Behind the Scenes

Monday 9pm, repeated Saturday 6:30pm

The Melbourne Arts Community is as diverse as its population. From traditional fine music concerts and main stream drama to contemporary music and challenging independent theatre groups, and much in between; it seems Melbourne has it in spades. So what goes into making up these various arts groups? That’s where ‘Behind the Scenes’ comes in. Each week the program looks at how people organize and carry out these arts projects. Many stories, both fascinating and amusing are waiting to be told. That’s what makes BTS fun to produce, present and hopefully to listen to.


Monday April 22, 2019

A bit of a special show for Easter and Anzac Day this week. Last year, at the North Melbourne Arts House’s Mere Mortals festival, there was a fascinating piece of installation performance -Vigil/Wake – which explored the themes of death and grieving. The creative team behind that and a number of other works examining the things we often don’t speak about, is Peta Murray, Rachel Burke and Jane Murphy. This week we’ll sit down with them for an extended chat about their rather unique way of working together. Then, we visit the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne to meet Jean McAuslan who takes us down into the bowels of the grand old monument where the foundations have been turned into galleries. Jean walks and talks us through two of the four exhibitions that are showing during this year’s Anzac Day commemorations. That’s all on this week’s Behind the Scenes, with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday March 25, 2019

There’s a fascinating exhibition event that’s been happening out at Monash University Museum of Art since early February but don’t worry…  it’s running until the middle of April, so you haven’t missed it yet. It’s called The Shape of Knowledge and it invites us to look at the intersection of art and knowledge through a wide range of events including performance lectures, participatory workshops and even a bus trip to a sustainable farm. What’s all that mean, I hear you ask? Well, the exhibition’s Curator, Hannah Matthews is first up on this week’s Behind the Scenes and she tells us all about it. 

Then we’re off to New York again!!!  Well, not really…  but I did record two more terrific interviews when I was there in February and we’ll hear one tonight and the other next week.
Ted Pugh and Fern Sloan both cut their Broadway teeth in the early sixties. Ted performed in the long running hit, Irene with Debbie Reynolds and Fern set out to augment her singing skills with some actor training from none other than the legendary Uta Hagen. Along they way, they encountered the work of one of the great twentieth century actors, Michael Chekhov (a former student of Stanislavski) and eventually became teachers of the Chekhov style of acting, establishing the Micha School in Hudson, about two hours north of New York. I caught up with them in nearby Chatham where we talked about old Broadway and actor training as well as getting a few great old stories about what it’s been like carving out their own careers in New York City and then shaping the acting careers of the next generations.

That’s this week on Behind the Scenes, with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.
 

Monday March 18, 2019 


Fifty years ago, Joni Mitchell sang about going down to Yasgur’s farm… to get back to the land and to try and set her soul free… her song Woodstock, became emblematic of that iconic music festival…  even though she didn’t actually get there. I wonder, what was rock and roll historian Glenn A Baker doing during the August of 1969? I know what he’s doing to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of those three days of peace and music… and he’ll tell us about it on this week’s show. 


Back then, the world had problems that the younger generation wanted to solve. But has anything really changed? We’ll ask creator and performer Emma Mary Hall whose new show World Problems opened at 45 Downstairs last week.


Meanwhile at Art Centre Melbourne, CEO Claire Spencer talks to us about the changing places project, providing social inclusion and better disability access to the Art Centre.


And then we’re off to the movies…  first of all with the Director of the Alliance Francais French Film Festival, Michel Richard…  and then Marc Gracie joins me to talk about a few documentaries we’ve seen lately…  three of them from this year’s Melbourne Queer Film Festival…  and one that walked away with this year’s Best Doco Oscar.


That’s this week on Behind the Scenes, with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday 4th February 2019

How did it get to be February already? If you’re a regular listener to Behind the Scenes you’ll know that we always get a visit from Theatre Network Australia on the first show of the month. They tell us what they’ve been up to in their work as the peak advocacy body for the performing arts, and then introduce us to one of their members. This month, we’re meeting Steph Urruty from ArtPlay and Signal, two fantastic organisations located on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne and devoted to the arts for infants, children and teenagers.
After that, we’ll visit the Islamic Museum of Australia in the first of a two-part special where IMA’s Community Engagement Director, Sherene Hassan will walk us through the remarkable collection of new and ancient works and artefacts held in their collection.
A bit of a gear change after that, when rhythm and blues recording artists Gary Pinto introduces us to the iconic works of Sam Cooke he’ll be performing in his show, Sam Cooke – A Change is Gonna Come. He might even tell us about performing at the 16th birthday party for Stevie Wonder’s daughter.
And, to wrap up this week, it’s movie reviews with Marc Gracie and Gully Thompson who’ll be looking at the latest film from Clint Eastwood and a remake of an Australia Classic. That’s this week on Behind the Scenes, with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday 28th January 2019

It’s January, it’s summer, and for three weeks in Melbourne that means it’s the Midsumma Festival, Victoria’s best known LGBTQIA+ cultural festival, created by and for communities who live with shared experiences around diverse gender and sexuality. It’s a huge festival with a programme that includes visual arts, theatre, spoken word, cabaret, film, live music, parties, sport, social events, public forums and, in the case of this week’s first guests; ballet and opera.
Evan Lawson from the Forest Collective has written a new operatic version of Orpheus, the much interpreted Greek myth about a musician and poet who ventures into the depths of the underworld to rescue his lost wife Eurydice. Evan will be joined in the studio by cast member, Kate Bright, and together they’ll chat about what makes this new look at a very old story will reveal to us.
Then, a special longer conversation with one of this country’s pre-eminent artists – the highly creative, deeply thoughtful and ever provocative photographer, Bill Henson who kindly invited Behind the Scenes into his home for a chat about his work and his passions and the why he finds children to be the ones who ask the most insightful questions. 
A special double-treat for you on this week’s edition of Behind the Scenes, with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday 21st January 2019

Crikey, it’s already past the middle of January and we’re finally at our first regular show for 2019. 
We hope you enjoyed our summer specials over the past couple of weeks…  thanks to Arts Centre Melbourne and the media students at the Australian Catholic University for keeping us informed and entertained at the start of the year.
So, let’s get down to business. This week on Behind the Scenes we’ll talk about a show that stars Cyndi Lauper, Donna Summer, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Stevie Wonder and a whole lot more of your favourite legends. Can that be true? Of course not, but the legendary Las Vegas show, Legends in Concert is the next best thing and we’ll chat with the show’s General Manager, Mark Kogan, about what it takes to get an audience to suspend their disbelief and embrace the cast of highly talented look-alike-sound-alikes on stage.
Meanwhile, over at Arts Centre Melbourne, something has gone terribly wrong. And it’s the funniest show I’ve seen in a long time. The show is Peter Pan Goes Wrong and it’s a disaster of a production as the Cornley Polytechic Drama Society desperately try to stage a serious version of J M Barrie’s classic tale, that its director is adamant is most definitely NOT a pantomime. We’ll talk to that hapless theatre director, as well as Captain Hook and Mr Darling who are all rolled into one extraordinary actor – Conor Crawford.
Then, we’ll get a little serious and a little political as we meet Macedonian Film Producer, Director and Screenwriter Jani Bojadzi who’s latest film, Mocking of Christ has not only caused a lot of controversy… it’s also won a lot of critical acclaim. We’ll ask Jani why his film is so controversial and whether political films can really make a difference.
And sticking with the movies, we’ll welcome Marc Gracie and Gully Thompson back into the studio for the first time this year, to compare notes on what we’ve been seeing over the break.
That’s all on this week’s edition of Behind the Scenes, with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday 19th November 2018

A hundred years ago, the world was still getting used to the idea of peace after the Armistice was declared and World War One came to an end. This week’s Behind the Scenes starts with a live interview recorded on November 11 at the Greensborough War Memorial Park where Remembrance Day was commemorated in quite a special way.
Then it’s a visit to the library – but not just any library – the Athenaeum Library has been part of Melbourne’s cultural scene for almost 180 years and this week it’s current playwright in residence, Patricia Cornelius, will be presenting a reading of her new work In the Club. We’ll take our library card to the Athenaeum for a chat with Patricia about what it’s like to work in such a beautiful and historical place.
After that we’ll take a look at what’s happening at this year’s Drama Australia Conference being hosted by Drama Victoria which is celebrating its 50th birthday. The Conference Co-Director, Meg Upton will be dropping by to share all the conference highlights with us.
Finally, in case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is coming, so this week’s Behind the Scenes finishes up with a bit of a festive theme, starting with a blast from the ghost of Christmas past – it’s the 28th anniversary tour of The Peter Combe Christmas Album and we’ll catch up with Peter just before he heads off on a tour that gives Santa’s Christmas Eve itinerary a run for its money.
Then our big finish is a Christmas treat with a bit of a difference - we’ll meet Tom Mosby from the Koorie Heritage Trust who’ll tell us all about this year’s Koorie Kristmas and just where we need to be to catch a visit from Koorie Klaus.  It’s all go go go and ho ho ho this week on Behind the Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.
 

Monday 12th November 2018

This week on Behind the Scenes we’ll welcome back Ernie Gruner to introduce us to Saray Illuminado a group formed in 2013 with a focus on playing new interpretations of Sevdah music from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sephardic music from the Balkans. Not familiar with this style of music? Well, neither was I until Ernie sent me some recordings of the group who’ll be playing at the Melbourne Recital Centre later this month. We’ll find out a bit of the fascinating history of this music, how the group’s Tasmanian tour went earlier this year, and what we can expect when we go the Recital Centre.
And before he disappears, Ernie’s going to switch hats and stick around when I meet Rachel Dubois and Alex Sangster who, along with Ernie, form part of the legendary Melbourne improvisors, Playback Theatre.

Often hidden away in conferences and corporate events, Playback will be presenting a public season of two shows –  Little Big Surprise for kids and Little White Lies for adults – at Northcote Town Hall next week. I’d ask Rachel, Alex and Ernie to tell us what the shows are about, but they won’t know until the audience tells them – that’s the nature of improvised storytelling.

Onto darker themes after that – firstly with an excellent new book by Maryrose Cuskelly which looks at the events and circumstances behind a savage triple homicide that took place in Wedderburn in 2014. It’s more than just another true crime story; it’s an examination of the darker sides of human nature and the lasting impact tragedy can have on those whose innocent lives are shattered by the shockwaves.

Then we’ll dwell for a moment on mortal thoughts when we welcome Emily Sexton into the studio. Emily’s the Artistic Director of North Melbourne’s ArtsHouse which is presenting Mere Mortals a mini-festival devoted to the exploration of death and dying. She’ll be joined by Katerina Kokkinos-Kennedy whose company Triage Live Art is presenting the fascinating and somewhat confronting Infirmary as part of the programme.

And then let’s end the way we began with a bit of music – this time on film as Marc Gracie and I take a good hard look at A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody amongst other releases in our fortnightly movie reviews.
You couldn’t ask for much more, this week on Behind the Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday November 5, 2018

A bit of a change with our Theatre Network Australia spot for the first show of the month…  instead of starting out by chatting to Nicole, or Jamie or Bethany – we’ll be meeting Jill Smith, the Chair of the TNA Board who tell us how TNA is taking the good fight for the arts up to the political parties and their candidates in the forthcoming State election. After that, Jill will introduce fellow board member, Lyn Wallis, who also happens to be the Artistic Director of HotHouse Theatre in Albury-Wodonga. HotHouse has just launched its 2019 programme, so we’ll find out from Lyn what’s happening at the Butter Factory Theatre next year, as well as touching base on how regional arts practice is faring both here and around the country.

Did you know that right at this moment, all over the world, there are women and queer folk practising witchcraft? That it’s having a renaissance of sorts? Well, according to Rachel Perks, it is, and she should know because she’s written a show about it.  Moral Panic places queer and feminine experiences at its centre and looks at how existing structures are made to serve the needs of the powerful and how they might be subverted and reclaimed by the oppressed. Rachel sees her exploration of witchcraft as a really exciting and deeply theatrical way of exploring gender, queerness and feminism and she’ll tell us all about that on this week’s show.

Then, just to keep things in balance, we’ll take a look at white, middle class, male privilege in The Rug a new show created and performed by Melbourne performer, musician, writer and theatre-maker, Ben Grant. It’s described as a wild musical ride veering through a psychopathic tale of hair loss, job loss and life loss. Why has he made this show? Well, a few years back Ben realised that as a cis-gendered white man the only topic he could tackle without fear of recriminations was cis-gendered white men. So he did, a show that’s so unusual he had to coin his own term to describe its style – electrOpera. What’s that mean, I hear you ask? Best we ask Ben when he drops by the studio.

After that, let’s run away to the circus with Otto & Astrid from Die Roten Punkte – of course the circus in question is Circus Oz and the show is Rock Bang, a highly energetic, acrobatic rock opera that sees the dysfunctional siblings, Otto & Astrid, tell their fantastical life story amid the extraordinarily bendy antics of the Circus Oz performers.

And then, let’s end the show on a more serious note. The Arcko Symphonic Ensemble was founded in 2008 with the idea of exploring the question; what happens to a piece of music once it’s been premiered? Consequently, its repertoire has tended towards second and subsequent performances of Australian works. However, there are some exceptions to that and with Remembrance Day only a week or so away, Arcko are performing two new works that mark this occasion with concerts in both Bendigo and Melbourne. We’ll find out more about these concerts and the works being performed when we meet Conductor and Arcko founder, Timothy Phillips.
Don’t miss a moment of Behind the Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday October 29th 2018

What do Eric Clapton and The Beatles’ George Harrison have in common, besides Clapton having been the only non-Beatle guitarist to record with the iconic band… on While My Guitar Gently Weeps for the White Album? Well, they also fell in love with and married the same woman – Pattie Boyd – only not at the same time. She was a musical inspiration for both and the relationships between all three are also the inspiration for Something in the Way She Moves – an evening of songs by both Harrison and Clapton performed by two of Melbourne’s best-known cover bands – Come Together and The Clapton Chronicles who join forces with the Casey Philharmonic Orchestra. This week on Behind the Scenes, we’ll meet Dave MacFarlane from The Clapton Chronicles to find out more about this magical concert at Narre Warren’s Bunjil Place.

And while we’re speaking about music, it’s almost time for the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues and so we’ve invited Adam Simmons back into the studio to tell us about this year’s line-up. He’ll be joined by special guest Kelly Auty whose band will be in Wangaratta playing songs from their latest album, Kelly’s Blues. (let’s hope we get time to listen to a bit of it)

And then, just before Marc Gracie and I lock horns on some of the latest cinema releases, we’ll have a chat with socially conscious filmmaker, Giovanna Mercuri whose popular Channel 31 series The Travel Counsellor is about to start work on its third season. We’ll also find out about The Target, Giovanna’s feature film about workplace bullying.

It’s another big week on Behind the Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday October 8th 2018

We’ve got a bit of a focus on the regional centre of Shepparton this week, starting off with Rebecca Coates who is both the Director of SAM (the Shepparton Art Museum) and Co-Curator of their forthcoming exhibition; Craftivism, Dissident Objects and Subversive Forms – a playful collection of craft-based works imbued with a bit of politics, activism and a social change agenda. Rebecca will tell us about some of the eighteen Australian artists who are contributing their works to this event… and might also tempt us to make take a drive up the Hume Highway to catch the winners and finalists of the 2018 Indigenous Ceramic Award whose works will be on display for another couple of weeks.

And when we’re done with SAM we’ll take a peek at STAG – the Shepparton Theatre Arts Group who are marking the eightieth anniversary of Orson Welles’ legendary radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds with a new play from local writer/directors Steve Boltz and Amy Hollow who’ll join us in the studio.

Then it’s back to Melbourne for the last outing in the Production Company’s twentieth anniversary season – this time it’s the musical comedy A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder which follows the unexpected and unnatural demise of eight of the heirs to the D’Ysquith fortune suspiciously close to the claim by a bloke called Monty that he is, in fact the ninth heir. We’ll find out just how hilarious this production is when we speak with Genevieve Kingsford from the cast.

And then let’s finish up with a couple of music events coming up soon – the first is from the Australian Art Orchestra which will present six new commissions in three different countries to mark the end of the First World War. Associate Artist Aviva Endean will stop by to tell us about this ambitious programme that takes place in Australia, England and Poland.

And after that, it’s time for a bit of big band sound from Jack Howard’s Epic Brass which will be performing a collection of Australian rock hits in the big band style at the MEMO Music Hall this Friday.

How do you get to listen to all this? Tune in to Behind the Scenes with Chris Thompson, Monday night at 9pm right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday OCtober 8th 2018

It’ll be standing room only in the studio on Monday night… first up it’s our monthly visit from Theatre Network Australia and this month their special guest member is Emma Valente from that remarkable group of creative women – The Rabble. We’ll hear all about what’s on the agenda for TNA in the next few weeks as well as getting the lowdown on what Emma and The Rabble have got in development for 2019 (here’s a hint, it might be something for a younger audience).

