Is youth wasted on the young? Imagine, if you wrote an email and sent it to yourself as a 17-year-old teenager, what advice would you offer? Would you tell yourself to do things any differently? Would you warn of all the difficulties yet to be lived? More importantly, would teenage you listen to advice from your much-older self. This is the dilemma in my new podcast Email to My 17-Year-Old SELF. I hope you enjoy it – Noel Anderson
NEXT…is coming to a phone near you! In August 2015 I was as sick as a dog while directing a new musical at Theatreworks. I was running a high fever, but still doing everything I could to help the show along…new Australian work is a hard sell particularly to industry music lovers and general public. A strange air had crept into production week that was disappointing and made me ponder why anyone would bother creating new work for the Oz stage, particularly me. Maybe I should be working in a shop selling mobile phones? At interval on preview night, I grabbed a glass of wine from the foyer bar, still crook, I made polite chit chat to a film crew who were there filming the work of another member of my team, when a man came up to me called Rob Lobosco… Rob had won his theatre tickets in a online competition and thought my direction was very good, and asked if I’d like to direct a web series called NEXT…about the perils of internet dating. Although at the time I didn’t know the name of the series and I must admit, I thought nothing would come of it…but here I am now talking about the webseries NEXT… During the shoot of NEXT in August, I snapped a lot of pictures and recorded a few of my thoughts. So this is my image diary of our shooting days. I hope you like it and remember to subscribe Rob Lobosco Productions on YouTube and the NEXT… Facebook site.
Much love Noel x
Noel’s diary 20/8/2016 – Saturday’s rehearsal went well, I have to make sure I handle the script with care, Aussie comedy is as hard as hell to direct! Harder than Shakespeare’
NEXT…About the perils of online dating…and the dangers of balancing a clapperboard on your head (Joke!)
NEXT… Starring Robert Lobosco, Lee McClenaghan, Sandra Casa, Katherine Louise Grinshaw…Directed by Noel Anderson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson has directed too many theatrical productions, performed as a Ghostbuster in shopping centres, written well into the night when in pain, worked with a helluva lot of people and had the odd breakdown. He believes in the power of pop music and Campbell’s Soup. Noel’s written work includes Hello Little Man (Melbourne Writer’s Social Anthology 2016), Kylie Kastle Throws A Party (performed in schools across the country), Germ Warfare, The Carer, Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame and the new Australian musical Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets ( fb.me/audreythemusical ) which premiered at the Melba Spiegeltent on 29th October 2015. Noel is currently working on his first feature film Sammy and Dave, and a music video for Audrey and I called ‘Travellers In Time.’ You can follow Noel on Twitter: @Randyandy42 or https://www.facebook.com/noel.anderson42
Noel is a member of the Melbourne Writer’s Social
The shop was pretty ordinary, situated on Exhibition Street opposite the Comedy Theatre. If you blinked you’d miss it. They sold crab claws, the best in Melbourne so the sign in the window outside stated. Mrs Cray stood facing the red and gold oriental door and wondered if she should try them, rain pelting her, clothes already soaked to the skin. It was an hour before her lift to Barbara’s house, her complaining sister-in-law. Well, thought Mrs Cray, ‘I suppose John’s death five days ago has finally given you something to really bloody complain about.’ Cruel thoughts about Barbara given the circumstances…but true none the less, Mrs Cray believed.
Mrs Cray glanced at the shop door, she was hungry after her flight from W.A and the short black she’d downed at Perth’s airport was wearing off and her naturally grumpy disposition was starting to shine through, maybe a serve of crab claws would set her right for the long drive to Frankston and her brother John’s funeral.
Mrs Cray looked at the sky, she hated Melbourne’s grey wintry days, more than she hated living in Perth, more than she hated her ex husband. If only she could escape from life in Perth and her mobile phone bills, maybe…just maybe she’d be happy. Melbourne’s bleak winter’s day however was not the answer to her problems so Mrs Cray pushed on the door, shook off her endless thoughts of Barbara, and entered the shop.
Sue Lin (a control freak and a green tea addict) had taken up managing the restaurant eighteen months earlier, she’d been watching Mrs Cray from inside, she’d hoped the petite lady with the Prada bag would enter The Golden Empress as business had been slow this winter. Sue Lin examined her reflection in the silver cooking urn, she liked her fine features and pointy chin, carefully she tucked her blouse ends tightly in her skirt and walked to the front door catching Mrs Cray by surprise.
