Tuesday, October 30, 2018


Conductor: Leonard Weiss
Soloist: Louise Page
Wesley Uniting Church, Forrest 27 October

Reviewed by Len Power

After their successful inaugural concert in July, Canberra Sinfonia presented a fine second concert at the Wesley Uniting Church in Forrest.  Conducted by Leonard Weiss, the young artists performed a program of Bartók and Haydn and, after interval, they were joined by their Patron, soprano Louise Page, who sang arias by Handel and Mozart.

The ‘Romanian Folk Dances’ by Béla Bartók gave the concert a stirring opening with throbbing, earthy rhythms and romantic melodies in six movements.  It was tightly played by the orchestra, especially the spectacularly busy final movement.

The second item on the program was Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 63 (second version).  The first version is scored for flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings, while the second version has the same scoring but with only one bassoon and no trumpets or timpani.  The final two movements differ from the first version, particularly with the oboe and bassoon trio in the third movement.

The orchestra gave a fine performance of all four movements of this work.  The energetic playing of the first movement contrasted with the nicely played, melodic second, or ‘Roxelane’, movement.  The third movement was notable for the fine playing of the trio by Caitin McAnulty and Timothy Elphick on the oboes and bassoonist, Jordan London.  The final movement was given a strong and colourful performance.

From the 18th century musical drama, ‘Semele’, by George Frideric Handel, Louise Page sang two arias.  ‘Where’er you walk’ was hauntingly sung, evoking a promised garden paradise.  Page gave the second aria, ‘O sleep, why dost though leave me?’, an affecting emotional performance.

Louise Page

The program finished with four of Mozart’s most beautiful arias for soprano.  All four were expertly sung including a delicately moving ‘Porgi Amor’ (Grant, love, some comfort) from ‘The Marriage Of Figaro’ and a fine acting and singing performance of conflicted emotions for ‘In What Excesses, O Heavens’ from ‘Don Giovanni’.

The accompaniment for the Handel and Mozart arias was sensitive and with a good balance between orchestra and singer.

Photos by Peter Hislop
This review was first published in the Canberra City News digital edition of 29 October 2018.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in his ‘On Stage’ performing arts radio program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3.30pm on Artsound FM 92.7.


Adapted by Ian Gower and Paul Carpenter
Directed by Jon Elphick
Tempo Theatre Inc, Belconnen Theatre to 3 November

Reviewed by Len Power 26 October 2018

Tempo Theatre and their director, Jon Elphick, had a hit back in 2016 with their production of ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, a stage adaptation of the popular British TV sitcom which ran from 1994 to 2007, starring Dawn French.

Tempo’s new production, ‘A Vicar of Dibley Christmas – The Second Coming’, is a Canberra premiere of a second stage adaptation.  Director, Jon Elphick, has managed to retain virtually all the original cast from the 2016 show.

This time, the vicar is keen to put on a Christmas show for the small village but enlisting the help of the well-meaning local characters turns out to be not such a good idea.  The resulting Nativity play is a disaster but somehow the true meaning of Christmas comes through.

Jon Elphick has directed a very entertaining production with a fine cast who play the wickedly funny characters with enthusiasm.  A major strength of the production is the cast members’ skill at mimicking the characters from the TV show.  They are all well cast and display fine comic timing, making every funny line work.

Karyn Tisdell, who normally graces our opera and concert stages with her fine singing voice, does a creditable Dawn French as the vicar.  Her determination to be warm and encouraging, no matter what, is very amusing.  Kasey Tomkins is hysterically funny as the terminally dim Alice Tinker-Horton and Sam Kentish is delightful as Hugo, her naive but well-meaning young husband.

Kasey Tomkins (left) and Karyn Tisdell (right)

As the meek and deadly culinary experimenter, Mrs Letitia Cropley, Marian Fitzgerald gives a fine portrait of this woman and her recipes.  No-one plays the organ in quite the same way that she does.