And speaking of remarkable women, over at Melbourne University, Union House Theatre is presenting Ida a new version of the pop musical The Princess Ida Parlour first produced there in 1994. Ida tells the story of the four brave women who were the first females to enrol at Melbourne Uni in 1883. Student performer, Merryn Hughes will take time out of rehearsals to tells us what we can expect from the 21st century version of the show.

Later this month, you can catch 125BPM at the Melbourne Recital Centre – it’s a celebration of 125 years of the Newsboys Foundation – an organisation that provides funding to support young disadvantaged people aged 11 to 21. The show will be an eclectic mix of orchestra, rappers, beat-boxers and gospel singers brought together by three terrific community-based organisations. To tell us about it, we’ll meet Joseph Samarani, a vision impaired artist from Outer Urban Projects and Noah Lawrence and Brett Kelly, both from Melbourne Youth Orchestras.

We all know what a somersault is, but what’s a Sidesault? We’ll, in the circus world it’s a festival of new and experimental works that push the boundaries of circus arts and it’s happening down at the Circus Oz Melba Spiegeltent over the next fortnight. Antonella Casella, Senior Artistic Associate at Circus Oz will introduce us to the programme of six local, national and international events, as well as introducing us to Byron Hutton, one of the two performers in Jugg Life that will give us extreme versions of juggling and percussion.

And finally, none of these performances would be possible without the crews who work behind the scenes. In the rock and roll industry they’re known as Roadies although not much is known about them – until now. Music commentator and journalist, Stuart Coupe has written a terrific book that provides a wealth of history and anecdote about this dedicated tribe who ensure that the show always goes on. Like I said… standing room only this week on Behind the Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday September 24th 2018

Well, we’re back in the studio this week after last week’s whistle-stop tour around some of Tasmanian’s exciting arts scene. And, now that the travel bug has bitten, this week’s show will be local, regional and just a little bit international. Let’s start locally with the Fringe Festival which is in full swing, and one of the huge number of shows on offer opens this week at the Lithuanian Club in North Melbourne. If you’ve never encountered Dolly Diamond before, you’re in for a double treat as the reigning Queen of Cabaret resurrects an old television favourite and brings her glitzy, glamourous, sharp edged touch to the game show we loved to hate – Blankety Blanks. We’ll hear all about Dolly’s take on Graham Kennedy’s old hit and find out what celebrity guests she’s got lined up to ride the buzzers.

Then, we’ll change gears a bit as we meet Margaret Kett, Co-Director of Kids Own Publishing who are about to launch The Grand Imaginarium for the school holidays. What’s that? I hear you ask. Well, it involves making a picture book and doing some storytelling and finding out about fabric printing and maybe some photography and, just for good measure, they’ve thrown in a little bit of Polyglot Theatre. But what does that all mean? I hear you say. Best we ask Margaret to explain The Grand Imaginarium to us when she drops by the studio.

Meanwhile, out of town, there’s a gathering of regional and community artists about to happen in Bendigo and Castlemaine. More than seven hundred of them, in fact. It’s Artlands, a national regional arts conference presented very two years by Regional Arts Australia. So what happens when a whole bunch of regional artists get together? We’ll ask Creative Director Ros Abercrombie to tell us all about it.

And while we’re out in the sticks, let’s cut across country to Healesville where the TarraWarra Museum of Art is presenting Biennial 2018 – Will to Form. Guest Curator Emily Cormack will give us an overview of what we can expect when we visit the gallery and tell us about Will to Form Activated a special day of exhibitions, artist talks and performances coming up at the end of October.

 

And finally, our little bit of international news. Natalie Hutton is a designer of wearable art who has found herself one of only eight finalist in the international World of Wearable Art event to be held in New Zealand at the end of the month. I’ll be asking Natalie to describe some of the remarkable fashion she’s created and get the lowdown on what she expects when she travels across the ditch to represent her country. That’s a pretty big show this week on Behind the Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday September 17th 2018

It’s a special show this week as I take advantage of the fact that I’m in currently in Tasmania directing the graduating students from the School of Creative Arts at the University of Tasmania’s Launceston campus in a production of Oriel Gray’s The Torrents. What’s that? You haven’t heard of the great Australian playwright, Oriel Gray or of her terrific play The Torrents? Well, there’s a story behind that and it’s almost as interesting as the play itself. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s start tonight with a bit of shameless self-promotion when we meet two of the students performing in the play and find out what plans they’ve got for the world beyond tertiary education.

And while we’re here at the University of Tasmania, let’s meet Dr Jane Woollard, the new Head of Theatre and her equally new colleague Dr Asher Warren. They’ve got big plans for a future of creative arts education here that might just be helped a bit by the announcement, earlier this year from our Prime Minister du jour, Malcolm Turnbull, that the federal government has committed 130 million dollars to an education led transformation of Launceston. Jane will tell us about the developments at the Uni and Asher will let us know about the Unconformity Festival in Queenstown that some of the students are working on in October.

After that, we travel north west to Burnie which is the new home for Tasmania’s most prominent arts festival Ten Days on the Island. I’ll be chatting with Lindy Hume who was recently appointed Artistic Director of the next two festivals. What changes does she have in mind for the arts event that’s now more than a decade old, and why does her 2019 Ten Days programme actually run for sixteen days?

And speaking of changes for 2019, let’s travel south to the island’s capital, Hobart, where Charles Parkinson, who has been Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Theatre Company for the past eleven years, has decided to call it a day. We’ll talk to Charlie about his achievements over that time, what plans are afoot for the company in 2019 and who will be taking up the Artistic Director’s role to lead the company into the future.

That’s Monday night at 9pm on a special Tasmanian Behind the Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday September 3rd 2018

Beauty, symmetry, finesse and balance mixed with boundless passion and flair… that’s how the Australian Ballet School is describing their 2018 Showcase coming up next week at Arts Centre Melbourne. It’s a fusion of classical and contemporary works by choreographers Simon Dow, Paul Knobloch, Areti Boyaci, Mark Annear, Margaret Wilson and Stephen Baynes. This week we’ll kick off the show by checking in with the Ballet School to find out what pieces the 118 students will be presenting onstage, and what we might expect from something called Grand Defile.

Then we’re off to the Australian Tapestry Workshop to meet Director Antonia Syme who’ll bring us up to date with the winner of this year’s Tapestry Design Prize for Architects. The judging panel headed up by Emeritus Professor Kay Lawrence AM had the unenviable task of whittling the 98 national and international entries down to a shortlist of fifteen before arriving at the final prize-winner. Antonia will tell us who that was and where we can go to see the work of the finalists in this prestigious prize.

A bit a gear change after that as we meet Dr Mark Williams, well-known copyright law solicitor and tireless supporter of the arts who is also the author of the latest Platform Paper – Falling Through The Gaps – Our Artists Health and Welfare. It’s not the kind of subject you’ll find in the entertainment pages of the newspapers or on your favourite arts and culture website, but the hidden fact is that a life in the performing arts isn’t always as glamorous or as lucrative as the myths would have us believe. The truth is that many of our performing artists are aging and facing increasing poverty, poor health, homelessness and depression. Mark’s paper looks into the historical, social and structural reasons for this and challenges us to address the issues that have progressively eroded the performing artist’s ability to make a living from their vocation.

And finally, it’s movie review week again. Marc Gracie and I will lock horns on the latest films to hit our big screens – this week it’s a low key crime thriller with Joaquin Phoenix, a very strange love story with Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy and a blockbuster where Jason Statham goes up against a very big shark. That’s all on this week’s edition of Behind the Scenes with me, Chris Thompson right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday August 20th 2018

There’s a new theatre company in town… but it has an interesting connection to one of the oldest and most important Melbourne theatre companies. The name of both theatre is The Little Theatre and the connection is director, Kaarin Fairax. We’ll talk to Kaarin about the new company and why she’s borrowed the name from the forerunner to St Martins Theatre in South Yarra. We’ll also talk with Ryan Murphy, co-director of The Little Theatre and director of Jacob Marx Rice’s play, Chemistry the new company’s first production.

Meanwhile, just around the corner from the Alex where The Little Theatre now resides, is St Kilda’s hippest music venue The Memo which will soon play host to The Chantoozies - remember them? That’s right, Eve von Bibra, Ally Fowler and Tottie Goldsmith will be belting out the greatest songs of the women of Motown and we’ll be talking with Eve to find out exactly which songs have made the cut.

Then we’ll be turning the lights on in Bendigo for this year’s Enlighten festival… an after-dark event devoted to lights and projections as imagined by twenty-six different local artist who are creating nineteen event that will transform the city centre with just the manipulation of lights and lenses and a bit of technology.

And speaking of technology, it’s fifty years since those fateful words I’m afraid I can’t do that Dave… were first uttered by HAL, the on-board computer in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. At the time, Kubrick’s movie was at the cutting edge of cinema technology so it’s only fitting that we talk to Richard Morrison, the General Manager of IMAX about their special screenings of the cult classic.

And while we’re on the subject of movies, let’s welcome back Marc Gracie to chat about Mission Impossible: Fallout and Beirut – two espionage thrillers currently screening around town.

That’s all on Monday night’s Behind the Scenes at 9pm (repeated on Saturday at 6.30pm) with Chris Thompson right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday August 6th 2018

They say they like to call themselves ‘the trolls of the independent theatre scene’. They say they don’t create theatre, they create anti-theatre. They say they aim to make work that goes against the ingrained rules of performance by investigating the extreme and re-examining the mundane. As Butch once said to Sundance… who are those guys? Well, their real names are Patrick Durnan Silva, Honor Wolff and Elliott Gee but collectively they’re known as The Very Good Looking Initiative and they’re here because Jamie Lewis, Communications Manager at Theatre Network Australia has invited them along for our regular ¬first-show-of-the-month focus on TNA members and the independent theatre sector. We’ll be finding out all about this subversive performance group who won the Best Emerging Ensemble Award at last year’s Melbourne Fringe and will be performing their show Cull for two night only at Howler later this month.

And as if that’s not wild enough as a start to the show, we’ll be getting into a bit of Winter Wild – The Art of Darkness an arts, music and food festival presented in the wilds of Apollo Bay. Local farmer and former Director of Writers Victoria, Roderick Poole is the brains behind this year’s festival with its focus on Death and Birth, and he’ll be on the end of the phone to tell us all about it.

And the theme of darkness just keeps coming when composer and director Natasha Moszenin drops by to ask us what we think about when we’re alone in the dark and whether our sleepless minds race with reminiscences of loss and love. These are questions that will be answered by her jazz inspired, lyrical song cycle Nightsongs which is about to enjoy a comeback season at La Mama’s new temporary venue in the Trades Hall Meeting Room.

And yes, it’s movie review week again… but Marc Gracie is tied up doing movie producer things at the Melbourne International Film Festival so, in his place, I’ll welcome my guest co-reviewer Cristina Pozzan. We’ve been off to see the New Zealand comedy The Breakerupperers, the new Ian McEwan adaptation of On Chesil Beach and Omar Sy’s new movie Doctor Knock What’d we think about them? Well, you’ll have to tune in to the show to find out. That’s on Behind the Scenes Monday at 9pm (repeated on Saturday at 6.30pm) with Chris Thompson right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday July 30th 2018

On the morning of Saturday May 19, many of us woke to the devastating news that Melbourne’s iconic and beloved La Mama theatre had been gutted by fire… but by the time the news broke, Liz Jones, La Mama’s Artistic Director had already been on site for several hours, surveying the heartbreaking loss. How do you get your head around a phone call like that in the middle of the night. How do you carry on when something so unthinkable happens? This week on Behind the Scenes I’ll be asking Liz those very questions and, on a more positive notes, fining out the latest on the efforts to restore the Faraday Street institution and how you can help make it happen.

And to continue our La Mama chat we’ll take a look at two exciting productions that prove the old adage – the show must go on.

First up we’ll meet Helen Hopkins the co-writer and director of Hallowed Ground, a new play that lets four remarkable women tell their stories of medical service in the military across a century of warfare from the First World War to Afghanistan. This isn’t the first time Helen and her creative partner Carolyn Myers Bock have traveling this path… it follows on from the success of their World War One Centenary play, Girls in Grey, that performed at the Shrine of Remembrance and toured extensively in 2014.

After that, we’ll talk to writer/composer Anthony Crowley about what he’s discovered while remounting his end-of-the-world musical comedy, Motor Mouth Loves Suck-Face eleven years after it first premiered at St Martins Youth Arts Centre while he was Artistic Director. What’s changed since that first production and what surprises were waiting for him in his revisiting of the piece all these years later?

And speaking of remounts, we’ll wrap up this week’s show, by taking a peek at the Production Company’s revival of The Boy from Oz before grabbing a moment or two with Steve Balbi, frontman of one of the great eighties bands, Mi-Sex who are back on stage at the MEMO – I can already feel my toes tapping to Compu-PU-pu-PU-pu-PU Computer Games!

That’s all on Behind The Scenes with Chris Thompson, Monday night at 9pm, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday July 23th 2018

Do you love kites? It seems that composer Adam Simmons does, so much so that the fifth and final work of The Usefulness of Art, his two-year ensemble performance project, has been inspired by them. Kites have been around in China for more than 2000 years, and one of the most famous kite makers was Wei Yuantai in the city of Tianjin. It’s from his kites that Adam has drawn his inspiration for The Kites of Tianjin, an exploration of breath, flight, colour and movement created by Adam along with award winning quilter and designer, Rachel Daisy and featured soloist Wang Zheng-Ting playing the sheng (or Chinese mouth organ). We’ll talk with Adam about this final work in the series, and maybe also ask him how he got to be and Australia Council Arts Leader, and where he finds time to be Co-Artistic Director of the Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival.

Then we’ll meet award-winning playwright, Emilie Collyer whose works have been commissioned by MTC Big West Festival and the ABC. Her latest offering sees her return to Darebin Arts Speakeasy where she enjoyed so much success with her previous play Dream Home. Her new play Contest has echoes of the myth of the truthsayer, Cassandra, only here it’s not in ancient Greece, it’s on a suburban netball court where what Emilie describes as a “netball dreamscape” that unfolds in a sweaty play about the profound and the petty… the mundane and the mythic. Contest is presented by a company made up entirely of women and we’ll ask Emilie why that’s a relatively unusual thing.

Another company of women is GAG (which stands for Girls Act Good), an ensemble of female actors, writers, directors, producers and designers based in Melbourne. The focus of GAG is providing creative opportunities for women and giving a voice to people and their stories that normally go unheard and unnoticed. Their latest project is The Association… a short film that began life as a theatre event before evolving to the screen. The Association tells the slightly unsettling story of what happens Joanne receives a mysterious invitation to attend a local Women's Club Meeting. She soon realises the recipes these women are swapping are for far more than just arts and crafts in this twisted tale that GAG describes as Frankenstein meets The Stepford Wives via the Country Women’s Association. We’ll meet Producer and Performer Jennifer Monk and find out what other plans GAG has on their mission to create projects by women for women.

And while we’re talking about movies, let’s find out what Marc Gracie and I have seen at the flicks in the past fortnight. This week it’s Funny Cow and the awkwardly titled Sicario – Day of the Soldado. That’s Monday night at 9pm (repeated Saturday at 6.30pm) on Behind The Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday July 16th 2018

It’s an eclectic mix of guests on our next show…

First up, we’ll meet John Tatoulis, CEO of the Hellenic Museum at the Old Mint in Melbourne. He’ll tell us all about Yiayia – the Hellenic Museum’s contribution to the inaugural Multicultural Museums Victoria 'Grandmothers' project celebrating the accomplishments, wisdom and fundamental family roles of the grandmother as exhibited in a range of works presented there as well as at the Chinese Museum, the Co.As.It Italian Historical Society and Museo Italiano, the Islamic Museum of Australia and the Jewish Museum of Australia. It doesn’t have that much longer to run, so I’ll be quizzing John about what else he’s got coming up at this remarkable museum.

And while we’re in the mood for looking back at history, let’s catch a glimpse of the life of international cosmetics queen, Helena Rubenstein, from her modest beginnings in Coleraine to the top of Collins Street and finally to the top of the cosmetics world with her empire based in New York City. Of course, we don’t actually have her on the show – but we’ve got the next best thing… celebrated actor, Amanda Muggleton, who’s bringing the Rubenstein story to life in a return season of John Misto’s play Lip Service.

And speaking of plays… and grandmothers… The Will is a new play by Daniel Nellor that looks at what happens after the death of a matriarch when memory becomes a battleground and a family’s desires threaten to tear them all apart. Daniel has a background in philosophy and was once a speechwriter for John Brumby… so how did he end up writing plays and what can we expect from his latest?

