Noel Anderson ‘I’m That Theatre Guy…I Guess?

I don’t like labels. If someone tries to put me in a box then I try to break out of it as quickly as I can. But, recently when I called Club Tivoli (Melbourne’s German Club) to organise extra rehearsals for ‘Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets’ the German girl on the other end of the phone said…
“Hallo…?” I responded back. Then she added “Oooh, you’re that theatre guy. I remember you.”
I’m that theatre guy, I thought!
After I hung up the phone, I found myself thinking long and hard about that label.
Sittin’ at the Railway Hotel in Windsor I found my mind wandering while drinking James Boag’s…over of the words in that statement…I’m that theatre guy.
Indeed, theatre has dominated my life. I’ve found myself standing on many stages across the east coast of Australia, throughout the ups and downs of my life, in every major city in fact…directing.
Sometimes, the shows I’ve been directing have dramatically mirrored my life experience so closely that I often found it hard to direct the rehearsal.
In the middle of Fitzroy Romance for example, which played successfully at La Mama several years back…while in the middle of a relationship breakdown, I was directing a show about…guess what?…a relationship breakdown.
Am I Crazy Doc For Doing It?
But, you keep going…Why?…because you’re that theatre guy.
If it’s true that we only ever have one great love in our lives, then I guess I would have to say, after considerable hours of pondering…mine would be theatre!
Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets is my 51st first show, a musical no less, that I’m producing and I’m also co-writer.
Musicals are no place for sissies is what I’m discovering.
No! Hang on! Correction! Aussie musicals…are the toughest gig in showbiz, and only the strongest of directors come out of the onslaught of an Aussie musical and production week alive…still…I’m that theatre guy, right? The German girl is right…isn’t she? Life is about challenges after all, isn’t it?
Melbourne…and particularly all my Facebook friends, if you are reading this, and I hope you are…You guys know my journey, it’s played it out for everyone to see on Facebook.
I’d like to invite you all personally to see ‘Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets.” It’s playing at the Melba Spiegeltent for two weeks only from 29th October to 7th November.
Bookings: Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets
Labels…Honestly, I’ve never ever liked them….(I’m still thinkin’) I don’t want to be put in a box, would you? …(still thinking)…
But, hell…I’m that theatre guy I guess!
Love always Noel x


Breakfast with Audrey Hepburn and Hester Van Der Vyver

Harlequin Ink catches up for breakfast with Hester Van Der Vyver who plays screen legend Audrey Hepburn in the new Aussie musical with the Hollywood twist ‘Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets.’
Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets
Q: What’s the place to have breakfast in Melbourne?
Hester: Tall Timber in Prahran
Q: What was the best part of your week?
Hester: Date-night with my partner.
Q: What’s the worst part about acting?
Hester: There is no certainty ever…which is kind of the best bit!
Q: What’s the thing you most admire about Audrey Hepburn?
Hester: Her incredible compassion.
Q: What do you like about your role?
Hester: Discovering more about a legend. And the dresses.
Q: What was cool about where you grew up?
Hester: I grew up in the south island of New Zealand…I was always outside.
Q: What’s the coolest thing in Melbourne no one knows about?
Hester: Ummm…my signature pasta dish.
Q: What the best place you’ve ever traveled to?
Hester: Thailand…Bliss.
Q: What is something you’ve tried but never would again?
Hester: Not acting.
Q: What’s your favourite Audrey Hepburn Film?
Hester: I’m still watching them all but so far it’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Q: Why should people come and see Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets.
Hester: It’s a home-grown musical, has some great tunes, a range of interesting issues and some truly hilarious moments…I think people will really enjoy it.
Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets
Melba Spiegeltent from 29th Oct to 7th November


