What is it to be a man in our world? A world premier and two Australian firsts are amongst five theatre experiences showing in Adelaide this October which touch on this somewhat taboo topic. Nelson, Crusoe, Bond, Six-Sided Man and Spitfire Solo offer a rare ‘out of season’ opportunity to view British theatre from 8-20 October 2013.
Presented by GMT Productions International and starring British duo Gavin Robertson and Nicholas Collett, the shows offer a unique perspective on culture and humanity, reconciling the past and facing the future. Through the eyes of a time-travelling sea captain, an island castaway, an all-round action guy, a shrink and a fighter pilot, Robertson and Collett shed light on what it is to be human.
GMT Creative Producer Glen Christie is delighted to bring Robertson and Collett’s talents to this state again, with Six-Sided Man and Spitfire Solo having toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festivals of 2011 and 2012.
“The chance to bring Robertson and Collet to Adelaide audiences with two familiar and three new shows was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up,” he said.
“We’re particularly thrilled to open our season with the world premier of Nelson [A Salior’s Story].”
Written and performed by Collett, and directed by Robertson, Nelson provides an historical glimpse into seafaring life aboard the battleship HMS Victory, circa 1805.
“The show opens at Nelson’s column – the famous London landmark – and features Lord Nelson standing amongst trunks, suitcases, duffle bags and a backpack. As the story continues, Nelson watches history unfold, seeing war and life at sea from the time of his death to the current day. To his surprise, the more things change, the more they stay the same,” explains Christie.
A male perspective on life is also at the centre of Crusoe: No Man is an Island, coming with high praise from seasons in Kansas City, USA and Bedford Fringe, UK. Never seen before in Australia, Crusoe is directed by Collett and written by and starring Robertson. Simply presented with minimal props, Robertson takes to the stage in the form of many characters, including a professional killer, a man descending into Alzheimer’s, a man discussing his failed relationships, and a castaway on a desert island.
“Crusoe is about male isolation from the perspective of illness, relationship breakdown and commitment to your job,” says Christie.
“People might think it sounds heavy and intellectual but it’s actually so far removed from that. The play does include reflective elements – such as Robertson’s very physical ‘lost at sea, fending for yourself’ interpretation of Robinson Crusoe – but other scenes are lighter and surprising. There is a nightclub scene that has to be seen to be believed,” smiles Christie.
The Australian premier of Bond: An Unauthorised Parody is also sure to bring a smile to audiences’ faces. Like Crusoe, Bond is directed by Collett, and written and performed by Robertson.
“Bond features hilarious references to every single Bond stereotype ever created, from Connery right through to Daniel Craig, including girls, car chases and over-the-top villains. Robertson works with 3 metal door-frames, which he moves around the stage to create the different scenes. It’s quite incredible to watch, ” says Christie.
“Anyone who’s ever seen a Bond film will get something out of this play,” he adds.
Collett’s Spitfire Solo will also be offered this October, following success in the 2012 Adelaide Fringe season. Under the direction of Robertson, Collett plays a retired fighter pilot facing the realities of the past and challenges of his present life as a resident in a retirement home.
Six-Sided Man, also a previous Fringe show, is the only production of the five that is two-handed, featuring Collett as a psychiatrist and Robertson as his patient who decides to make life decisions strictly according to the rolls of a dice.
“Six-Sided Man confronts how we make decisions in our lives, how we reconcile our actions to ourselves and to the world,” Christie explains.
Through GMT Productions International, Christie hopes to follow up the current season of Collett and Robertson’s five plays with other small international theatre acts, with several possibilities already on the horizon.
By Sarah Keenihan
Venue: The Forge, Marryatville High School, Kensington Road, Marryatville
Season: 9 – 18 October 2013
Bookings: Book at BASS http://www.bass.net.au/
Photo: Producer Glen Christie holds tickets to Bond: An Unauthorised Parody