So even though this isn’t West End Whispers so to speak thought I would give a plug to a great little company taking a whole lot of comedy acts to this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival including some who will be infiltrating the Melbourne Museum! Prospero are a PR company well known for taking a lot of acts to Edinburgh every year. Their reputation for doing this led to an approach from some comedians appearing at this year’s festival in Melbourne, who wanted to know if they would consider coming out to do their PR for the MICF.
The Melbourne Museum Comedy Tour brings to reality one of the greatest ambitions of science fans – the chance to wander around a museum after hours and to laugh your head off without anyone giving you dirty looks.
After putting out a few feelers Prospero signed up 12 acts, a fantastic mixture of Aussie and UK talent including Aussie’s Damian Clarke, Geraldine Quinn, France’s Marcel Lucont and UK’s Sanderson Jones feature in their impressive line up of comedians.
So check out Prospero at http://prosperocommunications.co.uk/arts/melbourne.html. They will be there for five weeks from 17th March and from the looks of the line up I wish I was going to be in Melbourne to see it!
In more West End style news the final casting is in for Holding The Man, the Aussie play about to hit London on the ground running. Opening at Trafalgar Studios in under a month the launch and first day of rehearsals was today.
The full company will be Jane Turner (Kath and Kim, BBC/ABC), Simon Burke (The Sound of Music, La Cage Aux Folles), Oliver Farnworth (Hollyoaks, Channel 4) and Anna Skellern (The Descent 2, Celador). Reprising the roles they originated in Australia and also making their West End debuts will be Guy Edmonds as Tim Conigrave and Matt Zeremes as John Caleo.
Tommy Murphy won a NSW Premier Award and an AWGIE Award for his 2007 adapatation of Holding the Man and had four sell out Sydney seasons (including the Sydney Opera House). In London, Tommy’s work has been staged at the National Theatre Studio and he is a member of the Royal Court Young Writer’s programme.
The show will be directed by David Berthold, director of the original Australian production, and designed by Brian Thomson, most recently known for his design of the musical, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Falling in love with the captain of the football team at an all-male Melbourne High School in the ‘70’s was never going to be universally popular. But for Tim Conigrave being young and gay in Australia was exciting but uncharted territory.
Holding The Man is an achingly funny and heartbreaking true life story about the relationship between Tim and John Caleo. This multi-award winning play explores the highs and lows of their remarkable partnership and is a celebration that speaks across generations, sexual preference and culture.
Holding the Man (published by Penguin) is the best-selling memoir by Australian writer, actor, and activist Timothy Conigrave. Reprinted thirteen times around the world Holding the Man won the United Nations Human Rights Award for Non-Fiction in 1995. The term ‘Holding the Man’ comes from Australian Football and refers to a transgression that incurs a penalty.
The play is produced by Daniel Sparrow (All About My Mother), Mike Walsh OBE, Benjamin Jones and Neil Gooding Productions. Speaking to Sparrow late last week he said it has been three years in the making to get this play to transfer to London. It is nice to see that there such a passion for bringing quality Australian work to London, and these producers are making the dream a reality. It has clearly been a long process, but one that has definitely paid off. It is exciting to see work like this coming into Trafalgar Studios showing the world that Aussies make great theatre.
To book for Holding The Man go to http://www.ambassadortickets.com/1691/677/London/Trafalgar-Studios/Holding-The-Man or head directly to the box office.
I look forward to seeing this production as I had moved to London by the time the show made a name for itself on Aussie shores, and on a personal note it will be lovely to see my friend Simon Burke succeed in another play here in London, as he continues to be such a brilliant ambassador for Australian culture in London.