the artful podger
PART 1: A marsupial boy called Emir finds a baby bird, and raises it. They grow older together in a summer drawn long and golden, but soon we must all grow up. The phoenix must rise into the sky, and as his childhood friends bid farewell and the worlds starts to fall apart, Emir decides to stand up for the smallest creatures.
In respect of the Australian bushfires, no fire or pyrotechnics were used in the ceremony, and instead the performance concluded with a celebration of climate activist groups and the volunteer Rural Fire Services.
In the green hills beside a booming Iron Town, Astrid tends to her herd of endangered Auryx - gentle creatures with magic in their horns and music in their hearts.
The Iron Town thunders on, belching its fumes to turn rusty wheels that never rest, until watchful human eyes discover new value in the Auryx. Despite the warning tolls of the bell, human greed is never quenched - leaving Astrid the only thing standing between the Auryx and extinction.
The earth is new and inhabited by peculiar twin-folk - lumbering spheres that resemble two humans bound back-to-back. Their hearts beat to the same song as together they finish painting the trees and sculpting the stones. They know nothing yet of anger, nor hurt, nor love.
But as the mountains grow slowly around them, so too do the cracks in the human condition - until maddened by selfish desire they tear themselves in two and cast a fiery rift between them.
Inspired by Aristophanes’ Speech, Plato’s ‘Symposium’ (385 BC)
A race of horned, green-skinned creatures obsessed with flight. Their culture is a simple one; they worship the humble potato, consider planes to be flying gods, and attempt to build flying machines out of 'borrowed' car parts.
Developed in 2010 for Woodford Folk Festival, The Gremlins performed 8 seasons of outdoor shows plus street performances, guest appearances & a 21 day performance installation in Cairns, and most recently a hit season with sold out shows and five star reviews in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide Fringe '16.
Based on clown, slapstick and grotesque physical comedy, with a nod to The Young Ones and the Three Stooges, The Gremlins were a hit with all ages and backgrounds, and created outrageous comedy from the junk laying around them.
For more go to www.bentschematic.com
Anytime The Wind Can Change is the heartwarming tale of lonely giants, comets and compassion told with intricate shadow puppets to a powerful live musical score.
Two giants fall in love across a vast sea, sending messages to each other on the wings of birds. In the wake of the unexpected, cracks start to appear. Naut and Astrid float closer together as their people drift further apart – but in the darkest hours we often find the best of humanity.
A fruity brutalist world containing a social experiment gone wrong. A corner of a Gold Coast public park was transformed with cement monuments, inflatable domes and a population who all looked very similar, ruled by a tyrant in a tower.
The heart wrenching story of an Australian farmer's slow descent into madness after seven years of relentless drought. Isolated, devastated, yet ever hopeful, his only companions are ghosts from his past.
The set contained a seven metre high wire and other circus apparatus, as well as several tonnes of red earth.
The Gold Coast's spectacular outdoor amphitheatre at HOTA was transformed into a fiery sanctuary for Verdi's iconic work performed by Opera Queensland and Griffith University in collaboration with Bleach Festival.
12 giant candelabras surrounded the space as 2000 red prayer candles lined the stage. Flames leapt from the wings during the Dies Irae before giving way to pyrotechnic stars in the final refrains of Libera Me.
A great comet burns across an empty sky. Down below, Astrid and Naut fall in love across a vast ocean, sending messages to each other with beacons and on the wings of birds. But in the wake of catastrophe, peace becomes chaos and cracks begin to form.
The Woodford 'Fire Event' is the one of the largest annual outdoor theatre productions in Australia, and involves over 1000 artists and participants, for an audience of 20 000 on the first day of the year.
This story has been reimagined as Anytime The Wind Can Change - a touring shadow play in the UK.
Jinibara Elders and dancers welcome us to Country. Uncle Rick Roser & Uncle Bob Robinson light the first fire, which is kept alight throughout the festival.
The Spanish Community gift Woodfordia with an olive tree.
Woodfordians write their gratitude on paper lanterns that become a huge candle mandala. The audience and surrounds are filled with flickering candles as the bonfire is lit.
In a dead forest at the edge of the world, an ancient giant tries to save the last tree - a colossal paperbark that needs fire to germinate. A golden conjuror sells tickets to watch the tree die, ignoring Viktor's ancient knowledge, until in a moment of great sacrifice Viktor puts his own soul into the tree, watching its vibrant leaves burst to life as his eyes close for the last time.
Tilda returns to her village of fire farmers, to find it destroyed by a band of machine-riding, electro-punk Philistines. The village moon has been stolen, and a blue neon cage holds the people captive.
With a little help from the natural world, Tilda frees her village and restores the natural order of things.
in capital album launch
album launch event
naarm / Melbourne
Visuals: Alex Podger + Zero Crossing
Six custom-built lightboxes combined with projection by Zero Crossing to create a pulsating, fluid backdrop to In Capital's high energy music.
Masters of story-telling and spectacle, Macnas are known the world over for their extraordinary puppets and images, accompanied by wild performance and music. Myths and poems roll through the streets as shadows stalk the unsuspecting.
Performed in a purpose built one-eighty degree set from reclaimed materials, an absurd pano-drama unfolds around the audience. Six peculiar people live their lives in self-imposed isolation as their actions begin to affect each other more and more.
A rather destructive show, it took about 3 hours to reset each day with a large number of lo-fi technical effects, water effects, walls being torn down and a car crashing through the set during the performance.
Each night of the Woodford Folk Festival, the Fire Event structure came to life. Filled with self-obsessed humans, we watched the Heart slowly become occupied by monsters - as each night a new creature arrived and evicted someone before making itself at home.
Pyrotechnics, water and porridge.
So much porridge.
A gathering of cultural engineers from across the country, Ausfolk invited the delegates to set the scene for the Closing Ceremony. Delegates entered across the stage and placed candles around the lake to illuminate the musicians. A beacon of puzzle pieces, painted by the guests, floated in the centre of the pond, before being completed by two characters in a rowboat.