it.

What will you do when you are famous?

Probably get unduly misty-eyed about the 'good old days' when I was carving out a meagre existence from the odd advertising gig and taking my clothes off for no money. I don't do that last thing in this play though. I mean, as of yet. Probably not though.

Do you ever want to punish others for things you find horrible in yourself?

Sure, but I generally do my best to construct it as 'advice'. Sounds better that way.

See Jasper keep his clothes on and his shit inside his body in Roadkill Confidential, 11-28 November at the Kings Cross Theatre. Get your tickets here.

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Roadkill Confidential Cast: Michael Drysdale

What role are you playing?

I’m playing the role of the government agent. This guy is a riddle wrapped inside an enigma and today I had a bit of chuckle at the idea of him kind of being like the love child of Harvey Specter and Lewis Litt from suits. A straight faced closer with a needy, validation hungry, soft underbelly. I love him.

What's been your favourite part of the rehearsal process?

Well I know what Jasper's favourite part was. I bet you he enjoyed typing that out. For me, it had to be the rehearsal where we as a cast collaborated on what could be the pilot episode of CSI: North Shore. If there’s anything I enjoy parodying more than Horatio and his glasses, followed soon after by a blasting of The Who singing “Won't Get Fooled Again” I haven’t found it. Note: Horatio’s glasses may find their way into the play. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.

If you were a serial killer whom would you target?

I got stopped by a detective for taking a photo in costume in front of a police station today so I’m going to refrain from answering this one. I’m pretty sure they’re watching us right now. Surveillance on a play about surveillance. Meta right? Meta!

What's your favourite part of the script?

One of my favourite parts of the play, because there are many, but one has to be the letter the FBI Man wrote to his forty year old self when he was thirteen. It’s one of the saddest things, particularly at the end where his thirteen year old self says “You won't remember me.” Just the idea that when we grow up and slip into mediocrity that the dreams and vision of our youthful innocence are lost. 

What do you think of the Kings Cross Theatre?

The new Kings Cross Theatre is a massive win for the industry. Not only is it a great new space, with nice sound proofing, an easy to get location, a beautiful, shiny, new lighting rig and a bar in the dressing room!! But it’s also the start of the closest thing Sydney has to theatre district. If you’re in the Kings Cross area right now you can hit up dinner, drinks and a show, be it at KXH, The Blood Moon Theatre, The Fitz, Griffin, The Eternity. So many options! All the activities. I love that.

If you had $104.7 million to fund the arts, what would you do with it?

I cannot claim that I would know how to responsibly and effectively use the entire $104.7 million dollars, but I know a few things that I’d do. I’d look for great teams of creatives, writers mostly and I’d put them in incubators and pay them to spend a year doing what they do best: writing - creating creative, exciting, high concept ideas that put the audience first. I’d get them to work together and I wouldn’t make them write “Australian” stories, I’d get them to write what pleased them. Modern stories that paint a picture of the modern world with stories that just happen to take place in Australia. Then I’d support them in selling the shit out of those stories. I’d also invest in landing feature roles, to build the profiles of up and coming actors at every level and try to create a culture where people get cast in roles they’re right for and that will excite an audience, rather than the revolving door of seeing the same actors in everything we do. 

 Michael empowering a fellow artist.

Michael empowering a fellow artist.

What would you name your band?

The Pixie Dicks? I don’t know, that just sprung to mind. If I was ever a rapper I’d probably call myself the name I give to my NBA 2K My Player: Magnus Carter. I feel like people are going to hate me after reading this. Oh well.

Yeah, probably. What is your moral imperative?

Just to empower people, there’s nothing better than seeing someone you care about start to believe in themselves and take action and surprise people and even surprise themselves. Plus if I ever help someone accomplish something I always think, well if they can do it I can do it too.

Do you ever want to punish others for things you find horrible in yourself?

No… Maybe. Okay yes. But I’m an adult so I do the responsible thing. I bury that shit and punish myself instead. That is the way to deal with it… right?

See Michael in Roadkill Confidential 11-28 November at the Kings Cross Theatre. Get your tickets here.

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Zeroville: Media Roundup

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Zeroville Cast: Eliza Scott

The final cast member you're going to hear from is the wonderful and multi-talented Eliza Scott. This interview took place during the final week of rehearsals.

Hi Eliza. What role are you playing?

Citizen 007, formerly known as Pam the Dissident.

Favourite moment of rehearsals so far?

The day that Pam the Dissident was brought into the world.

How is this production different?

