We’re back!

It’s been a long time since we did a blog post (infact over 2 years) so let me catch you up with where we’re at. The last time you heard from us on the blog was to talk about our new show My Pet, My Love. We premiered this piece at Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival in 2015 and it went really well. As a performer, it’s quite normal to experience nerves before going onstage. You harness that energy in a positive way and once you get on stage the nerves disappear and you’re in the moment. On the opening night of My Pet, My Love I experienced the worse nerves I’ve ever had. I was standing backstage waiting to go on and I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest! Despite that, I got through it. It was an exhilarating experience and we got some great reviews, including a 4-star review in Time Out Melbourne!

A year later we took the show to New Zealand Fringe in Wellington. I’d never toured a show to an international festival before and although it was a huge learning curve, it was one that I relished. I got to perform at BATS Theatre in Wellington and met some really generous and amazing people. Again, we got some really great reviews!

Then at the end of 2015, came United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City. Now for those that know anything about me, you’ll know how much I love NYC, so to have the opportunity to perform my one-man show, in a festival in NYC, at a theatre on 42nd Street was something I never imagined I could do. It was a thrilling experience, and even though I was in NYC, there were so many familiar faces in the audience; people who I’ve crossed paths with over the years in various aspects of my life came to see the show and it meant the world to me.

After New York, I thought that perhaps I was done with this show, and it was time to move on. So I threw out all the keys that I had used in Melbourne and lugged to New Zealand and New York (7kgs of keys to be precise!) and said goodbye to the show.

Then something completely unexpected happened. I was back in Melbourne and I found out I had been awarded Best Actor of the United Solo Theatre Festival. I didn’t think my New York experience could get any better – but it did! So on the back of that, I thought I need to give this show one more go, and what better festival to head to then Edinburgh Festival Fringe! It’s the 70th year of the festival and I’ve always wanted to take a show there, and now seems like the perfect time!

I applied and was accepted into C Venues, one of the big hub venues in Edinburgh. I’ll get the chance to perform my show 26 nights in a row, which will be a huge challenge but a great learning experience. I’m super excited, nervous, anxious, everything! Tickets are already onsale so if you happen to be in Edinburgh, Scotland in August why not come along!

I plan to keep you all up to date and blog more often about my experience in Edinburgh, so keep tuned for more details.

In the meantime, I’m running a fundraising campaign to help me get to Edinburgh. If you’re interested in finding out more, please head to this page for more information: https://australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/my-pet-my-love-goes-to-edinburgh/

Rob 🙂

Here we are…

January 2015 is finally here – a big Happy New Year to you all!

Elphie gives notes after a rehearsal

Elphie gives notes after a rehearsal

When Lily and I went to Hothouse Theatre in February 2014 to undertake ten days of creative development on My Pet, My Love, we had no idea that a year later we would be putting on a one man show in the Midsumma Festival. Well, here were are and our show opens in less than three weeks!

We’ve been rehearsing like mad, with help from Lily’s new daughter Elphie (she’s a great assistant director, who very rarely spits the dummy!) and have two incredible designers on board, James O’Donoghue, lighting and sets, and Jai Leeworthy our sound designer. We are also very fortunate to have secured the La Mama Courthouse which is the perfect venue for our piece.

I am very excited to be sharing My Pet, My Love with an audience as this piece has been a long time in the works and one that is very personal to me. A lot of people have asked me what the piece is about and it’s difficult to answer that in one sentence.

In 2005, my Nonna began to forget things and in 2007, she was diagnosed with dementia. In 2012, she died, a shell of her former shelf, in the dementia ward of a nursing home. These events, and the impact they had on my family were the inspiration for this show.

I saw the effect my Nonna’s dementia had on my father, and then in turn, on me and so many questions started going through my head. What if my father develops dementia? Will I be as strong as him? What if I develop it? Or my partner? My friends joke that I’m forgetful and have early onset dementia, but what if there’s some truth to it? It’s a terrifying thought.

My Pet, My Love tells a number of stories. It is the story of an elderly gay couple whose relationship is affected when one develops dementia and the other becomes the carer. It is the story of a child who discovers death for the first time, and it is the story of me, a 30 something grappling with my own fears of growing old.

So, if I had to sum it up in a sentence – My Pet, My Love is a one man show about fish, forgetting and the fear of dying single.

La Mama Courthouse

La Mama Courthouse

Tickets for the show are on sale now and can be purchased via the following website – http://lamama.com.au/summer-2015/my-pet-my-love/

I hope to see you there