Based on the legendary coming-of-age novel by Miles Franklin, the musical adaptation of My Brilliant Career takes us into the world of fiery misfit Sybylla as she wrestles against the restricted life on offer for a young woman in rural Australia a hundred years ago.
We follow wannabe-writer Syb from her drought-struck farm to the paradise of her grandmother’s estate, where she grows into her looks and her mind, fighting and flirting with the local aristocrats. An offer of marriage forces the ultimate choice; will she become just another wife or risk it all in hopes of a ‘brilliant career’?
The production forms part of the Jeanne Pratt Musical Theatre Artists in Residence program, a groundbreaking collaboration between Monash University performing arts students and professional artists that aims to create and promote the development of Australian musical theatre. Written by Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank, who won Green Room awards for their musicals Prodigal and Once We Lived Here, the score promises a mix of period Victoriana and contemporary pop, bringing to vivid life one of Australia’s most loved feminist characters.
Alexander Theatre, Monash University - Clayton Campus
My Brilliant Career is presented by The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, The Centre for Theatre and Performance and Monash Academy of Performing Arts in association with the Jeanne Pratt Musical Theatre Artists in Residence Program.
Luisa Scrofani, Anne Wood, Natalie O'Donnell, James Millar, Alister Kingsley & Andrew Coshan
(+ Monash Student Ensemble; Sophie Bass, emma Batty, Georgina Bright, Mia Brown, Jasmine Buchla-Dober, Jessica Cork, Tia Cumberland, Susan D’Souza, Carla Di Maggio, Kenzii Docherty, Benjamin Gonsalvez, Chloe Hancock, Caitlin Harry, Jessica Hayden, Kate Hirst, Micaela Janssen, Luna Lethbridge, Liam McWhinney, Abigail Navarro, Brodie O’Halloran, Saik (Ron) Phan, Sophia Phillips, Ellena Stockdale, Emlyn Sugden, Ashleigh Tacoe, Lucy Tyrrell, Talia Yates, Nardine Youssef, Sophie Gray, Jessmin Green, Ryan Hamilton, Louise Peters Rodirgues, Amelia Van Steel, Kelly Wilson).
Writer - Dean Bryant
Composer - Mathew Frank
Orchestrator - James Simpson
Director - Petra Kalive
Musical Director - Ashlee Clapp
Movement Director - Xanthe Beesley
Set & Costume Designer - Chloe Greeves
Design Associate - Alex Rothnie
Lighting Design - Paul Lim
Creative Sound Design - Darius Kedros
Technical Sound Design - Marcello Lo Ricco
Dramaturg - Anna Barnes
Photography by Sarah Walker
“An anguished, polished and unmissable piece of theatre.” Chris Boyd The Australian
Shortlisted in the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
Green Room Award Nominated 2018 - Best Sound Design & Best Lighting Design
“Oil Babies is intimately confronting and leaves you feeling devastatingly exposed. This exhilarating production and its messages will be swirling around my mind for months to come.” – Theatre People
“Kalive’s intellectual curiosity, humour and soul-baring emotion invigorate this production. Covering everything from reproductive rights to human extinction, it’s provocative and searching theatre, smartly designed and performed with an infectious sense of mischief.” – The Age
“Intelligent, gentle, horrific, terrifying, and a work of great love and humanity. Oil Babies is the hit show this winter.” – What Did She Think?
OIL BABIES repositions our lives as one on the precipice of a planet dramatically changing… perhaps even the moment before our own extinction. It weighs up our continued “hope-investment” in procreation against our feelings of helplessness at the state of the planet – and our role in its demise.
Throughout this piece, the body – in particular women’s bodies – are used as a metaphor to explore our world: our need to control it, our desire to want it to look and be a certain way and, ultimately, our lack of respect for it.
Written and directed by Petra Kalive and featuring an all-female cast, OIL BABIES blends lyrical, rapid-fire text with poetic imagery and domestic drama to present a dangerous, pithy and at times darkly comedic work that speaks directly to the concerns we hold now.
Proudly presented by Lab Kelpie and Darebin Arts Speakeasy. First performed at Northcote Town Hall in 2018
WRITER & DIRECTOR PETRA KALIVE
PERFORMERS KALI HULME, JODIE LE VESCONTE, FIONA MACLEOD
MOVEMENT DIRECTOR XANTHE BEESLEY
SET DESIGN ANDREW BAILEY
SOUND DESIGN DARIUS KEDROS
COSTUME DESIGN HARRIET OXLEY
LIGHTING DESIGN LISA MIBUS
PRODUCER ADAM FAWCETT
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR LYALL BROOKS
The script was developed with the support of La Mama’s Explorations Season in 2015 with performers, Xanthe Beesley, Catherine Glavacic and Petra Kalive.
