Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations
list an event      1 million Australian readers every month      facebook

Poppy Seed Theatre Festival

Home > Melbourne > Festivals | Performing Arts | Theatre Reviews
by Mistress of Culture Vultures (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Event: -
Poppyseed Festival brings new contemporary works to life
Check out the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival in Melbourne, with five new plays, performing across five independent theatre venues running from 8 November to 9 December 2017.

Poppyseed Theatre Festival, Melbourne, Howard Fine, Butterfly Club, Romeo, Fruit, Alexithymia, Citizen Theatre, Bread Crumbs, Tandem, Gravity Dolls, Chapel, Lost, Daniel Keene, Arts House Meat Market, St Martins.
'Alexithymia' at The Stables, Arts House Meat Market


The Poppy Seed Theatre Festival is a funded program where five new producers are granted $7,500 to produce a new work with support of mentorship from professionals in the industry. It sounds like a lot of money, but if you have ever produced a play of any kind, at any level, this is a good 'knee up', towards marketing, and production costs.

Poppyseed Theatre Festival, Melbourne, Howard Fine, Butterfly Club, Romeo, Fruit, Alexithymia, Citizen Theatre, Bread Crumbs, Tandem, Gravity Dolls, Chapel, Lost, Daniel Keene, Arts House Meat Market, St Martins.
Opening night crowd at the Poppyseed Festival


On opening night I saw 'Alexithymia' by Citizen Theatre at The Stables at the historic Meat Market in North Melbourne. The production aimed to simulate an environment similar to the sensory experience of a person diagnosed on the autism spectrum - using loud primary colours in the costume and set, strobe and flashing lights, and audial overwhelm with amplified sound effects and soundscape.

Poppyseed Theatre Festival, Melbourne, Howard Fine, Butterfly Club, Romeo, Fruit, Alexithymia, Citizen Theatre, Bread Crumbs, Tandem, Gravity Dolls, Chapel, Lost, Daniel Keene, Arts House Meat Market, St Martins.
'Alexithymia' by Citizen Theatre


Written by Tom Middleditch, the narrative centres on a young woman 'Red' (Nicola Bowman) who dreams of success in career, power and relationships. Red appears confident, very knowledgeable, but somehow keeps missing out on her dream job due to how she answers questions in a behavioural interview. Red has a condition called 'Alexithymia' which is described as the 'inability to name or describe emotions'. Red still feels emotions, but cannot easily define or express them verbally. According to the Poppyseed Theatre program Alexithymia 'affects 85% of people diagnosed on the autism spectrum'.

Red meets 'Blue' (Keagan Vaskess) on a game show hosted by Yellow (Emma Hoy) where the contestants try to answer questions about emotions, and differentiate feeling emotion from physical sensation whilst sharing stories of their experience of anxiety and anger, morbid fascinations, dating perils, social media overwhelm, special interests, amnesia and depression. Red and Blue form a relationship, and together they make a life which combines their quirks and idiosyncracies. Blue loses her adopted mother and experiences disassociation with her grief, called 'Nirvana' syndrome which is not fully explored in this performance but perhaps opens the door to a sequel.

Poppyseed Theatre Festival, Melbourne, Howard Fine, Butterfly Club, Romeo, Fruit, Alexithymia, Citizen Theatre, Bread Crumbs, Tandem, Gravity Dolls, Chapel, Lost, Daniel Keene, Arts House Meat Market, St Martins.
Opening night at The Stables, Meat Market, DJ Poppyseed


This is a fun exploration of the world of autism, on the high end of the spectrum, and shows how abilities, eccentricities and idiosyncrasies create a heightened experience of the world which can make navigating the human world of relationships very challenging, but also very interesting. However, underneath this highly sensory performance, is a provocation for the audience to empathise and understand people with Alexithymia or diagnosed on the autism spectrum. This show is definitely worth seeing, and hopefully it gets an opportunity to tour.

But that's not all folks. Check out www.poppyseedfestival.com and see 'Romeo is Not the Only Fruit' at The Butterfly Club, 'Lost:5' at St Martin's Youth Theatre, 'Bread Crumbs' at the Meat Market and 'Tandem' at Chapel Off Chapel.
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  9
*Mistress of Culture Vultures was invited as a guest
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? See contemporary new theatre created in Melbourne
When: Check website for times of each show
Where: Various venues
Cost: $15.00 - $35.00
Your Comment
Featured
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions