THIS ROOM HOLDS HER MEMORY
DIRECTOR/ ARIETTE TAYLOR
WRITER/ LAURA LETHLEAN
5 - 15 JUNE, 2024
Wed 5 June 7:30pm (PREVIEW) Thurs 6 June 7:30pm (OPENING) Fri 7 June 7:30pm Sat 8 June 7:30pm Tue 11 June 7:30pm Wed 12 June 7:30pm Thurs 13 June 7:30pm Fri 14 June 7:30pm Sat 15 June 7:30pm
Director: Ariette Taylor Writer: Laura Lethlean Cast: Robert Meldrum, Anca Frankenhaeuser, Patrick Harding-Irmer, Pearl Southgate, Zachary Medved. Puppeteer: Lizz Lethlean Lighting Design: Philip Lethlean Puppet Designer: Philip Millar Producer: Matthew Connell
Full price $45.00 Concession $35.00 Preview $28.00 Mob Tix $20.00
Theatre Works: Explosives Factory. Address: Rear Laneway 67 Inkerman Street, St Kilda. This venue is not wheelchair accessible. This is a lockout event. Public Transport: 3/97 Tram. Parking: Street.
Ariette Taylor returns with
a compelling new production about memory, attraction and dread.
Duration: 65 minutes / no interval
Written by award winning playwright Laura Lethlean (Pillow Fight), this new work is a deep meditation on a particular experience an elderly man had in his youth. His memory of the event oscillates. It turns over in his mind and what he thought he knew is challenged. He is confronted with hidden truth, beauty and dread. He enters the room with nothing left to lose. The room that holds her memory.
Australian Stage on The Lower Depths
'Ariette Taylor, who has spent the better part of seven years bringing this production to the stage, has crafted a work that is bold, ambitious and above all humane.
This production is a revelation, in many senses of the word, revealing not only its beauty and elegance but also its underlying motivations and theatricality as it unfolds.'
Australian Book Review on Dreamers
'this is not naturalism or expressionism, or any other theatrical mode: it is something quiet and enclosed, which, in its careful, truthful way points toward a new existence...'
ARIETTE TAYLOR/ DIRECTOR
Ariette started her career in the Netherlands as a dancer and was a soloist in London with Ballet Rambert until 1969. Her work as a theatre director began in Adelaide with dance-theatre productions. Between 1977 and 1995 she directed many theatre productions for Adelaide Festival, MIFF and Playbox. Her work with Daniel Keene is well remembered as the Keene/Taylor Theatre Project, 1999 - 2005.
PHILIP MILLAR/ PUPPET DESIGNER
As Artistic Director of Puppetvision, Philip has produced a range of shows for Melbourne’s Fringe and Comedy Festivals including ‘Peta & the Whale’, ‘Tyrannosaurus sex’ and Fringe Award winners ‘Pure Puppet Palaver’ and ‘Tadpole’ Philip Millar is the former Associate Creative Director at Creature Technology Company, having been involved since the company’s inception in 2006 on projects such as ‘Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular’, ‘How To Train Your Dragon – The Arena Spectacular’, the Tony Award winning ‘King Kong’ and ‘Lady Liberty’ for Radio City Music Hall. One of Australia’s leading puppet artists, Philip has over three decades of experience as a performer, designer, maker and director of puppetry for theatre, film and television. Philip was a presenter at the 2015 Human Robotics Interaction Conference in Portland, USA. He co-authored ‘Sequence and Chance: Design and Control Methods for Entertainment Robots’ with E. Jochum and D. Nunez for the Robotics and Autonomous Systems journal. Philip has presented workshops and seminars at all four Australian Puppetry and Animatronics Summits, at MIT’s Media Lab, at RMIT Design Hub, at the 2009 AGideas Design Conference in Melbourne and the 2016 IdeasOnDesign conference in Foshan, China. Philip is also a former editor of 'Australian Puppeteer' magazine. Prior to working with CTC, Philip was Co-Artistic Director of Polyglot Puppet Theatre and has worked freelance on numerous stage and screen productions including the feature films ‘The Host’, ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘Rogue’, the TV series ‘Farscape’ and ‘Pig’s Breakfast’ and the stage productions of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘The Hobbit’.
