Riverbank Palais – ADELAIDE FESTIVAL

SONY DSCRussell performs WHO AM I…? for packed audience at The Riverbank Palais.

This is a venue purpose-built for The Adelaide Festival. It’s unequivocal popular success this year means it will be retained for the next three years.

“Who Am I? Is not for the faint hearted, it is for those who love classic story telling, for those who are looking to delve into the life of another human being, sharing their thoughts, feelings and desires, and those who love suspense.

Russell Cheek is a master narrator. He takes the audience on a wild ride through the history, glamour and bad attire of 1990’s commercial television. The story follows Russell’s life as he recollects his experiences on Sale of the Century. Using his cutting wit and auditory skills, Russell recalls this bygone era and stressful, yet exciting time in his life.

The carryover champion’s story telling skills are incredible. His voice is calming and soft, his actions and gestures are those of a well-experienced actor. As the tension mounts the emotion is visceral. Russell conjured such creative tension that one audience member was so caught in the climax of the show that she stood up and announced that she “couldn’t bear the tension” any more. Ever the gentleman, Russell dashed off the stage and reassured her by whispering the ending to her, just in case. She stayed and gave a standing ovation at the end of the show.

Russell Cheek’s inspiring and hopeful tale reminds us of the power of goals and dreams. He will draw you in and you will share the joys, the tensions and the laughs as he recalls a very important time in his life.”

Rupert Hogen-Turner – “The Upside News”

LONDON

Then to LONDON, (Oct 18 til Nov 8)

Met with:
Jodi Shields, directors’ and writer’s agent,
(incl for such luminaries as Steve McQueen, Oscar-winning director.
Discussed Russell’s treatment for CONKERS (working title,)
Mini-series re. WW1 and the unknown story within the foundation of Israel

saw:

HUSBANDS AND SONS at the National Theatre,
(based on the works of DH Lawrence,) meeting the starring and brilliant Anne Marie Duff,
(‘Shameless’, ‘Sugffragette’)

THE ORESTEIA
A stunning re-working of Aeschellus’ eviscerating tragedy in three acts.

64 SQUARES
Brilliant, fluid show by the innovative RHUM and CLAY CO.

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GOYA – PORTRAITS

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and – LONDON…

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Alitalia over St Paul’s

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The Thames – ‘liquid history’….!

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Shard-‘n’-Freude…

WHO AM I……?

Next year brings Russell’s ONE-MAN SHOW

‘WHO AM I’

The Old 505 Theatre

5 Eliza St, Newtown, Sydney

Here is Russell’s section of the 2016 subscription Brochure:

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“Aspiration requires preparation. Preparation ensures that when opportunity arrives – and it will – you are inured to self-doubt.

The moment of opportunity, like death, arrives at random. In order to welcome it, you must also sign up to accept its dark-matter – failure, for the by-product of aspiration is humiliation.

The exception is the Clown, whose aspiration consists of humiliation –and the by-product becomes the resource. (Performs short demonstration as red-nosed clown)
            This is our lesson – to make capital of disaster, to become the contrarian investor, who continues to rake profit in time of crisis.

The Clown’s art is predicated on this. The Chinese too, have evolved it into a collective national mindset – ‘We can use this’. Just as they would eat every skerrick of the pig… from snouts to tails, lips to arseholes, they would comb the slag-heap in thousands to find the dubious nugget.”

Jodi (phone VO) – Russ – are you sitting down…?
Russell – No, but I CAN be… why…?
Jodi – They want you in Melbourne. On Wednesday.

Russell – Oh… feck… (runs out of room.)

It had happened. What I had so longed for – intangibly away in the future – I had wished into sudden existence, via the genie of hubris.

Opportunity had not bothered to knock. It strode towards me, sleeves rolled, flanked by its foul and wiry posse. These I recognised with a shudder – Apprehension, Anxiety and Fear-of-Failure, skulking like filthy figures from a gutter Commedia troupe.

My stomach dove through my fundament, but I made quick ground, slammed the door, and welcomed the dirty three with… (SFX – toilet flush)

Suddenly – this was the opposite of trivia.

Glenn – “Which city, the capital of Transvaal, is also…” (SFX – Buzzer )
Russell – Pretoria.

Glenn – “Coined after the Athenian statesman, and meaning severe, or…”
(SFX – Buzzer )
Russell – Draconian.

More details after season launch, 24 Nov 2015

Russell Cheek, 'WHO AM I...?'

PARIS

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Russell is traveling to Paris as translator for an Art-dealer colleague, Adrian Newstead, of COO-EE GALLERY, (the oldest indigenous art gallery of Australia,) at the Art Fair ‘Art Brut’. Shown here: Adrian and Mirri Leven, Gallery Manager.
(October 18 til 28) This was our stand at the Art Fair….!

IMG_4562     Magic afternoon light…

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rue Lepic…

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Les Invalides, l’Église St Eustache

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rue du Faubourg St Denis – my own precinct

(all photographs by Russell)

 

 

 

High Society

Russell has just finished performing in a sell-out season of the musical HIGH SOCIETY, at the Hayes Theatre, Potts Point.

The cast included some of the great luminaries of Australian Musical theatre – Amy Lehpamer, Bert Labonte, Bobby Fox, Scott Irwin, Virginia Gay, Phillip Lowe, Michelle Barr, Laurence Coy, Delia Hannah, Jessica Whitfield.

The show is directed by Helen Dallimore, herself one of the great musical performers.

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The incomparable Amy Lehpamer

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(almost) Full-cast Dance Number

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Delia Hannah and Russell Cheek

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The most joyous dressing-room in the world….

A stellar experience – some review excerpts.

If you need twin staircases, tap-dancing, chorus lines, or a full-sized band, then wander down to the Opera House and see the Broadway-budgeted production of Anything Goes, one of Porter’s most famous. But if you’re happy with several of the greatest songs of the twentieth century, retrofitted into a well-crafted story with witty dialogue and all delivered flawlessly, then buy, sneak or cheat your way into High Society.

Time Out (5 Stars)

“Director Helen Dallimore has drawn together a stellar group of actors and creatives to bring Cole Porter’s ‘High Society’ to life with lots of laughs and beautiful music…
For it to work it must fizz, and Helen Dallimore has certainly achieved that in her production for Hayes Theatre Co. In addition to the magnificent music, the drama and comedy of the work is delightful and ensures that the work remains relevant. The comic timing of jokes and barbs are brilliantly presented and are accompanied by some priceless facial expressions.”

Broadway World

 

 

Pilgrim’s Progress

A HUNGER SUITE

 Ayoub and Miné Cerci in A HUNGER SUITE

Emily Ayoub and Miné Cerci in A HUNGER SUITE

Emily Ayoub and I traveled to Istanbul to develop, devise and present ‘A HUNGER SUITE’, based on the works of Franz Kafka, with top Turkish actress Miné Cerci.

We played the show in the Sezincikat Theatre in Central lstanbul, and attracted a core of Istanbullu (sic) theatre buffs who were very passionate about it. We played it in English with beautifully crafted Turkish surtitles….!

After more development in Sydney, we subsequently presented the show here at the Old 505 Theatre, Sydney:

We had some really well-considered, thought-through critiques….!

“This is difficult, beautiful performance. Abstract, beguiling and hilarious.”

– Augusta Supple

“Beautiful, brief, strange and funny… Just came back from Clockfire Theatre’s interpretation come melt-down of Kafka’s short stories and aphorisms. It ended in under an hour and before I even knew it was happening. Like some sad circus on a farm left over from a German dream. Tremendous acting, physical and odd. A HUNGER SUITE is well worth seeing…”

Mark Mordue – 2010 Pascal Prize winner: Australian Critic of the Year.

“Simply magnificent show. There’s rarely theatre shown these days that leaves you thinking about it days after – this show exemplifies this tenfold. I was moved, I laughed and I was even rather unnerved at some points. Don’t miss out on this unique and thought provoking piece of theatre!” –

Gabriel McCarthy

“Russell Cheek has guided Clockfire to slice-and-dice the spirit of this great 20th century writer and serve it up, near piping hot, with side orders of his most powerful ideas.”
Crikey’.com – Lloyd Bradford Syke

We even had attendance from Australia’s greatest director, Neil Armfield, who said:

“I enjoyed this VERY much – it is like a mythological poem – about performance, and therefore, life…”

This was such an enjoyable, edifying and encouraging experience, we hope to find more life ahead for this unusual, innovative performance….!

Emily and Miné in the hay - A HUNGER SUITE