Kim Wilson and Garry Robinson are very funny as the snobbish Chairman and pedantic Secretary of the Parish Council and Jason Morton as rough farmer, Owen Newitt, has some of the best one-liners and delivers them like well-targeted bombs.

As the dirty old man, Jim Trott, Jon Elphick is a riot.  Watching him play one of the three kings – Billie Jean – in the Nativity play has to be one of the comedy highlights of the year.

Tempo Theatre, with this really funny show, have given us an early Christmas present this year.

This review was first published in the Canberra City News digital edition of 27 October 2018.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast in his ‘On Stage’ performing arts radio program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3.30pm on Artsound FM 92.7.

Canberra Theatre Centre Program 2019

Canberra Theatre Centre Program 2019

Previewed by Frank McKone
October 29, 2018

Following a warmly appreciative-of-the-arts speech, by ACT Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay, the 2019 Program Launch was short and keat – ing.  The "Honourable Paul Keating" did not go quite as far as to call us unrepresentative middle-class swill, but even if he had, his absolutely biassed take-over of the prime position as MC, emphasising his own show The Gospel According to Paul above all (especially denigrating that “cheap” show The Wharf Revue) would have been applauded just as enthusiastically.

I suspect a campaign for Jonathan Biggins as Prime Minister (so long as he only ever speaks in the inimitable Keating manner) would be a great success.  Indeed, I thought Biggins sounded more impressive than Keating himself, and certainly spoke with more intelligent wit than many currently in Parliament.

The Canberra Theatre Centre is an ACT Government-run venue, administered by the Cultural Facilities Corporation.  In some countries a standard collection of conservative work might be implied, but the range of shows for us next year seems to me to represent an appropriate mix of the usual expectations and up-to-date developments.  The works are all imported, of course, leaving the other government owned theatre, The Street, attached to the Australian National University campus, to take up locally written work at a professional level, as well as more ‘fringe’ visiting productions.

The Program is presented in packaged suggestions: 

I’m obviously not up to date, having no idea what that suggests.  An online dictionary tells me: noun. Slang, a feeling of anxiety or insecurity over the possibility of missing out on something, as an event or an opportunity: If I say no to a party invitation, I get a bad case of FOMO.  In the program, “For those who need to be first to see brand-new work”, we find

Dear old Biggins (sorry – I always think of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins) with The Gospel According to Paul in March;

Sydney Theatre Company’s production of the new play How to Rule the World in April by Indigenous writer Nakkiah Lui, following her Black is the New White (reviewed on this blog March 28, 2018);

The Sydney Dance Company’s new works by Bonachela/Nankivell/Lane, Cinco, Neon Aether and WOOF in May;

Kate Mulvaney in a new play by Suzie Miller, Prima Facie, presented by Griffin Theatre Company (Sydney) in June; and

Bangarra: 30th Anniversary Season – A celebration of contemporary dance, story and culture, “inspired by 65,000 years of culture and the continual evolution of Indigenous storytelling", under Artistic Director Stephen Page, in July.

These and other shows are suggested under headings


John Bell in Moliere’s The Miser (Bell Shakespeare) in April;

Barbara and the Camp Dogs from Belvoir, Sydney – “A Rock-Gig Musical…part road-story, part family drama, part political cry-from-the-heart” by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine, in May/June;

The Melbourne Theatre Company stage adaptation of the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard of Shakespeare in Love, in August;

The 39 Steps, adapted from the movie by Alfred Hitchcock and the novel by John Buchan as comedy in which “four actors perform 139 roles in 100 minutes at breakneck hilarity”, presented by the State Theatre Company of South Australia, in October / November; and

The Wharf Revue 2019 in November.

The Gospel According to Paul; How to Rule the World; Barbara and the Camp Dogs; Prima Facie; The Wharf Revue; and adds

American folk singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie (Alice’s Restaurant Massacree) in a one night stand on April 22 (presented by BluesFest).