“Harrowing. An impactful, confronting performance. A fast-moving, relatable and hard-hitting genre, wrapped up in a highly-entertaining package. Definitely worth seeing.” – We Know Melbourne
“[An] anguished, polished and unmissable piece of theatre. Oil Babies is one of the most perfectly wrought theatrical miniatures you are likely to encounter.” – The Australian
“The performers provide a hard-hitting tour de force through the delivery of a variety of myths, facts, obsessions and compulsive behaviours aimed at preserving and protecting the environment.” – Stage Whispers
“Thought-provoking parallels are the strength of Kalive’s writing. The female body becomes the small-scale manifestation of the earth’s damage, littered with the same apprehensions, trials and compulsion to ‘fix.” – The Dialog
“Oil Babies truly possesses an epic scope, with MacLeod, Hulme and Le Vesconte giving terrific performances. A fine addition to Lab Kelpie’s collection of new Australian theatre, with plenty of heart and craft.” – Arts Review Australia
“Kalive’s script is informative, devastating and funny – often all at once.” – RMITV
Photography Lachlan Woods, & Sarah Walker
OIL BABIES - PROMO VIDEO
by Jean Tong
3-19 May 2018
Presented by Melbourne Theatre Company @ Southbank Theatre, The Lawler (part of MTC’s Education Program)
When you’re a young queer Chinese-Malaysian Australian, how do you work out where you belong in the world? Criss-crossing between our unnamed protagonist, the disappearance of flight MH370 and an unsolved mystery, Hungry Ghosts offers an unconventional take on the complexities of contemporary life.
“Petra Kalive’s direction is supple and sensitive to the lyrical currents – ripples of outrage and grief, wonder and pensive reflection – that Hungry Ghosts dives into.” CAMERON WOODHEAD, THE AGE
“Hungry Ghosts is a welcome and refreshing addition to Melbourne’s theatre scene. It has that post-colonial abundance of ideas and multiplicity of perspectives that is often lacking from the rigid, dogmatic approach to storytelling we see in the majority of Western theatre. It’s also genuinely representative, in a way that we see all too rarely on our stages. But more than that, it’s fascinating and moving, an intellectually rich piece that also taps a deep emotional vein. MTC should be encouraged to invest further in work like this, and the best way to motivate them is to go see it.” TIM BYRNE - TIME OUT
“Kalive’s direction feels as incisive and as intelligent as the piece itself with clear evidence of collaboration with all credited artistic contributors…Questioning, visually evocative and lingeringly emotional, Hungry Ghosts feels fresh and current and a most worthy piece of programming to reach out intelligently to new audiences as part of MTC’s award-winning Education program” DOUG NIGHT - AUSTRALIAN STAGE
“Hungry Ghosts is also Tong’s biting lament for a homeland that has disappointed, and it brims with anger and heartache. The situations appear hopeless, and although it rumbles with an undercurrent of hope, the characters are stuck, waiting or searching for answers. The play’s sense of limbo fittingly captures Malaysian sentiments of being repeatedly let down by their country. At the conclusion, nothing is resolved, and we go back to the same elliptical questions we began with. For the audience, there is no surfacing for air from the hungry ghosts’ watery abyss. “ Kaylene Tan
Regional Tour 22 May – 7 June Bendigo, Mildura, Geelong, Launceston, Wangaratta and Sale
Written by Jean Tong
Directed by Petra Kalive
Set Design Eugyeene Teh
Lighting Design Emma Valente
Sound Design Darius Kedros
Costume Design Sophie Woodward
Photography by Jeff Busby
Mirror's Edge A new play by Kim Ho Directed & Designed by Petra Kalive
"..the staging is tender and funny and steeped in eloquent symbols. The set sparkles as starlight projected on a shimmering backdrop is mirrored on the wet surface, characters sometimes seen behind the screen , as if they’re beyond the sky. " Vera Poh, MELBOURNE ARTS REVIEW
"The creative use of space gave the intimacy of a black box theatre with the benefit of a spacious background scene for tableaux, which worked well in some beautiful ensemble sequences with the inventive and clear direction of Petra Kalive. " Jai Leeworthy, THEATREPEOPLE
Sea Lake is dying — a tiny drought-stricken town in the heart of the Mallee. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a busload of Chinese tourists turn up to take photos on the nearby salt lake. When the sun goes down, when the light’s just right, the lake turns to mirrorwater and it’s like you’re walking on sky. Not far behind these unlikely visitors comes Kai, fleeing Melbourne, broken and adrift. As Kai begins to understand this strange new place, its cultures and stories start refracting through one another. With tenderness and humour, Mirror’s Edge explores the complexities of cross-cultural encounters.
