Geli - Hitler's Niece, Hitler's Lover by Enzo Condello
productions are currently in rehearsal, on stage or touring:
The Zipper comedy by Bernard Clancy
Opening Season: October 2018 at Richmond Theatrette -
National Vietnam Veterans Museum
25 Veterans Drive, Newhaven, Phillip Island, Vic 3925.
Ph: 03 5956 6400
Saturday, 23rd March 2019 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $40/$35 concession – includes a light supper after the performance.
Online-Bookings only: https://www.trybooking.com/ZOPU
Following open heart surgery, our internal wiring goes a little haywire – and the results, surprisingly, can be absolutely hilarious!
Our heart objects to having been interfered with, stopped and bypassed for a period even, and quite mysteriously gives instructions to the mind to seek revenge! To stuff things around a little. “Do not,” surgeons warn their patients, “make any major decisions for quite some time after your operation because you’re NQR — Not Quite Right.”
In the retirement village Emerald Waters, a group of heart bypass patients in rehab are learning to deal with this. Bernard Clancy’s stunningly poignant and heartfelt play “The Zipper” tells their stories, from serious to downright hilarious and zany. One thing’s for sure, their closeted little world will never be the same again…
The last time playwright Bernard Clancy teamed up with the inimitable director Wolf Heidecker for Clancy’s compellingly powerful play “Foxholes of the Mind” for performances at La Mama and on tour throughout Victoria, their work was highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its edge-of-the-seat entertainment.
“The Zipper” is just as sharp. And the humor cuts like a heart surgeon’s scalpel!
Produced by WHAM - Written by Bernard Clancy - Directed by Wolf Heidecker
Featuring Phil Roberts, David Macrae, Rosemary Johns, Phil Zachariah, Donna Barnard, Vixey Teh, Rosalind Romney, Karan Bahtia
Set Design Sarah Yeung - LX/Designer+Op Richard Lyford-Pike –
Assistant Natulie Moffatt, Stage Hand Ethan Moffat
by Neil Cole
Produced by Into The Limelight, directed by Wolf Heidecker
Season from 02 to 07 April 2019
THE MC SHOWROOM, 1/48 Clifton Street, Prahran Vic 3181
(Parkhouse next door)
Playwright Prof. Neil Cole (University of Melbourne) works as a mental health consumer advocate and researcher at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health. Neil is an award -winning playwright having written and had performed in Australia and overseas sixteen plays.
Crisis is part of my project with people with mental illness called “Into The Limelight”. This is the first professional production. Though we have done productions before.
It’s on at the MC Showrooms opens 2nd of April 2019 as a double feature with my play Keating’s Republic.
THE MAN THEY CALL THE BANJO
by Felix Meagher and Dennis O'Keeffe
Produced by Bushwahzee Pty Ltd, directed by Wolf Heidecker
TBA for 2019
This dramatic narrative with music tells the story of the secret love affair between Banjo Paterson and Christina Macpherson as they wrote Waltzing Matilda. The musical is based on Dennis OʼKeeffeʼs ground breaking research, published in a book by Allen and Unwin :
Waltzing Matilda - The Secret History of Australia's Favourite Song
While the affair between Banjo and Christina remained secret for one hundred years, the relationship had a public outcome of national and international significance - the composition of Australia's favourite song, Waltzing Matilda. Banjo took the tune of Craigielee and fashioned it into a love chorus set against verses that tell an epic allegory about the shearers' strikes that were ravaging Western Queensland and much of the country in 1894.
- see the Landline documentary at http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2013/s3827983.htm
- see a you tube demo of some songs at http://youtu.be/WEhI0-gd8JU
Opening Night review by Roy Hay - see under dedicated page under "MORE"
The Bard Bites Back by David James and Graham Pitts
Directed by Wolf Heidecker
Musical Comedy with the Macduff Jazz Quartet, and Jeffrey Bryan Jones, Annie Stanford, Adrian Mulraney
PREMIERE - SEASON 2016 at Phee Broadway Theatre, Castlemaine Vic 3450, The Mills Street Theatre, Cheltenham - to be submitted to Showcase 2019
Thanks to our sponsors, Creative Victoria, RACV, Archisign, Diamond Valley Vietnam Veterans Association, Hornsby RSL Sub Branch.
Who wrote Shakespeare’s plays? Anybody but Shakespeare, it seems. In the last week we have been told that it was Christopher Marlowe who co-wrote the Henry VI play, according to the New Oxford Shakespeare. And that is just one theory. Alternative author claims range from Edward de Vere, to the Earl of Oxford, to William Stanley, to Sir Francis Bacon – even Queen Elizabeth 1!