It’s in a glass box in Parramatta! Ha! I’ve also never worked in the Sci Fi genre before, let alone created a show within it.

What's been your experience of Parramatta?

Um... Harvest Festival...? I think I bought banana bread there once?

What music do you listen to when you are sad?

Depends what kind of sad.. I’ve tailored a whole bunch of nerdy playlists from about the age of 15 for each shade of sadness. But The First Days of Spring by Noah and the Whale is probably one of the most heart wrenching albums of all time.

When is the last time you cried or laughed hysterically?

I watched Frozen a last week. Literally balled my eyes out crying ‘WHY?!?!?’ in the first five minutes of the film. Damn you Disney!!!!
...and my natural way of laughing is hysterically. I think Michael can confirm this.

What is the main thing that will spell the end of the human race?

I think that compassion is going out the window, because technology is taking over. So half the world might die of heart failure and obesity while the other half of starvation and general lack of means. Massive MASSIVE generalisation, I know.

Describe your relationship with technology.

It’s like a really really terrible relationship where you keep coming back for more.

Is there a celebrity or someone with whom you are totally obsessed? What would you do if you met him/her?

Laura Marling. I think I would melt, offer her whatever I have on hand, and then propose that we be best friends. Forever. Not in a creepy way. But probably.

What is the audience going to get a kick out of in Zeroville?

I think it’s going to be visually stunning. The costumes and set are amazing. On top of that we have this crazy fucking awesome script that deals with the Sci Fi/Noir genre in a way I’ve never seen before and it’s all LIVE. The audience literally will be entering another galaxy.

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Zeroville cast: Amy Scott-Smith

What role are you playing?

Godard: badass, smartass, played by A.S.S.

What have you watched to research your role?

Oh baby. Demolition Man, Alien, The Fifth Element, Logan's Run, Coyote Ugly.

What is the audience going to get a kick out of in Zeroville?

Yes, the audience may get kicked.

When is the last time you cried, got really angry or laughed hysterically?

 Yes, this is the same photo as the other day. Photo by Sasha Cohen.

Yes, this is the same photo as the other day. Photo by Sasha Cohen.

Last night in the wee hours with my housemates discussing Tinder. I'm pretty sure we went through all of those extremes in the one conversation. Tinder does that.

What's been your experience of Parramatta?

It's delightful.

What is the main thing that will spell the end of the human race?

Letters.

If you could hire an actor to voice-over your life, who would it be?

Sylvester Stallone...and Barbra Streisand on days where it's a musical.

A moment when you were like, "Yes, I am making fucking art right now!"

"Uhhhmmm...Michael...Would you mind...I mean, I just wanted to *try* it...If maybe...At this point...I could possibly...I mean it might look silly...But....
CanIJustGoThroughLikeABadassAndJudoChopEmilyToDeathWhileImDeliveringMyMonologueLikeItAintNoThang????"
"Yes."
#artisborn

Is there a celebrity or someone with whom you are totally obsessed? What would you do if you met him/her?

YES - Michael Dean. Oh my God. I don't know. Act all over him. He's such a babe.

Describe your relationship with technology.

 Photo: Sasha Cohen

Photo: Sasha Cohen

I got half way through this questionnaire and accidentally deleted the whole thing. Technology fail.

How is this production different from anything you've done or seen before?

What are you talking about? A futuristic, film noir, sci-fi, performed in a glass box with live music, dance, fight scenes, comedy, drama and me looking like the love child of Dick Tracy and the Eddie out of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It's pretty same same...

SEE AMY IN ZEROVILLE, PART OF THE ANYWHERE FESTIVAL, AT THE JUSTICE PRECINCT, PARRAMATTA, 8-16 MAY. DETAILS HERE. TICKETS HERE.

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Zeroville Cast: Jasper Garner Gore

What are you playing? 

The keyboard. 

Is that all?

Maybe. 

Ok. Favourite moment in rehearsals so far?

Either seeing our promo video for the first time or hearing Ben (our composer) turn my moron music noodles into laser sword awesome. 

What's it like devising the play as you go?

The toughest part has been working out when to move on - my instinct is to finesse every single thing indefinitely.  

What music do you listen to when you are sad?

The Jurassic Park theme on repeat.  

Have you done much site-specific work before?

 Photo: Sasha Cohen

Photo: Sasha Cohen

I have, but I think all good theatre is, to an extent, site specific. But in this case it means that we really have a chance to bring our audience into an environment where they don't know what to expect or quite how to behave. Which is hilarious. And really exciting.

What's your favourite sci-fi work?