And finally on this week’s show… we’ll follow up last week’s discussion about inclusion and access in the performing arts by going to the source – Nilgun Guven is an inclusion artist. What does that mean? Well, amongst other things, it means that she’s one of the voices that describes what’s happening on stage for members of the audience with a vision impairment. But there’s a whole lot more to her work than that and we’ll find out all about it when she stops by the studio.

That’s all coming on the next edition of Behind The Scenes with Chris Thompson, Monday night at 9pm and Saturday at 6.30pm on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday July 9th 2018

This week, it’s time for our monthly visit from Theatre Network Australia. This month, the TNA Bethany Simons will be introducing us to two key players in the disability arts sector… first up we’ll meet Leisa Prowd from Arts Access Victoria who’ll fill us in on that grerat organisation’s latest projects and the excitement surrounding gthe imprending arrival of Caroline Bowditch who’s due to take up the role of Executive Director. Then we’ll speak with Janice Florence, Artistic Director of Weave Movement Theatre which started out as an Arts Access project challenging conventional ways of seeing dance and disability way back in 1997. We’ll be asking Janice about their new winter workshop programme kicking off in August. Plus, Bethany will no doubt bring us up to date on all the good work that TNA’s been up to soince their last visit to behind the scenes.

After that, we’re off to the City of Yarra to chat with the local Mayor, Daniel Nguyen about this year’s Leaps and Bounds Festival, showcasing some of the best home grown music talent as well as the next generation of performers who’ll be filling up a whole range of venues in and around the suburbs that make up the City of Yarra. In particular, I’ll be interested to know about what we can expect from Songs and Words with Uncle Jack Charles and Celebration of Life with Vulgargrad.

And just to round things out, let’s get into some superheroes and dinosaurs. Yes, it’s still the school holidays and that means we get to catch up with Gully Thompson and hear about what movies he’s been to see and what he has to say about them.

That’s all coming up next week on Behind The Scenes with Chris Thompson, Monday night at 9pm and Saturday at 6.30pm on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday July 2nd 2018

Well, it’s school holidays time and that means our attention turns to the kinds of arts activities created for kids and for families. First off, this week, we’ll take a peek at the City of Stonnington’s Roola Boola Children’s Arts Festival which features some great shows for kids – Anna Lumb’s Super Amazing Giant Girl, FoRT’s award winning physical theatre show, Asking For Trouble and the Trash Test Dummies with their new show Splash Test Dummies. But this isn’t the kind of festival where you can only sit down and watch stuff… it’s also the kind of festival where you get up and do things… like juggling, or magic or making a comic or, if you’re in a workshop with our first guest this week, learning how to rap. We’ll talk to Candy Bowers, winner of this year’s Geoffrey Milne Award for Outstanding Contribution to Independent Theatre, about how you wrangle a bunch of teenagers and focus their energies on rap and beat box.

Then it’s off to the Butterfly Club to witness the Death of a Demi Diva a new cabaret show written and performed by Willow Sizer. Willow’s a recent graduate of the VCA Music Theatre course and already she’s been part of the creative development of Retro Futurismus currently playing at 45 Downstairs and now she’s got her own show. What’s it like to be out in the real world after three years of training? We’ll ask Willow to tell us all about it and why a demi diva had to die for her to get a show on at the Butterfly Club.

And if Winter’s not your favourite time of year, then maybe the Summer Night Project will warm you up. We’ll meet Professor Cat Hope, Head of the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music at Monash University whose Tura New Music project is aiming to support and mentor emerging composers who identify as women in an effort to grow the gender diversity of composers in music programmes throughout Australia. The project has been in rehearsal for concerts this week in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Finally, this week, we’ll ask How To Win A Nobel Prize? That’s the title of Nobel Prize winner Berry Marshall’s book co-written by Lorna Hendry with illustrations from our studio guest, Bernard Caleo, comic artist and raconteur extraordinaire. That’s more than enough for one week, so tune in to Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, Monday night at 9pm and Saturday at 6.30pm, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday June 11th 2018

A few weeks ago, I received a media release promoting the latest production at 45 Downstairs by an ensemble described as ‘feminist supernovas’… better known as Retro Futurismus who are presenting Brave World from June 21 to July 8. Knowing how terrific these shows can be, I invited co-creator and performer Anni Davey to come onto the show and tell us all about it. In between that invitation and tonight’s interview, Anni received the exciting news that she’s been appointed as the new Artistic Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in Albury/Wodonga. So, lucky us, we get two-for-the-price-of-one when Anni joins me in the studio to talk about both of these exciting projects.

Meanwhile, a few blocks away, composer, singer and visual artist Sarah Mary Chadwick will be climbing into the driver’s seat of the Melbourne Town Hall’s magnificent Grand Romantic Organ – the largest in the Southern Hemisphere – to present The Queen Who Stole the Sky¬ a specially commissioned work that marks the first time an organist/songwriter has created an original piece for this glorious instrument. Sarah Mary will chat to us about how she went about composing for the organ and how she came upon the story her songs and music will tell.

Not far away at another town hall, the young performance makers from St Martins Youth Arts Centre have been collaborating with the visionary women artists of The Rabble to produce Lone at the North Melbourne Town Hall Arts House. This new work explores ideas about aloneness and loneliness and the ways they intersect with childhood and adulthood. And, remarkably, it’s all presented in a one-on-one performance style. What’s that about? Let’s ask Narda Shanley from St Martins when we speak to her on the phone.

And finally, this week, Marc Gracie and I have been off to the movies. Last week was fifty years since Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles and still the stories that surround him and his family are inspiring the work of movie and television creators alike. We’ll be talking about the two latest movies that intersect with the events of those years… LBJ and Chappaquiddick as well as Bobby Kennedy for President on Netflix.

That’s all happening this week on Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday June 4th 2018

Wow! What a week in the arts we’ve got coming up.

First up, it’s the first show of the month and that means a visit from Theatre Network Australia with two special guests. The first is, Kate Fryer who, with physical performer extraordinaire, Geoffrey Dunstan, is co-founder and co-artistic director of Dislocate – one of Australia’s leading performance ensembles that’s just a little bit hard to describe… it’s a bit of theatre, a bit of circus, a bit of creative physical risk-taking and a big bit of magic. But that’s not all Kate does. Right now, along with Circus Oz Artistic Director Rob Tannion, she’s also co-director of Precarious, the new Circus Oz show under the big top right there in the middle of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kate is joined by TNA’s second special guest, Antonella Casella, Circus Oz’s Senior Associate Director. We’ll be chatting with Kate and Antonella about their respective companies, their shows, what role the Circus and Physical Performance Advisory Group plays in the development of contemporary physical and circus arts and whether they went to the circus when they were kids and why so many people are afraid of the clowns.

Then, we’ll be wishing a happy fortieth birthday to Ilbijerri Theatre, Australia’s most successful indigenous theatre company whose latest production has just set out on a three-month tour. It’s called Which Way Home which is a fair enough question when you’re about to perform for audiences all over Victoria as well as shows in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. We’ll meet Ilbijerri Artistic Director, Rachael Maza whoi also happens to be the director of this, the company’s latest outing. We’ll also find out what the company will be doing with this year’s Fringe Festival and why they think it’s gonna be deadly.

Finally, this week, we’re smack in the middle of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival – there’s so much great jazz on in venues all over town – plus plenty of free stuff like the Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir, lunchtime jazz at Southern Cross Lane and even Sound Walks that ask a walking audience to hear the music that’s all around us played by buskers, cars, birds, trams and all the other rhythms of the city. But, on Friday night I’m off to hear the James Mustafa Quartet play at Dizzy’s Jazz Club in Richmond. James is a composer, conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. How many instruments make you a multi-instrumentalist? I don’t know, but I’ll be asking him that when he drops by the studio to talk about his show and all things jazz.

That’s all happening this Monday night on Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday May 21th 2018

This week on Behind the Scenes we’ll be doing a bit of heel and toe, a shuffle or two and the odd bit of ball change – and if you understand what all that means, then you might just have worked out that this Friday is International Tap Dancing Day but, not satisfied with just a single day, the tap community of Melbourne is putting on their tap shoes and kicking up their heels for the entire week. And right at the epicentre of the festivities is our first studio guest on this week’s show, Jane Guy - known to some as Calamity Jane of Tapping Cowpokes fame or simply Miss Jane, Headmistress to the Stars at Glamour Puss Studios Tap Dancing Academy, Melbourne’s leading tap dancing school for the past twenty years. Jane will tell us how they kicked off the week with their special Soiree at Phoenix Theatre in Elwood and about all the other events we can catch during the week.

But it’s not just Tap Week this week… it’s also the St Kilda Film Festival and we’ll be meeting two participants in this, the 35th annual presentation of this Academy Award accredited festival showcasing the top 100 short films in the country along with music videos, special screenings and its filmmaker development programme. First up we’ll meet this year’s special guest, Nina Rodriguez, Head of Programming at the Guanajuato International Film Festival… Mexico’s largest film festival – before we meet young filmmaker, Steven J Tandy whose short film The Story was selected to be part of the festival opening night screenings.

After all that, it might do us good to get out of town… first off we’ll shoot up the Hume Highway to meet Rebecca Coates, Director of the Shepparton Arts Museum who’ll introduce us to I Hope You Get This, a new exhibition of works by Raquel Ormella as well as bringing us up to date with all the events at SAM.

Then a big u-turn will take us down to the Waterfront Campus of Deakin University in Geelong where there’s a retrospective exhibition and multi-sensory installation celebrating the groundbreaking work of The Mill Theatre which, between 1978 and 1984, changed the shape of theatre and the arts in Geelong in a way that impacted the arts sector right around the state, if not the country. Never heard of The Mill? Well then you’ll have to tune in to this week’s edition of Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday May 14th 2018

This week on Behind the Scenes we’re running away to the circus… all the way to Gasworks Arts Park where you’ll find this year’s Circus Showdown, a festival of solo, duo and group circus and physical theatre acts from all over the country who come together during May for this rare professional development opportunity that culminates in a showcase finale from which one lucky (and clearly talented) act will walk away with a series of career development opportunities. Gasworks’ Programming Coordinator, Marisa Cesario will be in the studio with two of the participants, Charice Rust and Jonathan Morgan, who’ll performing their new work Kilter as part of this year’s festival. Together, they’ll tell us what we can expect from the 2018 programme and explain to us exactly what a Slackboat is and why we are likely to find it amazing.

Then we’ll meet Kate Herbert, director of a new play at La Mama Theatre with the intriguing title of Bully Virus, a play created in the verbatim theatre style – that’s where the company spends some time researching real life situations and creates the play using only the words on people they’ve interviewed. In the case, the real life situation is workplace bullying and the stories they’ve uncovered reveal that despite all the anti-bullying initiatives, Australia still has one of the highest rates of workplace bullying in the world. Kate will tell us how you go from research interviews, to a script and, ultimately, to a performance whilst still maintaining the integrity of the people whose words have created the play. And we might even find out how nerve wracking it is to direct a new play when your day job is theatre critic for the Herald-Sun.

Our other studio guest this week is Jacklyn Bassanelli, former playwright and actor who’s been busy trying to make a name for herself as a screenwriter. As winner of the Australian Writers’ Guild Laugh Out Loud Comedy Writing Competition, she’s well on her way. Jackie will tell us about her award-winning script Preconception, her involvement with the Writers’ Guild Pathways Programme and let us know what it’s like to sit in on the script development meetings for the latest series of Wentworth.

And, as if that’s not enough, we’ll wrap up the show by finding out why author, journalist and broadcaster Tony Wilson is all set to spend the 23rd of May in hospital. Not just any hospital; the Royal Children’s Hospital, where he’ll be one of more than half a million people in Australia and New Zealand – most of them a lot younger than he is – simultaneously reading his picture book, Hickory Dickory Dash.

That’s this week on Behind The Scenes with Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday May 7th 2018

It’s the first show of the month and that means a visit from Theatre Network Australia. Last month we met TNA’s fabulous Executive Director, Nicole Beyer. This month, we’re joined by the TNA Communications Coordinator, Jamie Lewis – who’s also an independent artist in her own right. Jamie will tell us all about embracing place, savouring difference and tackling taboos… which just happen to be the themes of this year’s Victorian Theatre Forum happening on Wednesday May 9. The forum is an opportunity for key theatre practitioners to get together and talk about their work, their issues and their plans for the future – all of which has an impact on what we, the audience, will wind up seeing when we go to the theatre. This is ninth annual Theatre Forum and it comes to us courtesy of TNA, Arts Centre Melbourne and Next Wave Festival.

And speaking of Next Wave Festival… it’s on right now! And to tell us about what we can expect from this year’s offering, especially from the events in the Audio Description and Tactile Tours part of the programme, Jamie will introduce us to TNA Board Member and Next Wave Festival Creative Producer, Erica McCalman. Next Wave only comes around every second year, so Erica should have a lot to tell us about what’s out there between now and the 20th of May and why they feature the following quote from Rebecca Solnit in their promotional material - “The past is set in daylight, and it can become a torch we can carry into the night that is the future.”

Then, to cap things off, I’m joined by poet, Joel Deane who’s come in to tell us about winning the 2018 Vincent Buckley Poetry which allowed him to visit Ireland for the first time, not only to meet other poets, but to explore a bit of his own family history. And as a special treat, Joel will read for us from his latest collection, Year of the Wasp. He’ll also tell us about the unusual circumstance that inspired the writing of the poems in that book, and you’ll find out why I have so much trouble deciding where to put him in my bookshelf.

That’s Monday night on Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday April 30th 2018

Last week on Behind the Scenes we headed out of town to catch up on a few things happening in regional Victoria. This week, we’re heading even further afield, starting off with a stopover in Seattle, USA before jumping the pond to the icy climes of Norway.

First up we’ll meet the former director of the Seattle International Children’s Theatre Festival, Marilyn Raichle who made an amazing discovery about her mother when, at the age of 89 and living with Alzheimer’s, she suddenly took up painting. Granted, it was in response to participating in Elderwise, a unique art programme for people in all stages of dementia… but, as it turned out, Jean McFee Raichle was not just a dabbler… her paintings were vivid, alive and evocative renderings of the world around her… a world that many would have assumed she was no longer capable of engaging with. Marilyn began documenting her mother’s remarkable paintings in her blog, The Art of Alzheimer’s… a commitment that continues today three years after Jean’s death. Marilyn will join us by phone to talk about how this unexpected turn events changed more lives than just her own, to let us know us what’s happening with her ongoing blog and recently updated website, and to tell us how former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt fits into this story.

Then we’re off to Norway with Kate Denborough, co-Artistic Director and choreographer from the highly acclaimed Australian dance company, KaGe Theatre. Kate’s just returned from working with Susanne Næess Nielson, Director of Dansearena Nord, on Caught In The Middle, a remarkable collaboration between Australia, Sweden and Norway inspired by stories from Aboriginal actor Heath Bergersen and Sámi artists Elle Sofe Henriksen and Ánne Mággá Wigelius. The unique work premiered at Norrlandsoperan on March 3rd to a ten-minute standing ovation. Kate joins me in the studio to talk about this project along with another recently completed work, this time a bit closer to home – but still far away - when she and co-Artistic Director Gerard Van Dyck collaborated with the Mungkarta community in the Northern Territory to develop a performing arts based road safety campaign.

And to wrap things up, we’re off to the movies to catch up with a few of the latest releases, one or two of which have generated a little bit of controversy, despite attracting some pretty positive responses. That’s this Monday night on Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday April 16th 2018

Well if you were listening to the show last Monday night, then you obviously weren’t at The Comedy Theatre for the 35th Annual Green Room Awards ceremony – the premier performing arts awards for works presented last year in Cabaret, Independent Theatre, Theatre Companies, Music Theatre, Opera, Dance and Contemporary & Experimental Performance. Through the magic of radio, I managed to be in two places at one, so I’ll be bringing you up to date on who got gonged and what the highlights of the night were… and to help me with all that I’ll be joined by Kath Pappas, member of the Green Room Awards Dance Panel and Creative Producer of this year’s awards ceremony.

And speaking of the Green Room Awards, we’ll be getting up close and personal with last year’s winner of the Innovation in Experiential Performance Award, Jodee Mundy, who’ll tell us about her new show called… Personal. As the title suggests, it’s a very personal account of being the only hearing person in a Deaf family. But what’s that got to do with getting lost in Kmart at the age of five? I guess you’ll find out when Jodee joins us on Monday’s show.

After that, we go Behind the Scenes with the largest dance celebration in the world, part of which will be happening in Melbourne on Sunday April 29 (also known as International Dance Day). We’ll catch up with Michelle Silby, Executive Director of Ausdance Victoria and New South Wales, who can tell us why there’ll be a squillion dancers of all ages in Fed Square on that Sunday, why they’ll all be wearing red, black or white and how you teach choreography to such a hoard of hoofers when this will be the only opportunity to get them all in the same place at the same time.