LAURA LETHLEAN/ WRITER
Laura Lethlean is a playwright from Naarm, Melbourne and a graduate of NIDA’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Performance. Her plays have been published and produced across Australia and New Zealand. She is a co-founder of THE ANCHOR theatre company, alongside NIDA graduates Jessica Arthur and Katie Cawthorne. THE ANCHOR has produced many of her plays and has provided Laura with a pathway to build her artistic practise. With each new play, Laura seeks to challenge herself. She looks for stories, perspectives, and ideas that she believes need re-examining. She has written about the inventors of plastic (Plastic Pacific, 2013, The Substation), the fine line between reality TV and the 24 hour news cycle (The Space Between the Fuel and the Fire, 2016, NIDA), abortion (Two Hearts, 2018 Kings Cross Theatre and the Butterfly Club), women’s relationship to legacy beyond motherhood, (The Three Graces, 2019, TheatreWorks) and the complexities of consent (Pillow Fight, 2022, Gasworks Arts Park, The Hannah Playhouse, the Phee Broadway Theatre). 2023 continued Laura's artistic journey, beginning in New York City, where she worked with renowned composer Nico Muhly on a new opera commissioned by Sydney Chamber Opera. In March, she toured her award-winning play “Pillow Fight” to Wellington, New Zealand, and Castlemaine Festival, Victoria. Laura travelled to NSW to complete a residency to research Professor Val Plumwood at her home near Braidwood, before finishing the year with a final six-week writers residency at Maribyrnong City Council’s Arts Box.
PHILIP LETHLEAN/ LIGHTING DESIGNER
Philip Lethlean has designed lights for over 250 original Australian productions in his 30+ year career. Working in collaboration with diverse creative teams, Philip has lit productions across all genres from theatre, opera, ballet, concerts, puppetry, circus, and comedy, both within Australia and Internationally. Philip also designs for festivals and expos, museums and art installations, architecture and public art. He brings to each project his substantial experience in collaboration across disciplines, working closely with directors, designers, composers and choreographers, to make theatre. Philip is skilled in designing from the whole palette of possibilities and budgets. CLUSTERS OF LIGHT in Shahjar UAE for the 2014 Islamic Cultural Capital is one such project, as is the 2012 Dreamworks production of HOW TO TRAIN YOU DRAGON, ARENA SPECTACULAR. Lighting site-specific works is another area of his experience. The Federation events, the YEPERENYE CONCERT held in Alice Springs and PEOPLESCAPE at Parliament House, are both examples. The Melbourne Commonwealth Games RIVER SPECTACULAR and the OPENING CEREMONY of the 2016 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, PNG are others. Philip’s extensive experience includes staging and lighting theatrical works in independent seasons and cultural festivals throughout, Europe, Asia and the Americas. His past experience with Expo is substantial, having designed lighting for the Australian Pavilion in Aichi Japan and Shanghai China. He has also been the LD for many international programmes presenting Australian culture, including Expo Seville and Shanghai. Philip is a recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Fellowship and has received numerous Helpmann and Green Room nominations and awards. “Light in theatre is more than a technical tool. It is an element with both functional and aesthetic properties at play. It arrests the audience and underpins the emotional ambience. My ongoing interest is to extend the ways in which light can be manipulated to enhance perception and shape concepts in performance, in sculpture and as a dynamic property in its own right”.
