Friday, December 17

Internet tidbits

In our last Brink Bits post of the year we round up some tidbits from the internet that we've found interesting this week!
  • Sophie at Sophie's World had nothing but praise for When The Rain Stops Falling in her Top 10 of 2010, as did David O'Brien over at dB. David also sung the praises of Harbinger while Sophie admitted to being left a little in the dark (but enjoyed it nonetheless!)

  • We were going over some posts on local music blog Purple Prose from back in October and found one dedicated to the musical stylings of Melbourne band Alarm Birds (previously Hope Diamond). One third of this lovely band is none other than Zoe Barry - our composer for Land & Sea! One very talented lady, right there. The videos featured are well worth a peek!
  • OzCo got creative and blew everyone's witty e-cards out of the water with a Christmas video! See it in all its twinkly glory here.

  • Chris Drummond was announced as a Hive participant during the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival next year. He's in very good company with some familiar faces such as Matthew Whittet, Rose Myers and Sophie Hyde! We'll be interested to hear all about what comes out of the five day 'residential lab'.
  • But in the most exciting news of all, we launched our shiny new website. A big thank you to everyone involved at Brink, slipperyfish and Katalyst. Now that's a great early Christmas present if we ever saw one.
Season's Greetings one and all! See you next year!

Thursday, December 9

Anonymous postcard

We received a mystery postcard in the mail after we returned from Alice Springs... When The Rain Stops Falling fans might recognise the text.

Rumours as to who might have sent it have been flying around the office. If you have any leads or ideas, let us know!

Tuesday, December 7

2011 Launch

James, Lizzy, Chris and Mondli

Rosemary, Assina and Leonie

Sean, Rory, James and Kay

We held a very cosy 2011 launch just over a week ago at Jolley's Boathouse. See more happy snaps from the morning on Facebook!

Thursday, December 2

On the horizon in 2011

We're thrilled to share what's on the horizon with you!

In 2011 we've got two world premieres: an Adelaide Fringe season of Sean Riley's cross-continental Skip Miller's Hit Songs in February/March, and Nicki Bloom's kaleidoscopic Land & Sea in November. Tickets are on sale through BASS right now - go get 'em!

Would you like us to mail you a freshly printed copy of the brochure? Email your details to info[at]brinkproductions[dot]com to be added to our mailing list.

PS Our new website is almost ready! Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 11

It's been a wild but wonderful ride!

Brink Bits spoke with Kay Jamieson, the Producer of Brink's Harbinger by Matthew Whittet, on the day of the closing performance....

Photo: Chris Herzfeld
Harbinger has been an amazing journey and a fun experience for me personally - and a hugely artistic success for Brink. There is strong interest from several interstate presenters and there is even the possibility of a Scandinavian season! Bring it on!

It has come from a delightfully eccentric, fantasy-fuelled and music-obsessed writer/actor, three sensational performers and a fabulous creative and production team - all of whom collaborated to give birth to what has been most recently described as the 'darkly enjoyable' Harbinger.

It is a unique theatrical experience - in its ambiguity, its daggy humour, its dark undertones, its simple staging, its crazy fantastical ride - one in which the audience becomes totally complicit.

Photo: Chris Herzfeld
It's different. It's unexpected. It's moving. It's very funny. It's not neat and tidy. Indeed it goes for the jug(ular)! But only those who have seen the show will understand and enjoy that joke! Others may take its literal meaning and fear being disturbed. Indeed I was amused to hear recently that a friend of mine tried to get a group together to see the show - a group who attend theatre regularly - but they 'didn't want to be disturbed!' Harbinger isn't predictable and it doesn't tie things up neatly at the end. It doesn't give you answers. It leaves you thinking...

