Scroll down to view details of the productions featured in the Showcase Victoria 2018 program. Click on an individual profile to view full details.
Madame Nightshade's Poison Garden
‘ …a stunning piece of theatrical comedy’ Artshub (4 Stars) ‘Raucous ridiculousness done incredibly well’ Theatre Press (2017) ‘…feminist, environmental, queer clowning that digs into rocky ground’ The Age (4 Stars) '...hard edges we all need to cut ourselves on...will have you howling with laughter...' Samsara, Weekend Notes (4 Stars)
In the dystopic world of Madame Nightshade’s Poison Garden, Beatrice (a devilish shape-shifter) lurks in the shadow of her alter ego Madame Nightshade (a silent, princess-like assassin). A failed fantasy of refined beauty and good taste, Madame Nightshade performs a series of absurd rituals in her gothic fairytale garden, while Beatrice upends her compost bin to expose the rotting truth. In this dark, visceral comedy vegetables are transformed into semiautomatic weapons, Snow White becomes a spring-onion wielding Samurai, and Mars Bars represent the ‘shit’ of the world. This is physical comedy that uses grotesque, absurd and larger than life characters and bizarre performance art to confront societal norms and gender politics. Intersections of globalisation, capitalism, the environment, class and gender are explored, dissected and torn apart through a queer feminist lens. Rather than presenting a didactic, dialogue-filled piece, the abstract and absurd images and symbolism in Madame Nightshade’s Poison Garden give the audience a chance to respond subjectively to the material, to discover how it’s meaningful for them.
History & background
I delight in creating physical comedy that uses grotesque, bizarre, larger than life characters to parody pop culture tropes and playfully confront environmental and social politics through a queer, feminist lens. In crafting a highly visceral and visual experience, I want the audience to feel something; to oscillate between joy and revulsion, delight and disgust, laughter and discomfort and leave with food (pun intended!) for thought. MNPG is a show that sits outside the box, and I believe that it's important for works like this to be toured regionally, to reach and affect new audiences.
Marketing selling points
* Highlighting the ‘weird and wonderful’ nature of the show, including vegetable manipulation, food-based performance art and clowning * Taglines like ‘Outrageous, hilarious, provocative’ and an outstanding hero image that clearly identifies the Artist’s brand of unique, dark comedy * Venues should use the image heavily and the promotional videos that the artist will create directly for regional audiences * Artist will also be producing/marketing the show independently Having come from regional Victoria myself, I understand the way word of mouth operates and I will target specific groups and local radio
Key audience and marketing notes
This is a queer, feminist, environmental performance that will connect with those working in the arts, LGBTIQA+ communities, and environmental sector. Due to the show’s innovative and experimental form, I would also target students and academics, and those interested in a more ‘unusual’ comedic/theatrical experience. In previous seasons, nurses and teachers have attended well, responding to the ‘unique theatre experience’ and ‘a night out like no other’ style of marketing.
Community Engagement activities
While Madame Nightshade’s Poison Garden is an adult’s show, through my business New Heights Circus I facilitate children’s and youth workshops in clown, comedy, physical theatre and mask-work. I am also an MC and a stilt-walker, and have a range of colourful and interactive characters for festivals and events.
What is this?
|Technical specifications||Download Now|
|Theatre formats||Black Box, Flat Floor|
|Bump in (hours)||5|
|Bump out (hours)||2.5|
MNPG requires a frontwash in both cool (L502) and warm (L151) that can be isolated to centre stage, stage left or stage right. Profile specials are also required on upstage centre, downstage centre, stage left and stage right all with frost (R119). Fresnel specials are required to be hung centre stage, one to be focused to stage left, one to be focused stage right. There are to be 2 pairs of wide flood Par Cans hung as back light, one pair to be coloured pink (L049) and the other to be green (L736) so that there is a pink and a green on both stage left and stage right. MNPG requires 2 LED Par Cans (RGBW where possible) to be hung as high sides. Access to 2x 12ch dimmer racks and a lighting console with the ability to control a minimum of 24 channels (48 channels preferred as to accommodate venue supplied FOH and seating bank lighting). All gels stated can be altered to availability – the lighting designer is contactable via the artist. All fixtures are to be supplied by the venue where possible. No special gobos or practicals are required. MNPG requires a haze machine to be supplied by the venue. Pre-rig of LX and audio instruments is required. A venue technician is required to operate both LX and Audio for each performance from FOH or from a bio box.
For Audio Madame Nightshade’s Poison Garden requires a 2 channel (L-R) speaker set up including access to a mixer with 2 channels in for QLab. MNPG requires a Mac computer running QLab (version 3 or later).
Set sits flat on the floor. No fly system required. Haze machine and strobes used. Do not require an orchestra pit or piano. SET COMPRISED OF: Foldable garden table and two chairs 2x free standing pole, which a washing line attaches between 2x shelves, ideally hanging from wall, if not, will sit on a high stool 1 large rubbish bin Scenic ‘garden leaves’ Multiple props, including fresh vegetables SEPARATE DOCUMENT WITH PHOTOS OF SET AND PROPS LIST IN DROPBOX
Stage dimensions (meters)
|Width: 6.18||Height: 4.5|
|Depth: 4.5||Wing space: N/A|
At the end of the show the stage (and possibly some walls) will be covered in creamed rice (soy based, so it doesn’t smell), and Twisties. This requires a post-show clean up by the LX, stage manager and performer. Cleaning materials like buckets/squeegie/mop/etc will be provided by the performer. Large functional refrigerator required to store food and vegetable items. Kitchen access/access to water necessary.
The set and production can travel by plane. For car based travel a 4 seater station wagon/Van/Ute is needed.