2015 update

Hey millions of website viewers…

I have been VERY slack on my website and i apologise. I think it is partly because my company THE LAST GREAT HUNT now have a fancy schmancy website that all my shows are on, so i don’t need to list them myself! THE LAST GREAT HUNT – contributing to Arielle’s website laziness… Did I mention THE LAST GREAT HUNT? Go on, click it, it’s got a link and everything.

Alright, now here is a very broad update on what i have been up to this year.

We re-developed and toured FALLING THROUGH CLOUDS to the Sydney Festival (i co-created and perform in that one). It went very well, we got some good reviews and lovely audiences, but we still want to give the show a few nips and tucks so we will be tinkering at that a little bit.

At FringeWorld i co-devised (with Gita Bezard and Adriane Daff) and performed in YOSHI’s CASTLE with an amazing soundtrack by Alwyn Nixon-Lloyd and cool stop motion animation that Adriane and I did. We ended up being nominated for both ‘Best Theatre’ and ‘Martin Sims Award for ‘Best New WA Production’ at the FringeWorld awards but alas did not win either.

Also at FringeWorld i assisted in story creation and performed a couple of times in the caravan for MONROE AND ASSOCIATES by Tim Watts. The show was a sell-out and won the ‘Martin Sims Award for ‘Best New WA Production’ at the FringeWorld awards.

At Perth International Arts Festival I was the cover puppeteer for Anthony Minghella’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY (English National Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Lithuanian National Opera in assoc with WA Opera). It was a beautiful show and i had the honour of learning the feet of Sorrow (Madama Butterfly’s son).

In March Perth Theatre Company toured IT’S DARK OUTSIDE to the Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival in Taiwan. We got a great response from the audiences that came along.

In April/May I performed in the new play OLD LOVE by Chris Isaacs, directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler. The show was on at The Blue Room Theatre and performed to sold out audiences. Here is a brag… “Gray and Bartlett both deliver electric performances.”  – The West Australian

Tim Watts and I started developing a new show called NEW OWNER (working title). We worked on it for two weeks and have some exciting ideas, scenes and puppets and are very keen to continue working. The show will be on next year so we have a couple more development times locked away.

In August we premiered ALL THAT GLITTERS at The Blue Room Theatre. The show was created by Chris Isaacs, Gita Bezard, Jeffrey Jay Fowler, Adriane Daff and I, with a brilliant design team of Joe Lui and Tessa Darcy and the delightful Liz Newell stage managing. The show enjoyed a sell out season.

In September I toured with MINNIE AND MONA PLAY DEAD to the Brisbane Festival (Theatre Republic season) and Melbourne Fringe. The show got a great response critically and from audiences.

Phew. It’s been a busy year so far! I will endeavour to update more regularly whenever i am working on something.

To Edinburgh Fringe we go

Hi interwebs!

I have not been posting the things sorry.

So here is a thing i am going to post.

I’m going to Edinburgh Fringe. With Minnie and Mona Play Dead AND It’s Dark Outside AND The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer (which i helped to create) will also be doing a shorter return season. All very exciting!

Minnie and Mona Play Dead

At the Dairy Room at Underbelly Bristo Sq at 2pm everyday 31st July – 25th August 2013

Book here


It’s Dark Outside

At Topside at Underbelly Bristo Sq at 5:30pm everyday 31st July – 26th August 2013

Book here


The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer

At Topside at Underbelly Bristo Sq at 2pm everyday from 31st July – 11th August

Book here

See you in Edinburgh!

It’s Dark Outside – Update

Hey bloggers,

I have been absent from my updating due to being distracted first by the crunch time of It’s  Dark Outside and then by having a great old time doing a script development on a script by Bill McClusky called ‘Boomtown’ and finally by being away in Europe on an Alvin Sputnik tour (more to come about that!).

So I just wanted to let you all know how it went!

When i dropped off the radar for It’s Dark Outside it was the lead up to tech week and the show. We were working pretty hard. Tim was animating 24/7 because we didn’t want to animate things before we locked them in and we didn’t lock them in until the last minute. Rachael Dease was scoring the entire show, whilst dealing with us constantly moving scenes around and adding bits in… she is a legend. The theme song she wrote for us is incredible


Anthony Watts: Gadget extraordinaire was trying to get the lights right. You see, we wanted the show to be self sufficient in everything including lights. So we used the same LEDs that we used for Alvin Sputnik (available at your local JAYCAR) and then Tim and Anthony developed a new system of operating the lights through MIDI so that we could operate the whole show; animation, sound and lights all through ‘QLab‘. I’m not the most technologically savvy person in the group so if you want to find out more about the technology email: timATweepingspoon.com.

Meanwhile, Chris, Tim and I were trying to sew the show together, piece all the bits and pieces into a coherent storyline that made sense and was physically possible (i.e. time for me to get into the mask or for Chris to get into the Tent etc.) It was tough, it was stressful. We were trying to focus on a million elements at once and self-direct at the same time.

We had lovely people come in and give us help and feedback. Michael Barlow from Spare Parts Puppet Theatre was a life-saver. He came in and gave us reassurance about the puppet we made and the puppet scenes we had done. He also gave us invaluable dramaturgical advice. Mel Cantwell from PTCo was our outside eye for tech week, which was incredibly helpful, especially for performative elements (which often get overlooked in crunch time of a devised piece). Michelle Robin Anderson, Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Natalie Holmwood gave us tough feedback one week out, which lead to small but dramatic changes to structure, so the story made sense. And of course Julie and Tony Watts (Tim’s parents) who throughout the whole process given us amazing feedback, advice and support.

When the day of the first preview rolled around, we hadn’t done a run of the show without stopping. We did one that afternoon and by showtime, we were shitting our pants (sorry but there is no other way to describe it). Are the audience going to know what’s happening? Is everything going to work? Is it even good?

They did. It was. They liked it. We breathed again.

Check out pictures, the promo video and the reviews HERE

Back soon with an update on The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer   Europe Tour (we are currently in Denmark!)

It’s Dark Outside – May Development – Week One

Hey Blogettes,

So thought i would do an update!

Firstly I just uploaded some of my brand spanking new headshots, taken by Deanna Whyte, they are in the ‘gallery‘ section if you want to have a look, if not, let’s proceed to IT’S DARK OUTSIDE!

So this first week of development we were situated all the way out in Midland, at the Midland Junction Arts Centre. We wanted to focus on a couple of things this week. Firstly we wanted to work and expand on the mysterious man, as last development we focused on the old man. So see below pictures for a few insights.

concept sketch by the talented Tim Watts.

We came up with some pretty fun scenes with the mysterious man and we have now made discoveries about his identity… and of course the net is a new and exciting addition.

This week, we have also been playing around with ‘memory’ scenes and working with the possibilities of the stuffing. Below you will see snowy, Chris made him.

We also invented the below… it’s ‘light face tent man’…somehow, i don’t think it is going to make it into the show.

We have also found our ending and solidified our beginning, so we have the bookends of the show in place, which is super dooper exciting!

Coming up next on the blog… May Development – the second week… ooohhh what’s going to happen??

It’s Dark Outside – April Development and ODay

Alrighty, faithful blog readers. It’s update time and i am going to give you the hot update on what we did in our excellent one week development in April. I am also going to show you a few piccies from the ODay ‘puppet demonstration’ that we did.

We arrived at our lovely rehearsal space at MLC (yep the all-girls private school), they had been kind enough to let us use their studio while it was the school holidays! It was a beautiful space with sprung floors and a whole wall of mirrors, and no-one was around so it was very peaceful and there were no interruptions.

We have officially brought Chris Isaacs on board for the show, Chris works with Tim and I very well and it was so wonderful having him in the room for the week. He is operating the puppet with Tim and I (he is the feet) as it is (at times) a three person job. He is also ‘onstage tech’ and much more.

This is Chris on ‘The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer‘ UK tour. He has been travelling with the show since the beginning. He has seen it over 200 times…

This week we really focussed on Puppetry and Mask work, which was just brilliant. We generated a lot of material and came up with some exciting ideas. The mirrors in the room were super helpful for me working in the mask and for the puppet, especially when all three of us were operating. Since we are self-directing the work, being able to look at ourselves during a scene is very very useful! Unfortunately i did not take that many photos of the development, but below are a few that i took.

Old man having a rest…

Puppet having a rest…

one of the things we discovered in the week was what the old man’s ‘thoughts’ are made of… the answer: stuffing! We have been playing around with the stuffing (making exciting discoveries) and this is some of the fallout. I don’t want to give too much away and show you what we have been doing with it specifically…

At the end of the week we did a small showing of all the scenes we came up with to Mel Cantwell (Artistic Director of PTC) and to Tim’s parents (Tony Watts – gadget extraordinaire and Julie Watts – poet and counsellor). Their feedback was great and we were very happy with the content we came up with in this week.

More recently, on Sunday 29th April we did a puppet demonstration in rehearsal room 2 at the State Theatre Centre of WA as part of the Cultural Centre O Day.

We were expecting about 7 people to come, but we ended up with over 130 people! This is a pic of Tim doing some good talking before we got right down to it and showed everyone the puppet, and talked about how we had made him and how he works. There were quite a lot of kids there, and we were really surprised by how interested they were in the mechanics of the puppet!

You can see him there on the right of the pic, sitting next to Chris, just hanging. Thanks to Kate from PTC for running the event and to everyone who came!

Well we are doing another 2-week development in May so i will give you an update about that (when it happens). After that we are down to crunch time. June 5th we start full time rehearsals for the show and june 29th we preview! To book tickets… click here

It’s Dark Outside – Puppet

Tim and I have been attempting to make a puppet for It’s Dark Outside. Tim is making the head and i am using my very basic sewing skills to try and sew together a very simple body. The hardest part is finding a way to make the joints (knees, elbows, shoulders, hips) move in a realistic way (i.e. no backwards knees).

Just using Calico at the moment (thanks to Textile Traders for the material and the stuffing!) and just attaching the body parts together with safety pins until we can test it properly, and then i will sew it.

This is what it looks like in it’s current state. We also had out housemates (Gita Bezard and Alissa Jane Claessons) help us out by making some clay hands and shoes which we were going to try and cast. They are super cute…

Next post i will show you how the head is shaping up. It looks pretty rad.

News: February Creative Development – It’s Dark Outside

Hey website,

Just thought i would update you on what i have been up to!

Tim Watts and I recently completed a 10 day development on our new work, It’s Dark Outside (29th June-14th July at the State Theatre Centre, buy tickets here). We had some lovely rehearsal space at PICA in their performance space (thanks Perth Theatre Company) so that we could play around with some of the ideas we have and try a whole bunch of things out, including images, design elements and, of course, gadgets (with a little help from Anthony Watts, our local MacGyver). The creative development culminated in a showing, from which we received a lot of useful feedback (for our next development in April)

Here are some pictures taken of some of the things we tried out!