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
When someone dies that’s close to you a piece of you dies with them. Death of a loved one can often throw up unanswered questions, things about that person and their life you never thought about when they were alive, or perhaps never even knew. What you are about to read is a true story. I know because I was there. This is my dad’s story, and also mine. It’s a chance for me to remember a winter in Sydney a long time gone.
‘Life is so unpredictable. Be grateful for every moment’
In mid 2016 I flew to Queensland to help my sister sort out funeral arrangements for my ailing mother. We’d spent most of the day with mum at the nursing home where she’d been moved after it became obvious she was becoming too much for my sister to handle. When I arrived, she was brighter than I had expected, frail but putting on a good show for us. Mum always understood the importance of drama in day to day life, she’d lost none of her fight and could still raise a little hell if need be. I sat on her bed holding her hand, while mum bitched about one of the nursing staff, a girl she disliked. ‘The bloody bitch’ mum called her repeatedly. ‘I said to her, oh your nothing but a bloody bitch. I’m going to report you.’ I remember thinking mum knew her time was almost up, even though she behaved as if it was business as usual. She didn’t miss a trick, her blue eyes darting about, keeping a watchful eye over every move my sister and I made. Eventually, I snuck out and chatted with her doctor in privacy of the busy corridor. He confirmed the need for us to have mum’s funeral arrangements in place before I returned to Melbourne. “There will be no next year for mum” he warned me. “Her body is shutting down. But, she’s got her sense of humour back, good and strong.” The doctor was right, mum had got her sense of humour back…and that ‘bloody bitch of a nurse’ was now part of mum’s morning routine.
Later that day, I’d just settled in at my sister’s place in Brisbane when out of the blue she handed me a cup of coffee and a selection of photos of mum singing when she was younger, then she added, “I thought you might want this, mum’s marriage certificate and this (she passed me a letter) do you know what’s written inside? You won’t believe it? Guess?” I had no idea what my sister was talking about, or why the mystery? “It’s mum’s statement, maybe for the police. She wrote a letter about Andy (my dad but my sister’s stepfather), you know when he was murdered. What happened that night. Can you believe mum kept it?” Well, no I couldn’t. It was a long time ago when dad died, I was ten years old in fact. My father’s death and ‘why it happened’ had been a mystery in our family for years, often discussed at family get togethers, but never with any clear answers. A piece of the puzzle was always missing. Indeed, mum if she knew more, wasn’t ever going to let on, not now, not ever!
‘Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced’
THE FACTS OF LIFE – To say my father was good man would be a lie. In my mind, I remember him in a series of flashbacks, moments of violent domestic mayhem and flashes of toothy smiles and kindness, followed by a gentle pat on the head. To say when he died of massive brain injuries to the head in Sydney, I wasn’t relieved, would be untrue. I was relieved, and so was mum probably. But, also to say that I didn’t feel the loss of my father’s love, would be a lie. I clearly recall my mother sitting beside me in the car outside Canterbury Hospital and announcing dad’s death. “Your father passed away. He’s dead, son” she said, plain and simple. “They killed him. The bastards.” We sat huddled together in the car a long time, mum crying. Years later when I thought about dad, and his temperament, I thought he was just probably very unhappy with his lot in life.
In the years since dad’s murder that moment of ‘hugging mum’ in the car has played out in my mind on repeat. From that time on, my childhood was never going to be the same as any other kid in Australia, I thought. That one single moment of death, relief and loss reshaped mum’s life and our future relationship. It brought us close together in my teenage years and introduced a communication shortcut between us, we were unflinching in our honesty when we chatted alone, but it distanced me from her a little when I grew up. It also changed my perception of how I would ‘live my life’ to this day. It made me strong, stronger than I might have been, if dad had lived a long prosperous life. If I had things to do then I would do them. Life was not a box of Fantales, the only thing you can be certain of for sure in life I decided at ten years old is death, our final destination. Later I would understand the beauty in the tragedy of my father’s death, and its affect on my creativity, but that beauty took a long time to find me.
