Magazine

Background

The Sydney Theatre Company's production of Performance 2 - Magazine occurred for one night only in March 1983.

Stage credits

Script & direction - Ralph Kerle, Tim Gooding & Philip Brophy
Music score and arrangements - Philip Brophy
Choreography - David Atkins
Dancers - Simone Baker, Shane Carroll, Tony Deary, Virgina Ferris, Mitsouko Generoso, Vicki Morrow, Peter Pantelic & Kathleen Wilson
The Sylvania Heights Baton Twirling Group
Singers - Little Pattie, Dave Mason, Martin Plaza, John Swan & Ross Wilson
Body builders - John Schweitzer & Gayle Lawrie
Transsexual - Angela Carroll
Contortionist - Terri-Ann
Animal trainer - Steve Sloane
Stuntman - Bob Hicks
Fencers - Beverly Blankenship & Graham Mills
Stage musicians (miming) - John Gilles, Jon Rose & Kathleen Stewart
Television personalities - Issy Dye, Joe the Gadget Man, Tony Packard, Dick Smith, Joyce Mayne & Diana Fisher
Video production - Stephen Jones, Ian de Gruchy, Peter Howard, Nicolette Freeman
Lighting - John Rayment & David Roberts
Stage management - Vito Arena
Production co-ordination - Georgina Pope

Music credits

Keyboards & drum machine programming - Philip Brophy
Bass - Bill McDonald
Ian Cox - saxophone
Martin Plaza - guitar
Violin - Chris
Trumpet - Leona
French horn - Vivienne
Engineer - Chris Wyatt

1983

Theatre Sydney Company, Sydney

Overview

From the original programme notes


Richard Wherrett, director of STC: "Performance 2 is the latest in the Sydney Theatre COmpany's series of projects designed to challenge and extend the conventional definitions of theatrical form and content. Performance 1 was staged at Maxy's (Sydney) in April 1982, and attempted to create a unique fusion of popular entertainment. Mime, parody, Rock'n'Roll, dance, drama, video and big band music were programmed back-to-back on dual stages with the aim of making each form comment upon, contradict or enhance the others, while enforcing the audience to rethink attitudes to popular entertainment. In planning Performance 2, it was decided to retain the musical input and diverse content of its predecessor while moving towards a more theatrical form.

Hence, we present MAGAZINE: a collection of theatricalized 'pages' through which feelings and atmospheres will be created in unexpected ways. Images and contexts we take for granted will be dismantled and realigned, and talents and personalities will be projected into new and provocative contexts."

Technical

Development

MAGAZINE was the brain child of theatre entrepreneur Ralph Kerle. Ralph was a key figure in experimenting with cabaret in Melbourne in the late 70s and early 80s, and his series of Performance events (commenced in Melbourne in 1980) shifted to Sydney, culminating in the large scale spectacle of MAGAZINE. For this work, he enlisted Philip Brophy (Ralph produced their theatre cabaret work Television Works in 1981) and Tim 'Errol' Goodings (of the band XL-Capris).

Discussions for the project early on centred the idea of presenting a magazine live on stage - complete with ads, celebrities, non-sequiturs, and xxx - all staged like page-flipping. Narrative form was evacuated; in place was the disorienting feeling of randomized performances on a conveyor belt of presentation, each replacing the other. This mode of theatre was central to Ralph's ongoing experiments with performative form and staging. The fact he got the Sydney Theatre Company to mount such an event seemed like an exceedingly unlikely undertaking, but director Richard Wherrett strongly supported the project - much to the consternation of the company's main audience subscribers.

Programme

1. Prologue - screening of Ads
2. John Swan sings "What's New Pussycat?" with an 8 member dance troupe & the Sylvania Heights Baton Twirling Group
3. "Sexuality" - featuring a male body-builder, a female body-builder & a transsexual
4. Little Pattie & Dave Mason sing "The Two Of Us"
5. A trainer performs with a sheep dog and a small flock of sheep
6. Intermission music - "Popcorn"
7. Martin Plaza sings "Ruby"
8. "Beatnik Fashion Parade" - 3 musicians mime behind a fashion parade of models wearing retro beatnik clothes
9. "Tension" - 2 fencers perform while a contortionist occupies centre stage
10. Ross Wilson sings "Caravan"

Music

Dave Mason and the Reels produced the backing music for "The Two Of Us". Philip composed the rest, most of which is included on the Present records LP Soundtracks (instrumental versions only of the cover songs). The main instrumentation was a Linn drum machine and an Oberheim OBX keyboard. Chris Wyatt produced the sessions.