I am a huge fan of Danny Boyle's Sunshine (apparently the only one). Also big shout out to Aliens. I would say Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but I think that's really more magical realism? 

Definitely sci-fi. What's been your experience of Parramatta?

It's curiously both total and separate. I reckon you could live and work there without ever really leaving.

What have you looked at for research?

The Big Sleep, Trance, Cowboy Bebop. Okay the last one was just for fun. 

How is this production different from anything you've done before?

Because every single time I or someone else has had a thought like 'wouldn't it be cool if...' we have actually tried to make that thing. Hence LED light costumes.

 Photo: Sasha Cohen

Photo: Sasha Cohen

What is the main thing that will spell the end of the human race?

Cultural inertia. Seriously. Like, climate change, third world debt, the murder rate - we could do something about all of that. We won't.  

If you could hire an actor to voice-over your life, who would it be?

The guy who says 'Fatality!' in Mortal Kombat. Or John Safran.

When is the last time you cried/got really mad at someone/laughed hysterically?

Trying to answer these questions.

What is the audience going to get a kick out of in Zeroville?

We've built a whole culture for this show that you get to experience and explore. It's a holiday to a nightmare. 

SEE JASPER IN ZEROVILLE, PART OF THE ANYWHERE FESTIVAL, AT THE JUSTICE PRECINCT, PARRAMATTA, 8-16 MAY. DETAILS HERE. TICKETS HERE.

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Zeroville Cast: Amanda Laing

What role are you playing? 

I am 005. That’s all I can tell you. Great thanks. No worries. Well done. 

Describe your relationship with technology. 

Unhealthy dependency. I’m thinking about a trial separation. 

Have you done much devised work before?

I have done a lot of devised work in the past. Devising/writing as you go is really tough but also incredibly rewarding. Working so closely with a wonderful ensemble such as ours is a gift and I feel so fortunate. 

What's it like making a site-specific performance?

It’s exciting but you have to be careful to make it relevant. One thing people forget when creating site-specific work is to look at the architecture and use all the intricate shapes, patterns and spaces. That is what makes the work site-specific. 

What have you watched for research for this project? 

District 9, which made me feel nauseas. Her, which I loved! Also it’s a little scary as I can see technology heading that direction.

 Photo: Sasha Cohen

Photo: Sasha Cohen

What is the audience going to get a kick out of in Zeroville?

So much. Did I mention LED lights?! On us!

What's been your experience of Parramatta?

A place of potential, a city within a city, still growing. Also a little rough around the edges on a Friday night! 

When is the last time you cried/got really mad at someone/laughed hysterically?

Pretty sure I did all of the above in rehearsal yesterday.

How is this production different from anything you've done/seen before? 

It’s in a glass box. Need I say more? Michael Dean is a mental case/genius. So this production is pretty insane/excellent. 

SEE Amanda IN ZEROVILLE, PART OF THE ANYWHERE FESTIVAL, AT THE JUSTICE PRECINCT, PARRAMATTA, 8-16 MAY. DETAILS HERE. TICKETS HERE.

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Zeroville Cast: Emily Elise

What role are you playing, or what is your favourite role you are playing?

I am playing a number of Zeroville citizens. Number 004 is my favourite - or actually maybe Number 0067, then again there is Number 00457...oh it's too hard I can't decide. 

 Photo: Sasha Cohen

Photo: Sasha Cohen

What's it like devising/writing the play as you go? 

Dr Seuss describes it quite nicely, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Needless to say, it is equal parts exciting and terrifying.

Favourite moment in rehearsals so far?

There have been so many! Busting out Britney's 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' with Danielle Baynes and discovering we both know all the lyrics is definitely up there. But most of all I think it's constantly discovering the amazing work my fellow cast members are devising/writing/choreographing. Everyone in the cast has their own unique talents and skills they bring to the table and it makes for some very creative devising indeed! I feel incredibly lucky to be working with these people.

If you could hire an actor to voice-over your life, who would it be?

*Throws Pokeball* Sinead Curry I choose you! If you come to Zeroville, you will understand why.

SEE Emily IN ZEROVILLE, PART OF THE ANYWHERE FESTIVAL, AT THE JUSTICE PRECINCT, PARRAMATTA, 8-16 MAY. DETAILS HERE. TICKETS HERE.

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Zeroville Cast: Sinead Curry

Yes, it's that time again! As Lies, Lies and Propaganda's second ever production, Zeroville, approaches, it's time to meet the cast. First up is Sinead Curry:

Hi, Sinead. What role are you playing? 

I play A.N.N.A. 

And that's all you can tell us. Favourite moment in rehearsals so far?

Learning the Zeroville dance (it's awesome; just you wait!).

Is this production different from anything you've seen before?

I've never seen a sc-ifi stage production ever, so yes.

Have you done much devised work before?

Yeah I've devised a lot. Each time it's completely different.

What's it like making a site-specific performance? 

Site-specific theatre is rad! We have enjoyed factoring in the architecture to our devising process. The glass-walled pavilion we are performing in is almost like a character within itself.

How have you researched your role?

Blade Runner, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, Dune, Rodchenko's art, The Gallows, Roy Orbison, Black Mirror.

What's been your experience of Parramatta?

I have not yet been to Parramatta. Parramatta is thus elusive.

What's your favourite sci-fi or noir film?

My favourite noir work is LA Confidential (modern choice), and Blade Runner is my favourite sci-fi work.

 Photo: Sasha Cohen

Photo: Sasha Cohen

What music do you listen to when you are sad?

Iggy Pop and the Stooges, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Big Maybelle.

When is the last time you got really mad or laughed hysterically?

I laugh hysterically all the time. The last time I got super mad was when the garbage men scraped the side of my car!

Describe your relationship with technology.

Platonic.

Is there a celebrity or someone with whom you are totally obsessed? What would you do if you met him/her?

Iggy Pop. I would thank him for his contribution to society, and then die happily on the spot.

If you could hire an actor to voice-over your life, who would it be?

The human treasure that is Sir Ian McKellan. Sir Ian, Sir Ian, Sir Ian, Sir Ian.

WHAT IS THE MAIN THING THAT WILL SPELL THE END OF THE HUMAN RACE?

Absence of love and togetherness.

WHAT IS THE AUDIENCE GOING TO GET A KICK OUT OF IN ZEROVILLE?

Something fresh and daring being thrust at them.

See Sinead in Zeroville, part of the Anywhere festival, at the Justice Precinct, Parramatta, 8-16 May. Details here. Tickets Here.

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Meet the Cast: Cheyne Fynn is the Chorus

Favourite moment so far in rehearsals?

Any moment with my fellow chorus members. There have been countless moments of inspiration, laughter, tears, and general what the f#@*! are we doing. The recreation of 80s pop videos however was a highlight.

How is this production different?

It's like nothing I’ve done before or for that matter seen before. It's slightly left of centre in the best way possible – there is a high likelihood that many people won't like this production or understand the interpretation but regardless I think it will make people think and talk about it, which is always a good thing.

Favourite New Wave/Synthpop/Post-Punk album/song?

I didn’t grow up listening to much new wave/punk/synthpop. (I didn’t actually know what it was to be honest.) I was much more of a R&B/Rap/Soul kind of boy…but because of rehearsals I have to say Rock Lobster, Tainted Love, and anything David Bowie – the guy was talented!

Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't?

Once…she was my English teacher at high school. One afternoon she kept me back for detention, and...wait I think that may be the ‘plot’ of a ‘movie’ I once saw.

Number of fillings?

One - I’ve only been to the dentist once.

Favourite cheese?

Singles!! How can you go past the convenience of individually wrapped cheese?

Number of productions of Hamlet you've seen?

Three, and up to this point Sport for Jove takes the crown. It was a fresh, amazing, thought provoking piece of theatre.

See Cheyne in Phaedra from 17-26 July at Tap Gallery. 

Book now.

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Meet the Cast: Richard Hilliar is Hippolytus

Richard Hilliar.jpg

What was your favourite moment in rehearsals?

If I had to pick one, I'd say lying on a picnic table outside our director's house, half-naked on a winter night, tied up with strips of sheets whilst having a bucket of cold water poured down my throat. If I had to pick one.

How is this production different?

If you like gender-bending, synth-pop infused classical text, copious amounts of blood and murderous inter dimensional beings, you've hit the jackpot with this one. If you don't like those things, YOU SUCK.

Favourite 80s band? 

You really can't go past Pixies. The band, not the supernatural beings. 

Ever have an experience of the sacred?

I'm not at all religious, so I've never experienced anything sacred. I like visiting religious sites though, but that more about architecture than anything else.

Favourite cheese?

Cheddar. Yeah, it's the boring one, but screw you.

Number of fillings?

A shameful amount for the son of a dentist.

Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have?

I've only fallen in love with one person and I haven't scared her off for a fair few years now, so I reckon I'm on to a good thing there. Beginner's luck.

See Richard in Phaedra from 17-26 July at Tap Gallery. 

Book now.

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