For the past six weeks we’ve delved intensively into the world of Chants Des Catacombes. A five day rehearsal workshop in Port Campbell took us somewhere all together different and new; an incredible level of work was achieved. Rehearsals commenced at 9am each day until 11pm . There were blisters, bruises and bumps, and as a result the work is much stronger.
It was also a chance to experiment with not just how we work together as an ensemble, but how we live together. Locked away in a beach house in Port Campbell was the perfect rehearsal for what it might be like living together in Adelaide. The good news is Zoe McDonald (our Showgirl) and Dave Hardford (our Choreographer) formed an unbreakable bond as company chefs. The meals they prepared were out of this world. The bad news is we are a company of snorers, particularly Nate Gilkes (our Music Director/Arranger) and myself. Some serious planning is now needed to ensure a sound night sleep for all. Good dreaming and better sleep is crucial to our work!
We returned to Melbourne with an enhanced Chants Des Catacombes. Some might say, “Why? The work was already great.” What I can proudly report is our work as an ensemble has never been stronger. There is a togetherness and rigor in our theatre making processes which in turn is shaping Chants Des Catacombes. We go into Adelaide cohesive, focussed, and open to all possibilities.
Staging the work in a new space will be quite a challenge and we only have a handful of days in the Gaol before we open. Our rehearsal work has prepared us for all possibilities. Much of Chants has been questioned, broken and remade. Some elements of the performance will be quite similar to the Donkey Wheel House season, others have shifted drastically. There is so much more we know about the work, and yet so much more we are yet to discover. The next ten days of theatre making is going to be an exhilarating ride for Present Tense company. Fingers and toes are crossed.
THE TWOKS GO TO GAOL
One exciting new element is the addition of Melbourne art pop duo The Twoks (electrical violinist sensation Xani Kolac and drummer Mark Leahy) into the catacombes.
I’ve been a fan of Xani Kolac for quite some time. I will always remember seeing her with Martin Martini and the Bone Palace Orchestra. Her stage presence and artistry was captivating. But above all of this, she is a good egg and an amazing fellow collaborator. Together with Mark Leahy, we have expanded the musicality of Chants Des Catacombes. To have two outstanding artists working alongside our arranger and musical maestro Nathan Gilkes, and the three girls, is a blessing. High octane is an understatement. The Twoks bring an entire new electricity to our performance. It’s reason enough to come across to Adelaide.
FOUR DAYS UNTIL OPENING NIGHT
Our opening performance is sold out, and two preview shows are not far behind. Ticket sales are tracking well and we’ve been fortunate to have secured the support of Radio Adelaide and MAD Promo to help us promote the season in Adelaide.
Any help you can offer us in selling Chants Des Catacombes to friends and family would be greatly appreciated. The Adelaide Fringe is second biggest Fringe in the world and it’s a busy time for theatre. A single Tweet or Facebook message could result in a number of ticket sales.
Bookings can be made through Fringe Tix.