Over the next two weeks we’re tracking down as many Melbourne Fringsters as we can before shooting a ton of relevant and not-so-relevant questions at them very quickly.

Today we say hello to:

Izzy Roberts-Orr

Show: It’s Happening in the Space Between My Face and Yours

Official Fringe blurb:

We love. We fuck. We live. We survive. We’re afraid.

The rent’s due, Jack’s missing and the wolves are at the door. It’s open, come on in. This brand new work is an exploration of love, sex and death.


Q: Who are you?

Izzy Roberts-Orr: poet, playwright, editor and all kinds of things in between.

Q: Describe your Fringe show in five words or less.

It’s happening to us.

Q: It’s cold, raining and miserable. Why should we leave the house to see your show?

It’s warm upstairs and you can have a glass of red while watching the show and sit next to your mother/best friend/lover in the theatre instead of on the couch.

The show explores heavy themes, and hopefully your head and heart will be engaged but you won’t walk out feeling depressed or lacking faith in humanity. You might even be energised by it.

BONUS QUESTION #1: If you could invite one world leader to your show, who would it be?

Dorothy Porter. I know she’s a poet not a politician or diplomat, but I think that writing with such strong passion counts as a form of leadership. I’d love for her to see this, as I find her work’s rawness really inspiring and I would have really liked to meet her.

Q: Anyone else in your Fringe team we should know about?

This is director Nick Fry’s debut, and I reckon he’s nailed it. The cast are also incredible – everyone involved in this production are in their early twenties.

BONUS QUESTION #2: So what else do you do?

I write lots of things, sometimes perform (poetry mostly) and edit poetry for Voiceworks. I am studying professional communications at RMIT, majoring in literature. I’m working on two other shows at the moment – one as part of Australian Theatre for Young People mentoring with Ross Mueller at Courthouse ARTS in Geelong, and one as part of Platform at La Mama with Adam Cass.

Q: What other Fringe shows are you excited about?

Kids Killing Kids, because it has a great premise and I heard about the process in Manila and was amazed by the rapid growth of audience over a few nights, and the fascination so many people had with depictions of violence in performance.

A Chekhov Triptych, because I love Chekhov and I love Brigid Gallacher’s brain.

Blindness, because it sounds like it’s going to be a pretty amazing physical/bodily experience, and I’ve always been fascinated by what it would be like to lose a sense.

Side Effect, because it sounds like it’s going to be a wild ride. Also the stuff that Tobias MG tends to work with is generally really hectic and crazy in an exciting and challenging way.

Unsex Me, because I think it will ask some really interesting questions about sex, gender and sexuality.

everything all the time, because I like Sean M. Whelan’s poetry.

BONUS QUESTION #3: What inspires you?

Other texts! I’m constantly absorbing, drawing from what has been before, thinking about what other people have done/are doing well, and what could be done better. I used to write arts criticism and that was really helpful because it forced me to put my feelings about what I was seeing into words and really define what was going on. I never cease to be amazed by how much incredible art there is in the world – that I can still read a book and have my mind blown, or go to a show and walk out changed. Of course, that doesn’t happen every day but the feeling I get from it is so addictive I just keep going back for more.

Also the people around me. I’m lucky to have really crazy and creative friends and family who love life but don’t take it so seriously that there is pressure or stress.

Q: What is your best Fringe Festival survival tactic?

Get tipsy and dance, see as much as you can and talk to other artists but just. don’t. stay out until the bar closes every night or you will get sick and lose all your energy!

Q: Select a daggy YouTube video that relates to your show.

I know this is an ad for vodka … but there are two ‘wolves’ in the play, and their opening piece starts with the line “bring on the night” so it seems incredibly appropriate that an ad for vodka centered around a wolf has the same tagline. This video also has the same kind of grungy feel to it and an emphasis on living for the night.