As the controversy rages on, finally there will be a spirited defence of the great man. The Bard Bites Back, a play written by playwright, jazz musician and journalist David A James, is coming to Castlemaine’s Phee Broadway Theatre. The play features the Bard’s ghost - he is cranky and he wants to set the record straight.
“If Shakespeare was alive today he would be horrified but amused,” says James. “Horrified there are so many theories about who wrote his plays, but amused at the glorious folly of it all. He would have loved the comic drama of it all.”
The Bard Bites Back features an outstanding acting cast, with Andrew Gray as Shakespeare, and Annie Stanford and Adrian Mulraney in multiple roles, including performances of some Shakespearean text.
It showcases songs set to Shakespearean text performed by vocalist Lisa Jacques and accompanied by the Macduff Jazz Quartet.
David James worked on the play with the Australian playwright Graham Pitts. The producer and director is Wolf Heidecker. Heidecker describes the play as a cross genre piece that is “an original take on combining music and acting.” Gray, who plays Shakespeare, says he finds it fascinating to perform the greatest playwright the world has ever known. “In the play Shakespeare lives in four worlds: the world he created in his plays, the Elizabethan world where he enjoyed immense fame, his after-life and the glorious tradition that he created after he left us.
“It is quite a lineage. And then, of course, we have a lot of fun with alternative authorship theories. Above all, we show how the Bard would have us prize life itself, as he undoubtedly did.”
The Bard Bites Back premiered 2016, the year of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Comment after the Opening Night that sums up what many audience members said:Amazing and resourceful, determined and talented… The work entertains as well as surprises. Ariette Taylor, Director
The following productions have recently premiered/touring planned:
Geli – Hitler’s Niece, Hitler’s lover by Enzo Condello
at the Richmond Theatrette from 26 April to 06 May 2018
Reviews see under 'More' on this website
Renowned director, Wolf Heidecker has created a production that magnificently conveys the brutal atmosphere of Germany in the 1930s.Theatre lovers will be thrilled to witness Condello’s latest offering in his inimitable writing style that has previously received the following praise.
‘It feels like the sort of play Shakespeare or Seneca himself might have written; the horror and violence contrasted with lofty, stirring verse’ - John Bell, Bell Shakespeare Company
‘Condello is Shakespearean in stature.’ - Simon Piening, Melbourne Stage.
‘Condello is, without doubt, a great writer’ - Catherine Lambert, Herald Sun.
‘It’s simply as if Condello decided to write a Shakespearean tragedy and then went ahead and did it. Theatre of this imaginative ambition is rare anywhere’- Alison Croggon, Theatre Notes.
“(Condello’s) language has moments of radiance…modern ideas are beautifully expressed here with a strongly feminist understanding of the limitations of a woman’s life at the tim” - Liza Dezfouli, Australianstage.com.au.
The cast includes:
Kelley Kerr Young as Geli Raubal
Matthew Richard Walsh as Adolf Hitler
Jonathon Harris as Heinrich Himmler
Ben Byurne as Dr Joseph Goebbels
Caroline Ferguson as Angela Raubel
Simone Bergamin as Eva Braun
Sets & Artwork by Sarah Yeung (Cracked Actors)
Publicity by Cracked Actors
Written by Enzo Condello
Produced by Globe Players
It is a fact of life that none of us could have achieved what we have achieved without a support team - first and foremost our families and personal partners/spouses. The price of accepting support is accepting being influenced though, both ways good or bad.
History holds many examples of famous people from science, the arts, the corporate world and politics where such influence often had significant impact on entire societies, e.g. Caesar/Cleopatra, Moa Tse Tung/Jiang Qing, Joseph Stalin/Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Rolihlahla (Nelson) Mandela/Winni, John Lennon/Yoko Ono, Marie Curie/Pierre, Mahatma Gandhi/Kasturba, Golda Meir/Morrwas Meyerson, Albert Einstein/Elsa (his first cousin by the way), etc.
Most of extraordinary individuals who shaped history owe their successes their talent, their ambitions, their tactical abilities and hard work, however, no one - especially in politics - could accomplish anything without their cohorts, their disciples, their advisors and spin doctors who often pursue own agendas by hiding behind a leader, regardless how psychotic or sociopathic this 'Figurehead' may be. Moreover, the invisible army behind dictators, oligarchs, captains of industry, inventors and explorers know how to exploit their Fuehrer's strengths, weaknesses and, most importantly, flaws. And it is these flaws that make some people so dangerous.
Geli - Hitler's Niece is not a documentary though it is very much fact based, it is not a historical drama though its protagonists have shaped world history, it is a human drama about passion, power, love and politics - a story prone to repeat itself, again and again.
"Hitler wird er zwar nicht mehr heissen, aber was heisst das schon." (His name won't be Hitler again, but what's in a name).
FOXHOLES OF THE MIND by Bernard Clancy; directed by Wolf Heidecker
(updated version of the 2010 premiere production at La Mama Theatre)
The play is a contemporary drama. The production features a Vietnam veteran, his wife and old Army mates and a veteran who has experienced recent conflicts confronting their PTSD on a roller coaster ride to, they hoped, freedom from the nightmares of their past. Their stories are startling, confronting, yet still interspersed with dry, sardonic Aussie wit.
Foxholes premiered to critical and audience acclaim at La Mama in 2010. In 2016, as part of the RSL’s Commemorations of Service program and, in particular, the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam in 1966. it will tour Victoria with support from City of Greater Geelong, RSL Victoria, the Vietnam Veterans Association (Victoria), the TPI Association of Victoria and others, beginning in Geelong at the Potato Shed.
2016 Season – shows having been performed at Potato Shed Drysdale, Knox Community Arts Centre, Sale - Esso BHP Billiton Wellington Entertainment Centre, National Vietnam Veterans Museum Newhaven/Phillip Island, Frankston Arts Centre, and Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts
See excerpts on YouTube: https://youtu.be/L-PdlG2AtJI
As participants in the Australian Government's arts & culture program Australia now Germany 2017
Playwright R. Johns and her artistic adviser Wolf Heidecker have been attending the final rehearsals and the Opening Night of R. John's play
Black Box 149
at the Staatstheater Nuernberg, Germany
(State Theatre Nuremberg - Artistic Director/Drama: Klaus Kusenberg)
The Staatstheater Nuernberg is producing the European Premiere of R.Johns' play Black Box 149 (German translation Dr.André Bastian) that opens on 18 March 2017; the first shows are already sold out, however, the play will stay in repertoire until the end of the theatre's season in July 2017.
Director: Christian Papke; Set Design: Lena Scheerer; Costume Design: Anne Cierpka; Dramaturgie: Friederike Engel; Actors: Heimo Essl (Pilot), Sohel Altan Gol (Man)
Black Box 149 explores the impact of covert and overt war on civilians.
Lies, fear and deception. A Western aircraft, its crew and passengers are stranded on a Kuwait runway as Saddam’s army invades. Silence follows. Who knew the truth then? Who knows the truth now? In this agonisingly political world of betrayals and secret intrigue, the power and control wielded by leaders is often experienced in terrifying ways. Written as an intense psychological and emotional journey, the play explores how the personal is impacted by the political. An Australian father is dispossessed of his child following events beyond his control; an experience echoed by an Iraqi father. The cross-cultural nature of the play takes the audience into a powerful dramatic world where the text is spoken in German and at times in Arabic. The ‘black box’ of the title is a metaphor juxtaposing a pilot’s mental landscape with real space and time, from which the actor cannot leave or escape.
R. Johns' works have been recognized globally with innumerable presentations/performance at the curated conferences of Women Playwrights International, Cape Town WPIC 2015 , Riksteatern Stockholm 2012, Mumbai WPIC 2009, and Athens 2000. She is an Australian WPIC delegate. Her work has been produced in Christ Church NZ. She directed a presentation of Norwegian playwright’s
Lemne Teigen’s “The Archaelologists” at La Mama and was funded by the Norwegian embassy to do this. Her texts have been selected for VCE Drama and Theatre Studies.
Review from Nuernberger Zeitung, Herbert Heinzelmann (translation W.H.):
“Black Box 149” at the Blue Box
Blood and Tears of the Orient
Christian Papke directed the European Premiere of the Australian play “Black Box 149” at the Blue Box venue of the State Drama Theatre Nuremberg
Innocence lost. The simple (but naïve) division of the world in ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ doesn’t work anymore. Everyone is ensnared in everything. From time to time a media campaign makes an attempt to return to a world where there was a God and a Devil. When the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 he was compared with Satan himself and Adolf Hitler. In what respect or to what extent he may have been the victim of a scheme plotted by the West, and if Great Britain possibly, in quiet, may have used a regular civil aircraft to smuggle special forces in to Kuwait became a matter of discussions much much later. The (real) British Airways flight 149 definitely played a role in this.
The title “Black Box 149” is a reference to that circumstance. The Australian playwright (with English roots) Rosemary Johns used this title for her play that had its European Premiere at the Blue Box venue at the State Drama Theatre on Saturday. It is a play about the pilot of BA 149. He, his crew and his passengers have been taken hostage in an actual war situation. No support whatsoever from the British government. They didn’t want their involvement in warmongering been exposed. In a long monologue the pilot tells his story, describes the angst that still torments him decades later.
