Updated: Aug 6
Photo by Mark Williams - Shed 11
SINCE 2008, when I first was given this script with a cheeky smile, I instantly fell in love with the concept of Santa's Reindeer coming out against him, and the challenge it presented in staging such an edgy piece of work.
I remember submitting it to various theatres on the Gold Coast, but it was considered it a big risk, given it contains & refers to sexual harassment, abuse, rape, paedophilia and other mature themes & coarse language.
Cut to 2019, and boy, am I'm happy with the pay off and risk I took upon myself, producing & directing a show like this in today's current climate!
The performance space of Preece House was used effectively and the performance was designed for immersion with the audience seated among the reindeer in the style of a support group meeting, and the monologues delivered across the room as well as from the center of the circle. - Backstreet Brisbane
When I look back on this journey of trying to get this show produced, I guess the locations & staging weren't right for it in order for the audience to really connect with monologues.
So when the idea formed of taking this show off the proverbial stage, and giving it an immersive/intimate setting where the "stage" was a support group, on the eve of a public naming & shaming, with audience members being part of it, was another risk that certainly paid off.
Another risk in this show were the monologues themselves, which were really confronting and I was lucky to have found and gave 8 exceptional actors a chance to really show off their acting chops in such close proximity to the audience, and they didn't disappoint!
I loved listening to audience each night discuss the content and talk about who their favorite reindeer or monologue was. I also loved telling people that, for one particular reindeer, it was his first time on stage.
Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there. - Haile Gebrselassie
The hard work, commitment, dedication & discipline shown by each actor, including my stage manager who was finishing year 11, during rehearsals and performance, was amazing.
I had cast members who were rehearsing & performing in other shows or honing their stage craft, work in aged care, teachers with school commitments and parents who worked full-time & had family commitments. One in particular drove 7.5hrs a day (that's up and back) to come to rehearsals & show from Tenterfield, in NSW, where there are raging bush fires at the moment!
These performers were dedicated, committed and respectful to my concept and show. I couldn't be more humble and thankful to them for trusting me and making this show the success it became.
I would also like to publicly acknowledge my girlfriend, Peta Simeon, for her support & believing in me with this venture.
So the lesson I learnt in bringing this passion project to life, is there really is a time and place for something! So never be disheartened by the knock backs you might recieve in persuing whatever it is you are persuing.... as maybe the time is just not right, patience is the key, and if you truely believe in it... then take the risk. Either way it's an experience in personal growth.
I think that every artistic venture is a risk, and it has to be that way. Some might work and some might not, but that's what makes it interesting. - Matt Smith. Actor.
And so I leave this blog with the above quote, which I feel is appropriate for any creative person reading this, and BIG thank you to YOU, the audience, who might be reading this, for added to the experience.
I look forward to bringing the sequel to "The 8 Reindeer Monologues" called "7 Santa's" to you next November, which I might add is little more challenging, and know that there will be plenty more risky shows plan for the future.
The review by Backstreet Brisbane of "The 8 Reindeer Monologues" can be found by clicking on this link:
And I now set forth on putting together The Radioplay Hour's next audio adventure "A Christmas Carol."