Marketing and Social Media for Tarantula

Really enjoyed working on Tarantula, the new play from Alana Valentine, and produced and directed by Nastassja Djalog

It was the best reviewed shows I have ever been involved in and also garnered very generous repsonses from the audience.

I hope Tarantula gets picked up by on off the bigger theatre companies very soon.

‘Desire is a tarantula that bites, and not only the young. Desire is a venom that courses through the veins long past the days of its ability to be satisfied’- Lola Montez

Narcissistic, impervious to criticism, and a pathalogical liar. Scandalous, bigamous, and the ruination of royalty. Countess, dancer and actress. The most generous, most willful, and most self-obsessed woman of her generation was Lola Montez. ‘Tarantula’ picks up her story on July 8, 1856, when returning to San Francisco from an exhausting and scandal filled Australian tour, Lola’s lover, Noel Folland, disappeared from the deck of the Jane A Falkenburg and was never seen again, presumed drowned. Using the conceit of a play within a play, ‘Tarantula’ traces the story of Lola’s life to unlock the mystery of this tragic disappearance, by having a contemporary actress making a play about her hero Lola. Set alternatively in a rehearsal room where the play is being made, and in flashback to Lola’s world, the play is an hilarious and thought-provoking examination of the battle of the sexes – both from an historic and contemporary point of view. Erotic, passionate and very funny, this is a play which asks questions about just how much and in what way women’s power had changed in the intervening years between Lola and our contemporary heroine, Gina and provides the opportunity for a virtuoso performance both from the gently aging ‘Lola’ and her ardent young suitor. First presented as a staged reading as part of Griffin Theatre’s Searchlight program this Tredwood Production marks the play’s world premiere.

Tredwood Productions Artistic Director Nastassja Djalog joins considerable forces with award winning playwright Alana Valentine to direct her newest work, Tarantula.

Season Information
Preview: Tuesday 9th October
Opening: Wednesday 10th October
Season Dates: 10th October to 3rd November
Plays: Tues-Sat 7:30PM
Where: King Street Theatre 644 King Street Newtown
Duration: 90 mins (no interval)
Tickets: $32/$24 (Preview $24)
Bookings: or 0423 082 015

Cast: Zoe Carides and Michael Whalley

Cellist: Richard Mills

Writer: Alana Valentine
Director: Nastassja Djalog
Producer: Tredwood Productions
Set Design: Sarah-Jane McAllan
Lighting Design: Marcus Cook
Costume Design: Beth Allen
Dramaturg: Chris Ramos
Stage Manager & Operator: Ruth Horsfall
Choreographer: Julia Cotton
Composer: John Encarnacao
Photography: Patrick Boland
Artwork: Harvey House Productions
Marketing: Nick Bolton
Publicity: Merran Doyle


The Interview

The third theatre show of the year I have produced.
More information at

Dreamhouse Artists in association with the Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Company present

Written by Theodor Holman amd Theo Van Gogh (film direction)
Adapted and Directed by Sam Atwell

This November, the Tamarama Rock Surfers join forces with Dreamhouse Artists (Bondi Dreaming 2011) to present The Interview a sexy drama written by Theo Van Gogh, adapted and directed by Sam Atwell (Bondi Dreaming), starring Kip Gamblin (All Saints, Dance Academy) and Alison McGirr (Home & Away, Three Sisters) and produced by Nick Bolton (I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard).

Katya is a star. A B-list, tabloid on demand, celebrity screwing sensation and no-one can get enough. Over the course of one night we witness her encounter with Pierre Peters, burnt out political correspondent with dark desires and a thinking problem.

Forced together for an interview neither wants be a part of, before long they’re circling each other trading verbal body blows struggling for the upper hand. As they probe into each other’s lives trying to find holes in each others façade, it’s anyone’s guess who will tell the most lies and expose the biggest secrets. Just who’s playing who?

Set in a sumptuous beachside apartment, The Interview is an electrically charged, lightning paced battle of wits that explores the minefield that is fame, celebrity and the power that comes with it.


Season Information
Preview: Wednesday 31st October, Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd November 2012
Opening: Saturday 3rd November 2012
Season Dates: Saturday 3rd November – Friday 23rd November 2012
Plays: Tues-Sat 8:00PM
Where: The Bondi Pavilion Theatre, Bondi
Duration: 60 mins (no interval)
Tickets: $33/$25 (Preview $25) or Phone: 1300 241167

Katja: Ali McGirr
Pierre Peters: Kip Gamblin

Adapter / Director: Sam Atwell
Producer: Nick Bolton
Set design: Tom Bannerman
Sound design: Alon Ilsar
Lighting design: Nicholas Rayment
Stage Manager: Tim Burns
Asst Stage Manager : Madeleine White
Wardobe: Ali McGirr
Artwork Photography: Tarsha Hosking
Graphic Design: James Hodgson
Fight choreography: Scott Witt
Publicist: Kar Chalmers

I want to sleep with Tom Stoppard

Very proud to have worked on this one!

