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Double bill: A Nuclear Winter’s Tale and Pandoras Box

Forest Collective in collaboration with Grey Matters presents

The King governs a perfect city, until his jealousy and madness take hold, leading to a catastrophic explosion of nuclear proportions, destroying everyone and everything around him. Sixteen years later, in the absence of man, nature has thrived. A twisted forest springs forth, engulfing the ruins, and in this warped environment grows new love, forgiveness, and a chance to heal old wounds.

Shakespeare meets Chernobyl in this devised collaboration between Forest Collective and newcomers Grey Matters. Puppetry vies with performer while scenography melds with spectator to create a uniquely enthralling theatrical experience for audiences of all ages.
Together, we invite you to Sentido Funf where your very surroundings will come to life to tell you a story…

Our new venue Sentido Funf is also an amazing bar, with a fantastic little lounge out the front. So please come and see the show, and stay for a drink or a bite to eat.

Directed and Designed by Joel West
Original Compositions by May Andrewartha
Performed, Written and Devised by Georgie MacAuley, Jem Nicholas and Josh Nettheim
With Puppetry by Jem Nicholas

ALSO an exhibition of various art work by the Collective’s artists will be on display for the run of the show at Sentido Funf, curated by Fiona Lawson. Featured artists are: Fiona Lawson, Casey Mayne, Kim Summer, Jasmin Bardell, Jack Hooper-Bell and Audrey Alcala.

Venue: Sentido Funf, 243-245 Gertrude St Fitzroy

Season: Sunday 16th – Tuesday 18th October


Monday and Tuesday

Duration: 30 Minutes (No Interval)

Tickets: $15 full / $10 Concession / $5 company rush

Bookings: Please email Evan Lawson, with the following information:
1) Name
2) Date and time of preferred performance.
3) Number of tickets
4) Contact number
and then all you need to do is pay at the door.
Tickets may be available for purchase at the door pending availability but bookings are highly recommended if not essential!


Photos from “Meletes Practice” April 15th, 2011

All images by Jessica King

2nd performance in the 2011 concert series

The second performance in Forest Collective’s 2011 Concert Series.

“Spring” Sonata No. 5 for Violin and Piano – Lugwig Van Beethoven
Orchestration – Tom Muratore, May Andrewartha & Evan Lawson
Violin – Isabel Hede
Conductor – Evan Lawson

Aia – Johanna Sellick (World Premier)

Sonata for Solo Harp – Peggy Glanville-Hicks
Harp – Jess Fotinos

Creature: Flight – May Andrewartha (World Premier)

Early Music section
Director – Cailin Howarth & Lottie Betts-Dean

The Fate of Ariadne – Improvised opera devised by Forest Collective
Theseus – Evan Lawson
Dionysus – Lottie Betts-Dean
Ariadne – Stefanie Dingnis

DJ – Kim Summer
Violin/Percussion – Troy Ramaekers

Director and Design – Scarlett Perri Heinnen
Assistant Director – Bridget Mackey

Centered around the mystical story of Ariadne, this concert of new and experimental chamber music brings together various elements to form an evening of diverse and varied sounds, ranging from a new take on Beethoven’s ”Spring” Violin Sonata, a slice of baroque music, through to newly commissioned works from two of Melbourne’s women composers; Johanna Selleck and May Andrewatha, paired with the grand old lady of Australian Music – Peggy Glanville-Hicks, which all explore and shape our knowledge and experience of famous myths and traditions.

Songs of Satyrs and Gods

Forest Collective presents a concert of music from the 20th and 21st centuries; including the professional premier of Artistic Director Evan Lawson’s “Ballad of the Crying Satyr,” sung by the composer, conducted by Louis Sharpe and staged by Greg Eldridge.

The concert will also featuring the Vaughan Williams String Quartet, performed by a Quartet from the Australian National Academy of Music led by Isabel Hede and a selection of 20th century songs (including Maurice Ravel, Oliver Messiaen and Alban Berg) performed by Soprano Lottie Betts-Dean.

Tickets are $10, available at the door, but you can pre-book via email:

Richmond Uniting Church
314 Church Street Richmond
Presented by Forest Collective

more info at:

Review of “Meletes Practice”

Monday, April 18, 2011
Forest Collective 2011 Concert Series: Meletes Concert Gala Review
Forest Collective Meletes Concert

There are pale faces calling through barred windows to the cold of Little Smith St. They cradle lights in jars and laugh with the mania of the enclosed. Above the entrance to the door of their performance space is a sprig of green. This being in delightful juxtaposition to both the malady in the windows and the white graffiti of the lane and proved an apt introduction to the first of the Forest Collective concert series for 2011. The variety and layers of the performances delivered overall an intriguing evening.

The opening number was A Winter’s Tale conducted and composed by Artistic Director Evan Lawson. Resplendent in black, red and gold the company performed short interpretations of scenes from Shakespeare’s play. Bach Collage performed by the same company was an interesting idea, taking classical music and reinterpreting phrases in a dynamic way. Rather than becoming an elaborate mess, the result was quite beautiful and delicate at times. It was especially fun to watch the responses of the musicians to the conductor as he directed them. It is testament to the music however that closing ones eyes did not diminish the beauty of the work.

The Occasional String Quartet was an absolute pleasure. As someone who is a little suspicious of violins it was a revelation. The harmonies of the smaller strings with the cello were beautiful and there was a layered complexity to the arrangements. On swivel office chairs the musicians danced; they swept; they popped and they caressed Ravel.

Working with the music in this section were two performers. Dressed in grey, they were often mesmerising in their accompanying movements – I will defy anyone who disagrees that shoulders are not the most expressive body parts. At first the dancers manipulated the musicians, leading them around the space on the chairs but as the music progressed to the next piece it became clear that it was the music controlling their movements all along. The movements however remained integral and part of the performance rather then just a response.

The exhilaration and clear enjoyment of the performance of the Occasional String Quartet was a highlight of the evening. They demonstrated considerable creativity and flare and a willingness to challenge themselves as musicians/dancers. Here’s to hoping they perform less occasionally and more often!

For interval the audience was hoarded into an incongruously spacious bar. Upon returning, the music formalities of the stage had been cleared and we were drawn into a chaotic world of Mask of Red Death. This was an ensemble experimental theatre work playing with improvisation within the grotesque. Based on the Edgar Allan Poe story it was directed by Danielle Asciak and performed by actors who seemed to be having a wonderful time exploring the playful side of madness.

There was chaos and a spinning world of wine and candle light. Amid this frenzy there was no space left for subtlety and pause. The intensity of the performance was always at a high level. This was compounded by the remnants of the band music coming through from the bar. Whilst, it did not impede too much it certainly kept up the tumultuous pace. Silence is important though in creating both pacing and narrative and perhaps a certain subtly and shift in gears would have allowed more poignancy. It was also a shame that the harp and other accompanying instruments were not easily heard during this part of the peformance performance. In a shadowed gloom where candlelight was so important, light and shade for the ears would have been a welcome addition.

We were introduced to the space at the start of the evening as a converting performance space. This was positive as it allowed Forest Collective to play with some very effective writing on the walls, but the noise interference was not ideal. The Meletes evening was packed in both content and audience. For future performances it might be worth tailoring the size of the space to the expected turnout, although perhaps it was unprecedented. If so it was well deserved rewarding surprise for the organisers and production crew as well as all the performers. Having said that, it was also quite nice to bundle up tight together in our coats and share the bond that comes with falling into a world of chaos through a graffitied door framed with forest.

Tilly Lunken

2010, the year that was

2010 gala performance

concert 2 of 2010 concert series

Performance of Love Dogs at Loop Bar

Final 2010 gig at Guildford Lane Gallery

2009 – the year that was

September 2009

"Forest" - founding gig in 2009

September 2009