Untitled, or The Seat of Narcissa command performances for La Mama's 50th birthday celebrations!
Carlton Courthouse 349 Drummond St, 26-28th July 2017, with Penny Larkins, Erica Chestnut, Sofia Chapman and Madeline Hudson.
UNTITLED, or the Seat of Narcissa is a tale of lesbian love and adoration. Be taken into the world of a beguiling yet narcissistic woman desiring true love while only ever opening herself to moments of lust. Viscountess Narcissa holds court and sway over ladies keen for her attention and affection. The play looks at the behaviour and reactions of people who entertain and enable narcissists to indulge their passions and bigotries. Audiences may be unable to resist her powers of seduction.
Photos by Annabel Warmington
Theatre Press review
'Faultlessly funny' By Ross Larkin.
'From the outset, a certain curiosity swells at the prospect of a play with no title, while simultaneously bearing a highly distinct and decided one. This is not coincidental, but rather a sneaky peak into the contrary madness that awaits in writer/director Sofia Chapman’s hilarious new production. Initially a love triangle between three quirky, tenacious women, Untitled, or The Seat of Narcissa quickly evolves to include multiple love-crazed subjects in a chaotic swarm of hysteria while infidelity and passion abound along with music, dancing and poetry. Penny Larkins is the egocentric and deceitful Viscountess Narcissa, who chews up her lovers and spits them out, all the while demanding the utmost respect and attention. Falling under her spell are Erica Chestnut as the sassy Duchess of Dullcote and Kate Hosking as feisty go-getter, Baroness of Inverness, while Narcissa’s seemingly dazed and confused servant, Marcello, played by Madeline Hudson, intersects the melodrama with great intrigue. The humour and wit of Chapman’s writing is immediate and doesn’t stall for a single moment, aided by a strong and energetic cast whose comic timing and delivery had the audience cackling from beginning to end. Chapman is also responsible for the hilariously witty poetry which merges with the play beautifully, as well as the very fitting and engaging music and comical lyrics. Add to the mix some wacky and amusing dancing, gorgeous costumes and a slew of double entendres and clever one-liners and the result is a barrel of non-stop laughs, comparable to the likes of Monty Python, Black Adder and Absolutely Fabulous. This is one Midsumma show for the top of your list!' (22 January 2016)
Recent Production: Todd in Venice
La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday St Melbourne for Midsumma Festival 1-5 February 2017.
'- raw, fun, poetic – makes for a very fine watch.'
David Collins, Australian Arts Review
The classic 'Death in Venice' reimagined, with Thomas Mann's innocent Tadzio now the gay boy Todd, rampaging around Venice and getting up to mischief. Agnes, in Venice to collect gaudy masks and glassware, yearns after Todd, but is in the process of transitioning. Michael, in Venice to write a musical, also finds Todd irresistible. Will Agnes lose her chance with Todd by becoming female? Or will she lose him anyway to her friend Michael? On top of all this, the water levels in Venice are rising and threatening to sweep them all away on a tide of emotion. From award winning writer Sofia Chapman, this comedy features up and coming music and theatre stars Joseph Lai as the laconic Michael and Alex Beyer as the young and beautiful Todd. Kate Hosking is the melancholy Agnes (who starred as the Baroness of Inverness in Sofia’s ‘Untitled, or The Seat of Narcissa’ in 2016), James Adler the mysterious Doge of Venice who was supposed to have died in the 18th century, and Terry Cole is resident musician, gondolier and persistent clown (who played the Norse God Woden in Sofia’s award winning ‘The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse’ in 2012). 'Todd in Venice' featured in the 'Playtime' play reading and script development series at Gasworks in Midsumma 2016. Image by Annabel Warmington, lighting designer for the production.
Thanks to our supporters Robina Bamforth, Helen Eager, Nickie Arthur, Justin Sumner, Bernard Nolan, Farouk's Olive, Eloise Caleo, Gabrielle Falconer, Eleanor Tucker, Penelope Bartlau, Wendy Nicholas and Marilyn Nicholas.
Recent play reading
The Rise and Fall of A to Z
Wednesday 3 May 2017 6.30pm
fortyfive downstairs, 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne.
Untitled, or The Seat of Narcissa written and directed by Sofia Chapman enjoyed a successful season at La Mama Theatre, Carlton, 19- 31 Jan 2016 for the Midsumma Festival with Kate Hosking, Penny Larkins, Erica Chestnut and Madeline Hudson.
Musical director - Sofia Chapman.
Lighting Design - Greg Carroll.
Set design - Alana Hunt
Choreography - Kate Hosking.
Lighting operator and photographer - Annabel Warmington.