Then, to finish of a big show, we’ll head up the Hume Highway to Albury/Wodonga to talk to Tom Flanagan who’s been described as one of Australia’s youngest leading acrobatic clowns. Tom’s coming back to The Butter Factory at HotHouse Theatre for a return season of his smash hit Kaput. He’ll tell us how an audience of young circus performers helped him cut down more than two hours of very funny material in its first showing, into forty minutes of pure hilarity that he’ll present this weekend.

That’s coming up on Monday night’s edition of Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday April 9th 2018

When you were in primary school, did you learn the recorder? I did. Was the recorder class in your school an excruciating cacophony of high pitched squeaks and caterwauling? It was in my school. Did you ever imagine that those interminable lessons might lead to a highly respected career as a professional player and composer of this ancient instrument – that you might win prestigious awards including an ARIA - and that you might even play your recorder for the Queen? I didn’t. But this Monday night, we’ll find out whether Genevieve Lacey ever dreamed such things when we go Behind the Scenes at the Melbourne Recital Centre to meet this virtuoso recorder player and the MRC’s current Artist-in-Residence. We’ll also find out about the performances, talks, podcasts and a mini festival-within-a-festival she’s got planned for her year in residence. (and whether her recorder classes in primary school sounded better than mine)

Then, in the studio this week, we’ll chat with Nicole Beyer, Executive Director of TNA, otherwise known as Theatre Network Australia. What’s the TNA I hear you ask? Well, as Nicole will explain, significant changes to policy and practice in our performing arts industry don’t just magically happen – you need to provide research, support, networking and a healthy dose of advocacy to make the arts (and the world for that matter) a better place to be. And that’s the sort of thing Theatre Network Australia does. It’s the leading industry development organisation for the performing arts, with a strong emphasis on independent artists and small to medium companies as well as a bit of a sideline in the youth arts as well as circus and physical theatre. They must be doing something right, because Nicole was also this year’s recipient of the Facilitator’s Prize in the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards. I’ll be asking Nicole about all these things… and more.

And to cap it all off, because we’re in the middle of the school holidays, I’ll be welcoming my co-kid-movie reviewer, Gully Thompson, back to the studio to talk about a few events that we’ve caught up with in the first week of the holidays – some good – and some not so good.

That’s coming up on Monday night’s edition of Behind The Scenes with me, Chris Thompson, right here on Vision Australia Radio.

Monday March 26th 2018

This week it’s time for a bit of a laugh with the opening of the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and to help us get into the mood, my studio guest will be master improvisor Russell Fletcher who’ll be introducing us to the most popular songs from music theatre shows that have never existed. Spontaneous Broadway is a unique crossover between the world of improvised theatre and the world of the musical. Each night, Russell and his partner, musical genius John Thorn, work with a crack team of improvisors to bring to life one entirely imagined musical complete with a hit song made up by someone from the audience. Find it hard to believe? Well listen in on Monday night and Russell will make a convert of you.

Then, the laughs keep coming with kids’ comedy sensations, The Listies who are about to embark on a regional tour with their smash hit show, Ickypedia. As the name suggests, it’s a show full of the kind of yucky, icky, ooky material that kids just love. But, unlike kids shows that parents need to tolerate, The Listies are so anarchic on stage that the adults have as much fun as the kids…  sometimes even more. I’ll be talking to Matt Kelly and Richard Higgins from their Secret Batcave somewhere in Brunswick.

But it’s not all comedy this week. It’s also the end of the AFL Women’s Season and the start of the Men’s and so it’s quite timely that Theatre Works is presenting a new play that poses the question, what would happen if a woman joined the men’s team. We’ll go Behind the Scenes with Jane E Thompson, the writer of Fierce which opens at Theatre Works later in the week. (and maybe I lied…  because I’m told her play is quite funny too).

That’s all ahead with me, Chris Thompson, on Monday night’s edition of Behind the Scenes right here on Vision Australia Radio

 

Monday March 12th 2018

It’s that time of the week again, when you get to come with me, Chris Thompson, as we go behind the scenes of just a sampling of the rich and diverse array of arts and culture on offer around town, around the state and around the country.

First up, it’s time to break out the fishnets, the tassles and the spangley corsets as we go Behind the Scenes of Finucane & Smith’s latest burlesque extravaganza, Diva Dive. For almost fifteen years, Moira Finnucane and Jackie Smith have been spearheading a resurgence in the often maligned form of burlesque theatre with sell-out seasons of works that include The Burlesque Hour, The Rapture and Glory Box. Much of their success lies in their commitment to making work that is seductive and subversive, theatrical, powerful, transcendent and transformative and, above all, work that honours the intelligence of their audience. Tonight, I’ll be speaking with one of their regular performers, and a remarkable talent in her own right, Maude Davey.

Then we’re off to the movies with yet another festival jam-packed with screenings and events to attend. Last week it was the French Film Festival – this week it’s the 28th Melbourne Queer Film Festival running from March 15 to 26 and offering a whopping 38 feature films, 14 docos, 72 short films and, of course, almost ten thousand dollars worth of MQFF & Jury Awards to hand out. Programme Director, Spiro Economopoulos will here to tell us all about the festival highlights and how you keep a festival going for almost thirty years.

My studio guest tonight is Elizabeth Welch who, among other things, is an Engagement Producer for Creative Culture and Events in the City of Darebin. She’ll be talking about the many innovative projects she’s been developing in the northern suburbs – projects that engage local artists, local community members and the wider arts scene of Melbourne in a wide range of arts experiences that often blur the line between professional arts practice and community based arts – that is, if that line exists at all. I’ll be asking her what she thinks about that?

And, of course, I’ll be opening up my diary to tell you a bit about what I’ve seen in the past week and to give you a heads up on what you could (and should) get out and see in the weeks to come.

That’s all ahead on Monday, March 9’s edition of Behind The Scenes right here on Vision Australia Radio

Monday March 5th 2018

If you’re a regular listener to Behind the Scenes on Vision Australia Radio you’ll probably know that the first few shows of the year have been ‘specials’ rather than the usual interviews, news and reviews. Sadly, that’s because our good friend John Sheridan has not been well and is still making his way down the road to recovery. And, if you are a regular listener, you might recognise my voice as the show’s fortnightly movie reviewer. My name’s Chris Thompson and I’ll be expanding my brief for the next little while to look after the show in John’s absence. I know you’d want to join me in wishing John all the best as he makes his way back to good health. We miss you, John, and I promise to take good care of your show.

So, on Behind The Scenes for March 5th we’ll be saying bonjour to Michel Richard, Director of the Alliance Francaise which, in association with the Embassy of France in Australia and Renault Australia, is once again presenting the much loved French Film Festival in Palace Cinemas all over town. Michel and I will be speaking about some of the forty-seven feature films and two documentaries on offer this year and, in particular, about the new LGBT strand of the programme being presented in celebration of last year’s historic Yes vote for marriage equality. After that, we’ll be off to the theatre with our studio guest, director Kirsten von Bibra who’ll be here to tell us about Venus in Furs, her new production of the David Ives adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s novel first published in 1870. It’s described as a mysterious, funny and erotic drama and it opens at 45 Downstairs later this week.

Whilst we still have a few weeks of daylight saving left, there’s the opportunity to take a picnic and a rug for an evening under the starry skies at the glorious Royal Botanical Gardens where the Australian Shakespeare Company is mounting their return season of Twelfth Night. We’ll be butting into their final rehearsals for a quick chat with actor, Kevin Hopkins ahead of Tuesday’s opening night.

And just to the round out the show, I’ll have a bit to say about what I’ve seen this week – the NT Live Theatre production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at Nova Cinema and Oscar contender in too many categories to mention here – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

That’s all ahead on Monday, March 5’s edition of Behind The Scenes.

Monday November 13th 2017

‘Last week in the rundown for the program I committed a faux-pau in that I mentioned the final interview would be with Brian Allison on the “Grainger Photographed: public facades and intimate spaces’ exhibition at University of Melbourne.  The more astute of you would have realized that conversation didn’t make the cut, and for that I apologize.  Even Homer nods from time to time.  The interview with Brian Allison leads tonight’s program’ – John Sheridan, Producer/Presenter ‘Behind the Scenes’

Percy Grainger understood the power of the photograph.  He was photographed by some of the best studios in Europe, the USA and Australia.  A darker presence also loomed in his personal photographs that captured his physicality and sexual expression.

Brian Allison, curator of ‘Grainger Photographed: public facades and intimate spaces’ that is currently at The Grainger Museum, the University of Melbourne, is John Sheridan’s first guest for this week.

Brian explains how the exhibition opens up the public and private world of a very complex man, a creative and somewhat flawed genius.  The exhibition provides a unique insight into the world of Percy Grainger.

‘Grainger Photographed: public facades and intimate spaces’, at  The Grainger Museum, the University of Melbourne, Gate 13, Royal Parade, Parkville.  Entry is free - for more details go to www.grainger.unimelb.edu.au

Chris Thompson has some catching up to do with his film reviews so he’s back again this week.

Finally, Tom Middleditch, writer and co-producer of the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival production ‘Alexithymia’ chats with me about this world premiere.

Alexithymia is a condition that noticeably affects 85% of people diagnosed on the autism spectrum and is defined as an inability to name or describe emotions.  The production is divided into 3 short works.

‘Alexithymia’ is part of the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival and is at the Meat Market Stables, corner of Courtney and Wreckyn Streets, North Melbourne.  It runs until the 19th of November. Bookings: www.poppyseed.net.au  

That’s ‘Behind the Scenes’ – Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.

 


Monday November 6th 2017

It’s been described as a mixed bouquet of beautiful new theatre – that sums up the 2017 ‘Poppy Seed Theatre Festival’.

The festival is like a large mixed bouquet of everyone’s favourite flowers – no two options are the same, but they’re all beautiful!

Festival co-director Philip Hayden is John Sheridan’s first guest on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.  Philip outlines the various programs in this year’s ‘Poppy Seed Festival’: they are ‘Alexithymia’ from Citizen Theatre and A_tistic – ‘Romeo is not the only Fruit’ by Jean Tong, ‘Bread Crumbs’ created by Ruby Johnston and Benjamin Nichol, ‘Lost: 5 by Daniel Keene’ and finally ‘Tandem’ from the Gravity Dolls.

The season runs from 8th November until 9th December.  For details go to www.poppyseed.net.au 

After an absence of some weeks, it’s welcome back to film reviewer Chris Thompson.  This week Chris will be chatting about the latest releases, among other things.

Finally, Percy Grainger understood the power of the photograph.  He was photographed by some of the best studios in Europe, the USA and Australia.  A darker presence also loomed in his personal photographs that captured his physicality and sexual expression.

Brian Allison, curator of ‘Grainger Photographed: public facades and intimate spaces’ that is currently at The Grainger Museum, the University of Melbourne, is John Sheridan’s final guest for this week.

Brian explains how the exhibition opens up the public and private world of a very complex man, a creative and somewhat flawed genius.  The exhibition provides a unique insight into the world of Percy Grainger.

‘Grainger Photographed: public facades and intimate spaces’, at  The Grainger Museum, the University of Melbourne, Gate 13, Royal Parade, Parkville.  Entry is free - for more details go to www.grainger.unimelb.edu.au 

That’s ‘Behind the Scenes’ – Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.

 


Monday 21st August 2017

 

Looking to the future, Gertrude Contemporary has moved to its new architecturally designed gallery and studio complex at 21 – 31 High Street, Preston South.

Next on Behind the Scenes, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, Christine Tipton, Director of Business and Operations for Gertrude Contemporary, joins John Sheridan in a chat about the importance of the move and how the many studios in the new building will enable Gertrude Contemporary to work with artists and curators in presenting projects of scale, ambition and risk.

The current exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary’s new home at 21 – 31 High Street, Preston South, is ‘Octopus 17: Forever Transformed’ curated by Georgie Meagher. ‘Forever Transformed’ is the seventeenth exhibition of the gallery’s flagship annual Octopus series. It casts a critical eye to one of the most highly valued qualities of our time – resilience. The exhibition features works by artists Tony Albert, Rushdi Anwar, Sophie Casar, Tabita Rezaire and Liz Linden. The exhibition runs until Saturday September 9th.

Film critic Chris Thompson is back in the chair with a handful of films and finally artistic director of Rollercoaster Theatre Company, Sarah Sutherland, joins John Sheridan for a look at a fantastical soap opera about fear, ‘fish’. It’s on for 4 shows only at the Melba Spiegeltent – 35 Johnson Street, Collingwood, from 31st August to 2nd September.

Directed by Maude Davey, ‘fish’ takes audiences into a suburban lounge room where ordinary people watch the news and worry about the world, while in the halls of state powerful people worry about what they look like. They’re expected to just go on working, playing and spending, but they know something’s fishy. They can smell it!

‘fish’ is at The Melba Spiegeltent – 35 Johnson Street, Collingwood from 31st August to 2nd September. Bookings online only www.rollercoastertheatre.net.au/performances/fish.

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday 10th July 2017

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, Robert Gott join John Sheridan. Robert is The Adventures of Naked Man, or rather 'was' The Adventures of Naked Man. Sadly The Age ceased publication of the very funny cartoon a couple of weeks ago but Robert is also a successful author. Find out more when he joins John on the program!

The school holidays are upon us as we speak and film reviewers Chris Thompson and his young son Gully have been out and about reviewing holiday fare including the latest Spiderman remake – stand by for details!

The Melbourne Magic Festival is on again and Pierre Ulric brings his fascinating show ‘White Lies’ to town for 5 shows only.

‘White Lies’ delves into the mysterious aspects of the world investigating the nature of humans and our perceptions of time. Audiences will experience psychological illusions, mind control and visual hallucinations in this dynamic hour long performance.

Pierre works from an understanding that magic is a powerful communication and expression medium and his love for mystery performance work has been embraced by delighted, unsuspecting audiences all around the world.

Pierre Ulrich’s ‘White Lies’, part of the Melbourne Magic Festival is at Studio 3, Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote from July 11th to 15th. For bookings phone 9481 9502

Or go on line to www.melbournemagicfestival.com/whitelies

Keep up to date with Pierre Ulric on www.pierreulric.com

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday 19th June 2017

‘If you think you know Circus Oz, you might be surprised. Come and experience ‘Model Citizens’ for yourself. We dare you!’

So says Circus Oz Artistic Director Rob Tannion. Circus Oz is back in town in their fabulous Big Top down Birrarung Mar way from 20th June to 16th July.

Rob Tannion is in conversation with John Sheridan on the next edition of ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio. ‘Model Citizens’ is Rob’s first production for Circus Oz since taking over the reins.

Along with Rob, John also chats with Mitch Jones – a professional unusualist and a punk rock daredevil as well as someone who indulges in equilibristics!

As well Rose Chalker McGann is making her debut with Circus Oz. Rose grew up on the west coast of Ireland, around Galway Bat area. At 15 she made her home in Australia and then found herself at Melbourne’s VCA where she discovered circus and was inspired by its physicality. ‘Model Citizens’ is at Birrarung Mar from 20th June to 16th July. Bookings: at www.ticketek.com.au or phone 132 849.

‘It’s full of homegrown Australian talent with a new huge amount of new works being presented’ – so says Michael Dalton aka as Dolly Diamond, the Queen of Cabar 2017 artistic director of the 2017 Melbourne Cabaret Festival.

Dolly Diamond joins John Sheridan with an outline of what you may see at this year’s Festival. From Australia’s Boys of Motown, with a modern twist on that distinct soul-pop sound that is Motown, to ‘Queen of Broadway – the Ethel Merman Story’ where Jon Jackson recreates the life and times of Ethel Merman, to ‘You’re My World – the Story of Cilla Black’ and ‘Cyrens – The Swingin’ Songbook of Cy Coleman’ – this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival has it all and more!

The Melbourne Cabaret Festival is at Chapel off Chapel from 20th June until 2nd July. Bookings: www.melbournecabaret.com

Finally Linden New Arts Gallery Director Melinda Martin chats with John Sheridan about two stunning exhibitions by Melbourne midcareer artists ‘Avian Interplanetary’ by Sam Leach and ‘The Opposite of Wild’ by Kylie Stillman.

Both exhibitions are at Linden New Arts, Domain House, Melbourne Gardens, Dallas Brooks Drive, South Yarra until 6th August. Both exhibitions are running as part of ART+ CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 presented by Climate, a festival of provocative climate change related arts and ideas.

Linden New Art has temporarily located to Domain House while their premises at Acland Street, St Kilda are refurbished. They’ll be returning to their home base in 2018.