The production strikes head and guts
Strictly speaking - once again - “Black Box 149” is not a theatre play, but rather a radio play, epic, ‘post dramatic’. It isn’t a brilliant text, even. The initial conditions from which the pilot starts talking never becomes really clear. There are highly sentimental constructions in view of the pilot’s young daughter, his failed family situation, and a saved little dog. Nevertheless, Christian Papke’s production strikes the audience’s head and guts. Main reason is the intense way the actors take leadership of their respective roles, a solid achievement of both actors Heimo Essl and Sohel Altan Gol.
Set Designer Lena Scheerer filled the Blue Box with a luggage-carousel. The audience sits on or behind it - the arena for the actors. Two movable mesh screens and a few projections are sufficient to complete the creation of a tense atmosphere.
In Nuremberg Christian Papke’s main responsibility is managing the festival ‘Talking About Borders’. In this connection with very clever text-arrangements he already proved himself to be a master of minimalism. He always counts on his actors, discreetly but efficiently guides the dramaturgy of their gestures, eases up their facial expressions, finds positions and postures that don’t look deliberate. He neither exaggerates symbolism nor does he let a play become immersed in grey naturalism. That’s how he attracts his audience’s attention.
The fact that the audience’s attentions is maintained throughout the 90 minutes duration of ‘Black Box 149’ is down to the actors. What is Heimo Essl actually doing when portraying the pilot, when slipping into the fragments of the roles of other characters? He never goes overboard. He always maintains balance on the tightrope of emotions. He makes sure the extensive lines never crumble. He even achieves to trigger some laughter which, given the basically terrible situation we observe, doesn’t feel awkward at all.
Sohan Altan Gol, guest actor from Berlin, can take him on any time in the smaller parts where Arabic protagonists have their say. He masters the merciless tone of the interrogator as well as the resigned friendliness of a helpless resident living in this region of the world which has been thrown into a bloody chaos, not least by Western powers. His guitar play conveys a very fragile moment of peace. His Arabic spoken words at the end of the play are testaments of desperation.
“You stroll through parks; you drink your coffees and beers and congratulate yourselves on your cosmopolitanism. You are not aware that death is just a breath away”. A statement the interrogator once made. A statement targeted at us, the audience. Our neighbourhood has become a theatre of war, too. To gain just a little bit of understanding why our current situation is like that “Black Box 149” is a must-see production.
(Translator’s notes: Herbert Heinzelmann is a publicist, freelance journalist, former media-teacher and lecturer in media science at the Institute for Theatre and Media Science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg. For many years he was feature editor with Nuernberger Zeitung and still is a feature writer with the newspaper)
SIX WAYS TO SAY GOODBYE by Dina Ross
A group of people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to talk about death,” “Why? Death is the ultimate taboo. But supposing each of those people had a hidden secret, a need to explore mortality for very personal reasons. That’s how the plot for ‘Muffins at the Death Café’ was born.”
The play is a world-first – no-one has written about Death Cafés before. Two years in development, ‘Muffins at the Death Café’ has its world premiere at the Mechanics Institute Brunswick’s Metanoia Theatre, on 21 October. Directed by Wolf Heidecker, director with Larrikin Ensemble Theatre, the bittersweet comedy brings together a talented cast: Lucinda Cowden, Otis Binnie, Victor Gralak, Marie-Therese Byrne, Sharon Karina and Morgan Phillips, reflecting Melbourne’s multi-cultural society.
Muffins at the Death Café by Dina Ross
Metanoia Theatre - Mechanics Institute Brunswick, 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Season 21 October - 01 November 2015
When award-winning playwright Dina Ross read an article about Death Cafés, the idea for a play came to her immediately. “I was intrigued Death Cafés were founded by Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz, who organized the first ‘Café Mortel’ in 2004. Since then they have proved extremely popular in the UK and USA, with the first Café held in Melbourne in 2013. Over coffee, tea, cake (and muffins!) people can come together to discuss death and mortality in a friendly, non-judgmental atmosphere.
Ross has crafted the play with each scene also reflecting a step in psychologist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’ seminal work, “The Five Stages of Grieving” – highlighting denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Despite the title and the subject, this isn’t a ponderous work. “The play is a black comedy, with moments of high drama”, says Ross. “Each of the six characters wants answers to fundamental questions we all ask ourselves – why are we here, can we make a difference, how do we connect with each other? And what they discover is that by talking openly and honestly about death, they learn so much more about life.”