“…a smart, witty love letter to the stage….Highly recommended.” 8/10 (Elissa Blake, Sun Herald)

“…a fine sample of the wit and energy we associate with Schmitz’s work as an actor.” * * * * (Time Out)

“…the modern comedy of manners is often delightful. What’s more, his wry observations on acting and actors pack a truthful sting…Leland Kean’s production for Tamarama Rock Surfers matches the script for fluency and intelligence.” (Sydney Morning Herald)

“Schmitz’s witty script and fascinating characters provide plenty of food for thought.” * * * * (Jo Litson, The Sunday Telegraph)

“Schmitz and co pull out all the Stoppards…Sarah is played by Caroline Brazier with an extravagant brilliance.” (The Australian)

“Bold, brash and magnificent in her captivating unravelling is Caroline Brazier as girlfriend Sarah. Schmitz’s goal was to create a complex femme fatale and she is beautifully realised, thanks in no small part to a sensitive and intelligent treatment of the material by director Leland Kean.” (Australian Stage)

“The best satirical-comedy-farce of this and many other years.” (Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise)

“All of the performances are wonderful. A listen and laugh fest…see this.” (Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Diary)

Don’t wait, houses are filling fast – click here for more info or to book now.

Wed Sep 12 Post Show Industry Panel: included with your ticket price – What is the future and relevance of theatre in Australia? Chaired by Nell Schofield, with Writer Toby Schmitz, Actor Kate Mulvany, Diana Simmonds (Stage Noise) and Chris Mead (Playwriting Australia).

Speaking at NIDA Industry Week

Received a very pleasant phone call from NIDA asking me to come and speak to 3rd year students at NIDA as part of their Industry Week.

The session is called: The Co-op: Staging your own production:

The Actor emerging into the industry, now more than ever needs, to be proactive in creating work and managing their careers. The Co-op is one way of creating self employment and keeping alive their craft and skills. The aim of this session is to advise and provide insight into how to put up a production/work/film, what kind of pitfalls to watch out for and who to approach with your work – possible questions to answer:

Is a producer really necessary?
Where to find a producer?
Funding – different ways to raise funds
Marketing – social media, advertising etc
How do I propose/pitch my your work
Independent programs

I’ll be joined by Phil Spencer at Tamarama Rock Surfers and Skye Kunstelj NIDA Independent Program, which is the program that Sam and I were selected for, with our new work ‘SET’ which runs in April 2013 at NIDA.

Really looking forward to this discussion to see what Phil and Skye have to say. I wish the Producer wasn’t neccessary because I believe everyone should be a producer. Sadly, especially in the creative arts, the producer does the being the scenes work that doesn’t get noticed, is rather time consuming and certainly not as exciting as rehearsing or performing!

But a producer is neccessary because it frees the key creatives up from the administrative elements so they can concentrate solely on developing the artistic process to the best of their abilities.

Tamarama Rock Surfers announce 2012 season – including The Interview

The Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Company are proud to announce our 2012 season of works at the Old Fitzroy and Bondi Pavilion Theatres. 2012 marks the Rocks Surfers 15th year producing, presenting and creating the best independent theatre in Australia. Click here to check out all the shows

And we’re delighted to be involved again with the Australian premiere of The Interview by Theo Van Gogh

When a jaded war correspondent interviews a young pop super-starlet who will win the ensuing power battle? In a world of celebrity what is truth?

Dreamhouse Artists is a conglomerate of like minded artists who like to tell stories and delve deep into the worlds of the plays they produce. The Interview brings back together the team from Bondi Dreaming: Nick Bolton’s producing , Sam Atwell’s directing , Alon Ilsar’s Musical Directing, Tom Bannerman’s on set and design.

We win the NIDA Independent Program for SET

Very excited that Sam Atwell and I have been selected as one of the four inaugural winners of the NIDA Independent Program. In April 2013, Sam’s new play SET will premiere at The NIDA Parade Theatre.

Season 4 (25 April – 19 May 2013)
SET by Sam Atwell, directed by Sam Atwell (Dreamhouse Artists)

SET is a new murder mystery by writer/director of Bondi Dreaming and regular writer for Home and Away, Sam Atwell. Taking us behind the scenes of an Australian TV soap opera, SET takes a satirical look at the glamorous world of celebrity and the cogs of the machine that makes it turn.

