Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fluorescent Facade: Howard Arkley and Suburbia

Mutation Theatre's first production, Fluorescent Facade: Howard Arkley and Suburbia, was presented from the 23rd-27th of September, 2008. It was performed as part of the 2008 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Fluorescent Facade: Howard Arkley and Suburbia

Written and Performed by Patrick McCarthy
Directed by Louise Daly

"It's where 95% of Australian's actually live"- Howard Arkley on Suburbia

Howard Arkley, one of Australia's greatest artists, was made famous by his psychedelic paintings of Australian Suburbia. In 1999 he was found dead, from a heroin overdose, in his Oakleigh studio. This powerful solo performance takes you inside the mind of the troubled Melbourne artist, and explores the events that lead to his fascination with suburbia.

Be taken into Arkley's Suburbia, and hear the stories of those who may have lived behind the dark windows of his fluorescent houses.

Patrick McCarthy transforms from Arkley himself, to a variety of characters that will make you laugh, break your heart, and then invite you inside for a cup of tea.

2008 Melbourne Dramatists New Writing Award- High Commendation

"Strolling past some of Melbourne’s proudest preservations of the adorned Victorian terrace tradition on route to St Martins Theatre, I’m unsure of just how fluorescently Howard Arkley’s Surrey Hills suburbia will glow in the middle of South Yarra. Inside the intimate black box theatre, a solitary chair – quaintly airbrushed to an Arkley-esque colour scheme – and an unassuming projection screen go no further to reveal how a one man performance, anticipated tonight by a full house, might present the life-story of one of Australia’s most important painters and the “spirit” of one of its most intriguing cultural traditions. The response to this meditation, quite simply: Patrick McCarthy is how...

…The precision with which McCarthy juggles his complicated procession of personas is in itself a feat, yet undeniably, it is in the role of Arkley that he truly thrives…Evidently the subject was well studied - Arkley’s quavering, yet intense speech, jittery hunch and overall fragility are crafted meticulously – yet the achievement well surpasses skilled imitation. McCarthy plays Arkley desperately, as though there could be life staked on it. The young actor’s authoritative transformation into the neurotic and consumed artist is intense, unsettling and in every way exceptional…an exceptionally acted performance from a talented young actor, who makes the humble fly-screen door glow in a new light and the streets of South Yarra pale to an unaccustomed dullness"
-Express Media/Buzzcuts

"an absorbing melee of malevolence, humour and spiritual bliss...a remarkable young Australian talent"- Art Monthly Magazine