One of the fun things about preparing to depart for the far side of the world - not that there are many believe me, is finding long forgotten doodles in the loft. I'm sure I've mentioned that amongst my many follies is fabricating extremely bad art. I do know good art when I see it and I occasionally showcase at House of Pants the work of brilliant artists of my acquaintance, so you can be assured I have no aspirations in that direction. I know my place.
However, I once had what I thought was an outstanding idea for a community project which aspired to high (in the purest sense) art. Naturally my enthusiasm wasn't shared by anyone else. In the early 1990s, I created The Theatre of Australian Native Animals, a classical theatre troupe in homage to Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh's immortal Old Vic (Sydney) company of 1948. Our Company would bring to the stage drama from all spheres and, for the very first time, provide opportunities for marsupials to participate in mainstream theatre. Previously they'd been shamelessly ghettoised in puppetry and, at best, could aspire to hop on parts in Skippy The Bush Kangaroo.
I storyboarded four in all - The Illiad, Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard and the great Australian classic Summer of the Seventeen Doll. Sadly, I can only find two full drafts, although I'm sure I saw a watercolour of 'Up there Cazaly' from Doll kicking around fairly recently. I would like to present the Company's first production for your entertainment in case you haven't made it to Edinburgh. From Behind the Fringe (as you know, Australian Native Animals are by nature quite shy), I give you a little later than planned and with apologies for the faded and jaded appearance of the stars,
© Noosa Lee 1992
Next time on
The Theatre of Australian Native Animals Presents
HAMLET - PRINCE OF MARSUPIALS