As we approach the final few performances of the whimsically wonderful The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You, director Kate Gaul and her cast take some time out to reflect on their journey.

Tuesday 8th July – The show closes at the end of this week and we took a moment to reflect on the past four weeks – firstly a word cloud to describe the experience:

Raw, Intimate, Magical, Exhilarating, Blessed (Natalia Ladyko). Fast, Challenging, Exciting, Confronting, Silly (Michael C). Joyous, Collaborative, Jazzy, Freezing, Strong (Anthony). Vibrant, Intimate, Ensemble, Bold, Fun (Emily). Uplifting, Mischievous, Magical, Wild, Fun (Renee).

Photo by Heidrun Lohr

Ever wondered what kind of preparation actors do before going on stage?

Renee: A gentle physical and vocal warm-up followed by coffee, healthy slice and general smutty chat in the dressing room with Violent Outbursters and barrels of riotous laughter.

Michael: I usually get to the theatre about 2 hours before the show and warm up physically and vocally and take time to listen to some music and let go of whatever stuff was happening during the day.

Natalia: Vocal warm-up is a must, with a little singing and a whole lot of verbs, I need to make sure my vocal cords and lips are ready for an hour-ten work out! I stretch, move and wake-up my body. We do the two dances together as an ensemble… all the while laughing and keeping each other on our toes! We dance and laugh just before we come on stage. And I always take a moment of stillness and silence for myself to focus and feel gratitude for this experience. It helps me be in the moment and not take what I’m about to do for granted.

Emily: I make an instant coffee and warm up. Catch up on the goss and enjoy coming together as an ensemble doing the dance and the song.

Anthony: Cup of coffee. Sound and physical connection. Singing in a relaxed way. Moving in gentle, experimental ways

Photo by Heidrun Lohr

I asked the cast to recall memorable moments from the production – here’s a selection:

Emily: Wet costume night when the washing machine had missed the spin cycle; the screaming fans of the school’s audience as we departed the theatre out of stage doors; Lisa’s amazing caramel slice – such an energy booster!

Anthony: A couple of elder folk falling asleep, but enjoying the show nonetheless. The first working through with two new cast members, noticing the differences. The wet costume run, when the machinery broke down.

Natalia: Surprising myself with my Lotte monologue one night. It came from a raw space where emotion just flooded in, and it was lovely to ‘handle’ that as Lotte would. The amount of nerves that were flowing around my body on opening night … I hadn’t felt that intensity in a while. Every rehearsal I was inspired by how hard everyone was working, this just made me want to give them and the play everything I had. What an inspiring group of people to work with. I feel so blessed.

Renee: Healthy slice; Michael finding new and surprising ways to bleed on stage; Seeing my 85+ year old grandparents in the front row laughing themselves silly.

Michael: We all got a characters name wrong on stage once and instead of ignoring it and moving on we kept trying to remember his name; during warm up last show I kicked Renee in the head (by accident); when our costumes didn’t dry in time and we were all madly finding heaters and dryers to solve it

Are there any discoveries you have made (about anything) while making this show (that you would like to share)…

Natalia: We, as a culture, have lost traditions for ‘coming of age’, or moving on to the next stage of life. And they don’t stop when you’re a teenager… it’s endless. I think my teenage years were fine, it was my 20’s that I feel like Lotte or Connor… am I bit behind?

Michael: How incredibly valuable it is to come back to a project and evolve it. It’s a strong and rewarding process.

Emily: I feel as though the sense of ensemble in this show is particularly tight. I have so enjoyed watching everyone involved in this project continually search and make bold decisions. In fact, because of this, Connor’s universe becomes more and more apparent and surprising to me every night. There’s a lot of pleasure in this show, the pleasure of playing, creating and solving.

Renee: A new found respect and admiration for shadow puppetry and puppeteers. It is an art and a science that requires skill, patience, creativity, precision, co-ordination and awareness.

Anthony: Dancing in 7/8 time! The delight of playing with quick changes

Creatively what’s coming up for you – where can we find you in the future?

Michael: Next up I’ll be performing with Force Majeure in a world premiere dance theatre project in 2015 so keep an ear to the ground or follow me on on my blog.

Natalia: I’ll be going into two weeks at NIDA for a second creative development of Macondo’s Clothesline (late July / early August). I hope to have my first visual art exhibition this year. I’m also in the process of a new creative website and writing a new show (which includes a short film)… all amongst more auditions. I never really stop …

Anthony: Making the business/art balance work as more than just a balance: see here.

Renee: Event coordinating a range of events; on board the Ship Tease on Sydney Harbour causin’ a scene or two; creating a performance venue for Burning Seed. Open to all suggestions…

Emily: You can find me at Clock Fire Theatre, my next project will incorporate the art of Brett Whiteley.

The Violent Outburst That Drew Me To You plays until 12 July. To book tickets, click here.