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The secrets Canberra Rep can’t keep to themselves By arts editor Helen Musa

IT’S common practice these days to have a theme when you’re launching a theatre season. Canberra Repertory has continued the tradition at Theatre 3 when former Rep actor, one-time ASIO employee and professional comedian David Callan revealed that the 2011 motif will be “Secrets”. Well, we can’t help saying it, but the secret is now out! But not to worry. As Rep puts it, “secrets come in all sorts and sizes”. Essentially, the 2011 program is a parade of tried-and-true directors, veterans such as Corille Fraser, Aarne Neeme and Canadian regular for

In the second production, Corille Fraser’s staging of “Humble Boy” by Charlotte Jones, we’ll see “a poem about people, bees and the galaxy”, but, we are assured, “it’s also buzzing with secrets”. Jim McMullen is back with his showbiz blokes and babes to direct “Jazz Garters III.” Now it’s no secret what this one is about and Rep is not about to hide its light under a bushel, billing this “grand exposition” as full of “sumptuous and scintillating Rep, Walter Learning and who can blame the musical numbers, brilliant jazz and show tune society for that? arrangements”. Rep and Callan were at pains to keep the It’s a while since we’ve seen a show directed by theme going as best they could. For instance, Garry Fry, and he’ll be doing Yasmina Reza’s “Life Geoffrey Borny is to direct Elizabeth Coleman’s x 3”, translated from the French by Christopher “Secret Bridesmaids’ Business”, in which “all of the Hampton. This play’s secret is that the story characters having their own secrets, dreams, and is told from three separate perspectives. Paul desires”. Taylor, critic for the London “Independent” wrote “Jazz Garters” director Jim McMullen... back with his showbiz blokes and babes.

Corille Fraser… staging “Humble Boy” by Charlotte Jones.

that he had feared that “Life x 3” might equal emptiness cubed. “Instead,” he discovered, “it amounts to pleasure-in-triplicate.” John Doyle’s suburban Aussie satire “The Pig Iron People” is directed by Aarne Neeme. Set in Liberal Street in 1996 on the day of John Howard’s first election victory, it pokes fun at cantankerous old neighbours who are the Pig Iron People of the title, the Menzies generation. Finally, the outrageous Walter Learning will stage the “outrageously funny” play “Out of Order” by Ray Cooney, bringing us to the nonsecret of the year, traditional Christmas fare from an enormously successful theatre organisation. Subscriptions are available. Bookings to 6257 1950.

Arts in the City

Talented cast invades library

No Mr Nice Guy… ex-con Julian, played by Paul J Murphy, in a scene from “Hobby Farm”.

Paul’s ‘Hobby’ turns to triumph PAUL J Murphy doesn’t seem like the kind of bloke to have written, produced and played the lead part in a major feature film. But his $300,000 1970s action movie “Hobby Farm” has achieved the unprecedented, a commercial distribution around Australia and a prize at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. We’ll be seeing the film, “Hobby Farm” in Canberra soon after it premieres in Adelaide and Melbourne. It’s a coup for the Lake Tuggeranong College student who became a pilot for Brindabella Airlines after leaving school, then changed his mind. Murphy, who decided he’d like to act when he was 26 and left flying to do voice-overs and Sportsman’s Warehouse ads, has had no agent, no drama school, no writing or production studies, but a particular talent – “I bullshit a lot.” Now at 32, he is hitting the heights with a film he hopes will pay homage to his favourite movie “Predator” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

By Helen Musa So apart from wanting to be like Arnie, what motivated him? “I wanted to do something, but I’m not the best-looking bloke in the world,” he says. “Who would put me in a movie?” So he wrote the script, cajoled friends and family into lending him $300,000 (“I think they’re mad”) and formed his own company, Hero Films International, which, with Brisbanebased Silver Screen Pictures, has produced “Hobby Farm”. In addition, he got Cameron Miller to distribute the film, with keyboardist Andrew Giddings, of Jethro Tull, playing the music. So what is it about? That well-known film critic Chopper Read called it “a film for the thinking man’s psychopath”. It’s quite an international one. Ex-con Julian, played by Murphy, is no Mr Nice Guy, but he’s

on the part path of redemption. He’s been put in charge of a hobby farm, a front for illegal gambling, drugs and sex slavery. The women are mostly hookers trafficked from Russia and Eastern Europe. The director is Brad Diebert, former art department expert from “The Matrix” and “Superman”, whom Murphy met on the set of a Canberra film. Diebert helped him finetune the script and track down a dedicated bunch of actors such as Canberran Anthony Giorgio (“a little trouper”), Vince Sorrenti and veteran Gerard Kennedy. They shot the movie at Kenmore Hospital in Goulburn and, though they were all paid union wages, the actors often became extras and the crew often became actors. But it’s been tough. In retrospect, Murphy feels that doing the writing, the production and the acting “was too much of a load”. In future he’ll just write. “Hobby Farm”, Limelight Cinemas Tuggeranong, December 2.

By Helen Musa CANBERRA Youth Theatre has assembled a talented cast of young people aged 15-25 to devise, create and produce “Retrieval”, a site-specific, promenade performance installation Jemima Wilson in through eight spaces, five “Retrieval” at the floors and the inaccessible National Library. nooks of the National Library of Australia. It’s on November 19-21, 26-28 and December 3-5 at 7.45pm. Bookings to 6248 5057. Be quick. ARTSOUND FM 92.7 (90.3 in Tuggeranong) is staging its 2010 Radiothon until November 14. Great coup that Lennock Motors has donated a Nissan Micra 2010 K12 valued at $14,990 to raffle. If you join up or renew your membership, you’ll be in the draw, so, as they say, tune in. THE National Gallery of Australia and Wesfarmers Arts has announced the inaugural recipients of the Wesfarmers Arts Indigenous Fellowship for arts management. The two fellowships worth $50,000 each have gone to Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, associate curator of indigenous objects and photography at the Art Gallery of WA, and Jirra Harvey, national youth programs co-ordinator, Oxfam Australia, in Melbourne. “SUMMERTIME and the singing is easy,” Stopera is saying of its concert of summer-inspired songs, to be performed by director Vivienne Winther on the piano, sopranos Rebecca Collins and Rachael Duncan, and mezzo-soprano Christina Wilson. Among other things they will pay homage to the late Joan Sutherland. at Tuggeranong Arts Centre at 2pm November 14. Bookings to 6293 1443. WE were recently asking in this column what had happened to Janice Kuczkowski, who recently left M16 Studios. The news is that she will join Bea Brickhill, in the Australia Business Arts Foundation ACT (AbaF) offices one day a week. I HEAR Canberra drummers will be stirring up a storm at the Belconnen Festival on November 13 in Margaret Timpson Park, Belconnen, at the front of Westfield. It’s all part of “Circo Belco and the Future Footprints Sideshow” – the event is preceded with an opening party at the park the night before. CityNews  November 10-17  21

Canberra CityNews November 11-17, 2010  

LIBERAL Party president Winnifred Rosser is saying ciao to all this and tells KATHRYN VUKOVLJAK that she’s off to live in Italy. Elsewhere i...

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