Sunday, July 17, 2005

We live in furious times, molten times. A new millenium, apparently. Though I have my doubts.

Way back in the 1990s, for those who remember them (a rare few, since we're talking about that age when cavemen and dinosaurs battled for Earth's supremacy), a small bunch of Melbourne theatre folk had a very good idea. That idea turned into The Black Swan of Trespass. I was busy, however, during all this, telling friends and random tram passengers that "mobile phones will never take off" and "the internet is just a passing fad". History is written by the victor, and I, in this regard, am a loser. As in many others.

Black Swan opened again in Melbourne on Friday night, no longer in the basement of director Chris Kohn's North Melbourne home, but in the brand spankin new Tower Theatre of the Malthouse. You can read about the show
elsewhere. For now, you are wondering this:

How was the afterparty?

The Tower is a decent theatre with a fine entrance: you walk through a glass corridor backed by a tropical scene, and form something of a spectacle to the crowd in the foyer below. Everyone knows I like a large tropical scene on a wall, as attested to by this shot of me rocking out at work (faces blacked out to protect the innocent). That backdrop was made with the (questionable misuse of) the Age's spiffy 4th floor colour printer. We love it. And let me tell you, sneaking several hundred A3 pages across the floor isn't easy.

Anyway, back to the Malthouse.

The upstairs mezzanine that leads onto the Tower entrance is hardly the spot for a post-show drinks session. The narrow, balconied space is ideal if you're looking for elbowed ribs, false apologies and no clear sightlines. Otherwise, you're screwed.

The food was ambiguous. It seems to be a Malthouse truism that the catering is in proportion with the publicity surrounding an opening, though this has nothing to do with the quality of the show. See: Woman Bomb. Abso-freakin-lutely ace food afterwards (crap show though). Massive publicity. Black Swan of Trespass. Great show, unidentifiable foodstuffs (which is not good for the vego contingent.) That said, drinks were ahoy and aplenty.

At some point, Malthouse Executive Producer Stephen Armstrong invited all and sundry back to his Collins St apartment for curry and booze, and a short bike trip later I found meself amidst the glitterati...I mean theatrati. Which don't sound so good, but cuts a figure nonetheless.

Black Swan director Kohn cuts some fine tunes as a DJ. The small party was pumping most of the time he manned Armstrong's decks. The 70-something Gavan O'Leary, who played a mosquito in the show, was first on the dancefloor accompanied by his partner, and their mean rug-cutting soon drew in the followers. For a party of only a dozen or so, it was impressive to see half the crowd doing the moves.

Sure, there were dance-offs of the old school variety. My +1 for the night, Marcus S, had his ass gently and quietly kicked by the show's femme fatale, Jacklyn B, whilst I was personally subjected to a serious smackdown from writer Lally Katz.

On the plus side, Exec. Prod. Armstrong produced some fine curry, and when I mentioned the veg thing he improvised a passionfruit/raspberry/cream dealie that impressed this foodie.

Cycling home in the wee Sat. hours was an ordeal, but worth it. Sometimes your desire to be involved with the thriving Melbourne theatre scene is outstripped by your complete incapacity to hold a cogent conversation with a stranger. Not in this case. Good night.

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