Flesh­ing out the Fab Four

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - FRONT PAGE - By KYLIE WIL­SON

FROM his youth in Mans­field to writ­ing well re­ceived plays and nov­els in Mel­bourne, Gabriel Berg moser has al­ways been en­thused about the creative process.

This has come to the fore once again in one of his lat­est works, a play cen­tred around The Bea­tles called We Can Work It Out, which will be per­formed this month at re­gional venues in the North East.

Gabriel said he has long been fas­ci­nated by The Bea­tles, from their phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess as a group to their var­i­ous solo ca­reers.

“And then there are all the in­ter­per­sonal con­flicts and ten­sions be­tween the four.

“What was it like be­hind closed doors, es­pe­cially dur­ing the more fraught times?” Gabriel said.

“We Can Work It Out kind of stemmed from want­ing to ex­plore that.”

He said he had read some books on the band and was also as­sisted in re­fin­ing the script by ac­tor and Bea­tles fa­natic Brett Wolfenden, who plays Ringo in the show.

But The Bea­tles are not the first fa­mous fig­ures that Gabriel has writ­ten about – he also wrote an ac­claimed play about Bruce Spring­steen, as well as one about lesser known bushranger Cap­tain Moon­lite, and has also ref­er­enced real life fig­ures such as Os­car Wilde in his work.

“Pre­dom­i­nantly, it comes from a place of ad­mi­ra­tion or fas­ci­na­tion; I want to gain a deeper un­der­stand­ing of a per­son or event that means a lot to me, so I ap­proach it via theatre,” Gabriel said of his works.

“But beyond that, par­tic­u­larly with mu­si­cians like The Bea­tles or Bruce Spring­steen, writ­ing plays about them pro­vides a way for me to ex­plore the process and out­look of artists in gen­eral.

“We Can Work It Out is about what art should and does mean, while Spring­steen was more a look at how much an artist should be will­ing to sac­ri­fice to achieve suc­cess.

“I love writ­ing about how peo­ple re­late to and con­tend with their pasts, whether our choices and mis­takes de­fine us or not.

“Artists and their re­la­tion­ship with their work are also su­per in­ter­est­ing to me - go fig­ure - and re­cently I’ve been writ­ing a lot about how le­gends are formed and can shape cul­tures, par­tic­u­larly in re­gards to Aus­tralia.”

With the forth­com­ing per­for­mances of We Can Work It Out in the re­gion, Gabriel said he was look­ing for­ward to show­cas­ing his work to au­di­ences so close to home.

“It’s re­ally cool!” he said of his up­com­ing show dates.

“Do­ing shows in the North East is al­ways a bit of a home­com­ing.” He said he has many fond mem­o­ries of the North East and loves to re­turn when he can.

“Day trips through Kelly Coun­try, go­ing to school in Mans­field; it’s tough to boil it down to just a few key mo­ments,” he said of mem­o­ries of his younger days.

“I al­ways love com­ing home, but the longer you’re away the more you no­tice how things in­cre­men­tally change and be­come a lit­tle less recog­nis­able each time you come back.

“Not in a bad way ex­actly, but in a way that makes you re­alise time is pass­ing.”

He is not rest­ing on his lau­rels, how­ever, with the third and fi­nal book in his young adult novel se­ries cen­tred around char­ac­ter Boone Shep­ard, also due out next month.

“It’s a big­ger, more ac­tion packed, more emo­tional book than the pre­vi­ous two and I’m so proud of how it wraps the story up,” he said.

He also has an­other play in pro­duc­tion, The Trial of Do­rian Gray, which will be open­ing as part of the Mid­summa Fes­ti­val next Jan­uary.

We Can Work It Out is be­ing per­formed re­gion­ally in Wan­garatta at 8pm on Wednes­day, Oc­to­ber 10 at the Stage Door Stu­dio; in Mans­field at 8pm on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 11 at the De­latite Ho­tel; and in Be­nalla at 1pm on Oc­to­ber 13 at North East Ar­ti­sans.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the tour, see the Bit­ten By Pro­duc­tions page on Face­book.

PHO­TOS: Jay Lit­tle

STO­RY­TELLER: For­mer North East res­i­dent Gabriel Bergmoser (left), seen here in an act­ing role in a 2017 Bit­ten By Pro­duc­tions’ play Drac­ula: Last Voy­age of the Deme­ter along­side Chris Grant, is a pro­lific play­wright and au­thor who is about to tour a play he has writ­ten about The Bea­tles through­out the re­gion.

◆ MAG­I­CAL MYS­TERY TOUR: Por­tray­ing The Bea­tles in Gabriel Bergmoser’s play We Can Work It Out are (from left) Brett Wolfenden (Ringo), Troy Larkin (Ge­orge), Karl Sars­field (Paul) and Kash­mir Sin­na­mon (John).

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