GET READY TO LOL (For those who enjoy a good giggle) includes
The Gospel According to Paul; How to Rule the World; The Miser; Shakespeare in Love; The Wharf Revue; and adds

Bell Shakespeare’s production of Much Ado About Nothing starring Zindzi Okenyo as Beatrice, in October.

And finally MOVERS AND SHAKERS, including Bonachela/Nankivell/Lane; Barbara and the Camp Dogs; Bangarra: 30th Anniversary Season; and the add-on

Nicole Car & Etienne Depuis, with Jayson Gillham, (presented by Andrew McKinnon) in a one-off recital on August 9, “featuring romantic French and Spanish songs, as well as popular opera arias and duets”.  Australian Nicole and husband Etienne “recently starred in Puccini’s La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

It seems to me that the only months I can get away for grey nomad adventures next year will be in February (already booked for Tasmania) and September.

THE WHARF REVUE 2018 - Deja Revue

Designed by Charles Davis - Musical Direction by Andrew Worboys
Costumes coordinated by Scott Fisher – Lighting design by Matt Cox
Sound and Video designed by David Bergman

Canberra Theatre Centre Playhouse – 23rd October to 3rd November 2018
Performance 23rd October reviewed by Bill Stephens,

Returning to its political heartland in Canberra, The Wharf Revue, this year entitled “Deja Revue”, was greeted by an eager audience anxious to devour their annual helping of outrageous political insights as seen through the eyes of writers, Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe.

Despite having only one of the originals in this year’s edition, (Phil Scott having retired, and Drew Forsythe struck down by illness), the ever-popular Wharf Revue still fielded  a topline cast in Jonathan Biggins, Simon Burke (replacing Drew Forsythe at short notice), Rachael Beck and Douglas Hansell, with Andrew Worboys providing the music and miscellaneous characters as required. All are skilled in creating recognizable thumbnail sketches of those victims selected for skewering by Biggins and Forsythe with their wickedly funny scripts.

Rachael Beck (Principal Boy) and Douglas Hansell (Prince Charmless)
As with previous editions, the Wharf Revue uses parodies of well-known musicals, operas or plays as setting for its skits. But what sets it apart are the production values for its sets and costumes, and the authenticity of the staging.  Hence this year we have “The Book of Cormann” with four versions of Mathias Cormann spreading the word, and a pantomime with Principal Boy, Rachael Beck as Malcolm Turnbull, singing “Poor Little Me” while the two ugly sisters, Eric Abetz (Simon Burke) and Kevin Andrews (Andrew Worboys) and the wicked stepmother (snake-tongued Jonathan Biggins) vie for the attention of Prince Charmless (Douglas Hansell spot-on as Peter Dutton).

The audience entered the theatre to be greeted by a beautiful Victorian toy-theatre setting, designed by Charles Davis. The irrepressible Biggins, impeccably costumed in red velvet as an ageing, and possibly medically enhanced, Buttons, takes the stage to welcome the audience. Too soon he lapses into kiddy shaming, confides that he’s been warned, but continues a hilariously potty-mouthed harangue until dragged off by the stage-manager.  

Rachael Beck (Michaelia Cash) - Jonathan Biggins (Bob Brown) 
Following the panto, the toy-theatre transforms into contemporary scaffolding setting. How this is achieved is one of the visual highlights of the production. Among an evening of comedy highpoints it’s hard to go past Biggins’ brilliant monologue as Paul Keating, mercilessly, hilariously, and with bulls-eye accuracy, critiques each member of the current cabinet.  Biggins as Trump ignoring every protocol to embarrass Simon Burke’s surprisingly warm version of The Queen, and Biggins again, as Bob Brown, being lectured by Rachael Beck’s white board spinning Michaelia Cash.

Douglas Hansell (Barnaby Joyce) at the Tamworth Music Festival 
Beck scored also as Gladys Berejiklian happily promising “I’ll build a Light Rail to Kensington”, as a raunchy Stormy Daniels, and a somewhat bemused Melania Trump. Douglas Hansell brought the house down as Barnaby Joyce at the Tamworth Music Festival justifying his love life, and as a pajama-clad Scott Morrison desperately searching for inspiration and few will forget Simon Burke’s wicked Christopher Pyne as a Fairy-Godmother.

                                                     Photos by Brett Boardman
This review also appears in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW. www.artsreview.com.au



Sunday, October 28, 2018


Flaunt It and Haunt It. Vaudeville Show

Produced by Tiger Lily and Krewd with Tiger Lily, Bambi Valentine,  AMBi!, InkBits and Golden Boi. Polit Bar. Manuka. October 26th.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins

Up a very narrow stairway to the sounds of the Polit Bar  Into a Halloween Hideaway of gold beaded curtain around a hanging chandelier and cotton cobwebs dangling  in the spooky air.   Here burlesque and Butoh, comedy and cabaret, Frank L Baum and Bertolt Brecht haunt the night and flaunt the fabulous sexy, scintillating  talents of in-your-face performers , hosted by the irrepressible Bambi Valentine and   Tiger Lily.

Tiger Lily. Photo by Adam Thomas
Flaunt It and Haunt It delivers what it promises, an anarchic night of vaudeville revelry, unabashed and uninhibited during a cavalcade of the risque and the ribald, recalling the divine decadence of the Weimar cabaret. From comedienne Frankie McNair’s  flaunting French Fries to AMBi!'s ghostly spook or Golden Boi's spirit of sleaze, a throwback to Fellini’s Satyricon and Bambi Valentine’s  deathly scythe wielding rendition of  What Keeps Mankind Alive  from The Threepenny Opera, Halloween is alive and deadly in the narrow confines of the upstairs Polit Bar. Every act surprises and delights, sending audiences into peals of laughter as Tiger Lily and Krewd deliver almost three hours of  non- stop entertainment. Tiger Lily hosts with flair and a haunting sensuality on the saxophone and the evening presents a cabaret that keeps its audience engrossed on the music, comedy and burlesque.
Bambi Valentine. Photo: David Mackie

Every moment of the night brings a new surprise. Stand up comedienne Frankie McNair is a comic force alone or with her Sweaty Pits twin Ethel (AMBi!) Fringe award winning duo, Sweaty Pits is an act to watch. As are all the acts in this talented team of cabaret performers. Bambi Valentine’s transition from the sentimental Tin man’s song to a convulsed and obsessed Butoh dancer of the darkness  turns innocence to demonic possession. InkBits with the throaty jazz singing voice lends her character an ambivalent sexuality. It too haunts the evening air and flaunts the mystery of her song of soul.
Golden Boi. Photo  David Mackie

Flaunt It and Haunt It explores the underbelly of society – the outcasts, the misfits, the rebels and the protests and priestesses of the darkness. And yet, these are the ones who can see through the darkness to the light and expose the bigotry, the hypocrisy and the inconsistency of conventional society.

Tiger Lily and AMBi  Photo David Mackie

I climbed the stairway with some slight trepidation. I left impressed by the  talent and the intelligence of performers who upheld the tradition of the anarchic and dared to confront and question the conventional and the complacent. Tiger Lily and Krewd embrace a protest as old as the theatre itself, but they do it with an originality that I found refreshing as well as living up to the subversive spirit of the art of cabaret.


Heathers The Musical.