“Oh dear…you startled me.”
“Are you waiting for someone else?” Sue Lin smiled, her expression barely shifting.
“A table…for one. I’m no romantic on days this cold and wet I’m afraid.”
Sue Lin wondered….what odd comment? Confused and wanting only to please, she decided to ignore the comment totally. But, she could not ignore Mrs Cray’s superb Prada bag.
“Madam what a lovely bag,” she smiled brightly. “Now we have nine out of ten tables available, so please take your pick. Perhaps down back, away from the chill might be best? I think the back table you’ll find most comfortable.”
“Sounds perfect. Oh, l’d like a plate of crab claws. I hear they’re good,” Mrs Cray handed Sue Lin her wet umbrella. “Are they good?”
“My father says they are better than good, they are yummly”
“Yummly? I like that” Mrs Cray confessed.
“Okie dokie claws it is.” In the blink of an eye, Sue Lin moved within an inch of Mrs Cray’s right ear and whispered, “I promise you won’t be disappointed. Now follow me madam. We have several varieties…smoky butter, curry sauce, sweet and sour…and stuffed! My father’s personal favourite!”
Mrs Cray looked at Sue Lin’s frozen smile and wondered… the shop was deserted except for a handsome backpacker seated in the far corner. She hadn’t seen a man that good looking since she skinny dipped on the Gold Coast in her uni days…living in Perth does have its drawbacks …I wish I could fit into that red bikini now, she thought. Now what was she here for?… yes that’s right, the crab claws.
Sue Lin walked Mrs Cray down the centre aisle, wiping a table or two along the way with a dry serviette, seating Mrs Cray table length away from the backpacker.
“You’ll find it most likeable here. Drinks?”
“Yes,” Mrs Cray nodded, slowly unbuttoning her cardigan. “A Bloody Mary. Just kidding. The house Sav Blanc is fine. Served with my claws, not separate, drink and food together understand? Are the claws fresh?”
“Naturally madam” Sue Lin smiled taking the drinks menu.
“Good. Oh, one list thing. I’ll have my claws stuffed with a little curry sauce on the side. Hot and spicy.”
“As you wish madam,” Sue Lin understood exactly what Ms Cray meant, nodded politely and left the restaurant floor.
Mrs Cray pulled her cashmere cardigan off her shoulders and draped it gently over her red plastic chair. It was a chilly restaurant despite the bar heaters being on full. She took a deep breath, sat Down, sighed and thought about John’s funeral. The backpacker looked up from his plate of claws and winked, she smiled back blushing red.
“Lady?” he whispered in a soft American accent “For what it’s worth I ordered the claws too. They’re good. My friend turned me on to this place, there’s not much to look at here, but the claws are good. In fact they’re yummly.” The backpacker winked again, chuckled to himself and licked his fingers.
Mrs Cray begged to differ, she felt there was a lot to look at, and that the young man on table ten was indeed…very yummly. The backpacker raised his beer glass and toasted, smiling a smile that could power up the hundred poker machines in the nearby Lion Gate pub. Caught off guard by the gesture and his set of dazzling pearly white teeth, Mrs Cray quickly pulled her iphone from her Prada bag and dialled, turning her back ever so slightly on the handsome man eating sweet and sour claws on table ten.
“Hello Ben? It’s me, I’ve arrived. I’m in town, opposite the Comedy, just grabbing a quick bite. I’m having claws actually, these ones are supposed to be he best in town. Jeez Melbourne can really turn it on…the rain I mean…so bloody cold here, not like the Perth. Yes, it’s terrible, a terrible way to go. I’d sooner choke than die like that…like poor John. I cried all last night, honestly. No…I’ve no idea how Barbara is coping, they said they had to cut John out of the car, can you believe it. What do they call those bloody things? You know the cutters?”
“The jaws of death” the backpacker interrupted sucking loudly on a claw, crab claw juice running down his chin.
“Oh…Apparently they’re called the claws of death, Ben.”
“Jaws. Not claws!” the backpacker corrected waving a juicy finger in Mrs Cray direction.
“Oh, yes… Of course. Silly me. Not claws Ben…I meant jaws! Thank you young man” she giggled… like a school girl on her first date.
“You’re most welcome madam” he smiled back tucking into his plate of yummly claws like a dog to a bone. At that moment, Sue Lin turned the corner holding a large plate of succulent stuffed crab claws, a bowl of curry sauce and a chilled glass of white wine. Placing the claws delicately on the table, Sue Lin looked Mrs Cray directly in the eye, giggled and skipped out of the room, hanging the closed sign on the door along the way.
How oddly odd thought Mrs Cray, that was too curious. What is wrong with everyone here?
What Mrs Cray didn’t notice was that the backpacker had polished off the entire plate of sweet and sour claws and was starting to feel quite uncomfortably sexual. A peculiar pink flush coloured his cheeks and blood was pumping through his veins like a wild river.
Unaware of the strange air creeping in, Mrs Cray tucked her napkin into the top of her blouse and picked up her first crab claw. It was soft to touch, familiar and very fresh. She lifted the lid off the curry bowl and dipped the spongy claw into the bubbling curry sauce. How curious she thought again, it’s boiling but there appears to be no heat. What followed was more than unexpected, it was curiously curious in fact, Mrs Cray lifted up the curry sauce bowl high above her head and tipped the entire contents over the plate of claws. Mrs Cray had no idea why she just did that, and I suppose in the scheme of things it doesn’t matter.
What’s important is what Mrs Cray didn’t see…She didn’t see the backpacker’s strange reaction to the dumping of the sauce. Slowly he stood up from the table and started to loosen his shirt, heart pumping, eyes dazed. “No matter what happens tonight,’ the backpacker thought to himself, ‘I have to have all those curry claws, and possibly Mrs Cray too.’
“Excuse madam. I don’t mean to be rude but could I share that plate of juicy claws with you. I’m finding the smell of curry and claws too much to resist. I have been travelling for days and the allure of your claws and curry plate is frankly my dear overwhelming. Please madam I beg you, take your shoes off, relax…share your claws and curry sauce with me, at once. I demand it!”
Mrs Cray could see in the traveller’s eyes he was desperate for her spicy curry…and stuffed claws. Mrs Cray thought long and hard before she answered the extremely good look man who by now was nestling into her right bosom, a stone’s throw from her meal of stuffed claws and curry sauce. Mrs Cray pondered the facts for a brief moment. .. Barbara was after all still an hour away, almost…and Melbourne could be a very lonely place on wet days…and things hadn’t been so good for her recently romantically so…catching a whiff of those claws and that sweet yummly sauce on the backpacker’s breath, Mrs Cray gave the only answer she could, under such curiously curious circumstances. Mrs Cray simply smiled, winked and said…”YES.”
Mrs Cray didn’t make John’s Funeral that day, something Barbara has never gotten over, why should she? Mrs Cray didn’t care for Barbara’s opinion of her, her brother John if he was still alive would understand and forgive her, she honestly believed he would. She never caught up with her best mate Ben either. What Mrs Cray did do was find a hotel room close to The Golden Empress and spent an entire week…eating stuffed Crab Claws with curry sauce and entertaining tired young travellers.
Around the world, to this very day, male travellers whisper about The Golden Empress, opposite Comedy Theatre in Melbourne. It sells the best stuffed Crab Claws in the world, you know. The perfect place to go when you’re are a stranger in town.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson has directed over 50 theatrical productions, performed as a Ghostbuster in shopping centres, written well into the night when in pain, worked with a helluva lot of people and had the odd breakdown. He believes in the power of pop music and Campbell’s Soup. Noel’s written work includes Hello Little Man (Melbourne Writer’s Social Anthology 2016), Kylie Kastle Throws A Party (performed in schools across the country), Germ Warfare, The Carer, Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame and the new Australian musical Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets ( fb.me/audreythemusical ) which premiered at the Melba Spiegeltent on 29th October 2015. Noel is currently working on his first feature film Sammy and Dave and a music video for Audrey and I called ‘Travellers In Time.’ You can follow Noel on Twitter: @Randyandy42 or https://www.facebook.com/noel.anderson42
Noel is a member of the Melbourne Writer’s Social
It’s been 38 years since the full moon last appeared on Christmas Day, 1977 in fact…
The young waitress drops a fork, kicks it under a nearby table and totally breaks my train of thought. I look up from my cup and I think. The restaurant is full and the day warmish, I’m sipping coffee dressed in shorts and T-shirt, Melbourne colours of black and grey, while happy Queenslanders all around me dressed in flowery clothing chat away over large serves of pancakes, bacon and eggs.
