Coming Up - February & March 2016

The Major Bruce Sessions

Helen's Hill Estate
March 5
Bookings through Helen's Hill Estate

Helens Hill Winery-HR-052.JPG

Celebrated for its handcrafted boutique wines, Helen’s Hill Estate is renowned for thinking ‘outside the box.’ That innovative thinking has led to a new collaboration, with an unlikely partner - the maverick theatre ensemble Present Tense.  Together they present The Major Bruce Sessions on March 5, an evening spectacular at the award-winning Helen’s Hill Estate. 

“People have asked us to stage something on our beautiful lawn for as long as I can remember. But we think differently. Grape grazing is a thing of the past and the mass-produced winery type events would never fit our company culture. Instead, we yearned for a bespoke event, hand-made with love, reflecting what we do with our wine,” says Helen’s Hill owner Allan Nalder. 

Enter Present Tense Artistic Directors Nathan Gilkes & Bryce Ives. Known for their glorious vocal arrangements, their eclectic mixture of rock with opera, their energetic and passionate live performances; Alan had found the perfect artistic collaborators for his unique vision.

“The Major Bruce Sessions is designed to be a bloody good time. Fresh from our critically acclaimed season of RICERCAR at Theatre Works, we want to take an audience on a journey for classic pop and rock, to create a rocking event,” says Present Tense Artistic Director Nathan Gilkes.

Helen's Hill Estate, located just 45 minutes from Melbourne at the start of the Yarra Valley, will provide a gorgeous backdrop for the evening spectacular. Audience members can purchase a picnic hamper while sampling award-winning wines of Helen’s Hill Wines and Ingram Estate from the cellar door.  

Featuring tantalising music from Present Tense artists include: the internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer Mikelangelo; star of the musical Once Jane Patterson; a favourite of the Melbourne theatre and cabaret scene Laura Burzacott; music legend Rosie Westbrook on double bass; and a swinging rock band led by Nathan Gilkes. 

“The artists assembled are fabulously funny and charismatic. They will reimagine an epic array of artists from Neil Diamond to Nick Cave, Madonna to Sia, Tina Turner to ACDC. Part game-show, part concert, and part interactive musical; we promise an uplifting, intimate, and inspiring occasion,” says Mikelangelo.

The Major Bruce Sessions

Venue: Helen's Hill Estate. 16 Ingram Road, Coldstream, 3770
Date: Saturday the 5th of March 2016. 
Tickets: Various from $30 Adult / $25 Concession / $15 Kids/ $110 Family Pass
Time: Gates open at 5pm for a 6.30pm show


Good Morning Mofo

The Coopers Malthouse
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Bookings through Malthouse

Named one of the "four female comedy stars to watch" at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe by the Huffington Post, Zoe McDonald is a rising force to watch out for this Comedy Festival. 

GOOD MORNING MOFO marks Zoe's return to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, after sell-out seasons at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne Fringe with her award-winning work FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out.

Flick the TV on at 6 am and there they are, ready for you inside the warm cocoon of Hollywood gossip, Youtube stars and videos of kittens. There’s no room for current affairs in this bubble of studio-generated sunshine. But don’t be concerned, there’s plenty of guru to go around. Zoe McDonald’s cocktail of characters are as feel-good as your morning a cup of tea, laced with whisky. GOOD MORNING MOFO is a premiere new work by McDonald and innovative Melbourne theatre making troupe Present Tense.

"The energy and panache with which McDonald embodies and snaps between each of her characters simply must be seen to be believed,” says Present Tense Artistic Director Bryce Ives.

"I grew up on a diet of Australian and British sketch comedy, especially the likes of Big Girls Blouse and the Catherine Tate Show, all which gave rise to a unique female voice. My fascination and joy comes from exploring characters, accents and observations, with this new work we want to create an ecstatic experience for audiences," says Zoe McDonald. 

Zoe McDonald’s one-woman show is a masterpiece of characterization. ★★★★”
— Broadway Baby (UK)
In terms of its weight of personality and winningly anarchic audience interaction, it’s a smashy hit.”
— The Scotsman (UK)

Good Morning Mofo

Venue: The Coopers Malthouse
Dates: Thursday March 24 to Saturday April 17 (excluding Monday Evenings)
Time: 8.30pm nightly (7.30pm on Sundays)
Tickets: Full $25/ Conc $20/ Preview &Tightarse Tuesday $15
Bookings: Malthouse bookings Phone 9685 5111 Web


Community Activations 

Across March we are working with

  • The Geelong Performing Arts Centre GPACed delivering school programs for the Take Over project.
  • Regional Arts Victoria and The City of Ballarat delivering workshops for the Ballarat Theatre Lab Project.
  • Rawcus Theatre, developing a new work in collaboration.