2014 sees the debut of One Night Wonders, a series of top-class spoken word shows to run in Melbourne throughout 2014. Four headline acts from Australia and overseas will perform full-length solo shows that will be recorded, mastered and released as live albums. This way we’ll capture the best writing from four illustrious careers, along with the live atmosphere that gives so much vitality to stories, poetry and spoken word.
Small audiences can be part of this live recording, in a series of up-close performances in the plush Mission to Seafarers Chapel on Flinders Street. There’s a bar, a courtyard, a garden, the occasional sailor, and support acts to get each evening going. Supported by the City of Melbourne, entry at the door is by donation (from zero dollars up), or seats can be pre-booked for a fee. Given the small venue, booking is a good idea.
July – November 2014
Our first One Night Wonders show was booked to the brim, so get in early for the excellent second. A rare breed, Eleanor Jackson has the power to dominate loud venues with quiet assurance rather than extra noise, and hold an audience in the palm of her hand. She has featured at festivals and on radio all across Australia, toured internationally, and created the Melbourne Poetry Map. After writing a performance commission for GDS No. 32, she returns to us to record her first full album.
Supporting Eleanor on the bill is the powerful voice of emerging Melbourne performer Abe Nouk. Here’s one of his pieces that make a big impression.
Felix Nobis brings a warmth and robust humour to his storytelling that win over any audience: long, rolling tales in the epic tradition but filled with modern Australian vernacular and characters. Twice the winner of the Australian Poetry Cup, Felix retranslated Beowulf as a one-man show that toured the US and Europe, winning the praise of Seamus Heaney. His multi-character monologue Under an Open Minded Sky was commissioned by Hawthorn City Council, while Once Upon a Barstool toured Ireland and enjoyed a season at La Mama.
(We can confirm this event is on a Thursday, while others in the series are on Fridays.)
The least likely show of the year, Going Down Swinging has secured the reunion of this iconic Melbourne act for a one-time deal. Through the middle of last decade, Sean M. Whelan and the Mime Set built a beautiful partnership: glorious layers of strings, guitars, loops, organs and keys building into a rich slab of sound, over which Sam Wareing “sang like Bjork if she’d swallowed a sexy cat”, drifting in and out of contact with Whelan’s strange, gentle yet heart-punching stories. Andrew Watson, Chris Chapple and Jonathan Shannon will rejoin Whelan and Wareing – returning from Berlin – to record the work they put together. Absolutely not to be missed.