‘Remember, time is frozen. No matter what, we can never get away from where we’ve been’
I opened my mum’s letter and sipped my coffee, I sat with my sister reading mum’s statement about that night, the night my father was beaten to death outside a Sydney hotel in a brawl. There were many things that we both wondered about in mum’s statement. Why was he was beaten by the bouncers? What had he done? Why was I up so late? “Why weren’t you in bed Noel? 9pm? That’s very late for mum to have you up? Particularly in those days. Didn’t you have to go to school?” my sister said, looking puzzled. “Maybe I was on holidays” I replied. Mum’s statement was typed, using a typewriter. This was before computers of course. “She couldn’t have typed this. Someone must have typed it for her,” my sister insisted. “Maybe I typed it,” I added. “I had this old green Olivetti typewriter. Do you remember? I was always writing. I think that’s my paper?’ (I clearly remember having a large pad of very fine writing paper at home). “Maybe she got me to do it for her?” “No Noel, you were just a little boy. She wouldn’t get you to do it,” my sister argued. I thought for a second, then added “Suzanne, I was always typing.”
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Mum’s statement contained detailed information, told from her perspective, of the night my father was beaten to a pulp on the property of a suburban hotel in Narwee, Sydney. In mum’s statement, she names the men, the bouncers employed by the hotel, that were there at the time of his death. She describes finding my father in the car park ‘laying in a pool of blood.’ She adds, a hotel punter drinking there at the time, asked the doorman ‘who has done this to this man?’ The hotel doorman responds with ‘we did, and if you don’t get away you’ll get the same.’ Mum also says later in her letter ‘that the punter (who she names) wanted to call the police but there wasn’t time as my husband was in a bad way.’ But, perhaps the biggest surprise was the affect finding mum’s statement had on me. The memories it brought back, memories of an unsolved mystery, set in the world of my childhood. In 1968 Australia had a population of just twelve million people. That year, Harold Holt the prime minister disappeared while swimming at Portsea, NGV opened its doors for the first time, and the pop group The Seekers were named Australians of the Year. In my childhood there were no computers, or mobile phones with cameras, in 1968 people could get away with murder.
Like all murder mysteries my dad’s death has a surprise twist. Believe it or not, in a car near by on that cold winter’s night in Sydney years ago, innocently drinking a flavoured lemonade with a mate, watching a brawl taking place in the hotel carpark…was me. Unbeknownst to me, I sat watching my father being beaten unconscious at the local pub. He was in the middle of a circle of men, punches flying. I didn’t see his face. A week later he was stone cold dead in Canterbury Hospital and I was without a dad. From that moment on, nothing would ever be the same for mum, dad or me. That night my childhood ended.
“Noel get into the back seat of the car. Go on. Your father been bashed. We have to get him to hospital. Move love. Oh, Jesus, there’s blood everywhere” mum said, many winters ago.
PART 2 CONTINUES
Who Killed My Father? The True Stories Collection
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Noel has directed over 50 theatrical productions and worked in film and TV. He completed NIDA’s Playwright Studio in 1996 and studied directing in London and New York. Noel’s written work includes the play Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame and the musical Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets. Noel believes in the power of music, pop art and Campbell’s Soup (thanks to Mr Warhol). Learn more: Noel Anderson’s Website
The Secrets Box is a new stage thriller in the style of classic thrillers like ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘The Others’ and the ‘Cabinet of Dr Caligari.’ It is written by Craig Charter, dramaturgy by Kieran Carroll, and directed by Noel Anderson.
We are currently seeking experienced actors to fill three main roles – Anna Fischer, The Professor and Mrs Reese.
A Brief Synopsis
The Secrets Box is a story of spiritual resolution and the process of dying. Anna finds herself in a strange cat and mouse game under the watchful eye of the Professor and his companion Ms Reese. Trapped inside the Professors office, divulging her inner regrets, Anna must choose to either disregard her past mistakes or fight to rectify her life. The final twist leaves Anna clinging on for dear life and delivers to both advocates, the Professor and Ms Reese, the ultimate supernatural betrayal.
For Anna Fisher, a life that shines brightly is soured with a series of bad decisions which spiral into depression resulting in a tormented soul. In the process of dying, a deeply conflicted Anna, is confronted by the opposing advocates of the afterlife. As they cast their respective spells of persuasion, Anna relives the pivotal events of her life. At first emotionally fragile, her guilt and regrets build into an inner strength and determination to change; but rather than choosing the options on offer, she takes the most difficult of paths, in fighting to stay alive, and facing her Earthly problems with renewed vigor.
Dramatic in movement and gestures, he often appears vague, but he’s soaking in every detail. His attire is formal but scruffy and his expressive facial features clearly expose his ever changing emotions. He’ll become engrossed in what might seem irrelevant details, which ends up proving his point on a much larger issue. As the supernatural advocate for reincarnation he conveys the virtues of resolution of the soul with charismatic wit and humor. He infuriates his adversary, Ms Reese, who as the opposing spiritual advocate, would love to hate him, but instead, their personalities blend to produce a potent chemistry.
Elegant and sophisticated, precise and focused she displays a joy in belittling any thoughts or opinions that differ even slightly from her own. Her immaculate attire highlights an attractive figure, which she uses to taunt the Professor whenever it suits her. She draws you in with her highly articulate and persuasive assertions, casting doubt on your most fundamental beliefs. And although undoubtedly efficient and calculating, she hides a softer side, which occasional can be seen within her dark humor, or beneath her aloof exterior, where she sparingly displays a begrudging respect for the Professor.
• We are looking for women between the ages of 25 – 40’s (Anna Fisher 25 years plus, Mrs Reese mid 30’s plus, requires an Irish accent)
•We are looking for men (The Professor) 30’s – 40’s. (The ability to do card tricks or slight of hand magic tricks would be an advantage…but not necessary to audition)
If you would like to audition for one of the three roles, please send your CV, contact details, links (showreel optional) and a recent photograph to director Noel Anderson at email address below. Auditions will be held on the 17th February.
Auditions email: email@example.com
Actors – Flat Fee Payment offered plus %
In my dreams I remember music more than people. If God was working today I’m convinced he’d be a professional musician. Probably playing trumpet in a swing band in a dodgy RSL club in Yarraville or strumming a guitar and singing an old folk song by Peter, Paul and Mary about peace, love and hammers. I use to think friends and family are all we needed in life but now I don’t believe that, now I believe only in music.
I remember standing on Halsted Street in Chicago not knowing where to go. It had been a strange holiday, not what I had expected exactly. Most holidays aren’t. New York wasn’t what I thought I needed and neither was Montreal. I was searching for something that trip, something I’d lost in my late thirties. Something I wanted back. There’s this thing with travelling, it unravels the springs inside you, letting your soul loose and imagination free to roam uninhibited.
I recall standing on the footpath, city map in hand, wondering where I should go next. A doctor I went to when I was on worker’s comp in Sydney told me once ‘when you are unsure of what to do in a given situation then best do nothing.’ For some reason I’ve never forgotten that, so I stood there holding the Chicago city map and didn’t move.
I don’t know at what point I started to drift, maybe it was the music coming from a nearby bar that had prompted it, but drift I did. My mind shifted into an altered state of absolute relaxation, a state of chemically free bliss brought on by the tribal beats in the music reverberating through my body, every beat teasing my eardrums. A commotion was happening in a tiny bar on Halsted, and my senses appeared to open up to the sensation.
As I stood there drifting, my boyhood was paraded candidly before my eyes in Technicolor flashbacks; an occasional sour note in grainy R.K.O black and white, thrown in for good measure. “You can change your future but you must never forget the past” I heard Grandma chuckle as she buttered a scone. I saw myself in my grandma’s backyard in St Peters playing with wooden pegs while my mum hung a week’s worth of family smalls on the clothesline. There’s something about panties, bras and Y-fronts blowing in the breeze on a hot day that always makes me smile. I remembered the day I locked my mother and my grandma out of the house for eight hours, giggling the entire time until my uncle Kenny came home, jumped the fence and let them in. I was sent immediately to bed and given no pocket-money that week.
I drifted again, this time a few houses up the street to Christine’s place, where we sat on the lounge cuddling and I had my first kiss. I remember Christine taking my hand and placing it up and under her school uniform. It is those days of raspberry cordial, teenage dreams and family that come back whenever I hear a song by the Carpenters playing on the radio. Those days, when I was younger.I dropped the map and bent down to pick it up. The music coming from inside the bar was very loud so I decided to go in. I walked straight up to the barman and ordered a Budweiser. There’s something about a DJ spinning records that has always fascinated me, to this day I can sit alone anywhere in the world and listen to a good DJ and never feel the need for social contact. I decided at some point this God given gift was to keep me safe and out of trouble. It gives me a sense of contentment that most people struggle to find in day to day life, foolish people who put their faith in loving someone else… but not me, I have put all my faith in music.
“Do you believe in God. I was watching you from the DJ box. You were enjoying my set. Do you believe in him?” I didn’t answer. “Have I offended you or something? Maybe you think I should get back up there and just spin tracks. Do you live in Chicago?”
“I believe in music, nothing else” I responded. “I’ve tried believing in other things but it just doesn’t work. I’ve been let down by other things, people mostly I guess. I am never let down by music. So, I believe only in it these days. Does this make me a coward?” I asked him, finishing my Bud. “You know that’s a strange question for a DJ to be asking? So, what do you believe anyway?”
“I believe in America and Budweiser beer of course. First thing in the morning I always believe in a good coffee, strong black. I believe in God. He created music for everyone to enjoy, not just you. I gotta get back behind the deck. Nice chatting. Enjoy your flight.” He smiled a cheeky F.U. smile and left. Enjoy your flight? How did he know that I wasn’t from Chicago? Must be my accent I decided. I ordered another beer at the bar and sat nearest to the stage right speaker. I drank, listened to the music he was spinning and started to drift.
I was thirteen and living with my mum and stepdad. I had suggested our kitchen table for a sneaky game of poker while mum was out. I remember dealing the deck of cards and smoking, feeling out of place surrounded by my neighbourhood friends. I tried my first and my last cigarette that day while mum was out shopping. I nearly choked to death. Smoking was never going to work for me I decided. The music changed tempo, I drifted towards the sky through endless silver cloud and landed feet first at a set of gates with the sign Rainbow Depot hanging in midair. Inside the gates I could hear an orchestra warming up and walking towards me was the DJ from Chicago drinking a Bud. He pushed on the gates and stood open armed as if to say ‘Sing For Me.’
“I’m a tenor ” I confided clearing my throat and immediately started to sing Che Gelida Manina from La Boheme. I sang in a voice I’d never heard before, hitting notes I never dreamed I could hit. When I’d finished we stood comfortable in our quiet time, much like lovers setting up house for the first time somewhere in a big city. He broke the silence with his strong Chicagoan accent.
“How well did you love?” he asked. I didn’t answer or wouldn’t. Instead I fidgeted. “How well did you love my friend?” Still I didn’t answer preferring to get lost in the melody line of the music coming from the orchestra beyond the gates. “This is not a competition. At Rainbow Depot there is no right or wrong answer. There is no failure here, not in this place. There is only the symphony. Can you hear it?” Indeed I could hear it, I have heard it all my life I thought, sometimes while doing the dishes as a kid with mum, occasionally while having sex, leading me closer to a place yet to be discovered. “How well did you love?” he prompted again.
“Not very well I think mister DJ. Oh, there has been times I’ve done okay. But, at the end of the day, once the shit is left to settle and the band has gone home, I don’t think I’ve done well at all. But, if you compare me to other people I’ve done alright. Alright does sound a little underwhelming though. You said something about there being no comparison but that, I think, is a very idealistic position for you to be taking and …” The DJ cut me off mid sentence. “Stop. I said this is NOT a competition. And, as a general rule there should be NO comparison. How well did you love is all I asked. It is the easiest of all questions, yet you stand in this safe place with no answer, only comparison. Tell me, what do you feel under your skin?” There was no getting out of it, no changing records, not even a murder on the dance floor could save me. I had to answer.
“Okay. I’ll tell you. Under my skin I believe not all people are created equal. I reckon there are a lot of really fucked up things happening today that most people aren’t aware of or even give a shit about. I stress. I think sometimes, not every day, but sometimes I think we are all doomed to die if the young generation is left in charge of the office, even just for five minutes… and I believe wholeheartedly in the power of chocolate to make you feel better after a break up. But, mostly mister DJ I believe in music and a God that can dance.”
He finished his Budweiser, turned to leave, stopped at the gates. “A God that can dance? Good on you, good-on-you. At least you’ve got something to hold tight, most don’t.” He did a little foxtrot and shut the gates.I was back inside the bar on Halsted Street, the bartender came over and asked if I wanted another Bud. I declined the offer and left. Outside I sat on the curb and listen to the rhythm in the music cut through the cold night air. I sat for a long time alone not needing anyone, lost in the music. He was a good DJ I thought, taking me to places I’d only ever dreamed of. I waited until he’d finished his set, catching him off guard in the carpark as he packed albums into the boot of his car.
“How well did YOU love Mr DJ?” I asked him. He looked up a little surprised but kept packing. “Are YOU from Chicago?” I continued. Still no answer came. He shut the boot, got into his car, turned the keys in the ignition. The car radio came on, 98. 7 FM Chicago. A symphony was playing.
“What’s that playing?” I asked. “That music, I recognise it.”
He looked me in the eyes, no one spoke for what felt like eternity and then…
“You can’t know it. It’s an unfinished symphony. Mine,” he confessed. “I’ve been working on it between gigs. It’s a work in progress, Woo Wap Da Bam. I started back in London when I lived near the Angel. It’s called The Symphony of…” But before he had finished the sentence, he drove off.
In Melbourne I dream about Chicago often, when I close my eyes I hear his car engine idling through the walls of my St Kilda flat and I can just make out the unfinished symphony playing in the distance. It’s usually turns out to be nothing more than static from Barry’s TV set next door. Static that sounds like music to me. An unfinished symphony beckoning me to a bar on Halsted Street with a DJ spinning orchestral tracks at Rainbow Depot. How well did you love he’d asked? I don’t know how well I’ve done so far. I tried my best I guess. What do I believe he smiled, looking up from the deck, as I shut my eyes. I believe I mustn’t compare. Well, at least I’ve learnt that. In the end that’s gotta be worth something.
About the Author – Noel Anderson completed NIDA’s Playwright Studio and has directed over 50 theatrical productions and worked in film and TV. Noel’s written work includes the plays Dark victory, Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame and the musical Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets. You can also subscribe to Noel’s YouTube Channel. Other sites to follow: Twitter @Randyandy42 or Facebook or Instagram
LOVE. NOUN – a strong feeling of affection:
Kill. VERB – put an end to or cause the failure or defeat of (something)
Devised and directed by Noel Anderson featuring the work of selected Australian writers.
Are you an actor/performer? If you’ve ever been jilted then ‘LOVE KILLS’ offers a little a bit of ‘SWEET ACTING REVENGE.’ Whatever your love story, if you are an actor or actress who can ‘really act’ then director/writer Noel Anderson would love work with you on Love Kills at the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2017.
LOVE KILLS 2017 is a series of tales about love directed by Noel Anderson, featuring Noel’s breakup piece ‘Confide in Me’ and well-known Melbourne playwright Kieran Carroll’s late night duet ‘Celine & Justin’ along with selected stories from the best indie writers in Oz.
Love Kills 2017 looks at the good, the bad, and the funny side of being in love. Noel will be staging LOVE KILLS during the Melbourne Fringe Festival and hopes to see the best of the stories filmed in the future. The show will run approximately 60 minutes with 7 performances planned at Caz Reitop’s Dirty Secrets (past winner of The Melb Fringe Best venue) Smith Street, Fitzroy between 14th Sept – 23rd Sept. Rehearsal would be short and quick.
“I’ve had this idea for a long time. A show much like the ‘Vagina Monologues’ but about men and women, looking at the funny and darker side of loving. I remember thinking, I want brave writers, I want to journey into the underbelly of LOVE. The scripts are ready to go, now I want strong actors to join me. I want the journey for the audience to be comic, surprising, provocative and truthful … I reckon I’ve got the best indie writers in Melbourne, and all that’s missing are the actors” – Director/producer/writer Noel Anderson
If you’d like to audition then the first thing to do is of course is like our Facebook page @Lovekills2017 and spread a little Melbourne fringe theatre community love. Love Kills 2017 Facebook
Actors please send your CV and a photo to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking at this stage for all ages, from approx. 21 – 55 years up, all nationalities, male and female. Auditions will be in early July. Note: Some material has strong language and adult themes.
The truth about love is out there… but only at Melbourne Fringe 2017
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Noel Anderson recently directed the six part TV series NEXT…about the perils of online dating which premiered on Foxtel, Apple TV and We Are TV in 2017. In the first month NEXT had 64,000 views internationally. 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 Australia), Germ Warfare (Bondi Pavillion), Pulling Out (Best Writing Winner Midsumma Festival at Gasworks), Sammy and Dave (Stables Theatre), The Carer (Belvoir St Theatre), Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame (La Mama & the Jewish Museum of Australia with Andy Warhol’s Geniuses Exhibition), 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 adaption of Sammy and Dave (Like Us on FB @sammyluvdave) and just finished filming the music video ‘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 arrived in a clap of thunder and knew immediately that this was not going to be an ordinary Mardi Gras. I opted out of staying with friends in Sydney because I felt I needed to open my stay up to new experiences. ‘Let 2017 inspire you’ my mantra for the year. I booked into Central Hostel (hotels had inflated their rates over Mardi Gras to a ridiculous prices like $900 a night) and upon arrival immediately unpacked. Sydney was in full Mardi Gras mode, rainbow banners lining the streets and arcades. I felt like the prodigal son returning home for the first time in years, slightly wounded from my experiences in Melbourne but stronger for every bullet hole. I had arranged series of appointments and catch ups with old friends, watching the parade, and a meeting with Hayes Theatre about the possibility of bringing ‘Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets’ up to Sydney . Audrey being my pet musical theatre project. A nine year journey, a project that saw me through tough times including 18 months of therapy.
I was on my way Spice Alley on Broadway with a mate when my iPhone rang, someone wanted to have breakfast with me at Sweethearts in Kings Cross, someone famous I was told, could I make it tomorrow morning a female voice enquired. “Yes, of course” I answered. But, wondered who that famous person could be?The next morning I showered at the hostel and quickly dressed. My sleep had been broken several times through the night by a rather large Aussie bloke with a chronic snoring problem and unpleasant odour coming from his Bluntstones. Tired but excited I grabbed an Opal card at Central Station and headed to Kings Cross. Once at Sweethearts, I was ushered to the rooftop, seated in room with a view at a small table set for two.
“She won’t be long” I was told by a female security guard and left to my own devices. Five minutes passed, still no one came. So, feeling hungry, I stuck my fingers though the top of Corn Flake packet (travel size) stuffed some in my mouth and crunched.
“Darling you could have waited. Shame on you. I was fashionably late I believe?”
I recognised the voice immediately. It had a husky breathless quality. A voice that belong on the silver screen.
“Well, governor don’t just stand there, offer a ladee a seat won’t cha Mr Anderson” she mocked in a thick cockney flower girl accent.
Audrey Hepburn was born to be a star, she knew it and so did I…so I immediately pulled out a chair.
“Darling it’s frightful being this rich and famous for such a long time. Sometimes, you crazy little man, I wish I could just die away like Cary Grant or Joan Crawford . But, then someone like you comes along believing in me more than I do myself. It’s touching, honestly. Now, pass me a packet of flakes.” She smiled, adding milk and sugar to her bowl and continued chatting, mouth full. “These Australian flakes are delicious! Now, tell me me, how is my musical going? Don’t answer! Of course it’s going well, isn’t it?”
I explained to Ms Hepburn over a bowl of Corn Flakes and a cup of English Breakfast that Australian musicals don’t have a big success rate, and even her being in it doesn’t guarantee a rich producer will come banging on the door.
“What nonsense! All producers care about is making money” she quipped crunching down. “I’m a star darling, they’ll make money. What is wrong with Australian producers? They should respect Australian music. You know music is a great healer, particularly after a breakup. You just haven’t found the right partner that’s all. Music like love demands respect. Have you tried David Campbell? He loves theatre.”
I explained that years ago I shared the same stage as David at the same time. He was doing the 8pm show at the Stables Theatre in Sydney and I was doing the late night slot with a show I wrote and directed, which was very successful.
“Really darling. You had a hit in the same theatre as David Campbell? Fabulous. BTW I just listened to ‘Travellers in Time’ from our show, what a delight. Thinking? The problem is finding the right set, the right crowd. Stay away from neutral toned people, pig people I call them, they are the pits. It’s the pink people you need for our project. I believe in you can do it darling, nothing is impossible.”
We finished our breakfast and sat in silence sipping tea. Then Audrey asked…
“The first movie you ever saw me in was….what?”
“Lillian Hellman’s Children’s Hour, directed by William Wyler. The first movie I remember watching with my mother as a kid. And, Wyler is one of my favourite Hollywood directors” I answered.
“No kidding. Me too.”
I thought for a moment then confessed…
“I like films that been adapted from theatre pieces.”
“Darling I just had a brilliant idea. Write a letter to the prime minister, Mr Turnball. Say ‘Toodles said hello’… and remind him he owes me a favour. Tell him I sent you.” She smiled a Hollywood smile and finished her Corn Flakes. We chatted for another half hour about our musical ‘Audrey Hepburn and I Consider Our Assets.’ She admitted to loving the lead song ‘Travellers in Time’… and begged me again to write to the Australian government demanding funding.
At Mardi Gras I stood huddled on the side of the road watching the parade with my friend in a yellow plastic rain jacket trying to stay dry. During the parade as drag performers and PFLAGS passed by I kept hearing Audrey’s voice over the dance track I Will Survive. I stood dry as a bone in my yellow rain jacket watching the marching boys (dressed in pink speedos) thinking of Audrey Hepburn, thinking that ‘Nothing is impossible.’ Slowly I started to chant under my breath the mantra ‘I believe in pink.’ I repeated it twenty times then I thought ‘I must write to the prime minister Malcolm Turnball, before the parade passes by’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson recently directed the six part TV series NEXT…about the perils of online dating which premiered on Foxtel, Apple TV and We Are TV in 2017. In the first month NEXT had 64,000 views internationally. 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 Australia), Germ Warfare (Bondi Pavillion), Pulling Out (Best Writing Winner Midsumma Festival at Gasworks), Sammy and Dave (Stables Theatre), The Carer (Belvoir St Theatre), Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame (La Mama & the Jewish Museum of Australia with Warhol’s Geniuses Exhibition), 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 adaption of 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, and is also looking for new Melbourne writers to be part of LOVE KILLS 2017 at the Melbourne Fringe, an evening of twisted stories about love.
“Love is hard to find, hard to keep, and hard to forget.”
Are you an Australian writer or a writer/performer? Have you had a relationship or a fling that has gone horribly wrong? Perhaps you’ve had an affair with a married man that was memorably funny for all the wrong reasons. Or, maybe you got it on with the Greek guy who runs the local deli, making out in frozen food section until the romance started to chill between you, him…and his mama. If you’ve ever been jilted or fallen out of lust then ‘LOVE KILLS’ offers a little hope and ‘SWEET REVENGE.’ So, writers whatever your story director/writer Noel Anderson would like to work with you and help you get your story off your chest. Not only that he wants to share your story of love with an audience in 2017 warts and all!
“Love is never supposed to hurt. Love is supposed to heal, to be your haven from misery, to make living fucking worthwhile.”
LOVE KILLS is a series of personal stories (monologues and the odd duet) directed by Noel Anderson, featuring Noel’s piece ‘Confide in Me’ with stories from other Aussie writers, about the good, the funny and the ugly side of being in love. Noel is looking to stage LOVE KILLS next year during the Melbourne Fringe Festival (venue T.B.C) with the best of the stories to be filmed as a web series.
W.T.F Noel Anderson is looking for from you…apart from blood!
“I’m looking for Writers of all styles. Bold, gentle, poetic, comedic, musical. You can be any kind of writer…or a writer/performer too,” Anderson said. “The stories/monologues should be approximately 5 – 8 pages (up to 5 to 8 minutes). The characters can be of any nationality and any age and in any situation. Obviously I’m looking for variation in characters and the stories. The stories can be imagined or based on fact, although I’m guessing the true stories will be the juiciest and most fun for you to tell. I need writers with passion and perhaps the need for a little public revenge,” Anderson said with a smile. “I will film the best stories for the ‘LOVE KILLS’ web series.”
DO YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
WRITERS & WRITER/PERFORMERS: If you’d like to be involved with LOVE KILLS please forward a little bit about yourself CV etc… and a sample of your writing or your story, this could be in the form the story outline, up to a page only at this stage. And also let me know why you’d like to be part of LOVE KILLS.
EMAIL Contact Noel Anderson on email : email@example.com or on Facebook.
NOTE: AT THIS STAGE I AM ONLY LOOKING FOR WRITERS OR WRITER/PERFORMERS.
CASTING ‘LOVE KILLS’ : Auditions to come. However performers can spread the word about LOVE KILLS and show interest and support by liking the ‘LOVE KILLS Facebook Page @Lovekills2017
“I know the truth about love is out there. So, let’s find it together and get if off our bloody chest for once and for all” – Noel Anderson 9/10/2017
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Noel Anderson recently directed the six part TV series NEXT…about the perils of online dating which premieres on Foxtel 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.