Following on from the highly successful 2019 season, which was nominated for a total of 28 Green Room Awards, the 2020 Darebin Arts Speakeasy season features a program of premieres and performances bigger than ever before.
The season, which begins in February, features contemporary and unexpected performances by leading creatives including Susie Dee, Ash Flanders and Stephen Nicolazzo, Rawcus Ensemble, Melissa Reeves, Anna Seymour, Marc Brew and Circus Trick Tease.
The overwhelmingly successful Let’s Take Over – a one-day arts festival taking over the Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre is returning for a second year on Saturday 22 February. The event is entirely produced, programmed and delivered by 10 incredible young people aged 15 – 25. Originating at London’s Battersea Arts Centre, the team have been given a brief, 16 weeks, a budget and support to create and produce their own monumental one-day festival.
It is followed by Mini Spin – a participatory deaf dance party for children by Anna Seymour premieres at the Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre on 14 & 15 March. From the makers of Spin which premiered at Northcote Town Hall, Mini Spin is a Deaf-led immersive and interactive dance rave for Deaf, CODA and hearing children and their families. Join Deaf Hosts Anna Seymour, Luke King and Robbie Burrows for a jam packed 45 minutes of dancing and Deaf culture stories to funky DJ beats. Bring your headphone and your best moves.
March welcomes the premiere of End of. by comedic writer and performer Ash Flanders (Sisters Grimm) and directed by Stephen Nicolazzo (Little Ones Theatre and the upcoming Christos Tsiolkas’ Loaded at Malthouse Theatre).
After taking a job as a legal transcriptionist, writer and performer Ash Flanders begins unpicking the transcript of his own life. What emerges is a decidedly personal monologue that examines creation, death and what makes us who we are. End of. will have you in stitches as Ash follows his turbulent river of poor choices back to its source – his heavy-drinking, chain-smoking mother. No singing, no dancing, just a hell of a funny story. End of.
In April, the award-winning Jessie Lloyd takes Darebin Arts Centre audiences on a musical journey across Australia with Mission Songs Project. Jessie Lloyd explores the day to day life on the missions, settlements and reserves through music. The performance uses humour and truth to share the voices of elders as they would around a warm campfire or kitchen table.
April also sees the arrival of Archimedes War by Melissa Reeves and directed renowned theatre maker Susie Dee (Anthem – Melbourne Festival 2019). The performance is a dark comedy exploring the frightening depersonalisation of modern warfare, where waging war can look like video game and playing video games has real-life consequences.
Not to be missed in July is Children Are Stinky – an exciting award-winning children’s hilarious circus show by Circus Trick Tease. Still buzzing another dream run at the Edinburgh Fringe with five-star reviews and sold out shows globally, this show has been captivating adults and children alike.
Children Are Stinky is set in the 1990s and features plenty of in-jokes and a cleverly choreographed nostalgic mash-up that will hook parents in for a rollicking trip down memory lane. Expect daredevil stunts, incredible acrobatics, lighting fast hula hoops and lots of laughs.
A new dance theatre work by internationally renowned choreographer Marc Brew with the celebrated Rawcus Ensemble, Glass will premiere in July at Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre. This new dance theatre work, featuring the immersive sounds of Jethro Woodward and 15 members of the ensemble, interrogates invisible edges, boundaries and barriers. It is an invitation to redefine success, limitations, and virtuosity and is highly physical, sculptural, unexpected and tender.
Formed in 2001, Rawcus is a unique ensemble of performers with and without disabilities. Collaborating with a core creative team led by Artistic Director Kate Sulan (Back to Back Theatre), Rawcus’ work has won numerous awards and has featured as part of the Next Wave, Melbourne Fringe and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Premiering in August, Michele Lee’s Security is set within a security company and is sure to create headlines. Michele’s play Rice won the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, an Australian Writer’s Guild Award and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the Enright Prize, in 2018.
Working security is a battle most days. But it’s the female security guards at Thompson Security – Naz, Tribe and Joey – who work the front-lines to keep things in check. But when one of their own teammates sexually assaults a wealthy female client, Naz, Tribe and Joey can’t muster the guts to dob him in. So life, and work, goes on. Same day, different gigs. Until everything that isn’t right comes undone.
The 2020 Darebin Arts Speakeasy season will also feature three performances as part of the 2020 Next Wave season which will be announced early in 2020. For more information, visit: www.darebinarts.com.au for details.
Image: Jessie Lloyd stars in the Mission Songs Project (supplied)