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday 29th May 2017

It’s a world where the adults hold all the cards and the youth struggle through the adversity of coming of age in a time when sexual education is non-existent. The setting is Germany in 1891, the setting for the Tony Award winning musical ‘Spring Awakening’.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00, Robbie Carmellotti from the production company Stage Art is John Sheridan’s guest. As Robbie says, ‘Spring Awakening transports us to a time and place which is almost unrecognizable to today’s society, yet remarkably the show’s contents still strike a resonating chord in all’.

‘Spring Awakening’ is at Chapel off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran until June 4th. Bookings may be made at stageart.com.au

It’s welcome back to film reviewer Chris Thompson who has undoubtedly a bagful of film reviews for us.

Finally the UK Company Action Hero presents ‘Wrecking Ball’ as part of season 1 at Arts House, North Melbourne.

Gemma Paintin joins John Sheridan for a chat about the production which sees a male photographer and a female celebrity question how far we’ll go, how much we think we’re in control and how much we’re prepared to ‘go with the flow’.

‘Wrecking Ball’ is at Arts House, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from 31st May until June 3rd. Bookings may be made at artshouse.com.au or phone 9322 3720.


Monday 3rd April 2017

To look at Sidney Torch in photos, a slightly gaunt yet dignified visage, he could be taken for an actor in a 1930's movie.
Yet he was actually a star thrice over in English popular music, as a conductor/composer of light music, one of the nation's legendary cinema organists and a top recording artist as well.
Monday night at 9, join John Sheridan for a Behind The Scenes special, paying tribute to this man of many recording talents, Sidney Torch.

 


Monday March 27th 2017

He was as eccentric as they come. He wrote music for ballet, the cinema and the concert hall as well as a number of witty songs.
His output wasn't vast by many other composers standards, but it was none the less thoughtful and delightful.
His name - Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, later known as Lord Berners.
Join John Sheridan, Monday night at 9 for a delightful taste of the music of Lord Berners.

 

 


Monday March 20th 2017

On the Monday night edition of Behind the Scenes, it's the music of Bronislaw Kaper.
Kaper is one of the most underrated of Hollywood's great film composers. He wrote the Oscar winning score for 'Lil' plus Grace Kelly's farewell to Hollywood 'The Swan'.
Along the way he scored the Marx Brothers films and Paul Newman's bio-pic about Rocky Graziano 'Somebody up there likes me'.
Join John Sheridan for Bronislaw Kaper - Master of Melody.
Behind the Scenes, 9pm Monday on Vision Australia Radio.

 


Monday March 13th 2017

He was one of the great film composers of our time. He won Oscar's for "The Lion in Winter" featuring Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole, "Born Free", "Out of Africa" and "Dances with Wolves". His compositions and arrangements for the James Bond series of movies are legendary.
He was born John Barry Prendergast in York 1933.
We know him best as John Barry.
Join John Sheridan for a Behind the Scenes special - "John Barry - Classic Cinema Music", Monday at 9pm.


Monday March 6th 2017

While John Sheridan is taking a well deserved break, Behind The Scenes will be presenting a series of "specials".

This week it's "North Of Hollywood".
He was renowned for his 'jazzy' film scores.
A Streetcar Named Desire was a classic score and a movie that starred Vivian Leigh and Marlon Brando. His score for Cleopatra revealed the percussive force of one of the great film composers - Alex North.
Join John Sheridan, Monday at 9pm for a Behind The Scenes special - North of Hollywood and enjoy some of the great film scores of Alex North.
 


Monday February 27th 2017

From 5th to 19th March, Brunswick’s streets, unforeseen spaces and familiar places will come alive. With a program of international acts and some of the best home grown talent, the 2017 Brunswick Music Festival returns with over 40 specially commissioned performances, local record parties, official album launches and even a recording-as-performance experience.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia radio, Music Programmer Chelsea Wilson is John Sheridan’s guest.  Chelsea chats about the sounds of soul, gospel, Latin, gypsy, jazz, blues and a riot of other musical experiences to behold.
The Brunswick Music Festival for 2017 is on from March 5th to 19th.  For details go to www.brunswickmusicfestival.com.au or visit the BMF Box Office @ The Mechanics Institute forecourt, 270 Sydney Road Brunswick.

Film critic Chris Thompson will be taking a look at some of the offerings of the forthcoming French Film Festival.

They’re ‘Desperate and Dateless’ and they are also part of the Melbourne International Comedy festival for 2017.
Ginger and Tonic specialize in original songs and parodies and the ladies are making their comedy debut at The Coopers Malthouse from 30th March to the 9th April.
Jane Patterson and Laura Burzacott are John Sheridan’s guests and they outline how while they may be gorgeous and vivacious, their relationships just never work out.
‘Desperate and Dateless’ is at The Coopers Malthouse – 113 Sturt Street Southbank.  For bookings phone 9685 5111 or  www.malthousetheatre.com.au/whats-on/desperate-and-dateless 

Finally Australian/Maori artist Victoria Hunt presents a richly detailed, large-scale work exploring mythology, cosmology and traditional wisdom in ‘Tangi Wai…the cry of water’.
Victoria joins John Sheridan in conversation about this merging installation of theatre and dance where audiences are transported to the Maori realm of the spirits Te Arai.
The performances are from 14th March to 18th March at the Arts House Meat Market, enter 36 Courtney Street North Melbourne.
For bookings go online to www.artshouse.com.au or phone 9322 3720.

‘Behind the Scenes’ for 2017 – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 

 


Monday February 20th 2017

Old people have wisdom, experience, and are our story keepers. Older women are Matriarchs and authority figures. So when did becoming old mean becoming obsolete? Many cultures celebrate the ageing process and venerate their elders, but here in Australia, where youth is fetishized, aging can become a shameful experience; more so if you’re a woman. Camilla Blunden premieres her powerful new work ‘All This Living’ at the Butterfly Club from 22nd to 26th February. Camilla is John Sheridan’s first guest on the next edition of ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio. Camilla Blunden brings us the enigmatic Jay, and Jay’s head is buzzing. Is she the incredible shrinking woman? Why is she ignored – is because she’s just another old woman? ‘All This Living’ is at the Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne from 22nd to 26th February. For bookings you may phone 9663 8107 or go on line to www.butterflyclub.com The BAFTA’s have been and gone, the Oscar’s are almost upon us and our film reviewer Chris Thompson is up to date with all the news. Finally, Cirque du Soleil is back in town with a new program, ‘KOOZA’. Artistic director Dean Harvey is my final guest and he joins me for a chat about this extraordinary production. ‘KOOZA’ is at Flemington Racecourse until March 26th. For further details and booking information go to www.cirquedusoleil.com ‘Behind the Scenes’ for 2017 – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday February 13th 2016

Ronnie Minder is a Swiss-born Australian composer. His score for the movie ‘The Legend of Ben Hall’ has been short listed for a best original score Oscar. Ronnie Minder is John Sheridan’s first guest next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio. Ronnie talks about the film composers who inspired him in his work and what he hopes the future holds for him.

‘High Risk Dressing/Critical Fashion’ examines the continued influence of the legendary Fashion Design Council (FDC) on today’s fashion practice.

Based in Melbourne from 1983 to 1993, the FDC was a membership-based organization established to promote and support and provoke avant-garde Australian fashion.

Using the FDC materials housed within the RMIT Design Archives as a leaping off point, the exhibition opens up and queries ideas promoted by the FDC while looking at the relevance of the Council to contemporary practice today.

One of the curators of the exhibition, Professor Robyn Healy, joins John Sheridan in a conversation about the exhibition which is being held at the RMIT Design Hub, Project Rooms 1 & 2, Level 2 RMIT Building 100, corner of Victoria and Swanston Streets, Carlton. Design Hub opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday Noon until 5:00 pm.

Finally Geelong Gallery presents the exclusive Victoria showing of the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition ‘Abstraction: celebrating Australian women abstract artists’.

The exhibition draws from the extensive collection of NGA, Canberra, to showcase the astounding contribution women artists have made to the development of abstract art in Australia. NGA curator Lara Nicholls speaks with John Sheridan about the importance of women artists in this abstract field.

The exhibition runs from February 25th to May 7th at Geelong Gallery, Little Malop Street Geelong. The gallery is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and admission is free.

‘Behind the Scenes’ for 2017 – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday December 12th 2016

Earlier this year on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, John Sheridan recorded an interview with author Robert Gott, aka as the creator of ‘The Adventures of Naked Man’ that appears in The Age on Friday’s.

One of Robert’s literary creations happens to be William Power, actor, sometime private inquiry agent and a general pain in the neck!...oh, he imagines he looks like Tyrone Power as well.

Apart from his talent for writing crime-caper novels, Robert has also published many books for children. Recently Robert released the fourth volume in his William Power series, ‘The Serpent’s Sting’. The setting is late 1942; Australia is at War with Germany and Japan and in what he sees as a demeaning sideshow to the war, Will Power finds himself playing a pantomime dame. If this was his only worry, but as his hero Shakespeare noted ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions’. Can William finally overcome his tendency to be the living embodiment of Murphy’s Law!

Come Monday night and you’ll have another opportunity to catch an entertaining conversation with Robert Gott.

As the year draws to a close, our film reviewer Chris Thompson has been busy dashing around the numerous cinemas in town, gathering the various movie-threads together. Watch this space!

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday December 5th 2016

McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery at 390 McClelland drive, Langwarrin, is committed to the presentation and promotion of Australian art and sculpture. The current exhibition ‘Human/Animal/Artist: Art Inspired by Animals’ by guest curator Janine Burke is on until February 19th, 2017.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, Deputy Director from McClelland, Lyn Johnston, and Senior Curator Penny Teale, are John Sheridan’s guests on the program. They discuss how the current exhibition explores the exquisite, elaborate and sophisticated works of animals and how they have a fecund and illuminating relationship with contemporary art.

McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For further information go on line to www.mcclellandgallery.com

Last year Sam Valavanis and his parents were guests on the program. Sam was born with a rare eye cancer and following years of treatment lost his sight when he was 4 and a-half years old. Sam is now in Year 8 at a mainstream school and living life to the fullest.

Sam’s parents have written and published a book about the family’s journey over the past 14 years, and Sam’s mother Lisa shares that journey with John Sheridan.

Finally, with Christmas almost on the doorstep, Celebrazione presents a series of concerts ‘From Bach to Bing’ featuring David Hobson and Georgia Wilkinson.

David Hobson chats with John Sheridan about the program which ranges from ancient carols through selections from Bach’s Oratorio, the Messiah along with modern carols and Bing Crosby favorites. All performances commence at 7:00 pm: they are at Hamilton Performing Arts Centre on December 9th: bookings www.hamiltonpac.com.au All Saints’ Church in St Kilda East on December 10th: bookings www.celebrazione.sproutix.com.au and St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ballarat on December 14th: bookings www.hermaj.com

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday November 28th 2016

Water – 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, 60% of our bodies consists of water, and that life as we know it is infused with water, from the cells of organisms to the clouds in the sky.

Monash Gallery of Art is the country’s leading exponent of photographic art and their December exhibition ‘Life Aquatic’ explores underwater landscaped where life forms are suspended, interconnected and bubbling with quiet potential.

Stephen Zagala, curator from MGA, is John Sheridan’s first guest on the next edition of ‘Behind the Scenes’, 9:00 Monday night on Vision Australia Radio. ‘Life Aquatic’ features the work of three contemporary photographers, Narelle Autio, Ruth Maddison and Catherin Nelson who will introduce us to the amazing undersea life of the oceans and the creatures that inhabit it.

This family friendly show opens on December 10th and runs through until February 26th next year. There’s coral reef-making activity for the youngsters, using recycled materials, as well as a sea-weedy play space with fish shaped helium balloons.

Monash Gallery of Art is at 860 Ferntree Gully road, Wheelers Hill: for further information go online to www.mga.org.au

Film reviewer Chris Thompson has been seen ducking in and out of various cinemas around town, and no doubt has a bagful of movie goodies for one and all.

Finally Celebrazione Presents brings you a Christmas treat like no other – a trio of concerts featuring singers David Hobson and Georgia Wilkinson in a feast of Christmas carols both old and new, with a little bit of Johnny Mathis and Bing Crosby for good measure.

The performances are Hamilton Performing Arts Centre on 9th December, All Saints’ Church, St Kilda east on 10th December and St Patrick’s Cathedral Ballarat on 14th December.

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday November 21st 2016

Imagine walking down a residential street in Boronia surrounded by gardens, parked cars and brick veneer houses. Suddenly, as you look at your neighbour’s front lawn you realize that while their well-maintained garden looks the same…their house has been irreversibly changed. It’s entire outside surface is covered in thick gloss black paint.

Welcome to ‘Section 32’, a powerful new piece of art created to encourage a conversation about the future of the suburbs.

Creator Clare McCracken is John Sheridan’s first guest on the next edition of ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio. Clare is a mixed media artist and PhD candidate at RMIT University. Clare explains how she and her collaborators came to create this amazing work in a quiet suburban street.
Bookings are limited: only 10 people per session and the sessions are FREE: book online at www.section32art.com

Where do the spirits go when the water rises? Welcome to the world of ‘Caliban’ where the battle ground of global climate politics is seen through the eyes of those on the front lines.

‘Caliban’ is a local re-imaging of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ where Ferdinand is an oil baron, Prospero a scientist and Ariel is an artificial intelligence system with the power to save the world.

Cast member Natalie Lucic from Edge Ensemble talks with John Sheridan about how the company explores voices we don’t often hear in climate discourses.
The season runs from November 24th to 26th at the Malthouse Beckett Theatre.
Bookings: www.thecoopersmalthouse.com.au Or phone 9685 5111.

Finally, when Anna Davern was on the program a few weeks back, she spoke about the Christmas Artists market and the Indoor Forest Launch out Brunswick way.

Anna is back with more details and ideas for possible Christmas gifts at Northcity4 Studio, 61 Weston Street Brunswick. The market and Indoor Forest launch is on November 27th.
For more details go to www.Northcity4.com

 ‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday September 19th 2016

‘Everyone wants a piece of Malta’! Danielle Asciak debuts her internationally acclaimed one woman cabaret show ‘Everyone wants a piece of Malta’ in the inaugural Melbourne Fringe program at The Basement at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, Danielle Asciak is John Sheridan’s guest. Danielle knows what it means to be exotic in Australia as well as the coming-to-terms experience she had when travelling back to her ancestral land Malta for the first time.

‘Everyone wants a piece of Malta’! at The Basement at Hawthorn Arts Centre 360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn from 27th September to 2nd October. Tickets – online at www.melbournefringe.com.au

Film reviewer Chris Thompson has been seen scouting around the cinemas of Melbourne-town, and he has a few surprises in store.

What happens when three friends who loved to eat, dance, party and sleep together turn on one another? Set between a prison cell and a bedroom, ‘Saving Spiders’ looks at how the three deal with betrayal and guilt.

Director of the work, Brigid Gallacher, is John Sheridan’s final guest on this week’s program. Brigid outlines how the program seeks to explore the expectations people are supposed to live up to at a certain age.

‘Saving Spiders’ is part of Melbourne Fringe Festival at Northcote Town Hall-Studio 2, 189 High Street, Northcote until 24th September. Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday September 12th 2016.

‘When a man has lost all happiness, he’s not alive. Call him a breathing corpse’ – so wrote Sophocles.

‘One Little Room Theatre’ presents the Victoria Premiere of Laura Wade’s play ‘Breathing Corpses’ – Amy cleans hotel rooms, and she keeps finding bodies in the hotel bedrooms. Jim’s been trying to ignore the smell coming from one of his self-storage units, and Kate’s annoyed she had to waste her whole day talking to the police. As the separate stories become linked, so the worlds around Amy, Jim and Kate begin to fall apart.

Director of the play, Brenda Addie, is John Sheridan’s first guest on the next edition of ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

Performed in Thornbury’s new Candyland Arts Space – 224 Normanby Avenue, Thornbury – it’s the maiden voyage for this Melbourne Fringe production. The production runs from the 15th September until 1st October and the cast includes Jaq Avery, Jordan Brough, Alice Daly and Stephen Frost. Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au or phone 9660 9666.

Fictional SCRABBLE World Champion, Austin Michaels knew over 200,000 words. Then he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Since then Austin has been in a race against time to document his memories, his greatest achievements, before they fade from his mind and the world forever.

Performer Dylan Cole uses intelligent, satirical writing and playful characters to produce a unique style of comedy that combines theatre and storytelling.

‘Blank Tiles’ by Dylan Cole is at the Fringe Hub – Son of Loft – Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol Street, North Melbourne on the 16th to 18th September, and the 20th to 23rd September as part of the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival. For bookings phone 9660 9666 or on line www.melbournefringe.com.au

Elissa Goodrich has taken inspiration from the likes of John Cage, Xenakis and Schoenberg to create a new contemporary composition ‘The Gene Tree’. It features the interesting combination of DNA and music.

