(above: The Queen Victoria Market at Night is one of Melbourne's most popular locations).
What do a Shakespearian actor, a robot and Queen Victoria Market have in common? Well, you’ll have to find out by watching the latest play from the Melbourne Writers’ Theatre (M.W.T.) at Gasworks Park, ‘Six Degrees at a Hot Melbourne Market’.
Clare Mendes, the M.W.T. company manager and producer for the show, felt that audiences would revel in experiencing “the surprises, secrets and stories that can be found in the aisles of Queen Victoria Market and also buried beneath it! This show is a pleasant and wondrous experience with a big focus on storytelling.”
Performing until (tonight) Saturday 23rd November in the Studio Theatre, this widely experienced cast will take audiences on a journey like no other. Within the play is a selection of four stories all set at Queen Victoria Market. The writers were asked to create one short play, each with a few guidelines and the theme of "unexpected news." At the Melbourne Writers’ Theatre, each play is submitted anonymously, as “this ensures that scripts are selected entirely for their merit," says Clare. After the successful plays were chosen, the writers were contacted and began to work with the directors
(Mazz Ryan and D. B. Valentine) on fusing the stories together into one remarkable performance.
Each of the four stories was written by a different writer. ‘Wormholes’ was created by Alison Knight, ‘The Future of Organics’ by Louise Hopewell, ‘Clothes are just Protective Coatings’ by Bruce Shearer and ‘Arriving Today’ by Michael Olsen.
“We have seven fantastic and dedicated actors who are currently giving a great deal of energy to this show in the rehearsal process," says Clare. She went on to say that the M.W.T. has not had the pleasure to work with these actors before, but that they hope the performers enjoy their experiences as much as the audience will enjoy the show.
The cast range from semi-professional to industry veterans, with Jonty Reason, Ruben Francis, Emma Drysdale, Rebecca Morton, Del Jordan, Lenny Andrusiw and Faran Martin starring in this multi-layered anthology.
When asked what an audience member would be most surprised at, Clare muses that “the surprise factor will be not knowing what to expect. Most people know Queen Vic Market, but they don’t know THIS Queen Vic Market.”
With a mixture of historical and contemporary pieces, there should be something for everyone to enjoy. Whilst the stories are fictitious, the way that they have been created will bring a naturalism that will make audiences feel that there is something wonderfully magical about Vic Market long after they leave.
The Melbourne Writers’ Theatre was established in 1982 and has developed several successful performances such as ‘Stark. Dark. Albert Park, Beachside Stories’ and the ‘Daring Dog Monologues.'
“Our goal is to develop and support this city’s playwrights at every stage of their career," says Clare, "and to create an environment in which new Australian plays can come to life.”
When asked what an audience member could do to have the best experience from the show, Clare states, “That depends on what you mean by ‘best!' Every performance of a show is different.
I will say that the best experience for a patron will always be sitting close to the front, where the performance is taking place.”
Gasworks Park has excellent disabled access and audiences need to be aware of some strobe lights, occasional violent themes and explosive special effects.
Tickets range from $25 to $34; Concessions and a group ticket option (4+) are also available.
Studio Theatre, Gasworks Arts Park,
21 Graham Street,
This show promises to be a unique experience, with laughs, thrills, and magic galore!
For more information, and to secure your tickets, go to:
By Joseph Chapman.