Some stuff you simply must see:-
- The 4th annual Emerging Writers' Festival - the best new writers you haven't heard of....yet. Takes place this coming weekend, opening with a free gig Friday May 25 from 7pm at Paddy's Bar, Trades Hall;and featuring panels, workshops and a publishing trade fair, as well as the highly recommended Scrabble gig on Saturday night at the BMW Edge. Last year's EWF (pronounced 'yoof') focus was on indigenous writers; this year it's non-Anglo writers. Beats the shit out of the Melbourne Writers' Festival any day, trust me. If you love words, writing and ideas, GO!
- Theatre at Risk's superb production of Vanessa Bates' Checklist for an Armed Robber, now on at Trades Hall until Sunday May 27. Quite simply, the best theatrical production I've seen so far this year. Taut, complex and moving, with the powerful simplicity and poignancy that only the best writing has. Twice in its one-hour running time this masterful production reduced me to tears, thanks to the skilled direction of Theatre at Risk's artistic director and co-founder Chris Bendall; and the studied repetition and careful contrasts between seemingly disconnected events that make up the play's script. Of its cast of four, Paul Ashcroft as the desperate young father-turned-armed robber, and Edwina Wren (pictued above with Natalia Novikova) as the bookseller whose humanity is all that stands between him and a terrible, fatal fate, are particularly memorable; while Isla Shaw's set and the ominous, echoing and evocative sound design by Jethro Woodward are also highly effective. See it now - I implore you.