  Book Music and Lyrics by Kevin Murphey and Laurence O’Keefe. Based on the film written by Daniel Waters.Directed by Grant Pegg and Kelly Roberts. Musical direction by Matthew Webster. Choreogaphy by Rutups. Dramatic Productions. Gungahlin College. October 12 – 27 2018.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins

Dramatic Productions has come up with another musical that consolidates its place as a top ranking music theatre producer in Canberra.  Heathers The Musical is no easy  challenge. Its premise that we are all in some way damaged, subject to the whims and actions of those more popular or more powerful, and driven to dubious actions to assert our individuality presents a dark and troubling aspect of the human condition. The Dramatic Productions team of directors, Grant Pegg and Kelly Roberts and Musical director, Matthew Webster have taken this on board and inspired an outstanding cast to rise to the heights and deliver an evening’s entertainment that is blazoned with energy, bursting with talent, musically manipulative in twisting the emotions, charging the tempo and pulsating with surprising rhythms. Nathan Rutups’ choreography brings a fresh feel to the lives of the students of Westerberg High in some of the highlight ensemble numbers such as Shine A Light or Dead Gay Son with Ram’s Dad (Jonathan Rush), Kurt’s Dad (Bailey Lutton and the Gospel Choir Mourners.
 Mikayla Brady, Charlotte Gearside and Madeleine Betts
Beneath the razzamataz of the explosive energy of the show is the serious glimpse of a troubled society, confronting the individual and societal conflicts of the age. Veronica Sawyer (Belle Nicol) wants to belong. The Three Heathers (Charlott Gearside, Madeleine Betts and Mikayla Brady) want to control as they vie for the coveted popularity crown. Prize dicks, Ram Sweeney (Pippin Carroll) and Kurt Kelly (Pierce Jackson)  are testosteronic , sex starved skittleheads. In the cloistered world of Westerberg High, where everything is ordered according to its status from the domineering Heathers to the domineered Martha Dunnstock (Chelsea Heaney), it only takes an outsider to upset the balance – the new prisoner in the prison; the new worker or executive in the workplace, the new neighbour in the street. At Westerberg it is the new kid on the block, arriving at his tenth school,. Who turns the natural order into dark and devious disarray. JD (Will Huang), a brooding antihero with a literary bent and bent psyche captures the heart of confused Veronics with desperate and homicidal consequences. Nicol and Huang are superb in the roles of Veronica and JD. They transcend the amateur to catapult their performances into the professional echelon of music theatre performance. They are brilliantly supported by a vibrant, slick and stunning Ensemble with remarkable individual performances by Jonathan Rush in My Dead Gay Son and Chelsea Heaney’s  touching Kindergarten Boyfriend.
Will Huang as JD and Belle Nicol as Veronica Sawyer

Heathers The Musical   has the American musical brand stamped all over it. Dramatic Productions has captured the brashness of a nation engulfed in the disturbing undercurrent of society’s seeping fragmentation and divisiveness. Part prophesy, part warning the musical’s fantasy is also the nation’s reality without the gloss of sentimentality or artifice. JD, bent on avenging his mother’s suicidal escape from an oppressive situation, reminds us only too clearly of the horrendous school shootings.

The power struggles within the school lend this production a sobering message, somewhat alleviated by the sheer ebullience and shining talent on the stage. On closing night this flooded the auditorium as the sound operator upped the volume to drown out a more serious subtlety, but it was closing night and emotions run high. I congratulate Dramatic Productions on continuing to present new and challenging work of an extraordinarily high standard. But where are the great Australian musicals? Where is the voice of our nation on the music theatre stage? Or is Heathers The Musical our musical seen through the prism of the American experience? Whatever the case, Dramatic Productions and producer Richrad Block with his creative team of artists and production personnel have once again given Canberra audiences a wonderful night of entertainment and thought provoking theatre.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

CAROLINE O'CONNOR - From Broadway with Love

Directed by Tyran Parke.

Conducted by George Ellis

Presented by City Recital Hall – Sydney October 26th 2018

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

If any proof were needed as to why Caroline O’Connor is regarded as one of the most accomplished and sought-after music theatre performers in the world, then this sensational concert has certainly provided it in spades.

Best known in Australia for her starring roles in a string of Broadway musicals, among them “West Side Story”, “Chicago”, “Anything Goes”, “Gypsy” and “Funny Girl”, O’Connor has starred in even more shows overseas, and for this concert she took the opportunity to include songs from many of the musicals in which she has starred in England, America and France, including “Follies”, “The Rink”, “Sweeney Todd”, and “On the Town”.

Accompanied by a brilliant 19 piece orchestra, conducted by George Ellis, which captured the genuine Broadway sound with superb musical arrangements, and which included O’Connor’s regular accompanist, Daniel Edmonds on piano, and her husband, Barrie Shaw on saxophone, flute and clarinet,  with, Special Guests, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir  providing a couple of show-stopping moments and some lush choral backings, O’Connor dazzled her audience with no fewer than 24 showstoppers. Each a mini masterclass in interpretation, impeccable diction and masterful phrasing, as O’Connor created a roomful of memorable characterizations moving seamlessly from song to song.

Directed by Tyran Parke, who was also a feature artist, stage manager, and even a human prop for one of the songs, the performance commenced with a dramatic orchestral medley of songs associated with O’Connor. Parke and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir then took the stage to perform Sondheim’s “Invocation and Instructions to the Audience”, during which O’Connor surprised the audience by emerging from among the choir to join Parke for  some wicked contemporary updates of the original lyrics.

The familiar vamp for Kander and Ebb’s “All That Jazz” was all that was needed to encourage the seemingly indefatigable O’Connor to beguile her adoring audience with song after song from shows in which she has appeared during her career.  The quirky “Wrong Note Rag”,  the  tongue-twisting “I Can Cook Too”, both  from Bernstein’s “On the Town” and the lovely “Journey to the Past” from Ahrens and Flaherty’s “Anastasia” for which she recently won plaudits originating the role of the Countess Lily Malesvesky-Malevitch on Broadway, demonstrated her versatility.   

Her brilliant rendition of “The Worst Pies in London” from Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” gave a glimpse of the performance that prompted Sondheim to declare her, “the best Mrs. Lovett he had ever heard”.  A heartfelt version of “Time Heals Everything” from Jerry Herman’s “Mack and Mabel”, introduced with a captivating saxophone solo by Barrie Shaw, provided a glimpse of the performance that earned her an Olivier Award nomination. Throughout, treating every member of the audience as if each was her bestie, she punctuated the songs with personal stories about the songs, and her experiences in the shows from which they came.

A sassy “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” from Kander and Ebb’s, “The Rink”, in which O’Connor starred earlier this year in England , and a savage “Could I Leave You” from Sondheim’s “Follies”, were particular highlights.  She paid tribute to Peter Allen and Judy Garland with “All I Wanted was the Dream” from “The Boy From Oz”, and to Leonard Bernstein by including a pretty song, “The Story of My Life”, cut from “On the Town”.

There were many more memorable moments including two from the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir with its memorable version of “Our Time” from Sondheim’s  “Merrily We Roll Along”, and a goose-bump-inducing version of “Sunday” from his “Sunday in the Park with George” sung with members of the choir scattered through-out the auditorium.

Finally, O’Connor joined the choir for a stunning arrangement of “What I Did for Love” from the Marvin Hamlisch musical, “A Chorus Line”, earning her a sustained standing ovation from the entire audience, which O’Connor, her voice miraculously sounding as fresh as it did with her very first song, rewarded with a blistering version of the ultimate Sondheim song, “Rose’s Turn” from “Gypsy”.

This was one of those one-off, “You should’ve been there” events, destined to be forever locked in the memory-banks of those in the capacity audience lucky enough to have shared it. You should have been there!

 This review also appears in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW.www.artsreview.com.au


Friday, October 26, 2018

‘Participatory’ theatre festival in Goulburn.

 Polish director Daniel Jacewic at the panel session

By Helen Musa
UNDER the watchful eye of Lieder Theatre director Chrisjohn Hancock, a lively cross-section of local identities practitioners, students, community members and teachers gathered last weekend to engage with and learn from members of Poland’s Teatr Brama, a company located in Goleniów, roughly the same size as Goulburn and about 180 km from Berlin.
This writer spent a day learning new things about theatre’s potential for relating to society.
Evol McLeod, former director of Tuggeranong Arts Centre, formally opened the festival titled “Periphery”, which could be defined as “away from the mainstream“.
McLeod welcomed the Polish guests—director Daniel Jacewicz, Ola Slusarczyk, Jenny Crissey and Patrick Bednarski—as practitioners of a theatre style that was “participatory, not spectator-oriented”, describing how Teatr Brama was part of a project that now involved nearly 30 European countries and 21 countries outside of Europe which viewed theatre was as a force for positive social change.
A lively and sometimes argumentative panel session followed, which involved Jacewicz, Crissey, along Ben Drysdale and Cara Matthews from Canberra’s Rebus Theatre and Rauny Worm from Tuggeranong Arts Centre—Rebus and TAC are both working in the area of theatre for social change.
Jacewicz explained the emergence of Polish theatre practice from dictatorial society of the '50s to the '80s, before Polish independence in 1989.
He had been one of the "lucky ones" in a sense, starting theatre work in 1996, but, likening freedom to the instant exhilaration of Coca-Cola, he noted that in the early days they’d had to ask themselves: “we are all free, but what do we do now?”
Theatre in Poland, he said, reaches deep into the community, with 800 independent groups and 125 national theatres – every small town has a theatre.

    The 'Periphery' mascot

Although they are peripatetic in practice, Goleniów became their home after the local mayor closed local disco and gave it to Teatr Brama as a centre.
But often they worked outside that space. Some years ago, for instance, they closed a town bridge and created an ‘artificial border’ that required passports to cross—25,000 people did so, willingly. This year they built a 4m high ‘Colosseum’ from hay-bales that had locals exclaiming, “Wow.”
Jacewicz said he had met Hancock in Belgium at a time when he was looking for an Australian collaborator – and the rest is history. Goulburn seemed like a parallel community, yet after seeing a fire show performed by Lieder Youth  enjoying local hospitality, it seemed  “so different from what I imagined,” in a good way.
His colleague, Jenny Crissey, originally from Chicago but now living in Goleniów, outlined the work of their EU partners in the ‘Caravan Next’ project, notably Odin Theatret in Denmark and the Social Community Theatre Centre at the University of Turin.
That university’s academic methodology, which quantifies how theatre can engage with society, at first worried them and Jacewicz initially said, “but we are already doing this,” yet in the end the studies affirmed what they did.
“Wherever you are, you should feel like you’re the centre of the universe,” Crissey told those present at the panel session.
The festival continued with a workshop run by Jacewicz focusing on concentration, body contact, body-memory (‘Like Grotowski’, he called out, conjuring up a famous Polish theatre guru from the  past) stamina, rhythm and trust.
The first day of ‘Periphery’ concluded with a pair of performances.
“Monochrome, “by Lieder Theatre, won multiple prizes this year at the American Association of Community Theatre International Festival in Venice, Florida. Playing with questions of exclusion, it coincided with President Donald Trump’s pronouncements on immigrants and drew enthusiastic applause from audiences there.
The evening wound up with Brama’s “Ghost Dance Impressions,” where local actors joined their Polish counterparts to perform a work built around the famous ‘Ghost Dance’ of the late 19th century, which led directly to the Massacre at Wounded Knee and the decimation of Native Americans. A musically- driven  presentation that expressed anger at the way dominant cultures destroy others, it had the entire audience rising to its feet and to shout in the words from the movie ‘Network,’ "I'm as mad as hell!”
A spot on the periphery, it seemed, was not going to daunt this gathering of passionate theatre practitioners.