Goodbye AVFMW!

We would love to thank all of those who contributed to the A View From Moving Windows blog. We really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing such beautiful stories and memories.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the blog:

Jessica Bellamy, Pollyanna Kasia Nowicki, Wayne Tunks, Patrick Lenton, Nick Parsons, Noelle Janaczewska, Erica J Brennan, Emrys Quin, Marnya Roth, John AD Fraser, Marcelle Schmitz, Sarah Carradine, Gavin Roach, Luke Carson, Jessica Chapnik Kahn and Nadav Kahn, Katie Pollock, Jodi McAlister, Melita Rowston, Miles Merrill, Teik Kim Pok, Sam Atom Stewart, Pip Smith, Melissa Werry, Alison Rooke, Ildiko Susany, Bronte Kelso-Marsh, Shauntelle Benjamin, Helen O’Leary, Eileen McIlwain and Lib Campbell.

And lastly, we’d like to thank Augusta for the opportunity to do help out with the ‘A View From Moving Windows’ and to the whole Crew, Cast and Writers for being so incredibly welcoming and wonderful. Below is a second longer tribute to the A View From Moving Windows process.

The video was created by Felicity Pickering and the song used is ‘Precious’ by the amazing Appleonia (Jessica Chapnik Kahn).

 

Pictures from Closing Night!

All pictures are by Felicity Pickering (except for the ones she’s in).

Lib Campbell

Lib Campell has written a blog post for us! Lib is a TV Presenter, actor, choccy lover and a human. 

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

I catch at least 2 trains a day. Bear in mind that a mild 2-train-day is as rare as me having a boyfriend. On my average trackin’ day the Fat Controller surrenders his top hat and gives me a massage of commuter commiseration. Though sometimes it’s just a reiki sesh – cause’ that’s more consistent with his image…
Naturally I could fill a hippo with the horror. Hours of boob bouncing bus rides have made my scones doughy and my eyelashes brittle. I fear the next delay I see shall see me split in two just like it did Gollum. Poor Gollum –he’s had it up to HERE with track work. Do you really think he CHOSE to WALK to Mordor?
ANYWAY… I shall now share the most radiant thing I’ve witnessed on a train recently.

Setting the scene…

7:06am train - Its effing freezing and my Tinkerbelle earrings keep getting caught on my scarf.
City via Airport Line. – Every carriage is crammed with
A) Starchy suits scrolling ipad spreadsheets with tangible contempt.
B) Click-clacking pencil skirts with platinum foils as thick as Darrell Lea soft eating liquorice. (RIP Darrell)
C) Douche bags on their way to Helsinki or Buenos Ares or wherever, with their dumb suitcases and chubby dumb duffel bags.

(This is what I turn into when I’m cold and irritated. Not even clever mean, just, ‘get out of my way, you’re dumb’mean)

I burrow my way to one of those seats near the door, the ones like park benches where you spend 40 minutes making snap judgments about the #parkbenchpplopposite. Amid this heavy mist of negative morning minutiae, a lady with a mauve scrunchie marches brazenly on to our carriage carrying a dirty great BIKE. Our yolky eyes pop and sizzle as she pushes herself and the bike in to our twisted mess of limbs and luggage. The #parkbenchpplopposite look just as goaded as my bench.

BUT THEN…with whimsical dexterity Mauve Scrunchie bends and buckles and seriously folds that bike so that it is no bigger in size and consequence than an obedient beagle. It’s a freaking collapsible bike! The #parkbenchpplopposite gape in shock. But none more so than an anceint little lady who is clearly Little Red Riding Hoods grandma-ma. I dub her Hood Ma-ma. In response to the bike wizardry before her Hood Ma-ma lets out an audible gasp – not dissimilar from the one she would have made when she saw the big bad wolf. She continues to stare and shake her head until she spills some words right into Mauve Scrunchie’s lap.
“I never learnt to ride”. 
“Sorry?” replies Mauve Scrunchie.
“My mother couldn’t afford to buy me a bike, so now I love to walk. But I never did learn”.
Mauve Scrunchie puts away her phone and turns to Hood Ma-ma; staring her straight in the bonnet. Mauve Scrunchie then goes on to establish where Hood Ma-ma lives (Holsworthy), where she is going (the doctor) and which day will best suit for Mauve Scrunchie to drive over and teach her to ride. (Wednesday). By the time we are at Wolli Creek the two are deep in conversation, planning their upcoming joy ride.

It was perfect. Perfect and overwhelming. I suck at bike riding – if I was a better person I would have piped up and joined them the following Wednesday. But I didn’t. I just thought wow - it’s really not that hard to look after one another.