Audrey Hepburn And I: Putting It Together Piece by Piece…

December 2013, director and co-writer Noel Anderson spoke with several possible producers about producing an original Aussie musical called Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets. He discovered that producing art isn’t easy. Note: The producers names have been censored due to privacy regulations.
Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets
[Noel:] Look, I’ve spent a lot of time working on this musical. It did well at Chapel Off Chapel years back. Of course, it wasn’t a musical then, just a play.
[Producer 1:] Look, no one’s gonna buy it — no one. A chick from Melbourne who talks to Audrey Hepburn in her therapy sessions. No one will buy it!
[Producer 2:] No one in Middle Australia, anyway.
[Producer 3:] He’s right Noel. Stick with your work on Andy Warhol. Sorry, I didn’t see it at Immigration Museum BTW.
[Noel :] Actually it was at the Jewish Museum…
[Producer 3] Are they different? Anyways…I heard Warhol was good. You’ve had some success with that haven’t you?
[Producer 1:] Mate? Back to Audrey the musical…it’s just not commercial enough. Audrey Hepburn had boring life anyway.
[Producer 2:] She only made one good bloody film. Dinner at Pellegrini’s.
[Noel:] What is commercial? And it was Breakfast at Tiffany’s BTW.
[Producer 2:] Whatever! Your show won’t sell. Trust me.
[Producer 1:] Noel? Mmmmaaaattte…I like it, I honestly do but …
[Noel (sung):]But, what?
[Producer 3:] Nobody’s into this material. The Aussie theatre goers want Dreamgirls, with New Zealanders and shows about Cats. Stories set in America or England. Not musicals about Australians.
[Noel:] It’s got a Hollywood twist?
[Producer 2:] Boring!
[Noel (sung):] You don’t honestly believe that? About Australians? What kind of Australian are you?
[Producer 2:] Rich! Comfortable! Work in the Vic arts sector…Besides Noel…it needs a hit single we can push.
[Noel (sung):]They like to give advice, now!
[Producer 1:] The whole idea’s too risky.
[Noel (sung):] Don’t think about it twice, Noel!
[Producer 2:] The audience won’t understand this kind of thing!
[Noel (sung):] Hurry up Noel, you better work now!
(spoken): I disagree! Why don’t you sit and listen to it? One song? A Real Man sung by Katie underwood.
[Producer 3:] No. I’m off to see North By Northwest at the MTC.
[Noel (sung):] Aussie art isn’t easy.
[Producer 3:] You’ve got to appeal to the funding bodies.
[Noel (sung):] What? Even when you’re cold.
[Producer 2:] Particularly then. Why would you want to make a Aussie musical anyway?
[Noel (sung):] Advancing art ain’t easy.
[Producer 1:] Lets think about this.
[Noel (sung):] To Finance it you must be bold!
[Producer 2:] Why take chances on crap?
[Noel (sung):] But I have a vision for this show…that I can’t get out of my head!
[Producer 1 & 2:] Nobody respects your artistic integrity more than we do…But?
[Noel (sung):] Well, maybe you’re right…What if no one comes to see it…you’ll be as good as dead!
[Producer 2:] You have to think about you career!
[Noel (sung):] What career? Wait? But it has to come to life! It sim-pleeee must!
(Audrey Hepburn suddenly appears dressed in the long black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
[Audrey (sung):] Noel? What about the Melba? It’s all good at the Melba. You’d do well at the Melba.
(Noel scratches his head, does a four point turn, looks at the audience, ready for a big finish)
[Noel (sung) :] The Melba Spiegeltent? By George I think she’s got it. Crescendo.

Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets – Melba Spiegeltent 29th Oct -7th Nov 2015
Listen to the song ‘I want To Be Like Audrey Hepburn’


Harlequin Ink interviews performer Kelly Cupo who plays Liz O’Sullivan the girl from suburban Melbourne who can’t get screen legend Audrey Hepburn out of her head in the new Aussie musical with the Hollywood twist.
Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets
Q: What three words best describe  your role in Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets?
Kelly: Vulnerability, Honesty, Pink!
Q: What do you love most about this musical?
Kelly: Oh, it feels like half of my life up on stage!! Ha!! I instantly fell in love with Liz and the script when I first read it. I LOVE the fact that this is an Aussie musical based around a 30-something Melbourne woman’s journey to self-acceptance. I can relate! And Audrey…. Oh beautiful Audrey!
Q: Where is the best breakfast in Melbourne?
Kelly: Lady Bower Kitchen, a cute little gem off Broadway… in Reservoir wink emoticon the best coffee and Sir Basil’s Bagel in the North!
Q: Who would you love to see in your audience at the Melba Spiegeltent?
Kelly: My beautiful friend Brooke who believed in the power of pink more than anyone I have ever known.
Q: What do you like to do after a performance?
Kelly: Sleep!! hehe…. I do love savouring the moment with fellow cast members and the magical people who bring a show to life, either in the dressing room or the closest bar!
Q: What was your first time on a stage?
Kelly: I remember being front and centre at a dance concert rehearsing to ‘Shake a tail feather’ for a primary school performance… and the morning of the big day I woke up with chicken pox! I was devastated I couldn’t attend!!! I was five!
Q: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Kelly: I like to start the day with a big walk to help shake out any nerves and then try and do as little as possible to be honest!! I really like to spend the day on my own.
Q: What’s your favourite colour and why?
Kelly: Pink! Believe it or not… All shades of pink… Bright pink, dusty pink, fluro pink! I actually find its a bit of a conversation starter and it’s my happy colour!
Q: Leading man? Who would you most like to play opposite in a romantic musical?
Kelly: Luke Arnold, he was mesmerizing as Michael Hutchence in the INXS TV series and I have been following his career since.
Q: Martini’s love or loathe?
Kelly: I don’t think I have ever had one!! I’m more of a bubbles kind of girl….!
Q: Do you read reviews?
Kelly: I have in the past but I always get a friend to read it first!!!!
Q: What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
Kelly: I am currently reading a wonderful little book called ‘What Would Audrey Do?’ by Pamela Keogh. It is a divine read and the perfect book for preparations!
Q: What is your best Asset?
Kelly: My heart. I wear it on my sleeve but it always knows best!

Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets
Booking Now:
The Melba Spiegeltent from 29th October until 7th November
Website: Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets
Checkout Kelly Cupo on Youtube

Charade by Noel Anderson

I have this reoccurring dream where I’m lost in Paris, lost in Montmarte. Who am I running from? I swear I don’t know. More importantly where is my iPhone? I toss and turn and stumble down a dark alley…I’m a little drunk from the French champagne consumed rapidly at the local bar moments earlier.  As I turn the corner I notice a sign that says ‘this way to Champs-Élysées’ and suddenly I find myself out front of the world-famous Moulin Rouge. A big chested gentleman with a blonde kiss curl waves me inside down a flight of stairs. Once inside, I notice that everyone is dressed in white underwear and frantically smoking Gauloises. I cough, the smoke hanging like a thick wedding veil over the room, just as I reach for a martini to calm my nerves, I wake up.
Paris has always fascinated me. I’ve watched many films set in Paris… Subway, Cyrano de Bergerac and Nikita to name a few. But, the one film I love even more today than I did yesterday, set in Paris…is…Charade with screen legend Audrey Hepburn.
Call me old-fashioned, call me queer, but if there was ever a film I wanted to disappear completely inside of, it would have to be Charade, directed by Stanley Donen in 1963.
Oh, what a marvelous experience that would be! To be lost inside the mystery, wear the 60’s fashion, experience the laughs and of course, find the postage stamps and all that money.
If you don’t know the story Audrey Hepburn plays Regina Lampert, a Paris based American, who has decided to divorce her Swiss husband, Charles Lampert, because of the secrets and lies that have pervaded their marriage. Before she can make that request to Charles, he is found dead, seemingly pushed off a Paris to Bordeaux train. So, Audrey’s romance with Paris and Charade’s mystery begin.
As a teenager I acted out scenes from Charade in the backyard, pretending to be French. I was a shy child with a vivid imaginative and I thought acting French made me exotic. But, of course it didn’t. There was something very artificial about my French accent that gave my charade away the minute anyone met me. At one stage I pretended to be Cary Grant, who isn’t French, but is the other star of the film Charade…I often got in trouble at school for pretending to be a someone else and for using a silly accent. I was told by my art teacher to stop behaving like an idiot. An idiot? Why couldn’t my teacher see I was French? In my imagination when pretending to be French, I can climb the highest of heights of Montmarte and be the person I want to be…if you know what I mean.

Cary Grant as Alexander Dyle: Alright, get set for the story of my life.

Audrey Hepburn as Reggie Lampert: Fiction or non Fiction darling?

No, this isn’t a blog about my life, it’s not even a blog about being French, it’s more about the importance of shedding layers as we move from one stage of life to the next. Audrey Hepburn as Reggie, knows in Charade that in order for her to move on she must first shed the things that are holding her back. So, the first thing to go of course is her husband (well he was murdered really but we’ll ignore that!) Now, free from any interpersonal relations, Reggie (Audrey Hepburn) is ready to explore, set for an adventure, up for romance…in the perfect city to fall in love…Paris!
I wake and take a deep breath. Charade with Audrey Hepburn is playing on the DVD, I must have dosed off. I glance out my window to the courtyard below. I can see two empty cans of Carlton and an ashtray full of cigarette butts on top of the neighbours outdoor setting. A pair of stained white undies flicker in the breeze on the clothes line below. I think for a moment. Yes, I think as I drink my coffee down…like Audrey Hepburn as Reggie in the film Charade, I think I love Paris… and I’m ready to shed more layers. I’m waiting now for adventure.

The meaning of Charade – an absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson became an Audrey Hepburn fan after watching her in Lilian Hellman’s ‘Children’s Hour’ and ‘Charade.’ He has directed many theatrical productions, written well into the night when in pain, worked with a helluva lot of people and had the odd breakdown. Noel is co-writer/director of the new Australian musical Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets which opens in Melbourne at the Melba Spiegeltent on 29th October for a two week season. It will be performed with a four piece band and choir, members from the Grace Notes Singers.
BOOKINGS: Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets