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Chrissie Shaw: Current Shows

CURRENT SHOWS - BIJOU A CABARET OF SECRETS AND DELIGHTS

In a Parisian café bar in 1933 we meet Bijou. She is one of the night people, captured in Brassai’s revealing photographs of depression era Paris. Frayed at the edges, they recall the glory days of the Belle Epoque, the mad excitement of the 1920s, as they drink, sing and scratch for survival while the world moves inexorably towards another world war. Bijou, once queen of the Demi-Monde roves from bar to bar, holding mad court in her tattered finery, draped in fake jewellery. Hers is a blurred world of wine-fed dreams and memories of her haphazard life. She entertains the patrons, a moving parody of her former self, exchanging tales of love and lust for a drink, a bite to eat and a sou or two, But tonight she is jolted from her dream-world. Past and present collide in a bizarre confusion of song, dance and bawdy revelations, as we witness the shattering of mind and memory. This rich cabaret-style entertainment, paints a picture of a colourful life, with music from operetta, romance, political anthems, nursery rhymes, dance from the waltz and Charleston to exotic Eastern interpretation. Chrissie Shaw is Bijou, Alan Hicks is the Pianist. Direction: Susan Pilbeam. Choreography: Liz Lea. Set design: Imogen Keen. Costumes: Victoria Worley. Opens in Street 2 on August 29, till Sunday September 8. Bijou is assisted by the The Street Theatre’s Hive and Made In Canberra programs. Bijou’s Creative Development and premiere season were supported by the ACT Government’s Arts Funding program. GRAN'S BAG

  • FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
  • DRUMMING ON WATER
  • Info about the show and touring

    You will find in-depth information about Bijou, reviews, background info, lots of photos and other tidbits on this website!

    GRAN'S BAG - A delightful show for children aged 3 to 8


    By Greg Lissaman and Chrissie Shaw
    Directed by Greg Lissaman
    Presented by SmallShows

    GRAN’S BAG is the latest offering by Greg Lissaman and Chrissie Shaw, for 4 to 7 year olds. This show is a fun experience for families, an ideal show for school holidays, festivals and touring.

    THE SHOW

    When Gran comes to visit, she brings her beautiful big red bag. It is a treasure trove of secrets and small delights. All sorts of surprises emerge, and lots of great stories. The best story of all is about how Gran found her magic carpet bag – or did her bag find her?

    Chrissie Shaw brings the tale to life as the larger than life Gran and pulls the entire show out of her giant red handbag – which seems to have a life of its own. With storytelling, songs, and puppetry, Gran takes us on a fun adventure full of twists and turns. You never know where the story will go next.

    OVERVIEW

    ARTISTS Writer/Director Greg Lissaman
    Designers Imogen Keen & Hilary Talbot
    Composer/Performer Chrissie Shaw

    FOR Children 4 to 7, with their families

    DURATION 45 minutes including Q and A

    AVAILABILITY From December 2009, throughout 2010 and 2011

    HISTORY TO DATE Premiered at the State Library of QLD September 2008
    Holiday season at The Street Theatre July 2009
    Tour of Libraries for South East Arts Region, NSW
    Schools shows at Riverside Theatres Parramatta August 2009
    Continuing to be shown in ACT and NSW, shows in Sydney schools are available through PIE.
    2013, 2 seasons in Sydney: 1. Darling Quarter theatre for Monkey Baa, in January, and 2. Riverside Theatres Parramatta, in May.

    QUOTES

    Thanks again for ‘Gran’s Bag’. It was delightful to work with the pair of you and the performance was wonderful. We have received nothing but positive feedback from everyone who saw it. I myself particularly liked the gentle, reflective quality to Gran’s Bag - with so much art and media for children being non-stop-multi-sensory-high-stimulation, it was a pleasure to have a contemplative Gran visiting The Corner over the school holidays. All the best folks and thanks again.

    Clare McFadden
    Project Coordinator | The Edge
    STATE LIBRARY OF QUEENSLAND
    P: +61 7 3842 9827
    E:Clare.McFadden@slq.qld.gov.au

    GRAN’S BAG TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

    Tech Reqs: If audience is seated on the floor, rostrum for stage area is required (H.100 x W.3000 x D.2000mm)

    General lighting, no changes during performance

    Stage Manager: The show only requires technical staff if lighting is used.

    FOH staff: The performer requires introduction to the audience by FOH staff.
    FOH staff are responsible for ensuring babies and toddlers do not climb onto the performance area.

    Performance Area: W.3000 x D.2000mm
    Clearance 2400mm

    Performance Format: End on, audience on floor or in raked seating

    Audience: The performance is designed for intimate settings
    Ideal Maximum of 100

    Bump in: Allow 2 hours for bump in and rehearsal

    Bump out: 1 hour

    Facilities: Dressing room with toilet, sink, mirror & hanging space required

    COSTS

    Week 1 (Bump in and first week of performances) $4,000 ex GST

    Week 2+ (Consecutive week of performances) $3,500 ex GST per week

    • A “week” is any 5 consecutive days, including public holidays.

    • Maximum of 3 performances daily with a 60-minute break between performances.

    • Fee does not include performer’s accommodation

    • Fee does not include royalties (10% GBO)

    • Up to three performances may be added to a week at a cost of $150 ex GST + royalties per performance.

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    FLOTSAM AND JETSAM



    Written by Greg Lissaman, with direction of the latest version, by Catherine Roach.
    Research and songs by Chrissie Shaw.
    Costumes by Victoria Worley. Set by Hilary Talbot.
    Original production by Jigsaw Theatre Company, directed by Greg Lissaman. Now ready and available to tour.

    FLOTSAM & JETSAM, originally developed by Jigsaw Theatre Company, is a delightful story-telling performance for children, which evokes the life of a child growing up on an Australian lighthouse station. For children aged 6 to 10, and their families.

    Nikki lived on an island lighthouse when she was a child. Her father was Head Lighthouse Keeper, in the 1950s. In the present day, Nikki gets a lift in a helicopter to revisit her childhood home on a remote island off the mainland of Australia. The memories flood back, and we are swept along with Nikki, who with her sister Sally had the whole island as an adventure playground. With help from the children in the audience, Nikki recreates her island and her family’s hair-raising journey there. She relives the games she played with her sister, their exploration of all the island’s nooks and crannies, and describes the family celebrations. She takes us up in the tower to explain some of the children’s special chores. Through the eyes of the playful and adventurous Nikki, and the anxious Mrs. Ingram who blows in from 1910, young audiences experience the joys and hardships of living in a wild and remote place, where school is “just me and my sister with Mum in the kitchen” and the nearest shop is hundreds of kilometres away. The experiences of Mrs. Ingram’s family, contrast sharply with those of Nikki’s, and Nikki’s childhood differs greatly from that of today’s Australian children. Nikki, revisiting her island, regrets that her old family home has been wrecked by vandals and the weather, but rejoices that the lighthouse, now automatically run, still sends its light out every night.


    Quotes from teachers

    We had such fun watching Chrissie jumping about, changing character and turning us into the rocks and the sea and the cliffs.
    Liz Barfoed, Executive Officer, ACT Preschool Education.


    Children are enraptured by the unfolding tales, and the description of a life that is so different from that of most children nowadays in Australia.

    They loved ‘building’ the island with its shelly beach, high cliffs, rugged rocks and the awe-inspiring flying-fox ‘like being in a hot-air balloon without the balloon!’


    Flotsam and Jetsam is a cracking good story about children living in
    an exciting and isolated place! They have a whole island for a
    backyard, and school is in the kitchen with mum. Their 'toys' are
    things they find washed up on the beach, their games are all in their
    outdoors 'adventure playground', fuelled by their imaginations.
    Danger and adventure are part of every day. Their chores can involve
    helping dad to keep the lighthouse shipshape, and to provide the food
    for dinner!

    REVIEW IN LOWDOWN
    Flotsam and Jetsam. Written and directed by Greg Lissaman. Presented by The Street Theatre and Small shows Performed by Chrissie Shaw. Street 2. July 11-16.
    Flotsam and Jetsam is a gentle, captivating tale of life on a rocky outcrop for the families of the lighthouse keeper…in its own charming, simple and captivating way shines a beacon of bright light across its story-book world of delight.
    As Nikki, solo performer Chrissie Shaw offers an utterly delightful, spirited and engaging performance. Designers and director, have created a wonderland of picture book illustration as a backdrop to (Chrissie) Shaw’s lively account of Nikki’s life at the lighthouse. Expressive in her animation, masterful in her story-telling and enchanting in her song, composed by her especially for this show, Shaw recreates a life of fun and laughter that had her young audience rapt in her accounts of gathering flotsam and jetsam to create a museum, of Harry the dog taunting the tiger snake, of her father’s ghost story about the dead body in the bathtub, of schooling at the kitchen table and a wild and windy Christmas that prevented Santa from making the crossing to the island. Every tale is unravelled with superb timing and child-like wonderment. Occasionally children would be invited to participate by guessing what lay inside a mysterious box, washed ashore from a ship or taking on the character of jetsam such as a teapot or seaweed, or creating a jellyfish. Neither token, not gratuitous, the participation heightened the magic of the performance as children and adults alike were drawn into the unique experience of a lighthouse keeper’s daughter.
    Flotsam and Jetsam in its own charming, simple and captivating way shines a beacon of bright light across its story-book world of delight.


    The play was written by Greg Lissaman in collaboration with its performer Chrissie Shaw, using her research as raw material. FLOTSAM & JETSAM was initially designed to visit classrooms in Primary Schools, and also has a broad family appeal for other settings. The show was first developed for Book Week in the ACT, August 2003, the theme being “Oceans of Stories.” It has been performed in Primary Schools in the ACT and South Australia, at Floriade and for school holiday seasons at the Macquarie Lighthouse and the Australian Maritime Museum in Sydney.

    For school shows: FLOTSAM AND JETSAM can be performed in double classrooms as well as the school hall.

    • Maximum number of shows per day at one school: 2, with a change of venue: 2.

    • Question and answer session post show, can encourage students to further research the lives of families living on lighthouse stations, from the mid nineteenth century to the closure of the manned service in 1996.

    • Flotsam and Jetsam reflects many aspects of the Primary School Curriculum:
    teachers can follow up by encouraging students to tell their own stories, make their own artwork and costumes; explore the technological changes touched on in the show; compare human living conditions in the three eras shown; find out how we can learn from past management of public services such as the lighthouse service; do an inventory of all NSW lighthouses and explore reasons for their location.

    AVAILABILITY: 2013, 2014

    TECHNICAL INFORMATION AND REQUIREMENTS:

    DURATION: Performance is 45 minutes, with Question & Answer session 10 minutes.

    PERFORMANCE SPACE: A space 4.5 metres wide by 4 metres deep, 2.5 metres high is required for performance. Audience can be seated in slight curve around the performance space.

    AMENITIES: Secure dressing room for performer. Storage space for costumes between performances.

    TECHNICIAN: In theatres, one operator is required for sound. In schools, company travels with operator. Access to 2 powerpoints in schools.

    SOUNDTRACK: itunes on portable mac computer. For schools performances, company has own PA system.

    COST:
    In schools: $600 per show minimum, or $6 per child whichever is the greater. Maximum number in audience 200.

    Week 1 (Bump in and first week of performances) $6,000 ex GST

    Week 2+ (Consecutive week of performances) $4,500 ex GST per week

    • A “week” is any 5 consecutive days, including public holidays.

    • Maximum of 2 performances daily with a 60-minute break between performances.

    • Fee does not include performer’s travel costs and accommodation on tour

    • Fee does not include royalties (10% GBO)

    • Up to three performances may be added to a week at a cost of $300 ex GST + royalties per performance.



    Additional Information

    Background:

    It was in 1996 that the last Lighthouse Keeper employed in Australia finished his duties on Maatsuyker Island in Tasmania. All Australian lighthouses have since been automatic, and not all the lightstations even have caretakers to preserve the great heritage that is part of Australia’s history.

    The lives of lighthouse families were very different from most others, and the stories of these people provide a fascinating insight into how people adapt to their circumstances. Many children grew up on lightstations, some in very remote areas of our coast, some on islands where access was difficult or impossible at times. What a life for a child! Some of these ‘children’ are still quite young, some elderly, but their memories are no less vivid.

    Synopsis:

    Flotsam and Jetsam tells the story of one such child, Nikki, now a woman in her 60’s, who grew up on a remote island off Tasmania. She returns decades later to have another look at the place where she spent so many unforgettable years. Her memories unfold. She becomes 10 again, and we join her and her sister Sally, as they explore the windswept island with their dog Harry. They recall the exciting ride on the flying fox to the clifftop, their home life and their experience of schooling. They find treasure on the beach, help their dad with some of the lighthouse chores, and have a birthday bonfire with crackers. There is a near disaster when Santa nearly misses out on his yearly delivery because of the bad weather, and the pedal radio signals a thrilling parcel drop from a plane.

    Somehow, into the story comes Mrs Ingram, who in 1910 was so frightened by the journey on to the island that she refused to leave until it was absolutely necessary. She and her seven children had it tough, all those years before Nikki’s time on the island.

    Nikki has only a short time to explore her former home, and is very upset by the condition she finds the old house reduced to. The weather and vandals have taken their toll, but this disappointment does not dull her joy in once more reliving her childhood, and in seeing the light “flashing every seven and a half seconds, still reaching out from our farm on a ‘boat’ on the sea!”

    Costumes by Imogen Keen evoke both the present, the 1950s, and the earlier years of the 20th Century with a hilarious windblown Mrs Ingram ‘facade’ which transforms the performer into this very frazzled lady in a split second!