Elissa is working with evolutionary biologist Dr. Anna Syme and Dramaturg Nadja Kostich to present the performances at LAB-14 Carlton Connect Initiative, 700 Swanston Street, Carlton on Friday 23rd September at 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm. The event is free.

Finally, ‘Theatre-maker’ invites audiences to look again at Australia’s ‘crime of the century’ with the Daniel Santangeli’s production ’Blind Spot’. Among the events the project draws on, is the 1972 Faraday School Kidnapping and the ensuing conviction of Robert Boland and Edwin Eastwood. In the program audiences hear recreations consisting of court trial excerpts, newspaper articles and Eastwood’s little read biography. Daniel is assisted by composer Rosalind Hall.

‘Blind Spot’ is presented by Darebin Art’s Speakeasy as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival through to the 1st October at Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote. Bookings: 9481 9500 or www.darebinarts.com.au

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday August 22th 2016.

Lea LaRuffa is a Melbourne-based author who’s just released her latest novel ‘A Message from Freedom’.

It’s a gripping story of one man’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of his family and his own ultimate journey of self-discovery.

Lea LaRuffa is John Sheridan’s first guest on the next edition of ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio. The story is an incredibly personal one for Lea and was not easy to tell.

Film reviewer Chris Thompson has another couple of reviews – ‘The Shallows’ – the new shark movie, and ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’ – the documentary on the famous interview, and finally - what happens when ‘Two Jews walk into a theatre’?

Featuring 2 of Melbourne’s most fascinating performers, Brian Lipson and Gideon Obarzanek, the two artists present themselves as their respective fathers, on stage.

It’s probably a good thing that Zenek Obarzanek and Laurence Lipson never met in real life, but the fictional meeting of these two irascible old men makes for entertaining and provocative theatre.

‘Two Jews walk into a theatre’ is part of Arts House Season 2 at North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from 23rd to 28th August. Bookings: 9322 3713 or online at www.artshouse.com.au

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday June 20th 2016.

In the final hour of April 14th, 1912 the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton England to New York, collided with an iceberg and the ‘unsinkable ship’ slowly sank. It was one of the most tragic events of the 20th Century. 1517 men, women and children lost their lives.

Move forward 104 years and on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio director of ‘Titanic: the Musical’ James Cutler, joins John Sheridan in conversation.

This London Chamber Revival production has its Australian premiere at Chapel off Chapel on Thursday July 7th.

Chapel off Chapel is at 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran and the season runs from July 7th to July 24th. Bookings: 8290 7000 or online www.chapeloffchapel.com.au

Metanoia Live Works launches with ‘Cut, Copy, Post’ at the Mechanics Institute 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick on 25th June.

The program invites 10 female artists of different ages and from different disciplines to partake in a live-art experiment exploring the complexity of making meaningful self-portraits in today’s Instagram age.

Paula van Beek explains the background behind this fascinating concept. Entry is free and for further information on the programs go to www.metanoiatheatre.com

The New York Times dubbed him the Crown Prince of Cabaret – STEVE ROSS – and he returns to Melbourne in characteristically sophisticated style, with a swag of witty songs ‘Takin’ a Bath in the Blues’, ‘Have some M’deira my dear’ and ‘Lydia the Tattooed Lady’, Steve promises a delightful and gently naughty evening.

Steve is the final guest on tonight’s program. He is appearing at Chapel off Chapel June 23rd to 25th, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran. Bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or phone 8290 7000.

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday May 30th 2016

Tofu, or bean curd, is generally thought of as an Asian food dish made from Soy Milk. So when one of China’s acclaimed contemporary artists, Chen Quilin, performs a tofu carving at Shepparton Art Museum, curiosity is aroused!

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ 9:00 Monday night on Vision Australia Radio, John Sheridan chats with Dr. Rebecca Coates, director of SAM about this fascinating project.

For the carving, a tofu block the size of a large cushion is being created especially for Chen by Richmond’s Tofu Shop International, into which she will carve the name of Ah Wong, a Chinese immigrant who set up a market garden on the banks of the Goulburn River, and sold vegetable produce to Mooroopna and Shepparton residents.

Fascinated by the way that our senses trigger memories of place, Chen has created a new work using six evocative smells that connect with Shepparton – apples, pears, eucalyptus, wood-fire smoke, garlic and chilli. As SAM director Dr. Rebecca Coates says, ‘Through her ongoing interest in food and scent, she reflects on the smaller things that remind us of home’.

The exhibition at Shepparton Museum of Art opens on June 4th and runs until July 24th. The Tofu Carving Performance is on Saturday June 4th from 4:00 pm. SAM is at 70 Wellsford Street, Shepparton.

Chris Thompson has a bagful of movie goodies to share and finally, Melbourne audiences will experience the phenomenal skills and imagination of Australia’s next generation of circus stars when the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) presents ‘Things NOT of this Earth’, an exuberant production of elite-level circus, set against the backdrop of a sci-fi inspired ‘B’ movie.

Twenty Two year old Hugo Bladel from Tasmania came to NICA after having played Soccer at the highest level for Tasmania. He pairs two specialties, clowning and soccer ball juggling to create a unique act combining soccer, circus and comedy.

Melbourne born and raised, Tara Silcock (20) began practicing circus at age seven after seeing a man balance 4 chairs on his face. Her performance sees her submerged in a giant cocktail glass, juggling large cocktail umbrellas with her feet!

‘Things NOT of this Earth’ is at NICA, 39 – 59 Green Street Prahran from the 8th to the 18th June. For bookings go online to www.nica.com.au

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday May 16th 2016

After the sell-out success of their inaugural Q & A event for 2016 Melbourne Playback Theatre acknowledges the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum with ‘SticksnStones on the Birrung Marr’; a cultural development that will enlighten, intrigue and entertain you.

Running on the 27th May at Deakin Edge Federation Square, this powerful evening brings together a highly respected indigenous panel to discuss perspectives of home and work life, history, place-making, legal practice, and significant movements that are occurring right here in Melbourne.

On ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9.30 on Vision Australia Radio, Creative Director of SticksnStones, Lenka Vanderboom, joins John Sheridan for a chat about the Q & A.

Friday 27th May, SticksnStones at Deakin Edge, Federation Square. For Bookings phone 9690 9253 or on line at www.melbourneplayback.com.au.

Chris Thompson has a fair bit of catching up to do with the movies, so he’s back again this week with more treats.

A 22 year old from Adelaide has quit his job to focus full-time on learning about publishing. Knocked back by half a dozen banks for a loan, he faced his own nay-sayers and bullies and eventually made it happen.

William Reimer has self-published his book ‘A Ferret Named Phil’, a story about a small ferret who over comes a big bully without resorting to violence.

William is the final guest on the program this week and he chats about his trials and tribulations of being an independent publisher.

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday March 21st 2016

‘Somewhere in France’: there were many Australians on the Western Front.

One hundred years ago thousands of Australians enlisted and were sent to Europe to fight ‘for the Mother country’. Many never returned.

The University of Melbourne presents a remarkable exhibition ‘Somewhere in France: Australians on the Western Front’ that explores what Australians did in France during World War 1 when they were not fighting or mired in the trenches – when boredom was their worst enemy.

On ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, curator of the exhibition, Jenny Long joins John Sheridan for a small glimpse into the lives of young Australian soldiers, nurses and volunteers on the Western front.

The exhibition ‘Somewhere in France: Australians on the Western Front’ is at the Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library University of Melbourne until June 26th.  Entrance is FREE.  For further information, go on line to http://library.unimelb.edu.au/france.

Film reviewer Chris Thompson has a classic pair of movies lined up for this week: ‘Son of Saul’ and ‘The Witch’, both films a touch on the scary side.

Finally artistic director of the ‘Next Wave Festival 2016’, Georgie Meagher outlines some of the fascinating artists that will be featured in the festival from Thursday May 5th to  Sunday May 22nd.  ‘Next Wave Festival 2016’ will see 36 world premiere works.

Next Wave Festival is Australia’s biennial festival of the new generation in art.

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday March 14th 2016.

He had a sell-out season at the Adelaide Fringe Festival - now it’s Melbourne’s turn.

Isaac Lomman presents ‘Comedy Hypnosis! ENTRANCED’:  part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Isaac joins John Sheridan for a conversation about the program on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

Along with giving audiences a good dose of solid belly laughs, Isaac’s shows are a great example of the power of the human mind and imagination.

Isaac Lomman’s ‘Comedy Hypnosis! ENTRANCED’ is playing at the Athenaeum Theatre, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne from March 23rd to April 17th. For bookings phone 132 849 or go on line to www.isaaclomman.com.au or www.comedyfestival.com.au

Still with the comedy theme – CJ Delling returns to the 2016 Melbourne Comedy Festival with a show packed with tried and true audience favorites: ‘Funny Bits’.

CJ chats with John Sheridan and tells of her life, on arrival from Germany 10years ago, as a Bondi lifesaver.  English as a second language is a challenge at the best of times; throw Australian lingo into the mix, and it’s a whole new game!

‘CJ Delling – Funny Bits’ at The Bull and Bear Tavern, 347 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, as part of  the  comedy  festival  from March 23rd until April 3rd.  For bookings phone 1300 660 013 or www.cjdelling.com/tickets or www.comedyfestival.com.au.

The Darebin Community and Kite Festival is back, Sunday March 20th at Reservoir’s picturesque Edwardes Lake Park, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Originating in 1997 from a unique collaboration between City of Darebin, the North Eastern Melbourne Chinese Association and the Australian Kite Association, the festival brings together local communities and helps foster their traditions and promote their culture.

The 2016 festival features live music and performances, workshops, community and food stalls, a pet expo roving entertainment and of course kite flying.

MC of the program, comedian Nelly Thomas outlines all the fun of the day – the Darebin Community and Kite Festival, a FREE event, at Edwardes Lake Park, corner of Edwardes and Griffiths Streets, Reservoir, Sunday March 20th, 11:00am to 6:00pm. For the full program go online www.truenortharts.com.au.    

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday March 7th 2016

‘This has been a Crawford Production’ is a tag line that still resonates with generations of Australians who grew up with Hector Crawford’s cops, the Sullivan family or any of the long line of productions that flowed from his legendary company.

Rozzi Bazzani has written a book ‘Hector’, published by Arcadia, and Rozzi joins John Sheridan next on ‘Behind the Scenes Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

Hector Crawford’s public façade is part of our collective memory, but the man behind it, and how his passion and drive changed Australian culture, is revealed in the book ‘Hector’.

‘Hector’ is now available in bookshops priced at $39.95.

Ok – the dust has settled on the latest Oscars, the winners and losers have been declared and cinematic life has resumed normal transmission – or something like that.  Film reviewer Chris Thompson is back on the reviewing beat and he’ll have a bagful of movies this week.

THE SUBSTATION at 1 Market Street, Newport is celebrating its 100th Anniversary, with a new approach.

As the building celebrates 100 years under the leadership of new director Brad Spolding, THE SUBSTATION introduces a new program building on the foundations of its unique architecture and key collaborations with audiences, communities and artists.

Redeveloped in the late 1990’s as an arts and culture venue, THE SUBSTATION’s new program respects the original vision for the building as an asset for artists and audiences.

Brad Spolding talks with John Sheridan about his ideas for the venue and how he intends to invite artists and audiences to experience the development and presentation of new artistic works created by some of the sharpest and most curious minds from across Australia and the world.

For more information and details on THE SUBSTATION go online to www.thesubstation.org.au 

 ‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday February 29th 2016

‘True North’ is a celebration of community within the culturally diverse suburb of Reservoir. What better way to celebrate that diversity than on leap year day, the 29th February.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00, John Sheridan joins DJ Emma Peel as she takes listeners on a tour of vintage Reservoir. The diverse year long program seeks to celebrate all that is unique about this thriving suburb.

As part of its True North Arts Program, Darebin Arts has recorded four audio tours to celebrate this much loved northern suburb.

The People’s Tours of Reservoir is now available for download from www.truenortharts.com.au

Celebrated for its handcrafted boutique wines, Helen’s Hill Estate is renowned for thinking outside the box. That innovative thinking has led to a new collaboration, with an unlikely partner – the maverick theatre ensemble Present Tense. Together they present The Major Bruce Sessions on March 5th, an evening spectacular at the award-winning Helen’s Hill Estate.

‘The Major Bruce Sessions is designed to be a damned good time. Fresh from our critically acclaimed season of ‘Ricercar’ at Theatre Works, we want to take an audience on a journey for classic pop and rock, to create a rocking event’ says Present tense Artistic Director Nathan Gilkes.

Helen’s Hill Estate, located just 45 minutes from Melbourne at the start of the Yarra Valley, will provide a gorgeous backdrop for the evening spectacular.

For bookings go online to www.helenshill.com.au/shop 
Two brothers: One Ball: So Much Lost. THE UNDERARM – the story of two brothers ripped apart by the most infamous act in trans-Tasman sport.

When the Aussies committed what Rob Muldoon later described as ‘an act of cowardice appropriate to a team that wears a yellow uniform’ the MCG ignited: Kiwis v Aussies, Aussies v Aussies, and Colin and Dons’ drunken parents violently versus each other. Kiwi Mum drags Colin, screaming, off to live in Wellington NZ. Don marinates with Dad at home in Brisbane. 

As adults, Don and Colin are reunited at the Basin reserve in Wellington, and they put on trial the very man responsible for their separation – the Australian Cricket Captain in 1981, Greg Chappell.

Presented by Silly Mid On Productions in association with HIT Productions, THE UNDERARM is at the Alex Theatre, 135 Fitzroy Street St Kilda Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March at 8:00 pm. Bookings: on line www.ticketek.com.au or telephone
8534 9300.

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday February 22nd 2016

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is just around the corner and that means – MOOSEHEAD!

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, John Sheridan chats with Laura Davis, recipient of a Moosehead Grant, not an award, so she may create and perform her comedy show.

The ‘Mooseheads’ are named after Brian McCarthy, a young pioneer of theatre sports who died at the young age of 23.  Brian was a motivator who pulled together the core elements of comedy performance and believed that anything was possible.  The ‘Moosehead’ awards were named after his favorite beer!

Laura Davis will perform ‘Marco. Polo.’ at the ACMI Games Room, Fed Square from 24th March until 17th April.  ‘Marco. Polo.’ is a game played amongst friends in backyard pools where someone swims blindly, but keeps their ears open to find the other players.  Laura invites audiences into a mysterious swimming pool illusion to participate in a high-stakes game of Marco. Polo.  It’s challenging, provoking and silly – just right for the comedy festival.

For bookings phone 1300 660 013, or on line www.ticketmaster.com.au or www.comedyfestival.com.au   

The BAFTA’s are over and the Oscars are on the horizon. Film reviewer Chris Thompson has a bagful of movies to think about plus a review of a new film coming to Melbourne soon – ‘Theeb. Wolf’, a fascinating film from Jordan!

Finally, Amy Amos Gebhardt has an exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary in Fitzroy.

‘There are no others’ explores the raw articulation of humanness in the natural world while traversing multiple art forms including dance, documentary and performance.

‘There are no others’ is at Gertrude Contemporary, 200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy until March 5th.  For more information go on line to www.gertrude.org.au 

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, featuring comedy, film and contemporary art, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday 15 February 2015

What’s in a Marathon? Try a classical music Marathon for size! Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00, artistic curator Chris Howlett talks with John Sheridan about the logistics of organizing a 12 hour long music marathon 09:30 am to 09:30 pm for Sunday February 28th at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

Chris is joined by 3MBS General manager Anne Frankenberg for a rundown on the 3MBS Mendelssohn marathon. Seventy of Australia’s finest musicians gather to present a range of delightful music by composer Felix Mendelssohn PLUS some of the rarely heard works by his sister Fanny.

Artists have donated their time to help 3MBS with the marathon; there’ll be unusual music combinations with some of the finest music to flow from the pens of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn.

The Marathon is on Sunday February 28th from 0930 in the morning until 0930 at night.  For tickets phone 9278 4770 or go on line www.hawthornartscentre.com.au Hawthorn Arts Centre is on the corner of Glenferrie Road and Burwood Road Hawthorn.

Continuing the fine music theme, Seraphim trio is one of Australia’s best ensembles respected for the virtuosity and joy they bring to their performances. Their 2016 program is one for lovers of Schubert’s music.

In 2016 there will be series recitals in Ballarat and Melbourne. Anna Goldsworthy from the trio joins John Sheridan in conversation about the first Schubert program along with details of the venues for Series 1 at Macedon, Ballarat and Melbourne.

Along with Anna Goldsworthy, the Seraphim trio includes Helen Ayres and Tim Nankervis.

For program details, venue dates and bookings and further information, go on line to www.seraphimtrio.com 

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, featuring a treasure trove of music, Monday night at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday February 8th 2016

It was one of the most loved and defining musicals of the time – on its release as a film in 1977 the songs from the Gibb Brother’s thrilled lovers of dance: ‘Saturday Night Fever’ is coming to town and on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, Robbie Carmellotti from StageArt, the production company presenting the stage revival talks with John Sheridan about the production, the cast, the dancing and those songs!
The cast includes Mike Snell, Sheridan Anderson, Emma Russell, Daniel Ham and loads more talented performers.  The production is directed by Luke Alleva from the 2005 West End production.

‘Saturday Night Fever’ opens at Chapel off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran 11th February.  For bookings phone
8290 7000 or on line www.chapeloffchapel.com.au 

Chris Thompson is back for 2016 with lots of films to talk about.

Louris van de Geer has established a reputation as one of Australia’s best young writers.  Adding to her reputation as one of the most thrilling and imaginative new voices in theatre comes the latest play ‘Triumph’.
The questions: why do we make celebrities out of victims?  Why do we give more love to those in pain?
The answers: find out with ‘Triumph’ at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane City from February 19th.
As the final guest on ‘Behind the Scenes’, director of the production, Mark Pritchard talks with John Sheridan about the world of famous frauds – those who play the victim in order to gain the sacred status of being a ‘survivor’.

‘Triumph’ by Louris van de Geer at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, City from February 19th.  Bookings: 9662 9966 or on line www.fortyfivedownstairs.com  

‘Behind the Scenes’ – with John Sheridan, Monday nights at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast at www.varadio.org  on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 

Monday February 1st 2016

‘Behind the Scenes’ returns for 2016 and the first program features music treats for all tastes.

On Monday February 1st at 9:00 pm on Vision Australia Radio, John Sheridan chats with 2 members from the Arcadia Quartet.

Last year, the Quartet was named the first ‘FutureMakers’ by Musica Viva.    Guided by one of Australia’s finest musicians, Genevieve Lacey, ‘FutureMakers’ has been designed around project-based learning.  The musicians will have chamber music mentoring, they’ll present diverse performances, create education and community engagement projects, devise collaborations at the highest level and develop business skills critical for success in the industry.

Last year 2 members of the Quintet appeared on the program and spoke about their plans and aims with ‘FutureMakers’.  To find out how things are progressing, we invited them back for a chat.  Oboist David Rewichelt and French horn player Rachel Shaw join John Sheridan in conversation.

Australian Art Orchestra and Ensemble Offspring join forces to present ‘Exit Ceremonies’, a fascinating project that brings together entrancing and unfamiliar music involving classical, jazz, and experimental music along with the wonderful Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ.

Australian Art Orchestra Director Peter Knight chats with John Sheridan about the performance which is for one night only – Saturday February 6th, 7:30 pm at Melbourne Town Hall.

Tickets at the door or on line: www.aao.com.au/exitceremonies 

Finally, from the City of Stonnington ‘The Classics: Opera’.
Throughout February the City of Stonnington present a series of free outdoor concerts featuring some of Australia’s most acclaimed musicians and vocal artists.

On Saturday February 6th from 7:30 pm at Victoria Gardens, 361 High Street, Prahran, you may enjoy the music of Mozart with selections from some of his operas including ‘The Mariage of Figaro’, ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’, ‘Don Giovani’ and many more.

Artists include Antoinette Halloran, Joselyn Rechter, Andrew Jones, David Hibbard, Michael Petruccelli with the orchestra directed by Raymond Lawrence.  The evening is under the direction of Suzanne Chaundy and is hosted by ABC Classic FM’s Mairi Nicholson.

 


 

Monday December 21st 2015

Summer is well under way and there’s a myriad of things happening around town.  On the final ‘Behind the Scenes’ for 2015, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, John Sheridan explores the world from PlanetSOL at the Butterfly Club, to Cinema, the Peninsula Summer Music Festival and ‘The Measure of a Man’, part of Midsumma Festival.

Charlotte Roberts has a new show about musical adventure, feeling, connection and the power of music.  In ‘Sounds from PlanetSOL’ Charlotte tells her story through song, spoken word and movement.

The show is at the Butterfly Club, Carson Place Melbourne from 13thto 16thJanuary 2016.  Bookings: 9663 8107 or online at www.thebutterflyclub.com

Chris Thompson makes his final appearance for 2015 and serves up the best and worst of 2015’s movies plus a couple of reviews.

If you’re looking for fine music with a summer setting, then look no further than the 9th Peninsula Summer Music Festival to be staged across the Mornington Peninsula from January 1st to January 10th, 2016. 

Artistic director, Julia Friedersdorf joins John Sheridan for a conversation about the diverse program that ranges from the rich Baroque music of 17th century England, France and Italy, to contemporary jazz, fiery gypsy melodies, the intoxicating rhythms of the Middle East and the transcendental beauty of the Indian Bansuri flute.

For further information on programs and venues go online to www.peninsulafestival.com.au 

Finally, Gavin Roach has ‘The Measure of a Man’. Part of Midsumma Festival, it plunges deep into the heart of one man’s sexual anxieties. As Gavin says, ‘stories like ‘The Measure of a Man’ are, sometimes, rarely spoken about. They’re often shrouded in embarrassment or shame.  There have been many times when I have spoken with others about the show and the themes and they suddenly become wide-eyed and say “I thought I was the only one”. I don’t think my story has any more gravity than anyone else’s, but if it gets people talking then that’s not a bad thing’.

‘The Measure of a Man’ is at Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham Street, Albert Park from 1st to 6th February as part of Midsumma Festival. For bookings: phone 8606 4200 or go online www.gasworks.org.au

That’s the lineup for the final ‘Behind the Scenes’ for 2015 with John Sheridan: Monday night December 21st at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

For 5 weeks over the summer break Vision Australia Radio presents ‘Behind the Scenes – Summer Season’, a collection of program featuring Australian musicians in conversation with John Sheridan plus Mike Finch & Circus Oz and a tribute to Bing Crosby.

‘Behind the Scenes – Summer Season’ may be heard Monday nights at 9:00, repeated Saturday evening at 6.30, plus the usual podcast on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday December 14th 2015

The early days of summer in Melbourne mean among other things: holidays, relaxation, music, carols by candlelight, movies and jazz. On ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, John Sheridan chats with Michael Tortoni, artistic director of Melbourne International Jazz Festival.  Once again MIJF presents the Summer Sessions of Jazz throughout January. The much loved and reopened Bennetts Lane Jazz Club will play host to the Vince Jones Quartet, Etjhio-jazz giant Hailu Mergia, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and KAZE and many others. For further information and bookings: www.melbournejazz.com.  We welcome new film reviewer Chris Thompson; Chris has been out and about the cinemas these past couple of weeks and has managed to catch up with ‘The End of the Tour’, ‘The Danish Girl’ and ‘The Big Short’.

Finally, a couple of weeks back Vision Australia, in association with telecast partners Nine Network, launched the 2015 Carols program at Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.

Among the guests was young singer/songwriter Taylor Henderson. Taylor, apart from performing at the Christmas Eve ‘Carols by Candlelight’, is also Vision Australia’s Carols Ambassador.  

Taylor joins John Sheridan for a chat about what will be happening at the ‘Carols by Candlelight’ celebration at the Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve, plus what his Ambassador role involves.

If you’d like to be part of the festivities at the Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve, go the www.carolsbycandlelight.com.au.

Jazz, Movies and Christmas Carols on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan: Monday night December 14th at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday December 7th 2015

Christmas is but days away and what better way to celebrate than with a new fast-paced, sharp comedy!

On ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, playwright Sam Floyd chats with John Sheridan about his new play ‘Affair Play’ coming to the Brunswick Mechanics Institute.

The play is presented by Freshly Ground Theatre and builds on their earlier successes ‘Not Axel Harrison’, .My Brain Made Me Do It’ and ‘Every Base Covered’.

Infidelity is the most universally disapproved of, yet popular, pastime on earth: by a mile.  It’s as old as sex.  Take 2 jaded couples, 4 lovers, and one absurd web of infidelity and ‘Affair Play’ unravels over the course of one turbulent dinner as 4 would-be adults scheme their way into each other’s pants!

‘Affair Play’ is a Brunswick Mechanics Institute, 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick from December 9th to 19th. For bookings phone 9387 3376 or on line www.freshlygroundtheatre.com  

The much-loved company Circus Oz reflects the diversity of modern Australia.  Their performances at home and abroad are legendary. A major program with the company is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program and young Davey Thompson is the program manager.

Davey joins John Sheridan for an outline of what the program is about and what Circus Oz has planned for 2016.

Finally news about Vision Australia’s ‘Carols by Candlelight’ held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl each Christmas Eve.

A few days ago Vision Australia, in association with telecast partners Nine Network, launched the 2015 Carols program at Eastland Shopping Centre, Ringwood.

John Sheridan chats with some of the folk who will be there on the night to entertain you at the bowl, including children’s entertainer Sam Moran and song-writer/singer and Vision Australia Carols Ambassador Taylor Henderson.

For bookings for Vision Australia’s ‘Carols by Candlelight’ go to www.carolsbycandlelight.com.au    

Theatre, Circus and Christmas Carols on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan: Monday night December 7th at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

 


Monday November 30th 2015

When it came to art, Howard Arkley pursued a singular vision incorporating aspects of high art and popular culture, such as punk and pop; a love of urban and suburban imagery and architecture; an ongoing preoccupation with pattern and colour; and a life-long dialogue with abstraction. Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, John Sheridan talks with TarraWarra Museum of Art curator Anthony Fitzpatrick about the latest exhibition at TarraWarra, ‘Howard Arkley (and friends)’.

Co-curated with TarraWarra Artistic Director, Victoria Lynn, the exhibition features many works that have not been seen before along with some of Arkley’s most quintessential and iconic images. The exhibition also considers the influence of music on Arkley’s work and reveals how the artist incorporated elements of rhythm, tempo, notation, sequencing and sampling within his work. Arkley was influenced by music ranging from Nick Cave to Billie Holiday, Iggy Pop, Charles Mingus and Eric Satie.

‘Howard Arkley (and friends)’ is at TarraWarra Museum of Art, 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville from December 5th 2015 until 20th February 2016. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, 1:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information go to
www.twma.com.au

The movie review(s) tonight are a somewhat sad occasion, for after 4 years we say farewell to young Dave Hoskin.  At the same time it’s welcome to Dave’s successor, Chris Thompson.  Will John Sheridan get a look-in with the film reviews?  Maybe!

Finally a 21st Century opera event is coming to Theatre Works: Bryce Ives from ‘Present Tense’ chats with John Sheridan about the intriguing work ‘Ricercar’.

Do you remember the last musical from ‘Present Tense’ – ‘Margaret Fulton: Queen of the Dessert’!  It was a run-away hit, bringing Margaret Fulton to the attention of a whole new audience.

In ‘Ricercar’, the ordered artistry of J. S. Bach meets the energy and mania of contemporary theatre.

The production features Melbourne Music legend Rosie Westbrook, opera singers Shauntai Batzke and Simon Gilkes, actors Laura Burzacott and Danial Han. It’s directed by Bryce Ives and Nathan Gilkes.

‘Ricercar’ is at Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda. For bookings, phone 9534 3388.

The World of the Arts on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan: Monday night November 30th at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday November 23rd 2015

Almost anything can and does happen in the world of fashion, so when David Bardas and Sportsgirl came on the scene ‘Anything Can Happen’ literally became the mantra!

Vicki Stegall has written a fascinating book, ‘Anything Can Happen’ about the Bardas years at Sportsgirl, and Vicki is John Sheridan’s first guest on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

From 1948 until 1994, the Bardas family ran the fashion business known as Sportsgirl.  In 1959 after the sudden death of his father, David Bardas was entrusted with turning Sportsgirl around and with his outrageous marketing campaigns and lavish promotions, the world of women’s fashion was off and running.

For nearly 50 years Sportsgirl was known as the place where ‘Anything Can Happen’ and it did. Vicki Stegall’s book is published by Hardie Grant and is available now in book shops.

Continuing the link with books, we next look at the Australian Bookplate Design Award.  Robert Littlewood is the convenor  of the award which offers $15,000 in prize money, and Robert talks with John Sheridan about the background of the award and its importance in the world of art.  

So what is a bookplate?  Bookplates are personalized artworks fixed inside a book to identify the owner and they’re a particular genre of art that commands ongoing recognition.  Many renowned Australian artists who have created bookplates include Tom Roberts, Lionel Lindsay, Norman Lindsay, Pro Hart, Adrian feint, Helen Ogilvie, Kenneth Jack, Pixie O’Harris and Irena Sibley – to name a few!

Winners will be announced at the end of the month and a series of public exhibitions will commence in December.  For details of these exhibitions: www.bookplatedesignaward.com 

Finally, the National Gallery of Victoria has announced the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2016.

‘Degas: a new vision’: in June 2016, an exhibition of one of the world’s most loved artists. Edgar Degas’ will open to the public. In a world-first exhibition ‘Degas: a new vision’ will offer the most significant international survey of Degas’ work in decades, presenting more than 200 works from over 40 galleries across the globe. The works showcase the artist’s talent in a new light, not only as a great master of painting, but also as a master of drawing, printmaking, sculpture and photography.

Senior curator at NGV, Ted Gott, chats with John Sheridan about the background to this Melbourne Winter Masterpieces 2016. The exhibition opens on 24th June, 2016.  For more information go to www.ngv.vic.gov.au 

The World of the Arts on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan: Monday night November 23rd at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday November 16th 2015

Cameras were banned at the Western front when the ANZACS arrived in 1916.  Correspondent Charles Bean argued continually for Australia to have a dedicated photographer. He got his wish – George Hubert Wilkins.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00, author Jeff Maynard talks with John Sheridan about the exploits of polar explorer and World War One photographer George Hubert Wilkins from 1917 until the end of the War.  

Wilkins’ exploits on the Western front were legendary. He did what no photographer had previously dared to do.  He went ‘over the top’ with the troops and ran forward to photograph the actual fighting.  He led soldiers into battle, captured German prisoners, was wounded repeatedly and was twice awarded the Military Cross – all while he refused to carry a gun and armed himself only with a bulky glass-plate camera.

Yet by the time he died, in 1958, he was virtually forgotten – why?  Jeff Maynard’s book ‘The Unseen Anzac’ reveals a fascinating story of the life of the man who became Sir Hubert Wilkins. His photographic work, today, is on display for all to see at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

‘The Unseen Anzac’ is published by Scribe and is now available in book shops.  For further information go online to www.scribepublications.com.au

Dave Hoskin joins us for film reviews and a somewhat sad occasion – after 4 years it’s Dave’s final regular appearance on ‘Behind the Scenes’. Film maker and playwright Chris Thompson takes over from Dave from November 30th. So, on the 16th join Dave Hoskin for his farewell and perhaps a brief look back at the world of film during that time. 

The World of the Arts on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan: Monday night November 16th at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday November 9th 2015

Celebrating its tenth festival, the biennial Big West Festival is opening up its house – literally – throughout Footscray from 20th to 28th November 2015.

Located in the heart of Footscray at the Big West Village, corner of Paisley and French Streets, HOUSE will be the hub and centre of the nine day festival featuring dozens of events, many free.

Kerensa Diball and Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez join John Sheridan on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio for a chat about NEIGHBOURS, Footscray style. You can join them for a guided walk along Nicholson Street and meet some fascinating people.

Neighbours – a part of the BIG WEST FESTIVAL, that runs from November 20th to the 28th; for more details go to www.bigwest.com.au

Ballarat has been in the News of late over the running of a certain important horse race. Now you have a chance to experience many of the artistic and other aspects of Ballarat life with ‘The 24 Hour Experience Ballarat’ featuring remarkable stories from the everyday.

Gorkem Acaroglu designed the concept and is curator of the Experience which runs for 24 hours from noon November 21st until noon on 22nd November. Gorkem outlines some of the many features that will take place around Ballarat within the 24 hour time frame.   

For further details go online to www.24hourexperience.com.au or on Facebook www.facebook.com/24hourexperienceballarat

Season 2 for 2015 at Arts House continues with 2 performances back to back.  In the first Nicola Gunn chats about her world premiere performance ‘Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster’. It’s a riveting new show about a man, a woman and a duck!  It outlines the excruciating realms of human behavior and an attempt to navigate the complexities of trying to become a better person.

‘Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster’ is at North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from 11th to 15th November. Bookings: phone 9322 3713 or go online to www.artshouse.com.au

The second work at Arts House comes from the Australian/UK group Ridiculusmus.  ‘Give Me Your Love’ is an exploration of the effects of combat stress.  The production is the second installment of Ridiculusmus’s three-pronged investigation into innovative approaches to mental health.

Writer, Director and Performer David Woods outlines the background to the production which is also at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from 18th to 22nd November. Bookings: phone 9322 3713 or online www.artshouse.com.au

The World of the Arts on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan: Monday night November 9th at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 


Monday November 2nd 2015

Who IS Edmund?  Does anybody really know?  Perhaps one man does, but how does he explain Edmund?