In 2012, NIDA is looking to broaden its vision and develop a program to provide greater opportunities for artists/companies (both emerging and established) to extend their theatre practice and develop new work and theatre forms. The NIDA Independent Program will be open to the exploration of new work and creative forms as well as the re-invention of classic and contemporary texts.

More information at the NIDA website here

Live streaming of Macbeth for Bell Shakespeare

Viocorp were again commissioned to live stream the Q&A with the Cast and Crew of Bell Shakespeare‘s latest production of Macbeth.

Macbeth is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, having studied it at English A-Level. 22 years ago my Dad took me to Stratford upon Avon, the home of Shakespeare to see a production there. Dad was visiting me in Sydney so it was great to take him to see it again. Not quite sure he understood the concept of live streaming and twitter questions!

Its a great production – a sparse heathen set, with clouded mirrors overhead create an eerie atmosphere which is backed up by an excellent score. I loved the high pitch piercing sund whenrver Mcbeth was on his own – the sign of madness.

Colin Moody was excellent as Duncan, Kate Mulvany brought a delicious wickedness to the role of Lady Macbeth – she reminded me of many of today’s C-List celebrities focussed in their quest for their 5 minutes of fame.
Spielman was very good yet I found him miscast – he just didn’t look like a soldier or a leader to me.
The star for me was Lizzie Schebesta (below) who channelled all three witches, in a very erotic manner, flirting with Macbeth magnificently, complete with microphone to distort her voice. She also played supporting roles including young sons to great effect.

The live webcast:
Have you got a question for Peter Evans? Or for Dan Spielman or Kate Mulvany? It’s your chance to ask the director and our panel of actors about the show.

Join us online and post your questions live on the conversation feed or tweet them with #BellQA.

See you tonight!

See you then!Macbeth – brave, strong and patriotic – happens upon three witches who predict he will soon be King. It’s a prophecy he distrusts but one his wife becomes utterly seduced by. Peter Evans, Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Artistic Director, fulfills a long-held ambition to collaborate with Dan Spielman in the title role, and Kate Mulvany who plays his highly erotic wife.

This season’s Macbeth reveals what the lure of power can do to a marriage and the devastation it can wreak on a nation.

Review of Private Sector Support for the Arts 2011

Review of Private Sector Support for the Arts 2011

The Australian Government recognises the importance of private sector support to promote both the sustainability and growth of the arts and cultural sector. It is committed to exploring ways to increase corporate and philanthropic support for artistic practice.

The review aimed to identify any barriers or impediments that may exist in Australia with respect to private sector support for the arts. The findings of the review will assist in the development of policy options with respect to enhancing the private sector’s contribution to the arts. The review will also be an important element in the development and implementation of the National Cultural Policy.

On 19 April 2011, the Minister for the Arts, the Hon Simon Crean MP, announced that Mr Harold Mitchell AC will chair the review. Mr Mitchell is a leading business figure in Australia with a long-standing commitment to philanthropy and the arts.

Mr Mitchell has completed the review and provided his report to the Minister for the Arts. The Minister is now considering the Australian Government response.

More information here

Download the report here

Supported another crowdfunding opp – Theatre at The Bondi Pav!

Received a Facebook message for a new theatre show from Carla Nirella, who I acted in an online video commercial for Altium a few years back

Now this particular invite piqued my interest on several counts
a/ this new project sounds really funny and something different
b/ its at The Bondi Pav and part of the Tamarama Rock Surfers 2012 season, which I’l be part of later on in the eyar, so gotta support my fellow producers
and c/ they’re crowdfunding it –

I went to the Pozible event in Sydney a few weeks back to get a feel for crowdfunding as the jury is still out for me on a long term sustainable model, but came away convinced I would try it with my next show.

So I had to show a little support to the show and pledged $25. Will be interesting to see how carla and the team go with this model revenue raising method.

Project Description:


The Colour Blind Project are wanting to take their latest production, Keep Smiling! The Housewife’s Guide, a bawdy, farcical, and at times haunting, tale of six women, to the stage at The Bondi Pavilion Theatre.

In development since 2010, this is a tale of survival, but always with a smile. It’s inspired by a selection of female characters written by William Shakespeare – but is no ordinary Shakespearean adaptation.

Think Mad Men-meets-Desperate Housewives-meets-Shakespeare!

Heavily inspired by social and cultural trends and events of the 1960s, the play is also inspired by real stories of real women from Sydney.

Those who have seen the work in development have laughed, cried and been thoroughly entertained and we think it’s time for Sydney Audiences to share in their experience.

Get involved here: