Mongrel 2021 – Credits & Program Note


Music Theatre Mentor
Maude Davey

Interactive Composition Mentor
Peter Farnan

Stage Manager
Steph Young

Livestreaming Technicians
Michelle Dunn Productions

Interactive Composition Assistant
Imogen Cygler

Music Theatre Assistant
Chris Burgess

Program Notes

Program Note from Dramaturg

Mongrel is a collaboration between Music Theatre and Interactive Composition students, presented annually since 2016. Last year the Mongrel cohort were required to spin on sixpences in response to the pandemic. With those students we were conducting a research project into how to collaborate remotely, and how to present experimental Music Theatre via streaming and video. We were very proud of what the students produced, from many different locations, utilising many different platforms.

Melbourne is emerging from lockdown conditions slowly and Mongrel 2021 is inflected with all the uncertainties that have surrounded live performance in these times. Will we be permitted to go ahead in a theatre? Will we be able to have a live audience? How many people will we be permitted to have? As in 2020, the students have taken every challenge and turned it into a virtue. The conceit we have settled on is that the live audience is watching the production of a TV Variety Show as it is being streamed. So they are privy to the chaos that happens backstage and out of shot. This is a strange new hybrid of two old forms – short form variety and live variety TV (think In Melbourne Tonight, Tonight Live with Steve Vizard, Hey Hey it’s Saturday) – mashed together in an attempt to wrestle back some ‘liveness’ from the lonely mediation of the streamed performance world, to create an experience for the live audience that is as much fun as the experience for the audience sitting at home.

It is always a pleasure to work with such talented students, from both cohorts. Watching them create work reflecting their interests, their anxieties, their enthusiasms and their energy is exhilarating. Our task now is to deliver the work to you, our audience, so you can be as exhilarated as we are.

— Maude Davey

Program Note from Musical Dramaturg

Mongrel was named as such because nobody could tell what form/style/conventions the students were working in. This formal/stylistic fluidity has persisted. Increasingly Mongrel has become a collaborative research project. ‘How can we mess with form and content ... and entertain?’ Last year the work was forced online. Strange new processes and forms appeared. This year Mongrel is a two pronged live/streamed event where a live audience witnesses the ‘making’ of a TV variety event. Do not be deceived - this is no Tonight show. Our Music Theatre and Interactive Composers have made sure that the content pushes into enquiring and abstract spaces.  Music Theatre and Interactive Composers continue the research as we adjust to new social conditions and modalities; ‘what kind of strange beast can music theatre be and become?’

— Peter Farnan


Journey to the Centre of the Doof

Where is the doof? Who is the doof? Why is the doof called the doof?
But most importantly, how do you find the doof in YOU?
Where will this doof take you…?

Created and performed by Alexis van Maanen, Virginia Cashmere, Benoit Vari, Jimmy Drummond, Eugene Beissel, Phillip Thomas and Indyana Kippin.

The Kidz Korner

What’s in the box? Rock your socks off with the koolest kidz as four, fun, friends find that their childlike curiosity carries them into all sorts of trouble.

Created and performed by Gabrielle Ward, Nikola Gucciardo, Martine Holliday, Mitchell Roberts, Jack Burmeister, Luke Perry and Huddson Wallis Grant.

Red Button

button. ENGAGED
) experiment_MMANIC_1472 =
(message.) ~~ power

Created and performed by by Anna Mallows, Campbell Bonello, Isaac Broadbent, Mary McCorry, Max Ramsay and Nathan Zammit. Composition by Max Ramsay and Nathan Zammit.

The Jab

The COVID-19 Vaccine PSA you didn't know you needed, brought to you by Snow White, Humpty Dumpty, The Von Trap Children, and our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Created and performed by Lucas van Rhijn, Lachlan Beck, Eleanor MacIntyre, Reuben Cumming, Sol Hopkins, Olivia Marsh, and Ben Salter.

Wood Morning

Just your typical Australian morning news show. Oh, but it’s done in drag. And the show is sponsored by Jungle Juice.

Created and performed by Milo Hartill, Joshua Gordon, Zak Vasiliou, Charlotte Chew, Imogen Spendlove, Rupert Buesst and Rory Vagg.

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