Thanks so much to our supporters, too many to mention you all here but in particular Aleksandra Lane, Jacqui Stockdale, Justin Marshall, Annette van Betlehem, Alice Plevier, Zucchini Clan, Steve Rogers and Richard Bladel.
The Seat of Narcissa returned to a full house at The Dancing Dog, Footscray in April 2016, presented by Pandoras.
THE FOUR ACCORDIONISTS OF THE APOCALYPSE
written and composed by Sofia Chapman
Winner of "Best Emerging Writer" award at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2012
A Burning Deck Theatre Production presented by La Mama
directed by Jo Loth
Performed by ZULYA KAMALOVA TERRY COLE
CARL PANNUZZO ISABEL HERTAEG RAMA NICHOLAS KT PRESCOTT
EMMA LOUISE PURSEY
La Mama Courthouse
349 Drummond St Carlton
26 Sept- 7 Oct 2012
"Writer and composer Sofia Chapman, in collaboration with Brisbane-based director Jo Loth, manages to shed light on current issues in today's society via a musical comedy approach. Life's turmoils and humanity's weaknesses are addressed while adorned with lovely accordion music and wicked humorous zingers, which more than once drew belly busting laughter from the audience. Actress Zulya Kamalova (Frigg, Goddess of Fertility) delivered a very believable 'woman scorned' and 'Goddess diva' interpretation, Terry Cole (Woden, God of Death and master of disguise) was great fun to watch as he moved back and forth from one character to another, including full-on accent flip-flopping, Isabel Hertaeg (Brunhilde Bloch) shook the house with her thunderous vocal skills and Emma Louise Pursey as Candida Nervosa was a delightful nervous wreck throughout the play, delivering a memorable and unexpected rap sequence which had me in tears from laughter. The Four Accordionists of the Apocalypse is an unusual and very funny play, poking fun at the end of the world through Norse Mythology one accordion note at a time; it is well worth catching."
Gordana Andjelic-Davila, Australian Stage
Frigg, Goddess of Fertility, feels she’s no longer worshipped and auditions accordionists for an Apocalypse to regain control, yet fears a ‘Twilight of the Gods’. Should she get Apocalypse insurance?
THE ANOREXIC CHEF
A Burning Deck Theatre Production presented by La Mama
La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday St Carlton, 19-30 Jan 2011
WILL TAIT, ELOISE BOWDEN, ALEKSANDRA LANE, KIRRI BUCHLER, HILARY FAIRCHILD, BEN deCASTELLA and MICHAEL LANE
Written and directed by Sofia Chapman
"With live musical interludes, a snappy set, some talented young actors and short film at their disposal, the creative talent is there."
Cameron Woodhead, The Age 2011
"Despite the comedy, Bleu carries much pain and Tait brings this out perfectly. His performance is effortless and he has you laughing even as he makes you want to sit down with Bleu so you can slit your wrists together."
Daniel G Taylor, Stage Whispers
At moments absurd, a fun yet thought-provoking play with live music, headless guests, chocolate sauce wrestling and more!
Gordon Bleu, of French-Canadian and Inuit background, immigrates to Australia to become a chef, and realises his dream of opening a restaurant with the help of Oswald Paternoster, a somewhat patronising patron whose underlying agenda is to get his range of GM foods into circulation.
Feelings of displacement, wanting to take control of his life, personal issues stemming from his relationship with his mother in the arctic circle plus the long and hard hours of working with food lead to Gordon developing an eating disorder, and shortage of money, to him sleeping in the restaurant kitchen.
His complex relationship with food is played out in the way Gordon serves his customers (eg. Badminton with spatchcocks so the guests work off calories while they eat ) and the minimalist dishes he offers (eg rice paper origami with raspberry coulis, pictured).
Will Gordon succumb to Larda, the guest who insists on edible cutlery and wants to eat everything, including the chef, or will he, with the help and advice of his assistant Wanda, finally accept that he himself is human and worthy of being fed?
The Anorexic Chef was developed in 2009 with the assistance of the Moreland City Council. The play includes excerpts from two short films Nag Vibes Vex Frozen Nomad and The Albino Bride (which tell of Gordon's life in the arctic circle) featuring original music by VARDOS, Brian May, Kirri Buchler and Sofia .
Sofia Chapman (writer/director) first brought to La Mama The Accidental Death of an Accordionist, Melbourne Fringe 1998. Her Desperate Gallery was a finalist in the Short and Sweet play festival in Sydney and Melbourne, and her short films have appeared at festivals in Australia, Hungary and New York.
Initiated by Sofia Chapman and Lara Jakica in 2007, The Burning Deck is an independent theatre company based in Melbourne which aims to provide a healthy environment to foster creative endeavours of artists locally and internationally and to produce multicultural theatre, film and music events.