Writer Q & A Podcast

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

Did you miss the Writers Q & A last night? Wish you were part of the audience? Luckily for you it’s available as a podcast that you can download here!

Writers Q and A

Writers Q and A went fantastically! After the performance the writers came to stage and talked about writing for a multiplaywright production, their process, casting and more.

All photos are by Felicity Pickering.

Bronte Kelso-Marsh

Bronte Kelso-Marsh has ever so kindly written a blog post for A View From Moving Windows. Bronte Kelso-Marsh is a journalist, photo journalist and writer of Bronte Roams.

Photo Credit: Bronte Kelso-Marsh

It is generally not socially acceptable to press your body against that of a perfect stranger. But on a train these social values are not usually upheld. People step onto the busy carriage and push their way against the bustle of busy people, all in a hurry, going places. Like a gladiator, the people entering the carriage battle their way through the throng of people, only to find their back pressed against the train door, begging silently that they won’t open up behind them, throwing them out again.

When the train takes off with an almighty whoosh, the inhabitants are thrown forward, suddenly falling, proof of Newton’s laws and gravity. Help is sought by grabbing the shoulder of whoever stands next to them, suddenly rendering the stranger an accidental hero, a Good Samaritan, a saviour from a world of embarrassment. And suddenly they’re bonded, comrades in the battle against the throng of people, all battling to get to work, dear friends if only for a minute.

The carriage is a plethora of smells. The lady in the lacy dress smells of flowers, on her way to man the expensive stores in the city. Young girls in tight clothes still smell of vodka and cigarettes, the evidence of the habits of the youth. Women with young children on their hips still smell of coffee and sleep, milk stains still visible on their shirt collars from a morning spent making lunches and managing households. The minutes taken to get to the station are their only respite in the day.

The teenage couple in the aisle kiss, unabashed despite their large audience. Their intertwined bodies are cumbersome to the aisles and the people around them. But their kisses soon break, if only for the young Romeo to offer his Juliette the lone train seat that has become available.

As the train zooms by the world quickly becomes a moving blur. Young children stare out the windows in wonder as their concrete world becomes a moving kaleidoscope of colour. Their knees are balanced carefully on the coloured seats; their mother’s begging them to just sit down properly. But their pleas fall deaf on the ears of a delighted child who stares at wonder at the world which passes them by.

IIdiko Susany

Ildiko Susany is an actor and writer. A View From Moving Windows is her first Augusta Supple production. Ildiko has written, co-produced and performed in her first full-length play, The Day the Galaxy Inevitably Exploded and Died for the Sydney Fringe Festival 2012 and will be touring with Bell Shakespeare Company in 2013. She has written reviews for Artshub, will participate in Griffin Theatre’s Story Lab Program, runs a blog project Making It. and has been a guest blogger for the Griffin Theatre Artist Blog. You can view the rest of her biography here.

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

I’ve caught a fair few trains in my time. And buses. And trams. I must admit, I do love accepting lifts! Sometimes I’ll even get behind the wheel myself. I’ve caught trains across Queensland, Sydney, New York, Vancouver, London, Europe and Japan. Sydney is a fascinating place. It’s big, it’s bustling and it’s brimming with a most magnificent diversity of culture and art.

I remember my first train adventure in Sydney well – I decided to road trip it with two friends overnight from Brisbane to Sydney and we were on the road within two hours of our initial brainwave! We parked in a random suburb that I had never heard of before, Pymble, at about 7am, tired and excited, and then caught a train into the city. It was the first time I had ever seen a double-decker train in person. I was amazed (and easily impressed as it might seem) by what to me was such an incredible feat of transportation design! I couldn’t even imagine such a high density of commuters to requisite such a stalwart machine. In Tokyo, maybe. That was seven years ago. It was a great adventure and one I still look fondly on today. Our 24-hour whirlwind adventure!

And now? Well, for the past few weeks I have been rehearsing for A View From Moving Windows, an engaging melting pot of stories that weave together the personal, the whimsical and the very curious aspects of life through the lens of train travel. As part of my rehearsal process (and for practical reasons too) I have been catching the train to and from Parramatta for nearly every single rehearsal and performance so far. These train trips have given me the chance to learn lines and stare wistfully out of the window, to admire the buildings, the people and the landscape with nothing but the whir of the train and my own thoughts to keep me company. I have been able to observe my fellow commuters and witness some very interesting moments of human connection: the tough chick, who, whilst endeavouring to impress her friends picked on a younger girl for simply being intrigued by the ‘cool’ older kids obnoxiously lording over the train carriage; the friendly woman who helped out a visiting businessman from Newcastle; or the desperate woman at Parramatta station crying and pleading into a payphone to not let her go to jail because she had a kid, before fleeing hurriedly to the platforms. We never can tell what might happen to us in our day and how people, how humans can surprise us, enrage us or even, enlighten us. There were some very serious moments to witness, dramatic ones, humorous ones as well as the gloriously mundane. These moments have been very beautiful, interesting and revealing, and I guess, are part of what makes A View From Moving Windows feel like such a personal experience filled with something familiar, something extraordinary and something relevant to everyone!

Yet despite all of this, despite the interactions I have noticed over the past month, despite my own thoughts that have carried me from Central to Parramatta, one of the greatest and most magical parts of this wonderful, crazy, moving process has been the delightful and surprising opportunities I’ve had to bond with my fellow cast members. On the train. A friend of mine likens these sorts of situations to ‘speed dating’. You are brought into a close situation with someone that you don’t know very well and have only a short time to get to know that other person, to ask questions, learn something new and fresh and interesting and to offer something great and valuable too! It’s been a whole lot of fun! Whether it was running frantically with Helen and Min – in inappropriate shoes – for the next train back to Central or embarrassingly getting myself caught in the ticket barrier with Alex looking on, I’ve had a great chance to get to know a bunch of wonderful new people and form some really positive relationships offstage. The cast and crew on this project are absolutely delightful and it has been a great experience getting to know them all. Come see their work, it’s beautiful and thoroughly engrossing. And the writing is poignant, sweet and funny.

I have loved my train trips. I love my train buddies. And I love the chance to perform for the first time in the beautiful Riverside Theatres in the bustling, beaming and ever burgeoning cultural hub that is Parramatta! This show is about people, the little experiences, and the connections we make with those around us. As my character in John AD Fraser’s About Face says: “it’s closer to the heart…” So catch the train, grab a loved one, or heck, why not start up a conversation with the commuter nestled beside you on the peak hour train – whatever you do, make the trip to Parramatta and get some culture in ya!

Melissa Werry

Today’s blog post is from Melissa Werry. Melissa is writing all the way from Paris where she is trying to turn herself French, one stripy shirt at a time. Read more about it on her blog: Turn Me French.

Mind The Gap

Melissa Werry on a train in Florence.

Australians like to think of ourselves as a patriotic country. We enjoy our own national holiday, we boast our own breakfast spread in the colour and consistency of tar, and many of our citizens sport large Southern Cross tattoos in places that the nationals of other countries would describe as obnoxious or more simply, unattractive.

But compared with its European aunts and uncles, Australia is still in swaddling clothes. With its relatively brief lifespan, modern Australian society has not developed a sense of national identity as strong as those who trail ancient histories. To define “Australian” is a difficult thing to do, because we do not have the benefit of the tens of centuries that some other countries have to develop our understanding of self.

Some would argue – though probably not the residents of Villawoood – that this youthfulness and ultimate lack of defining culture allows us to spread our arms wide to accept change and difference in a way that those with more deeply entrenched national identities cannot. But with all my depth of experience after one week in France, I am beginning to think that the reality is quite the inverse: perhaps the stronger a national identity, the more shock absorbent it will be. Perhaps an older nation will experience less identity insecurity, and engage more authentically with others.

How did I reach this conclusion? By catching the train every day. In the carriages of the RER from Thorigny to Paris L’Est I see Arabic women with glittering hair veils smiling at little white babies in the seats opposite them. And old ladies in pink tweed who offer handkerchiefs to young black men in basketball caps and chains who worked up a sweat to make it through the automatic doors just as they were closing. And African men in suits who leave their cards with young white students in search of a job. And teenaged girls sporting leopard print pants and bright pink hair who allow gray haired women to laugh at them as they overhear their phone calls to their mothers asking them to turn on the washing machine.

I won’t pretend I haven’t seen the pictures in newspapers of young Maghrébins setting cars alight in the street, or heard the debates on the laws against the burqa or the future survival of the French language. But that is not the France I have seen first hand. The French I see in the carriages of the RER are not scared of the gap. They don’t mind the gap. In fact they seem not to notice it.

Writers Q & A

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

Are you interested in writing? Want to know more about more about A View From Moving Windows process? Then you should definitely come on to the A View From Moving Windows performance on Wednesday night (24th of October). It will be followed by a Q & A session with our very entertaining writers. Make sure you book early as this performance is likely to sell out fast!

Book tickets here.

 

Pictures from A View From Moving Windows

 Here are some pictures from A View From Moving Windows.
These amazing images are by the incredible Marnya Rothe.
Make sure you’ve got your tickets