Patrick Harding-Irmer started dancing at the age of 24 with Keith Bain at the Bodenwieser Dance Centre in Sydney. He graduated from Sydney University with BA, Dip. Ed. and in 1973 was asked by Robert Cohan to join London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He remained with that company as dancer, choreographer, teacher and on two occasions, acting Artistic Director until his return to Australia in 1990. With LCDT he performed extensively throughout the UK and internationally, including two Olympic Arts Festivals, LA and Seoul. In 1985 he graduated with BA(Hons) in Contemporary Dance from the University of Kent, having maintained a full time performing schedule with the company. Since arriving back in Sydney, he has danced with Sydney Dance Company, The Australian Ballet, Australian Opera, The One Extra Company, Dance North, Music Theatre Sydney, Canberra Dance Theatre and in numerous independent projects. He was nominated for a Green Room Award in Jonathan Taylor’s Vesalii Icones for the 1991 Melbourne International Festival. Until recently he has been performing with the Australian Dance Artists, who have been collaborating for many years with renowned sculptor and installation artist Ken Unsworth. He has also been involved with the incredible 109 year old Eileen Kramer in all her recent productions. In August 2016 he performed in Finland with his partner, Anca, in their self-devised program of works ‘Long Life, Short Dances’.
Photographer: Eamonn McLoughlin
Pearl is currently undertaking vocational dance training at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS). From a young age, Pearl has studied a range of dance styles and techniques, and values the assets of each practice to her overall knowledge base as an artist. Choreographic opportunities in her dance course have inspired Pearl's increased appreciation for creative work in movement, theatre and production. This Room Holds Her Memory for Victorian Theatre Company's 2024 season is Pearl's first encounter with professional theatre; she looks forward to broadening her scope of artistic understanding through this opportunity to work with experienced individuals in a production unlike any she has previously taken part in.
BA (Hons), Contemporary Dance (University of Kent, UK). MDA Movement Studies (National Institute of Dramatic Art, Sydney, Australia) Performed, taught and choreographed with London Contemporary Dance Theatre for fifteen years touring extensively throughout UK and internationally. In Australia since 1990 she has taught extensively in dance schools, colleges and tertiary institutions, has worked on a variety of productions as well as co-creating and performing independent work with likeminded dancers, actors, singers, musicians and visual artists. As a member of Australian Dance Artists she co-created, and performed in, eleven productions collaborating with eminent sculptor Ken Unsworth. She has created work and performed several times with Canberra Dance Theatre, and also at the National Portrait Gallery including Movers & Shakers for the Richard Avedon Exhibition in 2013, Dances for David in 2016 and BOLD Festivals 2017, 2019 & 2022. Performing Stephanie Burridge’s MIST for Canberra Dance Theatre’s 40 th anniversary earned her an Australian Dance Award nomination for Best Female Dancer. In March/April 2019 she had her first visual arts exhibition, The Wrapsody of the Daily Paper, at SLOT Gallery. Other ventures include presenting Long Life, Short Dances in Finland with her partner Patrick Harding-Irmer, the short film Solitude which premiered at The Lincoln Centre in NYC, an Australia-Singapore digital collaboration Bubbles, and ongoing performance and film projects with the now 109-year old Eileen Kramer in collaboration with Sue Healey. Presently works as a deviser/director/choreographer/performer, as well as lecturer/tutor of movement for actors and choreography.
Photographer: Eamonn McLoughlin
LIZZ TALBOT LETHLEAN
Lizz’s perspective is shaped by her 30+ year career in theatre, in education and in creating theatre experiences in the community. She has performed in over 20 original Australian works, most notably with Handspan Theatre, ( www.handspantheatre.com.au ) where touring throughout Australia, Europe, South America and Asia formed the backbone of her performance. It was here that Lizz began her creative partnership with director Ariette Taylor. As an educator, Lizz has continued to fuse her performance and teaching skills to create theatrical experiences across all ages and stages, facilitating projects with professionals and community alike. As an image- maker, projects range from the large scale spirit bird imagery in M~M for the City of Greater Geelong 2009-2018, to the Industrial Fashion events for the Art and Industry Festival with director Donna Jackson and extend to her 2024 “Love Booth” project. Lizz’s broad palette of experience has deepened her understanding of the power of the theatre arts to explore the human condition and to create meaningful connections for audiences and participants alike.
Photographer: Belinda Strodder
Zachary is currently a year 12 student at VCASS, combining finishing his high school studies with a vocational dance program, a gateway to dance companies and tertiary schools all over the world. He has been dancing since he was 5, and besides his never fading commitment to ballet technique, Zachary loves hip hop and choreographs new style contemporary dance works on his fellow students. This will be his first engagement with a theatre company.