Thursday 27th July - Saturday 5th Aug 2017
Union Theatre, Ground Level, Union House University of Melbourne
CAST: Aoife: Eleanor Young Castor: Eden Gonfond Jasmin: Lucy Holz Kai: Rebecca Poynton Leanne: Rachel Shrives Lao Ghit: Antonia Yip Siew Pin William Stanbridge: Martin Hoggart Xiaoyu: Jo Chen
CREATIVES & CREW: Writer: Kim Ho Director & Set Design : Petra Kalive Assistant Director & Dramaturg: Jean Tong Lighting Design: Jacob Trethowan Lighting Design Mentor: David Kelly AV Design: Zoe Scoglio Composer/Sound Designer: Liam Bellman-Sharpe Costume Designer: Juliet Bennie Production Manager: Kellie-Jayne Chambers Head Technician: Clynton Jones Stage Carpenter: Jim Stenson & Allen Laverty Stage Manager: Christa Jonathan Assistant Stage Managers: Laura Barnes & Christie Hidajat Photographer: Bede McKenna Publicity & Marketing: Christa Jonathan & Isabella Vadiveloo
Written by Rashma Kalsie
Melbourne Theatre Company May 5 - 20, 2017 Lawler Theatre Southbank May 22 - June 9, 2017 Regional Tour
Winner of the Drama Victoria Award for Best Performance by a Theatre Company for VCE Drama 2017.
2017 Green Room Nominated for
• Best Ensemble
• Lighting Design - Rachel Burke
• Music Composition/Sound Design - Darius Kedros
• New Writing For The Australian Stage - Rashma N. Kalsie
• Direction - Petra Kalive
"Kalive’s production is precision engineered, seamless and efficient." THE AUSTRALIAN, Chis Boyd
"Under Kalive’s direction, all the cast deliver exceptionally nuanced and poignant performances. " AUSTRALIAN STAGE
"Kalive’s confident direction drives the play forward, and performances are excellent throughout...Though it deals with some heavy themes, including loneliness, injury and suicidal ideation, it also demonstrates such themes are universal, whatever language they are spoken in." ARTS HUB, Richard Watts
Lighting Designer - Rachel Burke
Sound Designer - Darius Kedros
Set & Costume Designer - Andrew Bailey
Three young people see each other across a crowded Flagstaff station. They just missed the train. Now they wait. And think. They think about home: Punjab, Delhi, Hyderabad. And about how they just can’t seem to get Melbourne’s rhythm right. And of all the impossible things they must do to stay. And their time is running out.
Developed through MTC CONNECT, and the NEON and Cybec Electric play development programs, this vibrant production puts our city’s contemporary social issues centre stage.
Photos by Jeff Busby
Interview with Petra and Andrew Bailey (Designer) for Melbourne Talam
Interviews with Cast of Melbourne Talam
“I threw a stone behind me and I didn’t look back”
A world premiere, written in Melbourne, produced by fortyfivedownstairs.
Nominated for Green Room Award - Best Director, Petra Kalive (2016)
Nominated for Green Room Award - Best Ensemble (2016)
"A seamless hybrid of story and song, it fuses verbatim theatre with fierce, melancholy rebetika – urban folk music which flourished into a distinctive popular form during the same period the Greek diaspora unfurled itself across the globe. Shards of recollection become sharp vignettes, honed by anguish and passion, freedom and loss....Director Petra Kalive's sensitive direction sweeps you along on complex currents of nostalgia, letting these migrant stories speak for themselves...the most powerful argument for compassion is implied, simply from the richness of the lives represented. It may have special significance to Australians with Greek heritage, but all of us should be edified and entertained by this deeply affecting window into the migrant experience." CAMERON WOODHEAD, THE AGE
The untold stories of women who migrated from Greece to Australia in the 1950s and 60s. Filled with the poignant memories and passionate music of their homeland, these true stories resonate with the strength of the women who made new lives, creating an indelible impression on a faraway country.
Writer and singer Helen Yotis Patterson is joined by Maria Mercedes and Artemis Ioannides.