Live the­atre film sea­son draws crowd

Alpine Observer - - What’s On - By VANESSA BURGESS

BRIGHT’S Cloud 9 Cinema had a sell-out show at its first screen­ing of the Aus­tralian Na­tional The­atre Live pro­duc­tion ‘Emer­ald City’ on Mon­day.

In an Aus­tralian first, the part­ner­ship be­tween Cloud 9 and ANTLive has al­lowed the cinema to bring live-filmed the­atre pro­duc­tions to North East au­di­ences for the month of Septem­ber.

ANTLive cre­ative di­rec­tor Grant Dod­well – best known for his role as Dr Si­mon Bowen in ‘A Coun­try Prac­tice’, a highly-pop­u­lar 1981-93 Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion se­ries – said ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy al­lowed live the­atre pro­duc­tions to be recorded.

“I’ve al­ways had a pas­sion for the­atre and be­ing able to bring the ex­pe­ri­ence of watch­ing live the­atre to screen au­di­ences wher­ever they are, is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity,” he said.

“We have eight cam­eras record­ing and to date we have seven the­atre pro­duc­tions on film, but of course we are con­tin­u­ing to up that num­ber.”

Mr Dod­well said the aim of film­ing live stage pro­duc­tions was to en­sure ev­ery­one had ac­cess to live the­atre no mat­ter where they lived.

“We had a screen­ing of ‘Rumpel­stilt­skin’ in a tiny town called Tinti­nara in South Aus­tralia which has a pop­u­la­tion of about 320 and we had around 100 school kids turn up to watch it,” he said.

“They were blown away with what they saw as about 90 per cent of them had never seen live the­atre.

“That’s what the record­ing does; it makes you feel like you are lit­er­ally in the the­atre watch­ing the per­for­mance live – mis­takes and all.”

Cloud 9 Cinema own­ers Shan­non and Matt Price said they were thrilled with the re­ac­tion from the lo­cal com­mu­nity and hoped to be able to con­tinue to bring live-recorded the­atre to the re­gion.

“We strug­gled to get the Na­tional The­atre pro­duc­tions up and run­ning here and the Na­tional The­atre pro­duc­tion peo­ple were quite dif­fi­cult to deal with but we’ve al­ways wanted to be able to bring live the­atre pro­duc­tions to the re­gion,” Ms Price said.

“We are re­ally happy to be work­ing with the ANTLive to bring this to our area, and we hope to be able to con­tinue work­ing to­gether.

“We are also look­ing for­ward to get­ting our pop-up cinema out into the winer­ies around the area and screen­ing some of the live the­atre pro­duc­tions.”

Mon­day night’s ‘ Emer­ald City’ – by play­wright David Wil­liamson – was met with huge ap­plause and the next three shows, ‘ Wharf Re­vue’, ‘ Lib­erty Equal­ity Fra­ter­nity’ and ‘ Rumpel­stilt­skin’, will be shown dur­ing the next three Sun­days.

Mr Dod­well said one of the main aims of record­ing live the­atre was to en­gage peo­ple in live per­for­mances.

“It’s not just about show­ing metro pro­duc­tions in re­gional and ru­ral ar­eas, fur­ther down the track we want to be able to show re­gional and ru­ral pro­duc­tions to metro ar­eas as well,” he said.

“Many peo­ple have never seen live the­atre, and even though the pro­duc­tions are on film, it re­ally does feel like you are watch­ing it live.”

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