I flick through the Courier Mail, a terrorist arrested in Sydney, another mindless shooting in Melbourne, is it really Christmas Eve 2015 I wonder?…I’m not sure judging by the headlines…so I check the date on front of the paper wishing the toothache that’s troubled me since arriving at Brisbane airport several days ago would just bugger off. But, the toothache is not going anywhere despite the antibiotics I swallowed an hour ago.
Back to my thoughts…
I bet everyone in this restaurant has their own idea of what makes ‘A Perfect Christmas’ I casually think to myself! Christmas – A time spent with loved ones, family, friends or whomever. I think a little bit more, stirring an extra sugar into my coffee as I run my tongue over my sore tooth…I’m not sure I ever really thought about Christmas in a perfect way before or any event for that matter, I mean what is perfect? I’ve always been attracted to things less than perfect I recall. I remember birthday parties I’ve had only because of what’s gone wrong during the night, dinners that I have totally burnt and ruined beyond salvation and of course blind dates that I’ve had that have gone horribly pear-shaped…
In fact, thinking way too much once again, it’s these imperfect events and days have ruled my life, invaded my memories and (I swear I believe this) have made me a much better person, a stronger man. I mean you can’t enjoy a perfect Christmas without first experiencing several imperfect ones, right?
Yes, it’s the imperfect days and events that rule us, teach us valuable life lessons, help us grow…and that we talk endlessly about years later, and will continue to do so until the end of time probably, or the end of the last Christmas drink. Whatever comes first!
I shuffle in my chair, someone with bleached blonde hair orders a hot chocolate and I shift back to thoughts of imperfection and Christmas.
One imperfect Christmas I clearly remember was when I was living in Docklands and I got a very bad gastric bug and spent almost three days sitting on the toilet, alone. I remember the only thing I wanted was Kentucky Fried Chicken while I squatted, God knows why but I had a mad craving for a juicy fried leg or thigh, I didn’t care really what piece of chicken I ate, I just wanted it. I sat in the bathroom for hours daydreaming about bloody fried chicken, and of course those eleven special herbs and spices. Once I was feeling better, I bolted from my flat, crossed the Yarra River and headed straight to the Kentucky Fried Chicken shop in Crown Casino and I ordered the biggest bucket of fried chicken I could buy. I found a nice place in the sun and I spent all Boxing Day by the Yarra snuggled up to my bucket of fried chicken, daydreaming.
It turned out to be the one Christmas I’d never forget! Why? Because it was imperfect and you just can’t plan Christmas days like that.
I close the newspaper and put it back on the magazine stand and make my way down the street to my sister’s house listening to the song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas on my iPhone. As I walk up the driveway I think to myself this will be the first full moon in 38 years, fancy that, and I open the front door…then I think really fast, I should go inside and write something.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson recently directed the six part TV series NEXT…about the perils of online dating which premieres on Foxtel and Apple (We -Are TV) in 2017. Noel completed NIDA’s Playwright Studio 1996, his written work includes: Hello Little Man (Melbourne Writer’s Social Anthology 2016), Kylie Kastle Throws A Party (performed in schools across the country), Germ Warfare (Bondi Pavillion) Pulling Out (Best Writing Winner Midsumma Festival at Gasworks) The Carer (Belvoir St Theatre), Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame (La Mama & the Jewish Museum of Australia), Love Letters (Melbourne Arts Centre) and the new Australian musical Audrey Hepburn And I Consider Our Assets which premiered at the Melba Spiegeltent on 29th October 2015. Noel is currently working on his first feature film Sammy and Dave (Like Us on FB @sammyluvdave) and a music video for Audrey and I called ‘Travellers in Time.’ You can follow Noel on Twitter: @Randyandy42 or https://www.facebook.com/noel.anderson42 Noel has directed over 50 theatrical productions.
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
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?
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
BOOK TICKETS NOW
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’