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What's On

Set Piece

Anna Breckon and Nat Randall

Presented by Arts House and RISING

Fri 10 – Sun 12 Jun, 2022
Fri, 7pm
Sat – Sun, 2pm & 7pm

Auslan interpreted performance
Sun 12 Jun, 2pm

Duration
70min

Tickets
General Admission $50
Concession $45
BLAKTIX $25 
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.

Warnings
Recommended for ages 16+
This performance features nudity and adult themes.

Meat Market
3 Blackwood St
North Melbourne

Read our COVID-19 Safety Plan here.

Auslan Interpreting
Wheelchair Accessible
Companion Card
Assistance Animal
Quiet Space Available

Queer intimacy and fantasy meet 1950s pulp fiction in a genre-bending technical feat of screen and stage.

Coming in off the back of their dazzling feat of endurance, The Second Woman, Nat Randall and Anna Breckon have returned with Set Piece-a work that explores female intimacy through the relationship between screen and stage.

Crafted from a quick-witted script that draws on real-life dinner party conversation, improvisation and ’50s pulp fiction, Set Piece juxtaposes lesbian fantasy with the queer ordinary. Combining the language of film with the craft of theatre, Set Piece wields nuanced camera work to intensify the audience’s proximity to the drama unfolding onstage.

Across multiple screens and an elaborate set, Randall and Breckon upend the tropes of relationship drama to mine the rich depths of queer relationships and the emotional dynamics contained within.


“Witty and vulnerable and ironic and bold… Everything is so alive it tingles…It is glorious.”
Sydney Morning Herald

“…breathtaking…. The entire scenario is played with the illusion of intense naturalism which allows a seamless intersection of theatre and film.”
Theatre Travels

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Artist Statement

We began Set Piece with a desire to capture the quality of being in relation without the conditions of plot, objectives and dramatic stakes. We worked to find a form that could hold relations as the priority. While still paying tribute to the classical narrative play, we sought alternative temporal structures. We looked to structures connected to the erotic--compulsion, repetition, fumbling, hovering, edging—and to structures in choreography, considering the ways in which emotions and relations are spatialised. In this work, sexuality registers as a set of moves, a spatial orientation, a rhythm.

Core to the making of this work is our interest in the ways in which technologies of magnification can make room for alternative performance styles. While distance is marked on the body in theatrical performance—as the actor extends their performance spatially—performances in the minor give access to closeness. The camera in the theatre allows us to maximize intimacy. The theatre intensifies intimacy through presence, the camera through magnification.

The core and very difficult part of developing this work was the process of de-hierarchisation. We attempted to equalise elements: an ordinary action as significant as a dramatic event, a small gesture as potent as a move across the stage; listening as meaningful as dialogue; the end as important as any other moment.

- Anna Breckon and Nat Randall
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About the Artists

Nat Randall & Anna Breckon’s collaborative practice is at the intersection of theatre, visual arts & video.

Randall has extensive experience in contemporary theatre & durational models of performance. Breckon has a PhD in queer and feminist film theory. Her scholarship is core to her performance making practice.

Their work The Second Woman (TSW) has had national & international seasons, including Harbourfront (Toronto), Weiwuying (Taiwan) & BAM (NYC). TSW is translated into German, Cantonese & Japanese for 2022 seasons. They have directed esteemed actors including Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), Zhi-Ying Zhu (Lust Caution) & will work with Ruth Wilson (The Affair) for Young Vic/LIFT (London) & Weibke Puls for Münchner Kammerspiele in 2022.

Randall and Breckon bring together film and theatre in a way that transforms the nature of both. Their main areas of concern are the fields of emotion, performance, liveness and gaze theory.

Nat Randall (Co-Writer, Co-Director, Performer)
Nat Randall is an artist working at the intersection of performance, video and film. Randall has presented work at major institutions, galleries and festivals nationally and internationally. In 2019 Randall and collaborator Anna Breckon and Performing Lines were nominated for a Helpmann Award for ‘Best Production of a Play’ for their critically acclaimed The Second Woman. Randall is also a founding member of art collective Hissy Fit and performance collective Team MESS. Through these collaborations she has presented work extensively across Australia. Randall studied at the University of Wollongong where she developed a breadth of performance practice including devised work, site specific practice and participatory work.

Anna Breckon (Co-Writer, Co-Director, Video Direction)
Anna is an independent artist, film studies scholar, and critic. She has a PhD in queer and feminist film theory at The University of Sydney. Her thesis considers queer forms of happiness in a selection of contemporary auteur films. Anna has published on John Waters (2013) and Todd Solondz (2018) in Screen (Oxford University Press). Anna has worked as a director, editor, and writer for projects presented at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Performance Space, Dark Mofo, Perth Festival, Adelaide Festival, Weiwuying: National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, Harbourfront Centre and The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. In 2018, Anna co-created, co-wrote, and directed a 90minute video work Rear View for The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
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Credits

Co-Creators: Anna Breckon and Nat Randall
Director: Anna Breckon
Writers: Anna Breckon and Nat Randall in collaboration with Andrew Brophy
Performers: Dina Panozzo, Nat Randall, Carly Sheppard, Maude Davey
Set Design: Genevieve Murray (Future Method Studio)
Choreographer: Victoria Hunt
Lighting Design: Karen Norris
Lighting Realiser: Chloe Stafford
Music Composition: Nina Buchanan
Music Curator: Jade Muratore
Sound Design: Daniel Herten
Costume Designer: Emma Louise Price (Lucky Break Creative)
Cinematographer: Ross Turley
Lead Camera Operator: EO Gill
Camera Operators: Jenny Atherton, Lux Eterna, Lucy Parakhina
Vision Mixer: Rowena Crowe
Hair & Makeup Design: Sophie Roberts
Intimacy Choreographer: Danielle Micich
Intimacy Consultant: Michela Carattini
Dramaturg: Miranda Harcourt
Light sculpture: Megan Hanson
Video work on TV: Matthew Griffin
Production Manager: Dominic Hamra
Stage Manager: Ella Griffin
Producer and Tour Manager: Fenn Gordon for Tandem
Sections of script devised by: Paul Blenheim, Genevieve Giuffre, Sapidah Kian, Peter Paltos, Mick Klepner Roe and Carly Sheppard

Supported by
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government's Major Festival Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc.

Commissioned by
Adelaide Festival, RISING, Perth Festival, Sydney Festival.

Original co-commissioners: Performance Space, Vitalstatistix, City of Melbourne through Arts House.

Thanks to: Critical Path for development support; Seymour Centre; Sydney Theatre Company; and PACT

Image credit: Prudence Upton

Image description: Four people perform on a set of a living space with one person projected into a screen above the set. They are laying on a bed on the set below, wearing a patterned jacket. Behind them in a pink curtain and neon purple light.

Related News & Insights:

Q&A

Q&A with Anna Breckon and Nat Randall

Learn more about Set Piece

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