Keeping it ‘Short and Sweet’
If John Wayne and Bertold Brecht had a love child, it would be The Whiskey Bar. This Western Musical, set in a steamy saloon, is orchestrated by the Puppeteer who uses Beatrice and her Musical Coup, blurring sounds like the trumpet, acoustic guitar, snare drum and double bass, to move the tale of man and woman forward. When Curious Cole and his Rough House Gang enter the Whiskey Bar and encounter their ultimate rival, O'Johnny, to settle their final duel, what will happen? This play will be the tumble weed of Short and Sweet of 2012.
Written and directed by Bachelor of Dramatic Art alumnus, Robert den Engelsman, The Whiskey Bar: A Musical House of Contradictory Morals will be performed as part of Short and Sweet Theatre 2012 from 1 to 5 February at the Newtown Theatre.
“The absurdity of the idea of a Western Musical still makes me laugh,” says Robert. “I thought it would be intriguing to combine the genres one day while dabbling on my guitar after listening to artists like Brecht, Nick Cave and the Doors. Combining music and theatre is one of my passions because the result can be very powerful. I hope The Whiskey Bar provokes thought, while giving the audience a fun and enjoyable experience.”
The cast and crew consist of current students and alumni from Wesley Institute’s Schools of Drama and Music, including:
- Bachelor of Dramatic Art Alumni: Peter Allison, Andrew Bollom, Robert den Engelsman, Jolene Mifsud, Nicholas O’Regan, Scott Parker and Faith Treacy
- Current Bachelor of Dramatic Art Students: Luke Holland and Murray Lambert
- Bachelor of Music Alumni: Simon Williams and Justin Adams-Jolly
- Current Bachelor of Music Students: Angela Fehlner, Lauren McDougal, Lyndell Arthur and Percival Reddy
Robert, Andrew, Nicholas, Scott and alumnus Benjamin Vickers performed Commedia della Scorreggia at Short and Sweet last year, advancing to the gala finals and winning best Independent Theatre Company.
“After the success of last year’s Commedia della Scorreggia, I wanted to keep the power of ensemble based theatre, while experimenting with different techniques, and it's been very positive,” says Robert. “The whole cast has embraced the script and helped me embody my vision, so I am very humbled by that.”
Short and Sweet Theatre is the world’s largest festival of ‘ten minute theatre’. Currently in its eleventh year, the festival annually features over 300 ten minute plays at both national and international festivals. This year, Short and Sweet Sydney will produce 180 brand new ten minute plays in January, February and March, with over 300 writers and directors, and close to 500 actors involved. Over the years, involvement in Short and Sweet Theatre has assisted a number of theatre professionals in catching their ‘break’.
“Studying the Bachelor of Dramatic Art at Wesley Institute has given me the confidence, as well the essential skills to create my own work,” says Robert. “The training is very focused on 'theatre making', which is something that has broadened my knowledge and I have personally embraced it. In addition, studying amongst other creative Schools at Wesley Institute, like the School of Music, has given me the contacts for collaborations on projects like Short and Sweet Theatre.”
The Whiskey Bar will be performed along with nine other acts before a panel of judges. The winning act will advance to the gala finals in March.
Wednesday 1 February to Friday 4 February, 8:00pm
Sunday 5 February, 5:15pm
For tickets, and further event details, visit Short and Sweet.