Presented by Australian Institute of Comedy In association with the Alex Theatre
Open Media team had the opportunity to film and photograph renowned comedic archeologist Professor Beverly Attenborough outside an actual dig site, situated in the bowels of the Espy Hotel in St Kilda.
Extraordinarily well-preserved fossils have been excavated and will be on show at the Alex Theatre 1/135 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda on the 29th February 2020 at 7pm.
Melbourne’s beloved all rounder Brian Nankervis will host this comedic event, the rarest in Australian history.
Other legendary comics include Flacco, Raymond J Bartholomeuz, Ethel Chop, Con Marasco, Elliot Goblet, Elle McFeast, Slim Whittle, Pate Biscuit, Bev Killick and special guest Professor Beverly Attenborough.
St Kilda, considered the jewel of Port Phillip, has always been synonymous with multi-layered cultures, music, theatre, art and artists.
However, along the way St Kilda lost its ability to attract and nurture its rising creatives.
St Kilda was cleaned up. Became gentrified. The toilet block at the well known indigenous meeting place ‘Koori Park’ was torn down and the the tribe was forced to scatter. Property prices skyrocketed and financial and property investors reigned supreme. The local council became one of the richest in Melbourne and the well-to-do believed they held the key to St Kilda’s rising prosperity and glory.
Today when one takes a stroll down the sunset side of Fitzroy Street you got to wonder WTF happened? Bucket loads of taxpayer’s money has been spent on road infrastructure to accommodate the projected masses flooding into St Kilda as a result of the clean up and gentrification and yes parking, car manoeuvrability and business has been severely impeded.
Regardless of its unique and beautiful seascape, St Kilda has became known as a bi-law trap, whether on the roads or in the venues where noise is policed to what many consider unreasonable and unrealistic proportions. Without doubt many performing artists and the businesses that accommodated them have little reason to feel confident in being facilitated to reach full potential.
A number of years ago local creatives with countercultural persuasions, living and working in St Kilda, started to look at ways to do their bit to save St Kilda’s diverse cultural expression and keep the streets alive and pumping. These guys were not property owners, nor did they have ties to local council or government. They battled along with their personal desires, inspirations and imaginations. Eventually a move was made to activate their collective visions and The St Kilda Arts Community was formed.
Its founding members were remaining creatives working in isolated pockets throughout St Kilda who came together for the greater good. A new collective movement was ignited and the first St Kilda Art Crawl happened, followed by two more.
The Victorian Minister for the Arts was approached by representatives of this newly formed Arts Community and unquestioningly acknowledged the need and potential on offer and gave his official thumbs up. Local council also followed suit with some practical and moral support. The Alex Theatre and the not yet refurbished Espy opened its doors and rallied with moral and practical support, Slowly the local business owners, who were somewhat fiscally strained, started to take note although at first non-committal and wary. Many local artists and galleries on the other hand were given renewed enthusiasm, sensing the energy shift and the potential that comes with it.
A collective vibe throughout the arts community started to rise and ‘art happenings’ in the lesser known art hubs in St Kilda started to be acknowledged and illuminated by the Arts Community for their efforts.
The thing is, artists are workers who deserve a decent income. Their creative and artistic enterprises deserve to be held in high esteem and celebrated. History shows this is what nourishes community.
To quote Robert Mate Mate, a much loved friend who passed on many years ago…
“Politics breeds combat ability whereas art and culture breeds compatibility.”
Tickets: Adults $36.85, Concession $34.40. Artist Passes welcome
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019 has tapped into our Australian larakin laughter mechanism once again, by that I am referring to Australian’s ability to laugh at themselves.
And for those of you who love a little theatre with their laughs then look no further, as the production of UgLeigh at The Alex Theatre (Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda) is sure to shock and entertain you.
UgLeigh is a humorous and confronting look at the added pressures we all contend with in current life; brought about by the seemingly never ending technology allowing us to change ourselves physically to suit the fashion of the day, to be enhanced, and more appealing to ourselves, and our perception of what other’s may want to see in us – at least on the outside.
UgLeigh sets a good pace from the outset and, for the most part, continues this throughout the production with laughter attained within the first few lines.
The ensemble cast deliver Charlotte Watson and Shamita Sivabalan collaborative work ‘UgLeigh’; not only did these two capable women write UgLeigh, they also produced and directed its’ production.
The lead actor, Maia Absberg’s portrayal of the ugly duckling ‘Leigh’ was passionate; humorous; confronting; and believable, right down to genuine tears, snot, and dribble. And Ben Lindsay, Nikki Nespeca, and Andrew Burns all delivered hilariously and animated characters husband, boss and surgeon of Beauty respectively.
This multimedia production of clever design, wit and craft is minimalist and punchy and performed to a Full-House at The Alex Theatre last night, which was the opening night for UgLeigh.
I recommend you get in quickly for this production as there are only four nights left of it’s run ( Thu. 11th April through to Sun. 14th April ) at The Alex Theatre, St. Kilda, where this production takes bold strides on the intimate stage at 8:00pm .
UgLeigh is akin to ‘Selfies and Botox meets The Rocky Horror Show’…
The Alex Theatre, 135 Fitroy Street, St. Kilda is easily accessed by the Light Rail and Trams, with ample parking at the primary school car park and surrounds.
It could only be from the Midas touch group at the Alex Theatre to ensure that this FANF……TASTIC musical parody of the very series ’50 Shades of Grey’ books and films hit St Kilda.
Anyone that has seen the films with the very sexy Jamie Dorman, who even made a psycho sexual serial killer in “The Fall” look hot, will get a spark of interest. There were a lot of women in the audience I noted. However, this story onstage emanates from the books and your imaginations. Probably more sensuous anyway.
Oh course, it was a hit all over America and now some very switched on Producers in David Venn Enterprises have brought it to our shores. My guess it will go on the road for quite a while once word gets out.
This extremely funny, well produced show consisting of nine TOP NOTCH actors, singers and dancers is a MUST to kick start your Comedy Festival dates.
It was such a positive ‘shot in the arm’ to coin a well known phrase, I not only slept like I had my fill but I woke up frisky as well and raring to go.
Oh, if you are wondering where to go the Alex Theatre begins the Paris end of Fitzroy Street.
With approximately 80 works being offered and listed with NO-RESERVE price… this is an opportunity to own a piece from one of Melbourne’s most colourful and exciting portrait & expressionist artists at studio clearance prices.
Viewing and registration from 6pm with Auction from 7:30pm
A portion of this exhibition has adult themes and imagery which may require parental discretion.
Morrison has depicted on canvas many well-known personalities and social icons from the thriving underground and alternative scenes that are now forever embodied in many of his signature paintings.
“Colour is an uplift – my works originally stemmed from viewing club and theatrical performances which then became a cultural statement”, he says. “My vision is colourful, even when my subject matter is set in a dark environment, the mood becomes bright. Elation is the expressive component”.
Morrison has works in five public collections with many of his work being sold and again rebought on the secondary market.
Two pieces from this collection will be allocated for Charity in support of ‘Living Positive Victoria’ and ‘Thorne Harbour Heath’.
Bid at auction on Friday 23 November at Saint Martins Place (St Kilda) and make the most of this rare opportunity.
Plenty of Free on-street parking around the venue from 6pm.
25 October to 22 November 2017 – Opening Thursday night 26 October 6 – 8 pm
I first met and interviewed Adrian Spurr at his St Kilda, Shakespeare Grove Studio #16 in the lead up to the St Kilda Art Crawl. Within minutes I knew I had found a local artist with a clear light connection to his environment and his art. It was the first Saturday of the month and his studio was open to the public to coincide with the Farmers Market. The studio was busy with visitors which made taking photographs of the artworks tricky. Many of the people had been to the studio previously. In fact they regularly visited to see what new work was underway and how other works had been resolved. Adrian welcomes visitors to his stone carving sculpture studio and enjoys the conversing with all ages and particularly with visitors from other countries that come to enjoy the St.Kilda vibe.
His sculptures are iconic and dynamic. How often does one encounter a 250 kg hand carved sandstone head of Zeus? The answer is, not often! Stone carving is an art form of incalculable antiquity and few artists currently work in this medium in a figurative way. As summer approaches he will be conducting stone carving classes for no more than four people at a time to run over four consecutive weeks. The course will end with an opportunity to display work in his studio on Farmer’s Market day.
But Adrian not only cuts stone, he also assembles sculptures, some made of huge quantities of small wooden pieces that he cuts, shapes and glues together into three dimensional forms that often encrust and consume other objects associated with humanity. Some of these sculptures have over 4000 small wooden pieces painstakingly stuck together.
Being a keen recycler myself I love the fact that Adrian chooses found objects and materials to incorporate in his art and discovered that Adrian has large quantities of found material just waiting for transformation.
Originally from the UK, Adrian has lived and worked across the globe and decided to settle in St Kilda some 20 years ago. He is hugely energised by the St. Kilda dynamic and the beautiful Community Gardens and Veg Out friends where his studio is to be found. He also finds inspiration in the wide open spaces of the Wimmera, which is known for its resilience and pioneering attitude and Italy, for it’s fine art and culture.
The prints that are also on display at his exhibition ‘me human’ were made at the Sunshine Print Artspace (SPA) which is an open access print workshop and where Adrian is a co-founder and co-director. This incredible space is closely allied with the Fundere Fine Art Foundry where the four extraordinary, one and a half times life sized bronze mounted Boer War horsemen were poured. These horsemen by the sculptor Louis Laumen are now on Anzac Parade in Canberra.