We always knew that Harbinger would appeal to Gen X and Gen Y and the 'next' generation, whatever you are called! What has been fantastic for Brink is to receive countless emails and phone-calls - and posts and tweets and comments - from the young AND the elderly (pardon the parody!) who have so completely engaged with Harbinger - some of whom have come back twice and brought more of their young-at-heart 70 y/o friends. They had the courage to go on Maddy's adventure, just went with it, accepted that the play throws up many possibilities and is deliberately ambiguous and unsettling. But also exceptionally entertaining. We made a word cloud from the myriad responses.

Countless people are telling us their differing interpretations have resulted in stimulating and endless post-show analysis, not just hours but for days after, and that the experience has stayed with them long after the play has ended.

As a theatre company what more could we ask?!

Photo: Chris Herzfeld

Sunday, September 5

All's well that ends well

A typographical error in the opening night invite for Harbinger led to one hapless Mr D passing on RSVPs to Brink that were left on his answer machine! To say thank you for his understanding and co-operation and by way of apology for the inconvenience to him Brink offered him tix to see the show. Today he wrote:

I am very pleased to have seen the play, which I enjoyed enormously. I don't go to the theatre as much as I would like - there is something intrinsically exciting about the whole process. Harbinger was thrilling because it broke so many conventions, though I admit to getting a bit lost at the end. The actors were all brilliant, and the stage craft I hardly noticed, it all worked so well.

We will all be telling people about it for quite a while - you deserve a big success with this!

After the show the four of us enjoyed a debrief downstairs. It's a beautiful venue, so all in all we had a lovely night. Thank you for that...

Thursday, August 26

Urban(e) artists. CAPTION THIS PHOTO!

Brink Bits caught a theatre director and three actors moonlighting as urban(e) artists instead of doing their day job. Maybe it's because their day job means being in the dark a lot?!

Brink Bits wonders what they were talking about.   As a follower of our blog, suggest a caption. Amaze us!

The most outrageously funny one received by Brink, via any electronic means, before opening night of Harbinger (Tue 31), will win 'something'. The Brink judges' decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into - but know that chocolate holds great sway at Brink....

Winner notified and announced on Wed 1 Sept. 
Photo: Chris Herzfeld

Tuesday, August 24

Production Week is here!

L to R: Francoise Piron, Melanie Selwood, Michele Chigwidden
(Photo: Chris Herzfedl)
Melanie Selwood is the Stage Manager of Harbinger. She gave Brink Bits an iPhone glimpse backstage! The company has just moved into the Space Theatre.

PRODUCTION WEEK IS HERE! As a stage manager, this is my favourite part of the process. We start to see all the elements coming together. As I write, the set is being built in the theatre, we are creating 120 sound cues and, later today, we’ll start plotting our lighting cues. Tomorrow we will begin to see the show as a whole - lights, sound, costumes and actors. We’ll go through the play and put it all together Q by Q. By Thursday we should be able to see the entire show for the first time and hope to be ready for our first preview audience on Friday.

It is really fascinating to see the many hours spent in rehearsals coming together with all the technical elements.Production week is certainly a manic time, with everyone working long days and nights, but once the adrenalin starts pumping, it can be very exciting. Back to plotting the sound Qs.....!

Sunday, August 22

The long and the short of Harbinger

Confidentially speaking Brink Bits is wondering the lengths Yael and Nathan (playing Maddy and Chris respectively) will go to to get it off onstage, so to speak!

Photo: Chris Herzfeld

Friday, August 13

FF = Filmclip Friday!

In a twist on 'Follow Friday', we've decided that a 'Filmclip Friday' is in order! Playwright Matthew Whittet shared with us five songs that inspired him to write Harbinger for Brink Productions. Here on Brink Bits we share his thoughts along with clips of the songs. Get your air guitars ready...

Matthew wrote...
Some of the first thoughts I had about Harbinger were pretty basic and amorphous. I knew I wanted to write something about a guy and a girl who knew nothing about each other. I knew I wanted the story to take place over a single night. And I also knew there was a feeling I got from 2 pieces of music in particular that I wanted to translate in some way into the play. That the play would start with the feeling of early 1970's David Bowie, and somehow through the story of this one night lead these 2 characters to something that felt like Joy Division. Not that necessarily any music from either of them would appear in the finished product (maybe...) but that these artists inspired a feeling that hopefully is in the finished product. When I write I like to listen to a lot of music that is particular to the feeling of what I'm trying to write. Here's five songs that I had on high rotation while I was writing Harbinger.

1) Oh! You Pretty Things- David Bowie
Such a great, catchy early Bowie song from the album Hunky Dory. Really jangly, in a cool way. About "nightmares coming to stay", and all the young pretty things driving their parents insane. Very apt.

2) Cygnet Committee- David Bowie
Even earlier Bowie. A shimmering, epic 9 minute song. A bit psychedelic, but really passionate. Full of the frustration of youth, but also a bit of a manifesto about the world a young Bowie would want to live. "I want to believe in the madness that calls now". What a great line.

3) Shadowplay- Joy Division
So stark, with an incredible rawness and power. Something about this song feels so honest. In the same way that the Bowie songs dream of a magnificent future, this song feels like the reality of that future.

4) The Young Thousands- The Mountain Goats
One of my favorite songs. Has got this incredible drive for an acoustic song. Another fevered dream from a young mind of what the world could be. Has a great line, "the things that you've got coming will do things that you’re afraid to. There is someone waiting out there with a mouth full of surprises".

5) Ready, Able- Grizzly Bear
I could almost list any song from their album Veckatimest. It's simple and complex, and very beautiful. Almost glitteringly beautiful. I would listen to this constantly as I was thinking about the play, dreaming up what sort of delicate things would reside in the hearts of the 2 main characters Maddy and Chris. Of the things that dwelt deep within them, but they couldn't yet put into words.


Two young strangers on a hunt for ghosts and monsters

Pressed further by Brink Bits, director Chris Drummond tries to lessen the mystery surrounding Harbinger - mystery that has arisen from the Brink marketing pundits struggling to find a way to talk about the show without revealing too much too soon. What we call  'spoilers' that reveal too much to audiences before they experience the play. In Chris' words....

I am reticent... to reveal the plot … and to talk about the process.  I don't want to analyse what we're doing.  The minute you start analysing what you’re doing in rehearsals you’re lost. But I have to give it a crack, so…. what to say?

Photo by Chris Herzfeld

For starters, the reason for being so circumspect about the plot is that Harbinger's main 'fuel' is the element of surprise.  I can tell you Harbinger is a ‘quest’ play that occurs over the course of one night from dusk to dawn, involving two young strangers on a hunt for ghosts and monsters.  Along the way there are hauntings and transformations, Ziggy Stardust, Hall & Oats and an excess of blood. The play makes wondrously impossible demands of the stage and the actors... has a brilliant ear for the idiosyncrasies of human behaviour and exquisite playfulness and wit.  Right now in rehearsals we have (at least) two ways to read the play… two different layers through which to understand it.  Our job is to build a journey that encapsulates both these layers without committing to either.  This can be truly difficult work but when it comes together the play springs into life.  The actors are doing absolutely beautiful work and there's a density and a lightness to their playing.   Most days, usually late afternoon, the rehearsal room becomes filled with giggling idiots incapable of speaking.    Not unusual in a rehearsal room but particularly persistent here.  I try and claim it has to do with some brilliant insight or other... but Yael just reckons it's a disease that needs to be destroyed.  Either way, it's joyous.

Thursday, August 12

A brilliant combination of romantic horror and deadpan wit

Brink Bits pressed director Chris Drummond to step out of the rehearsal room and describe Harbinger, written by Matthew Whittet, so we can all get an insight into what we might expect from Brink's new and mysterious play.

Harbinger opens up unexpected worlds. It’s vivid exciting theatre. A brilliant combination of romantic horror and deadpan wit, it twists and bucks and shimmers like a disturbing and beautiful dream. It goes into very dark places but it’s got a huge heart. I think Harbinger is one of the most intelligent, generous, playful and imaginative shows I’ve ever worked on.

Sunday, August 8

What an eerie rehearsal room!

Melanie Selwood, Stage Manager of Harbinger, told Brink Bits about spooky shadows, spooky sounds and ghosts of theatres past... 

This week we’ve been rehearsing in an old church that has been converted to a proscenium arch theatre as part of the Holden Street Theatres. The stained glass windows are blacked out, elongated shadows that appear on the walls in the afternoons, spooky darkness. Wednesday afternoon  we played with some of the sound effects that we might be using in the show and the old church definitely provided the perfect atmosphere. We turned the lights off and sat in near-darkness listening to screams, screeches, bats flapping and deep breathing. It felt like we were sitting in our own horror movie, complete with tombstones on the walls and spider webs in the corners. Who knows what ghosts will start haunting us!!

Wednesday, July 28

Coffee mysteriously appears in rehearsal

Straight from the rehearsal room....

In the middle of a scene today, there was a knock on the door and a man holding a tray of coffee said 'I thought you might like some coffee.' He then left. We were all stunned and thought it had come by mistake.

It turns out this man lives across the road and was cooking in his kitchen thinking that we might need some coffee so brought it over for us. What generosity!

Below is a picture of Matilda, one of the secondees on Harbinger, and Yael (who plays Maddy) with the fabulous tray of coffee. It even had chocolates!

Harbinger is coming

 It's been yonks since we've blogged on Brink Bits.....!

We have just started rehearsals for our new work Harbinger and we'll try to get the director, the writer, the actors, the stage manager - ANYONE! - to give us bits of this and bits of that to post in the Brink blog. We want to tell you what's happening behind the scenes - and what's NOT happening! What should be happening and just general goss.

You've probably heard that young Matt Whittet is the writer. Sorry, we're supposed to say Matthew Whittet! He's been doing another show with Windmill. But it's our turn for Matt now!  Well soon..... Anyway, he's really done his bit. He's written the play! It's outa his hands!  We'll try and get a few lines from Matt soon about how it feels to hear actors SPEAK your lines...

And we'll get the Director, Chris Drummond, to spill the beans on rehearsing a new work like Harbinger.

Actors ALWAYS have an opinion and something to say so we're sure to get a few words from Nathan, Yael or Alex at some point. Whether it has anything to do with the play is a moot point but we remain hopeful.

And last but not least the stage manager. Melanie Selwood. will tell what she has to put up with in the rehearsal room - with the help of ASM, Kat Braun.

Who knows who else we'll rope in to share some backstage secrets with you. You'll just have to check in from time to time to find out!

So, take note! Harbinger is coming soon to a theatre near you....

Tuesday, May 4

New look for Brink

It's been a long time since we wrote anything on Brink Bits.... for no other reason that we've been busy creating a new look for Brink Productions.

We're still rolling it out and you'll see bits and pieces here, there and everywhere over the next few days.    It's been a very exciting process. We collaborated with leading integrated communication company slipperyfish - just like we do when we make work for the stage. We'll tell you more about that collaboration soon.

Meantime we'd love you to see what's up next for Brink in the new brochure.  You can collect one from Dunstan Playhouse or call us at the Brink office with your details and we'll happily post one out (Tel: 8211 6565)

The new brochure tells you about the shows for 2010 (a new work, Harbinger, and a short return season of our multi-award winning production of When The Rain Stops Falling before it tours for the very last time) and how you can buy tickets to Brink shows and save! Ask about the Brink Bundle.

Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages and you'll see some of the new look. The new website is still under construction but you'll be redirected to the old website and can still read about Harbinger and When The Rain Stops Falling there. Then don't hesitate.  Book at BASS or call 131 246!

Gotta go. I hear slipperyfish calling....