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    DRUMMING ON WATER - A WICKED YARN WITH A TWIST…



    by Geoff Page


    Presented by Chrissie Shaw and SmallShows
    Directed by Kate Gaul
    Designed by Imogen Keen
    With Chrissie Shaw and Sylvia Mitchell

    WINNER OF CANBERRA CRITICS CIRCLE 2006 AWARD FOR PRODUCTION

    Drumming on Water is a compelling tale of loyalty and obsession, told by Emma Patching, former drummer in an all-girls jazz band playing on the Sydney Harbour Showboat ferries in the late 1930s. It is a beautifully wicked yarn, hauntingly echoed and encouraged by the sounds of the saxophone played by a young woman who seems to personify the girls from the band, a vision from the past.

    Drumming on Water is directed by Kate Gaul, and performed by award-winning actor, Chrissie Shaw, with saxophonist Sylvia Mitchell. It premiered in Canberra in June 2006, and toured through the region and in Sydney through to September.



    Review Quotes

    What the critics and audience members said about Drumming on Water
    Elements of film noir pervade Page’s poetic narrative… but (his) ironic humour at the moment of action (“reaching down to grab the gun had seemed too far to stoop”) pens a less suspenseful tone, preferring to lend his amateur sleuth a far more comical aspect than a film noir heroine of crime detection would portray.

    Director Kate Gaul imbues Page’s verse play with a dramatic metre, eliciting an excellent performance from Shaw, and evocatively underscoring the one-hour monologue with Mitchell’s hypnotic interludes on sax, recalling a shattered dream and consuming obsession.

    …an evening of intriguing entertainment that is sure to please…Don’t miss this theatrical treat
    .


    Peter Wilkins, Canberra Times 9/6/06


    It was an enthralling, an all-absorbing tale as Chrissie Shaw told it, with haunting snippets of memory on an alto saxophone from Sylvia Mitchell.
    Wendy Brazil: ArtSound radio 10/6/06


    Availability 2013, 2014


    TECHNICAL INFORMATION

    Length of Performance: 70 minutes, no interval

    Set Dimensions

    Total dimension:
    4000w x 3000l (deep) x 2550h

    Screen:
    3030w x 2550h

    Floor Cloth: (in front of screen)
    4000w x 1850l

    Floor Cloth: (behind screen)
    4000w x 1150l
    (length(depth) can be reduced)

    Lighting Requirements

    Theatre Setup (for performances in a designated theatre space with in-house equipment)

    -7 x profile spot
    -10 x fresnels
    -6 x 100w footlights (supplied by DOW)
    -8 x H-stands (supplied by DOW)
    -Blue Gel and Amber Gel

    *Tour Set up (we tour with this equipment)

    -6 x 100w footlights
    -6 x par 56
    -2 x fresnels
    -2 x lighting tree
    -8 x H-stands
    -Blue Gel and Amber Gel

    *We can be self-sufficient with lights and sound.

    Sound Requirements

    CD player, amp and speakers for Pre and Post Show music
    (we travel with portable CD player)

    Bump in time: 3 hours
    Bump out time: 90 minutes.

    Costs: please contact Chrissie Shaw.

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    BIJOU A CABARET OF SECRETS AND DELIGHTS - AWARD-WINNING CABARET THEATRE

    In a Parisian café bar in 1933 we meet Bijou. She is one of the night people, captured in Brassai’s revealing photographs of depression era Paris. Frayed at the edges, they recall the glory days of the Belle Epoque, the mad excitement of the 1920s, as they drink, sing and scratch for survival while the world moves inexorably towards another world war.
    Bijou, once queen of the Demi-Monde roves from bar to bar, holding mad court in her tattered finery, draped in fake jewellery. Hers is a blurred world of wine-fed dreams and memories of her haphazard life. She entertains the patrons, a moving parody of her former self, exchanging tales of love and lust for a drink, a bite to eat and a sou or two, But tonight she is jolted from her dream-world. Past and present collide in a bizarre confusion of song, dance and bawdy revelations, as we witness the shattering of mind and memory.
    This rich cabaret-style entertainment, paints a picture of a colourful life, with music from operetta, romance, political anthems, nursery rhymes, dance from the waltz and Charleston to exotic Eastern interpretation.
    Chrissie Shaw is Bijou, Alan Hicks is the Pianist.
    Direction: Susan Pilbeam. Choreography: Liz Lea. Set design: Imogen Keen. Costumes: Victoria Worley.
    Premiere season at The Street Theatre in Canberra was a sell-out. Season: August 29, till Sunday September 8. Bijou has been assisted by the The Street Theatre’s Hive and Made In Canberra programs.
    Bijou’s Creative Development and premiere season were supported by the ACT Government’s Arts Funding program.