I had the opportunity to work with Adrian in creating a pop up gallery at 33 Fitzroy Street St Kilda. Through that rich experience I discovered that Adrian is at the top of his game as a master print maker, sculptor and educator. Significantly, I also discovered that Adrian is an energetic powerhouse and prolific creator of art with an exceptional and expansive community vision.
Where: Punchinello pop up art gallery 33 Fitzroy St, St Kilda
When: Thursday evening from 5.30 pm on 5 October.
Why: Closing celebration
Punchinello pop up art gallery located at 33 Fitzroy St, St Kilda will remain open from 2 – 6 October for your viewing a buying pleasure.
The exhibiting artists include Salvatori Lolicato, Pamella Dias, Faye De Pasqualie, Dino Damiani, Josh Birtwistle, Charles Mikula and curator and exibiting artist Adrian Spurr.
Donated by owners Jenny and Rob Semple in support of the inaugural St Kilda Art Crawl this amazing space is a successful vehicle in bringing dedicated and talented artists back to Fitzroy St and the heart of St Kilda.
We invite all art lovers, investors and local supporters to join us on Friday evening starting at 5.30 to celebrate this dynamic period in the history of Fitzroy St, St Kilda.
St Kilda seems to have it all, spectacular sunsets and beach side boardwalks. A rich history of vice and crime, art and culture. Trams that connect to the four corners of Melbourne and beyond. Palm trees, parks, lots of heritage buildings, three outstanding theatres as well as eateries, pubs and bars that play live music to a reasonable hour.
Why has the centre of Fitzroy Street turned into a tumbleweed zone? No one seems to be able to pinpoint the answer to that.
Legend has it that when the artists colony that was Chronicles Bookshop was unceremoniously closed down due to relentless external pressure for dubious and nebulous reasons Fitzroy’s street’s soul had been ripped out.
Or when the toilet block was demolished in what was nationally known by the indigenous community as Koori Park a spookily vacuous and resonating effect was left on the street. Who knows for sure?
What we do know is that the culmination of many quickly imposed plans devised to reinvigorate Fitzroy St. have predominantly failed.
Sadly, despite heavy investiture the area still has issues. Many people including local and state governments are looking to local Arts & Culture as a potential remedy..
I asked local St Kilda resident, mentor, writer and visual artist, Emily Humphries to comment on how the area and local Art and Artists might be able to lend a hand, and if she has any insight into a problem that many wealthy residents and investors have failed to solve. This is what she said.
…“ When Dolores San Miguel opened the doors of the Crystal Ballroom in 1978 it dragged St Kilda groaning and kicking from its post war malaise as Melbourne youth awoke with a yelp. What had once been the terrain of wealthy seaside residents, the area that spans from the juncture of Barkley St and Alma Rd. was held high with grand mansions, which scattered like in any European seaside town, over the hill and down to the sea.
The Ballroom was a cultural incarnation of what had been a once vibrant area, yet with quite another face and sadly Melbourne failed to truly celebrate the relevance or recognize quite the qualities of the power house of talent destined to largely desert not just St Kilda, but our shores. Thus there is no real mystery to its decline.
A failure to support or invest in the arts and artists is deadly. There is the organic folding process of any place or thing as it reshapes into another, as a fairly natural phenomenon. St Kilda has never really reformed since the late 80’s and since the large flight of junkies and drug culture to the North of the river there has been a slow process to rocked St Kilda’s heart.
St Kilda is loaded with potential however sometimes the grander enterprises spit people back onto the street with their exclusivity and frosted windows. The general public walk by with nothing much to grasp onto. Where is the soul in this?
The recent rise of the St Kilda Art Crawl in the city of Port Phillip was a really exciting thing. Despite our craft run along the Esplanade there is a chance here to bring back some of the vitality St Kilda now lacks. Why, because it brings a focus back to the expressive, the ‘street tongue’. If you want the street to resound you need to give it a voice and how better to do it than to support and invest in those who make the area their dialogue not just their economy. I really believe it is in the interest of the local businesses to invest in those who make a kind of “noise” about and around them.
There is a reflective quality to the neglect we have given our artists being played out in our deadly streetscape. We have Rowland Howard Lane but where is Rowland Howard? Despite being one of our precious jewels of cultural input Rowland died way too young and although some point the finger at a kind of lifestyle, artists very often have little choice in how they live as they medicate to navigate a culture which undervalues and fails to support them financially or even expressively.
Often our greatest talents end up in housing commissions on disability pensions or are forced to be educators. Without the support or security to simply weave their magic alight and contribute en force, artists in this country are robbed of their esteem by a culture which puts too much emphasis on convention and economic prowess.
I believe, with all my heart, that local business would benefit by investing in local Art & Culture artists that live in every St Kilda block, our heritage alive yet buried,
If we bring in some respect, some heart back into the heart beat of our culture of our area the vigor will return and our street and geography will not be left desolate and reflecting a kind of grief that no end of designer shops or fancy restaurants can stuff”…