Writer, Designer and Performer Brian Lipson has created a new show for Arts House and Antechamber productions, and Brian is John Sheridan’s first guest on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

Brian Lipson is fondly remembered for his acclaimed solo show. ‘A Large Attendance in the Antechamber’ and with his new show ‘Edmund, the Beginning’ Brian promises a disordered array of characters from the impatient past and the murky present; some are familiar, some are famous, some are known only to Lipson – none are comfortable.

‘Edmund, the Beginning’ is at Arts House North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from November 10th to the 22nd.  Bookings: 9322 3713 or go online www.artshouse.com.au 

The movies are calling and Dave Hoskin is there with an answer – he’ll have all the reviews on the program.

Finally, what is the future of Festivals in Victoria?  We have so many; it seems there’s almost another festival every couple of weeks. Can they all survive?  Victoria University in association with Maribyrnong City Council presents a panel of creative thinkers behind some of Victoria’s premiere festivals in the final Game Changers Conversation for 2015.

Ian Pidd is well known in festival circles; he’s worked with Moomba, Melbourne Fringe, Falls Festival, Back to Back and many others.  Ian is chair of ‘Future of Festivals’ in the Game Changers Conversation Series on November 24th.

Speakers include Simon Abrahams, Creative Director and CEO of Melbourne Fringe, Marcia Ferguson, Artistic Director of the Big West Festival – and a guest on ‘Behind the Scenes’ next week – Jonathon Holloway, the Artistic Director Designate of the Melbourne Festival, Martin Patten, Director of the Castlemaine State Festival and Hai Pham, director of East Meets West Lunar New Year festival.

The program is on Tuesday November 24th, 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm – Pop-up Bar opens at 5:30 pm.  It’s at VU MetroWest, 138 Nicholson Street, Footscray and entry is FREE.

The world of the Arts: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night November 2nd at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday October 26th 2015

As the 2015 music scene around Melbourne and Victoria draws to a close, lovers of fine music are looking to what lies ahead in 2016.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ on Vision Australia Radio, Carl Vine, Artistic Director of Musica Viva joins John Sheridan for a look at the program for 2016 including the popular Tuesday morning ‘Coffee Concerts’.

For a brochure and further information on Musica Viva, phone toll free 1800 688 482 or www.musicaviva.com.au

Earlier this year the penultimate Brian Stacey Award was announced.  The Awards were established in memory of Brian ‘Stace’ Stacey, one of our great musicians, to help emerging conductors gain experience in particular by crossing art form barriers such as classical, ballet, opera, choral and music theatre genres.

The 2015 Award went to Jessica Gethin from Perth, and on the next program there’s another opportunity to hear Jessica chat about the award and what it means for her career.

The world of music: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night October 26th at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday October 19th 2015

It’s the nation’s most coveted photography prize – the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize worth $25,000; and it’s currently on display at Monash Gallery of Art.

Curator Stephen Zagala joins John Sheridan next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio to chat about the award winning entry by Joseph McGlennon and also talk about some of the other 46 entries in this the 10th anniversary of the prize.

Monash Gallery of Art is at 860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill and is open Tuesday to Friday – 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and weekends 12 noon to 5:00 pm. For more information ring 8544 0500 or go online to the Monash Gallery of Art website.  

Dave Hoskin is forever hot on the trail of movies, both good and bad, and he’ll have another couple of reviews to report.

Christmas fast approaches and with it comes music that we’ve learnt to appreciate and enjoy over the years. Many community choirs will celebrate the season and one interesting group is ‘The Coryule Chorus’ based on the Bellarine Peninsula.

‘The Coryule Chorus’, who sing in 4-part harmony, have just released their first CD, and they’re coming to Melbourne for a performance at St Leonard’s Uniting Church, Brighton on November 22nd at 2:00 pm.

Founder of the choir, Joy Porter, chats about how the choir came about and what they’ve been up to since beginning in 2010.

Photography, movies and music: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night October 19th at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday October 12th 2015

From the mythical winged horse Pegasus to Par Lap’s victorious Melbourne Cup, three thousand years of the horse are currently on display at NGV International St. Kilda Road, Melbourne.

‘The Horse’ includes 250 works of art exploring the role of the horse in myth, legend and miracle.

Laurie Benson, Curator of International Art at NGV is John Sheridan’s first guest next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.
Laurie explains how the exhibition ‘The Horse’ takes the viewer to ancient times, through Greek, Indian and Chinese mythology, also showing how the horse enabled dynasties, including the Egyptian pharaohs and European rulers to expand and maintain their rule.  The exhibition looks at Australia’s relationship to the animal, which arrived in small numbers with the First Fleet in 1788.  Then there’s the Sport of Kings – Horse Racing, and so the list goes on.

‘The Horse’ is at NGV International, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne until November 8th.  Entry is FREE.

Polish actor, director and playwright Lech Mackiewicz has created a new work – ‘NaGL’ – short for not a good look.  What does it mean?
Lech’s fellow director and collaborator Greg Ulfan outlines the background of the play in conversation with John Sheridan.
The play is based on personal experience and tells the story of what happens when a family unit from another country comes up against Australian culture.
‘NaGL’ – not a good look, is at Metonia at the Mechanics Institute Brunswick, 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick until October 17th.
Bookings at the door or www.trybooking.com  
Art with ‘The Horse’ at NGV plus theatre: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night October 12th at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday October 5th 2015

The music of Claudio Monteverdi and art inspired by his music: a treat for sure during the 2015 Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia radio, John Sheridan chats with Mary Lou Jelbart about this stunning combination of art and music ‘Canzone – Music as storytelling’ coming to fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, City.

Multi-award winning artist Angela Cavalieri returns to Australia from Venice with monumental linocut prints based on Monteverdi’s final opera ‘The Return of Ulysses’.  Cavalieri has also spent four years exploring the Madrigals of Monteverdi and the program includes two music programs ‘Variations’ and ‘Cantations’.

The Art Exhibition runs until 24th October and the music program 13th to 15th October and 20th to the 22nd October – both part of the 2015 Melbourne International Arts festival at fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

For further information and bookings phone: 9662 9966 or go online to www.fortyfivedownstairs.com 

The footy season maybe drawing to a close, and daylight saving is upon us, but still Dave Hoskin goes in search of movies to review.

Wealth, poverty, privilege, neglect – ‘Grand DiVisions’ is a new work about falling in and out of love with Australia presented by Outer Urban projects, Newsboys and Arts Centre Melbourne.

Irine Vela, composer and director talks about the collaboration between writers, musicians and performers in this balletic and symphonic concept.

‘Grand DiVisions’ is at the Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne from 14th to 17th October.

For bookings and information: phone 1300 182 183 or Ticketmaster 136 100.

Music, dance and cinema: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night October 5th at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28th 2015.

Music is on the minds of many folk out Monash University-way; they’re celebrating 50 years of Music making at the Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music.

Last week on ‘Behind the Scenes’ on Vision Australia radio – Monday nights at 9:00 -  Professor John Griffiths Head of the School of Music spoke about those celebrations.  Next on the program the great international Melbourne-born pianist Leslie Howard talks with John Sheridan about his days at the Monash School, the performance he’ll be giving there on September 29th and his love of Liszt and Grainger.

John Cunningham recently took over as Director of McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery at Langwarrin. John chats about the plans for the future, the $250,000 Peninsula Link Sculpture Commission and lots more.

McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery is at 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin.

Music and art: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night September 28th at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 

 

 


Monday SEPTEMBER 21st 2015

They’ve been making music at Monash University for 50 years, and what better way to celebrate than with a series of performances from local and international artists across the campus at Monash and the City of Melbourne.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, Professor John Griffiths, Head of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, chats with John Sheridan about the program currently running until October 6th.  Artists include New York bassist Mark Hellas, Australian-born pianist Leslie Howard, Chicago Jazz trombonist Ray Anderson and Paul Dyer from the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

For information on dates, venues and booking details go to www.monash.edu/mapa or phone 9905 1111.

The weather maybe warming up, but that hasn’t cooled Dave Hoskins passion for film.  Dave will have another couple of reviews for you on the program.

Finally, Melbourne-born musician Rae Howell has a couple of new CD’s just released.  You probably remember Rae with the group Sunwrae – they’ve enjoyed success world-wide these past few years and Rae is back home, briefly for concerts and to launch the CD’s.  Rae is one of those wonderful musicians who refuse to be ‘categorized’ in music style; Rae’s music is what you want it to be. 

A celebration of music and cinema: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night September 21st at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 

Monday September 14th 2015

Take a walk on the Boardwalk and you never know what you may encounter!  

‘The Boardwalk Republic’ is part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival and next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, you’ll hear all about the 13 companies who come together for this lolly-jar of works covering circus, theatre, comedy, cabaret, burlesque and magic.

Francesco Minniti is a performer/creator/director with the project and he talks with John Sheridan about what you can expect to see and hear.

‘The Boardwalk Republic’ is at Gasworks Art Park, 21 Graham Street, Albert Park until October 4th. For details on events, bookings and further information go to: www.gasworks.org.au

Musica Viva’s popular Tuesday morning ‘Coffee Concerts’ continue on September 22nd with performances by the young Australian ensemble ‘Orava Quartet’.  Helenka King from Musica Viva has news of this and other Musica Viva activities coming up at Melbourne Recital Centre.

For bookings for the Melbourne Coffee Concerts and other Musica Viva details phone the toll free number: 1800 688 482.

‘John & Jen’ is an original musical that follows the story of a woman torn between the two Johns in her life – the brother that died in the Vietnam War, and his namesake, her son.

This intimate and poignant musical tells of the connections, commitments and the healing of the human heart. Performer Jaclyn De Vincentis joins John Sheridan for a look at this musical playing at Chapel off Chapel from 18th to the 27th September.

For bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or phone 8290 7000.

Finally, Rebekah Marks from the State Library has news of Audio described tours now being conducted at the State Library of Victoria.  Rebekah explains what’s involved.  Meanwhile, if you’d like to find out more about the scheme you may phone 
Linda Wheeler at the Library for information or bookings on
8664 7447.
 
That’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night September 14th at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 

 

 


 

Monday September 7th 2015

 

Musica Viva Australia has just announced a new artistic development program ‘FutureMakers’. The initiative aims to help leading young virtuosi to become Australia’s next generation of outstanding musical performers. One of Australia’s leading musicians Genevieve Lacey, steps into the role of ‘FutureMakers’ artistic director.  Musica Viva have selected the young Melbourne-based Arcadia Quintet as the first ‘FutureMakers’.

Flautist Kiran Phatak and Oboist David Reichelt join John Sheridan in conversation about the two year fellowship which commences this month, on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio.

Dave Hoskin continues his foray into the world of Cinema with more reviews.

Finally, David Paterson explains what’s behind the comedy ‘Reserved Seating Only,: is it really about life, love and footy? The production by Boxing Day productions in association with Regional Arts Victoria is currently touring the state until the end of this month. For performance details and locations go to the Regional Arts Victoria website.

Fine music, Cinema and Theatre: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night September 7th at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.


Monday August 31st 2015

His recordings of classical music are world renowned and much loved.  He was a great encourager of young musical talent and audiences flocked to his concerts.

Sir John Barbirolli, or JB as he was known to his orchestra players, committed himself to resurrecting the Halle Orchestra of Manchester. He was known world-wide, from the Americas to Europe and in the 1950’s, Australia.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, Dr. Raymond Holden,  Barbirolli Lecturer in Music at the Royal Academy of Music, London, chats with John Sheridan about the influence John Barbirolli had on Australia’s orchestras.

‘A Cockney Down Under’: Sir John Barbirolli in Australia 1950 to 1955.

‘DanceHouse’ in North Carlton continues to explore and promote contemporary dance.  Angela Conquet, artistic director talks about forthcoming programs including applications for the Keir Choreographic Awards and news of the latest Housemate, Matthew Day. For further information and details, go to the Dancehouse website.

Fine music and contemporary dance: that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ Monday night August 31st at 9:00 with John Sheridan on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday August 24th 2015


She was a true innovator and visionary in the world of Art: Catherine the Great of Russia.  Her inexhaustible passion for the arts, education and culture heralded a renaissance, leading to the formation of one of the world’s great museums, the Hermitage in St Petersburg.

As the 2015 ‘Winter Masterpiece’ at the NGV International on St Kilda Road, Melbourne is fortunate to have a rare glimpse at the world of Catherine the Great and her magnificent art collection.

Next on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio, curator Ted Gott from NGV takes us on a journey through this marvelous exhibition.

The exhibition is on at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne until November 8th. The gallery is open 10:00 am until 5:00 pm daily. Tickets on sale at the gallery or online

Come rain, hail or pestilence, Dave Hoskin has what it takes to gather forth his film reviews, and he’ll have another couple for you this week.

Finally, continuing Season 2 for 2015 at Arts House – Kate McIntosh is ‘All Ears’ with her new work created from unusual recordings, acoustic experiments and much more.  
Kate joins John Sheridan for a chat about what can be created from everyday sounds and outlines a distinctive journey that includes jokes, human and animal behavior, politics, birds and traffic jams.

‘All Ears’ is at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from the 3rd to 6th September. Book at the Artshouse website or phone 9322 3713.    

The worlds of great Art, film and sound; that’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, with John Sheridan Monday night August 24th at 9.00 on Vision Australia Radio.

 

 


 

 

Monday August 17th 2015

They’ve been thrilling Melbourne and Australia for 11 years with their exotic and erotically charged electrifying acts that shove a fork into the toaster of cabaret, circus, burlesque and performance art.
Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith are back at the Melba Spiegeltent with ‘Glory Box La Revolucion’ just what you need to warm things up for the winter.  
Moira Finucane is John Sheridan’s first guest next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia Radio. Moira reflects back on past successes and chats about this latest program. ‘Glory Box La Revolucion’ is at the Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood, from August 20th to 13th September. For bookings and further information go to finucaneandsmith.com

One of Australia’s leading contemporary choreographers, Jo Lloyd, returns to Arts House, North Melbourne with a World Premiere as part of Arts House Season 2, 2015.
‘Confusion for Three’ uses complex choreographic parameters and a set of highly physical and mentally demanding tasks to explore the notion of order and disorder.  Jo Lloyd explains the background to her latest work that features traces of folk dance with idiosyncratic body rhythms.

‘Confusion for Three’ is at North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from 26th to 30th August. For bookings go to the Arthouse website or phone 9322 3713.
Finally, a touch of Paris comes to the Monash Gallery of Art, Featuring over 120 prints, posters and photographs drawn from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia. ‘Impressions of Paris’ is the gallery’s major international exhibition for 2015.  
Senior curator at the gallery, Stephen Zagala talks about the artists works on display: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier, Atget and others, plus the contribution they made to French art. ‘Impressions of Paris’ is at Monash Gallery of Art, 860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill until September 20th.  The gallery is Open, Tuesday – Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm: Saturday and Sunday, Noon – 5:00 pm. 

That’s next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, with John Sheridan Monday night August 17th at 9.00 on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday August 10th 2015

A story of two Grandfathers: one a singer turned ASIO spymaster, the other, one of Australia’s earliest Middle Eastern immigrants.

That’s the setting for the first conversation on the next edition of ‘Behind the Scenes’ with John Sheridan, Monday night at 9:00 on Vision Australia radio.

In this solo theatre show David Joseph outlines the background of his grandfathers in the program ‘Deceptive Threads’.

‘Deceptive Threads’ is at the Metanioa Theatre 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick from August 12th until 23rd. Book tickets online.

Dave Hoskin has sat in the Cinema through our coldest July in 20 years and managed to thaw out three movies for your delight.

Finally, creator, performer and former soccer player Ahilan Ratnamohan has created a startling, solo dance-inspired work, SDS1, from his experiences in the sweaty, physically skilled and demanding world of soccer.

Ahilan is John Sheridan’s final guest this week; SDS1 is at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne from August 19th to 22nd.  For bookings got to the Artshouse website or phone: 9322 3713.

The worlds of theatre and cinema, next on ‘Behind the Scenes’, with John Sheridan Monday night August 10th at 9.00 on Vision Australia Radio.

 

Monday August 3rd 2015

Earlier this year, artistic director of Circus Oz Mike Finch announced after 17 years with the top performance-circus company, he was retiring.

Over the years Mike has been a regular visitor to Vision Australia Radio and ‘Behind the Scenes’, so we enticed Mike along for a lengthy conversation, looking back on his years at Circus Oz and also where it all began for him, in Bathurst, New South Wales.

Mike joins John Sheridan in a 60 minute reflective conversation, complete with some of his favorite music on ‘Behind the Scenes’, Monday night August 3rd at 9.00 on Vision Australia Radio.


 

Summary
The Melbourne Arts Community is as diverse as its population.