Zomburlesque reviews coming in.

Taking a narcissistic point of view, which is the more quotable review quote in the long run?

Jonathan W. Marshall on Zomburlesque for Theatreview:

A special non-zombie, non-burlesque treat is when Ellis, showing a musical and comic virtuosity which would not be out of place in the old Cotton Club’s own stage shows, effectively plays both the trumpet and the trombone at once, calling on the cast beside him to hold one instrument as he reaches to grab the next and immediately continue the same musical phrase on a new instrument. read more

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Infested with Fringe

(This is yet another rush blog post written at Dunedin Airport just before boarding a flight. I have a history of these…)

Sapphire LaNeige, zombie Abby Pigden, Eden Honeypot & Frisky Business. The three burlesque girls are performing in Zomburlesue, 15-17 March.

Tonight the Dunedin Fringe Festival programme was released, along with zombies. There was a big box in the middle of the room, and at the moment of release, zombies broke out, shuffling among the crowd, wielding programme books. It was awesome.

I’ve always felt at home in fringe festivals. I did the Wellington Fringe for many years (generally no fewer than 3 shows per fest), although regrettably I’m not at all involved this year since I’ve moved to Dunedin. read more

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Faux-zart Mellowship

Previous Fellow Chris Adams put my name on the door. Ah, bless.

On 1 February 2012 I began my time/term/tenure as Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago.

I ran the numbers a while back looking at the list of all previous Mozart Fellows – at 27 years, 1 month and 19 days, I am the second youngest to take up the position. That’s cool.

Rather awesomely, I get my own office. In contrast to Radio New Zealand House in Wellington, you can actually open the windows and have contact with fresh, outside air. In fact, there are eight such openable windows. Rest assured, I can close them when it gets cold in winter. read more

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Otāāāgo!

I’m sitting in Dunedin Airport waiting for the 1710 to Auckland. Time for a quick blog update…

Early yesterday morning I flew from Wellington (current home) to Dunedin (next year’s home). This is my first time in Dunedin as an adult – growing up in Auckland, the only time our family made it this far south was on The Big South Island Trip one summer. (In the words of my mother: “You’re growing up in Auckland and you won’t be a real Kiwi unless you’ve seen the South Island!”) read more

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The weekend

So it’s the weekend – the time between two runs of shows, and the time in which I can do a load of washing.

Last night was the close of The First Asian A* B* – it was a reasonably successful season, considering that shows from Auckland seldom get the same audience numbers as Wellington shows. There’s just not the same degree off on-the-ground promotion.

Tonight is the opening of Zomburlesque. Out of the band of six players, I’m the only one not to have seen any rehearsal of the action yet. But I’ve received descriptions from those who have… I reckon it’ll be epic. read more

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Southern preparations

Things to do in Dunedin:

  • Call the uni Accommodation Office about accommodation
  • Call the Music Department about an office
  • Find somewhere to play indoor football. (I grazed two knees and one elbow on astroturf today, but I pulled off some wicked saves as goalie, so it was worth it.)
  • Once I’ve moved there, get a crash course in how to set up a line from Radio New Zealand’s Dunedin studios.

Also, I might even prepare something for the 2012 Dunedin Fringe Festival. I’m in talks.

I’ve got to speak to some people about ideas for projects – a couple of playwrights in particular who could be useful collaborators for that music theatre piece I’m so desperate to create. I am in Auckland this weekend so speakings will be spoken. There are also a few application deadlines in the next couple of months which I can’t forget about.

In the meantime, today I got interviewed on Upbeat, a radio programme I have presented, produced, assistant-produced and supplied content for in the past. For associated music, violinist Sarah Claman (Otago Uni Honours student) performed Ha! earlier this year – so far, the only work of mine to have been performed in Dunedin. Webops kept the music in the podcast (with everyone’s permission, mind). Listen below: read more

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Welcome to pressWord construction under still

It was about time for me to upgrade my website – a single HTML page was always just a bit manky. This’ll look a bit transitional for a while as I figure out how to properly customise WordPress, which I’ve never used before.

In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of fun things coming up in the next couple of months, mostly in Wellington but not exclusively:

Works with Words – this event at the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival was recorded by Radio New Zealand Concert. Six works by New Zealand composers, including The Lover’s Knot, text by Renee Liang and music by me. Actor Stuart Devenie, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Kenneth Young. (Radio New Zealand Concert, Tue 20 September, 9pm.)
Paul Fagamalo & Benjamin Teh in The First Asian A* B*

Paul Fagamalo & Benjamin Teh in The First Asian A* B* (13-18 Sept Auckland; 22 Sept-1 Oct Wellington)

The First Asian A* B* by Renee Liang – it’s a two-hander play which, for trademark reasons, is not called The First Asian All Black. There’s a season in Auckland first (Basement, 13-18 September) and Andrew Corrêa is doing the live music there. I go up to Auckland for the last two shows to see how he does it, then I’ll be taking over his duties for the Wellington season (BATS Theatre, 22 September to 1 October, 6pm).

  • Zomburlesque – I’ll be doin’ some old-time rag-time out-of-time trombone playing as part of Right Reverend Dr Splitfoot’s Goodtime Brimstone Band. If you didn’t pick it up, the title is a portmanteau of zombies and burlesque. (Bodega, 2, 3, 5 & 6 October, 8:30pm.)
  • The 2011 New Zealand Improv Festival – it’s back at BATS! The programme will be released shortly. (11-15 October.)
  • Austen Found: Zombie Time. I go up to Auckland to perform at the brand new Q Theatre with Instant Kiwis – they’re a group of performers who’ll be doing late-night improv every Friday night at Q. This’ll be my 78th improvised musical, a bit of a mashup along the lines of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. (Fri 21 October, 9pm.)
  • Now, back to finding a decent events listing for WordPress… read more

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