A colourful troupe of creatives gathered on Saturday the 11th at the new home of Backbone Arts in East Brisbane. Having just recently moved into East Brisbane Bowls Club, (and making several exciting renovations) Backbone are staunch supporters of the youth and independent arts sectors, and hosting this recently revived Brisbane arts institution is a coup for the venue.
The Angry Mime has a History with a capital H, and rumours were flying all over the Brissie arts scene in the lead up to the show. ‘Have you heard of it’ ‘Are you going’ ‘Great line up’ ’Will you be there?’ The crowd consisted of beautiful bright beings from all the performing arts sectors, and a notable few movers and shakers to boot. We were treated to a smorgasbord of new and revisited works, crossing diverse genres from comedy and clown, to visceral movement and emotive dance, to vaudeville, erotic poetry and theatrical skit.
There’s something really lovely about stages like these. As our host pointed out early in the piece, you may be treated to great glory, or witness to failure, and that is beautiful in itself. Stages like these allow artists to take risks, to present works that are new, or growing, or in progress; work that may go on to become a world favourite, or may be quietly buried out the back after the show. There are no guarantees, no expectations, no requirements – just art that risks all – and that, my friend, is what makes a night lively and delicious.
The compere and the mime were a pleasure and a treat, a simple ruse done deliciously well. Andrew Cory is at home on the stage and Leon Cain reserves due credit for masterful restraint. As a friend pointed out, it is rare to see someone nail stillness; it’s an underestimated skill, and Cain was superb. No underground fringe arts event is complete without a healthy dose of political mockery and black humour, and the ‘small-to-mediocre arts sector’ enjoys a laugh at its own expense as well as, nay, better than most. Kind regards to Cory and Damien Cassidy for their efforts in that regard.
The diverse creative crowd reflected the wide range of talented performers. This is not the place for a full critical review of each act, instead here is a taste tester of the nights entertainments…
Tyrone rocks the ukelele; he sure knows his material and has masterful comedic timing.
Bianca Mackail gave us a devastating excerpt from her moody new development The Sanctioned, inspired by the soundtrack of the film Ellis, exploring the plight of refugees banished to the island of that name in the early 20th century.
JM Donellan presented heartfelt poetry exploring some of the most timely and topical issues of the day.
Michael Smith presented a startlingly original dance piece entitled Cowboy, with jangling limbs and quirky spins he fluidly and brilliantly created the entirety of an old fashioned shoot-em-up film in just a few minutes.
Marissa Ker and Genevieve Butler presented a skit to declare the new Backbone Arts Centre officially open; but all was not as it seemed for these two society ladies…
St John St John is a truly masterful erotic poet, and the um, delightful visual language was superbly complemented by the energetic physical language of the Auslan interpreter, Elizabeth Fletcher.An unexpected win for accidental theatre.
A quick video cameo from sound gurus The Architects of Sound who are of course being eaten up by audiences across the country, but kindly took the time out of their day to send us hometown fans a small tidbit of their genius.
Neridah Waters gave us a taste of finely tempered vaudevillian vino.
Leah Shelton slinked up a pole before treating us to her masterful vogue-ing – a last treat for her fans before jetting off to the other side of the world.
Kate Harman and Ben Ely presented an excerpt of live and reactive dance and music, an excerpt from their longer work Depthless.
Michael Griffin rocks the adlibbed comedy, telling about his experiences become insta-famous and knowing you’ve made it when you are on A Current Affair (jealousy rippled around the artists of the room!)
Kaitlyn Rogers is currently wowing audiences everywhere with award-winning comedy and this little taste showed us why.
Aaaaand Matt Hsu whipped some tasty live beats and some adlibbed comedic gold culminating in a rad track that was the quintessential essence of the deep 90’s!
Whew! And well. And whoah! It was an action-packed adventure time to be sure, to be sure.
Afterwards we hit the dance floor to the marvellous beats of the one and only Mr Brettski Parker. Art was discussed, friends were made, dances danced, drinks drunk, and a good time was had by all.
So there you go, that’s what you can expect, get on the mailing list, pitch them an act, see you at the next delicious instalment.
Check out The Angry Mime webpage for more info, news and opportunity to perform…