Tag Archives: Marian Webb

Coming Through – Irinushka at the Butterfly Club

Review by Marian Webb

Irina Kuzminsky is a phenomenon, extraordinarily gifted in dance, music and language.  Coming Through, her one-woman performance, is a synthesis of those gifts and a continues the unfoldment of a favoured theme, the Dark Goddess.  Poetry, song and elements of classical ballet combine to form multi-dimensional hymns.

Irina – or Irinushka as she is known on stage – as a classical artist in the sense that she has perfected classical forms that come to us from the nineteenth century and beyond, to the likes of Leonora Orsini (1560-1634).  So many riches build a highly stylized drama, that at times relaxes into a refreshing naturalism, as when Irinushka puts on her pointe shoes, taking time to tie the glossy ribbons.  Performer participates in the narrative, the plot of which is to give fresh form to centuries-old traditions of vocal, physical and literary expression.

Coming Through is out-of-the-ordinary performance art and runs until Saturday 26 October at the Butterfly Club.


Review Marian Webb

Ryan New, Danielle von der Borch, Harriet Devlin Image Paul Dunn
Ryan New, Danielle von der Borch, Harriet Devlin Image by Paul Dunn

SONG FOR A WEARY THROAT at the Fairfax Studio takes pride of place at the Melbourne International Arts Festival after its much-acclaimed premier at Theatreworks last year.  Directed by Kate Sulan, Rawcus Ensemble – fifteen performers with and without disability – join the Invenio Singers in a profoundly moving work of theatre.

Set in an abandoned dance-hall littered with disused carpet rolls, a destroyed cinema pew, dust and other detritus, the action begins as a performer chalks the first lines of Dante’s Inferno on a disappearing blackboard before brilliant light, loud noise, then darkness simulate a cataclysm that breaks down consensus narrative structure. The ensemble performs wordlessly, forming tableaux, shifting the furniture and reforming into choric dance routines and dramatic interpersonal events that slide from one to another like a mind rebuilding itself after disaster.

Prue Stevenson, Joshua Lynzaat Image -Sarah Walker
Prue Stevenson, Joshua Lynzaat Image by Sarah Walker

Aided by the Fairfax Studio’s superb acoustics, the accompanying soundtrack by Jethro Woodward and Gian Slater ranges through a low drone of scratched vinyl to explosion, rhythmic dance and sublime harmony. The Invenio Singers add their clear-voiced, wordless songs, at one point making a melody using only breath into hand-held mics. The performers each bring unique qualities to the ensemble, dressed in mostly casual attire that links everyday personality to stage persona.

Harriet Devlin, Ryan New, Rachel Edward, Mike McEvoy, Paul Mately, Michael Buxton, Danielle von der Borch-Image Paul Dunn
Harriet Devlin, Ryan New, Rachel Edward, Mike McEvoy, Paul Mately, Michael Buxton, Danielle von der Borch image by Paul Dunn

SONG FOR A WEARY THROAT is theatre liberated from text, broken into its elements and reconstituted into a stunning, immersive experience. Don’t miss it.

Created by the Rawcus ensemble of performers with and without disability

10 – 12 October | 7:30pm
13 October | 2:00pm & 7:30pm
14 October | 5:00pm
Duration: 65 minutes (without interval)
Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio
Book at artscentremelbourne.com.au or 1300 182 183

proudly supported by:









produced by Kerrie Pacholli © pationpics.com





Electroplasm by Feverstone

images © pationpics.com

Feverstone is Renn Barker, retired salvage diver, co-founder of bands Bloom and Screwtape, White Gloves Film Festival Director and word spinner – and John Philips, co-founder of Not Drowning Waving, acclaimed film and TV soundtrack composer and sonic wizard.


Considered by Melbourne’s 2016 White Night promotors as a must see production

Trewlea Peters – Director of Summonings
Marian Webb – Director of Possessionings
Loki – Sonic warlock
Greg Bead – Electrical Manipulatiste
Eve Gilbert – Mise-en-scène rapporteur
Tania Smith – Apparition de la Bearbrass
Isabelle Bertoli – Apparition
Emily Humphries – Apparition
Janet Watson Kruze – Apparition
Max Stephens – 

Tatiana Doroschenko –Guest apparition & Séance Chatelaine
Ian Buckland – Consulting magician
Juliet Foss – Consulting composer
RMIT School of Media and Communications – Technological support

The first two decades of the last century were charged by a terrible war driven by new technologies, lost and curious souls seeking others through spiritualism and the electrification of cities like the energetic Edwardian metropolis of Bearbrass on the banks of the Yarra River by Phillip’s Port.

For one waxing gibbous night, electrical explorers Feverstone (with special guest apparitions) will summon the spirits of Bearbrass from then to now, employing sounds, visions and patented electrical apparatus.


© pationpics.com© pationpics.com© pationpics.com

‘Come Down With Us’ review

Top image: Cabaret King Tim Mckew with host William Mora

by Marian Webb

TIM MCKEW‘s performance art extravaganza ‘Come Down With Us’, at William Mora Gallery in Richmond, reprises shows held at Tolarno Galleries in St Kilda, 1979.

On Friday night, Mckew proved that three-and-a-half decades and a dose of laryngitis could not tarnish the sparkle of numbers like ‘Sailor Boys, Sailor Toys’, ‘Tuna – Full Sirena’ and the spooky ‘Night Porter’; his mellow tones and clever, cowardesque lyrics were a delight.

Images by Kerrie Pacholli © pationpics.com

Long time friends and collaborators Tim Mckew and photographer Peter Haffenden.
Long time friends and collaborators Tim Mckew and photographer Peter Haffenden. 

Mckew wore a smart white naval uniform, set off by a series of striking hats by Graeme Hare and Carol Murphy. He lamented a fit of born-again Christianity that saw him throw out the mermaid tail to go with his stunning mermaid hat.

The tail, however, and other pieces of costume history are preserved in photographs by the likes of Rennie Ellis, collages by Vanessa Bianca Harrow and light-boxes by Peter Haffenden.  These are exhibited in the gallery floyer.

Friday night’s full house was thoroughly entertained with a tantalizing slice of late 1970s underground theatre.  Long may it play.

images © Kerrie Pacholli

Tim McKew as 'Tuna - Full Sirena'
Tim McKew as ‘Tuna – Full Sirena’.
Sue Thompson with Carol Green from Australian Ballet School
Sue Thompson with Carol Green from Australian Ballet School
Musicans, painters and poets in  Ash Wednesday, Emily Humphries and Marian Webb.
Musicans, painters and poets in Ash Wednesday, Emily Humphries and Marian Webb.






Carol Green again on closing night with Peter Jago on closing night.
Carol Green again on closing night with Peter Jago on closing night.

The Comedy Zone

Wild and live at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

The Comedy Zone introduces five outstanding specimens of ‘wild, untamed, new talent’ from around Australia to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014.

Under the direction of Heath McIvor, performers Geoffrey Windle (MC), Suren Jayemanne, Becky Lucas, Aaron Chen and Demi Lardner deliver polished and precocious stand-up, exploring the challenges posed by coming of age in post-millennial Australia.

From Queensland, the urbane and erudite Geoffrey Windle dissects troubling logical and grammatical absurdities as he introduces his colleagues, taking time to ponder the naïve spelling and spurious recipes of a found cookbook.

From Sri Lanka via Victoria, Suren Jayemanne demonstrates his mastery of the pun, with howling results. He confesses his bewilderment with the opposite gender and delectation of inappropriate rap titles.

Queensland’s Becky Lucas likewise takes a prod to gender tensions, contemplating the lack of charm among predators lurking in night-clubs and dark alleys.  In self-flagellatory style she laments her failure to gain paternal approval of her career choices, and the paucity of reliable sex education to be gleaned from babushka dolls.

Aaron Chen from New South Wales projects a meek, social phobic persona and up-tilted question inflections, while navigating swiftly changing perspectives on intercultural dating, thwarted musical ambitions and illogical urban encounters.  Aged just 18, Aaron is the youngest comedian of the set.

Last but not least, Demi Lardner from South Australia hops with elfin whimsy from frenetic anecdote to edgy one-liner to zany impersonation, as exemplified in her spluttering confrontation with a front-desk police officer, and her ‘impression of an insane comedian’ perpetrating audience participation.  In 2013, Ms Lardner won the MICF Raw Comedy competition, propelling her to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she went on to become joint winner of the So You Think You’re Funny competition.

The five’s journey to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014 is the subject of a documentary to be televised on C31 on Tuesday 8 April at 8.30pm and again on 12 April at 9.30pm.

Story by Marian Webb

The Comedy Zone runs Tuesday to Saturday 8.15pm, Sunday 7.15pm, to 20 April.

Venue: Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall, cnr Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton.

Running time: 60 minutes

Prices: $19.50 – $23.50