Dina Ross’ plays include the critically-acclaimed TRIO (produced by Larrikin Ensemble Theatre), CHRYSALIS (Currency Press) and WAITING (Green Room Award nominee). She has been a writer in residence with Melbourne Theatre Company and with Red Stitch Actors Theatre. In 2015, she won the Odyssey House Short Story Competition and is the convener of the popular series of bi-monthly short story readings at Fortyfivedownstairs, [email protected].
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DIVE Rock-Musical by Xavier Brouwer
Co-produced by XB Productions/WH Arts Management, directed by Wolf Heidecker
With DIVE, composer and lyricist Xavier Brouwer plays around with song styles and character archetypes and turns stereotypes on their head. He juxtaposes gritty realism with an art form that is often unrealistic and fanciful.
See website: www.divethemusical.com
(Premiere season at The Open Stage/Melbourne July 2014; touring 2015/16)
The Dean of the Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne College of Music, Australian composer Professor Barry Conyngham MA (Hons) Syd, DMUS Melb wrote:
...The concept and the execution was convincing and creative. As you said, to get this together and launched in the financial constraints you face is extraordinary. The story line retained interest and the show flowed well for me. The ending (almost a non-ending) surprised and the casting was terrific, with all giving something to the impact and pace of the show. The passion, complexity and range of the music and singing was compelling. The musicians very accomplished and appropriate.
All in all a significant accomplishment. So bravo!
The following productions are in development:
A Bite of Melbourne by Tracy Wang (2017)
A culinary experience - to be produced in partnership with the Australasian Chinese Theatre Company.
The following productions are in repertoire:
Boy Out Of The Country
by Felix Nobis
Produced by Larrikin Ensemble Theatre (Producer: Wolf Heidecker),
Tour-Production directed by Felix Nobis
Regional Arts Victoria Tour - from 11 May 2016 - 18 June 2016 (on 2016 VCE-Playlist)
There’s more to land than real estate. There’s more to family than DNA.
A unique drama where an old Australia meets a new Australia: where a country cop comes to terms with catchment areas, where a fifth bedroom is more important than a backyard, and where new technologies have the potential of uncovering old family secrets.
A family property, worthless for generations is suddenly zoned as part of a regional housing estate to accommodate an ever-increasing urban sprawl. After a seven year absence Hunter returns to find his boyhood house boarded up and his mother in a retirement home and goes in search of answers. And he starts with his brother Gordon.
Written in Australian poetic vernacular by award winning poet and playwright Felix Nobis, Boy out of the Country tunes into the rhythms of the country to examine relationships and uncover the landscape. Boy out of the Country emerged out of the Melbourne Theatre Company Affiliate Writers Scheme and was awarded the R. E. Ross Trust Script Development Award.
See website: "http://www.boyoutofthecountry.com/
(Premiere season at Fortyfivedownstairs/Melbourne Nov/Dec 2013; touring 2016 with the support of Regional Arts Victoria)
Short Play by Ashfaq Hanas
Produced for the MUST 2014 Container Festival/Monash University, directed
by Wolf Heidecker
The Lost Dog
by Rashma N. Kalsie
Produced by Indian Diaspora Dramatics Association, directed by Wolf Heidecker
Our Man In Beijing by Moni Lai Storz (La Mama, toured Malaysia - Langkawi/Penang/Kuala Lumpur May/June 2013)
A Wife's Revenge by Moni Lai Storz / Hyperreality by Lian Low (Double Bill, Australasian Chinese Theatre Company, 2013)
Site UnSeen by Robyn Szechtman and Graham Pitts (project with City of Port Phillip, etc; Melbourne Festival/October 2011)
TRIO by Dina Ross (La Mama and regional Victoria, USA)
The Cross-Cultural Counselor by Graham Pitts (ACT Brighton, 2013/14)
Wolf’s other Australian directorial and/or producing credits include
Refugee Realities by Graham, Pitts
Silence by Hoa Pham (VCE-Play List - La Mama Theatre, 2010);
Norm and Ahmed by Alex Buzo (La Mama Theatre);
Cymbeline by W.Shakespeare (Co-production with Fontanel/Sydney, at 45downstairs/ Melb.),
Haneef-The Interrogation by Graham Pitts (La Mama Theatre and regional Victoria),
The Australian Justice Supper by David Strangward (La Mama Theatre and Werribee),
The Eight by Geoff Goode (Butterfly Club Melbourne and Druin Arts Centre),
A Hole in the Ground by Janet Brown and Jo Ryan (La Mama Theatre and Werribee).