Retro Futurismus – PRESS RELEASE
“Retro Futurismus is a safe space from the heartbreak of participating in a hard life and the world we currently live in.” – Daily Review
The “feminista supernovas” of Retro Futurismus return to fortyfivedownstairs this winter to premiere a new hyper-real show called Brave World, that promises to “fillet the future and conjure grand visions from obsolete technologies”.
Retro Futurismus is an artist collective troupe of four: Teresa Blake, Anni and Maude Davey and Anna Lumb. 2015 saw the first presentation of their futuristic and fantastical variety show Retro Futurismus in Melbourne, subsequently presented at Brisbane’s Wonderland Festival. In 2016 they presented Retro Futurismus – New World, which received five Green Room Award nominations and was invited to Sydney Festival 2017, the Darwin Festival 2017 and the West Australian Circus Festival 2018. The ensemble is highly experienced, bringing specific, complementary skills to the troupe. Anni Davey and Teresa Blake were performers with Circus Oz in the 1980s into the 1990s, going on to found influential physical theatre companies, Desoxy (Blake) & Club Swing (Davey). Blake is also an accomplished musician (cello) and composer for performance. Anna Lumb is a sought-after circus artist who has worked with Strange Fruit, La Soiree and created several highly regarded solo circus shows. Maude Davey has a 30-year career in theatre, TV and film and is regarded as an Australian neo-Burlesque icon.
Brave World, they say, “will take Variety performance to a neo-high, combining incendiary circus, demented dance, post-human posturing and prophetical idiocy”. The Davey sisters explain, “Brave World is a meditation on the present and what it might have become – reality is dissected and dismembered, while lies are spun to reveal truth. Brave World promulgates anti-fascist fictions. We are fed a myth of human improvement – an assumption that humans can be genetically engineered towards perfection.”
Through individual and unique abilities, Brave World creates alternative realities where bodies are wonderfully imperfect and exist in a world more intricate and complex than can be expressed in two dimensions.
Retro Futurismus say that this is an act of resistance and renewal, pioneering new Vaudeville that is responsive to current political events and philosophical ideas. Since 2015, the collective has performed in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin and Western Australia.
ABOUT THE CAST
Anni Davey joined Death Defying Theatre in 1985 and began on a performance path trod by acrobats and activists, through traditional agitprop and feminist street theatre to international stages. She joined Circus Oz as a Performer in 1987 and has continued working there in many different capacities ever since, including directing TWENTYSIXTEEN and touring show direction for Rob Tannion’s Model Citizens. Anni’s directing practice, in development since 2006, includes a fruitful collaboration with Sarah Ward as Yana Alana. Their shows together have won nine Green Room Awards for Cabaret including Best Director (twice) and Best Diva and a Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Artist in 2014. Anni also directed her twin sister, Maude Davey in her autobiographical show My Life In The Nude, which has played to critical acclaim in Melbourne, Tasmania and Perth. In 2016 Anni was guest director at Circus Oz and directed the acclaimed production TWENTYSIXTEEN that has toured extensively through Australia, to São Paulo, Brazil and to the USA. In 2017 she joined Circus Oz again as touring show director for Model Citizen. She has directed three shows for The Sandfly Circus in Broome, Total Rebuild in 2015, Nibjlm in 2016 and Come Fly with Us in 2017. Anni has been recently appointed artistic director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.
Maude Davey trained as an actor at the VCA and has worked as an actor, director and writer for more than twenty-five years, with her primary focus being the creation of new work. She has been nominated for the Green Room Best Actress Award twice, for her role as Harry Crawford in Lachlan Philpott’s The Trouble with Harry and in her own, My Life In The Nude. She has worked extensively in variety, including as member of Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box and Burlesque Hour ensembles. She works as an actor in theatre, television (Offspring and Summer Heights High), and film (My Year Without Sex and Noise). She has also been the artistic director of theatre companies, Vitalstatistix Theatre Company in Adelaide and Melbourne Workers Theatre. Her recent directing credits include Killjoy with the Laser Beanz and Fish for the Rollercoaster Ensemble. She received a Masters Degree in Writing for Performance from VCA in 2016.
Teresa Blake is a Melbourne based theatre maker and multi-instrumentalist. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Secondary School as a classical cellist Teresa trained as an acrobat and joined Circus Oz as both an acrobat & musician. On leaving Circus Oz, Teresa started her own company, Desoxy Theatre, a multi-disciplinary company incorporating drama, dance, acrobatics, music and visual arts which toured works internationally and locally. Since that time, she has worked with many companies as both musician & performer, including; David Bridie’s Not Drowning Waving, Chamber Made, Peepshow Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, Playbox, Belvoir St Theatre, La Mama, Melbourne University Theatre, Red Stitch Theatre as well as with artists Robyn Archer, Barry Kosky and Sarah Ward. In the last decade, Teresa has undertaken several study trips to New York to explore contemporary string playing and composition techniques and completed a graduate certificate of visual arts at the VCA. She composed and performed a 50-minute sound/music solo score for the Melbourne Fringe award winning show No Punchline in 2015. In 2017 she was the solo sound designer/composer/musician for Sue Broadway and Deb Batton’s One and The Other at La Mama Courthouse and is currently working in this capacity for One Trick Pony’s creative development Till Death Do Us Part. Teresa most recently worked with Kate Champion on NICA’s third year graduation show Please Hold as the composer and sound designer. Teresa has received two Green Room awards for her work as a musician/performer for Cafe Fledermaus with Robyn Archer and Barrie Kosky in 1990 and for her work as cellist/saxophonist/musical saw player as part of the five-piece band in Yana Alana in Concert in 2014.
Internationally acclaimed for her incendiary circus and wild theatrics, Anna Lumb is a Melbourne based performer, circus artist, theatre maker, director and actor. Anna’s unique style has taken her to circus, music and theatre festivals around the world. Highlights include world famous variety shows Glory Box, La Soiree, New York’s Absinthe, Mona Foma and Dark Mofo festivals. As an ensemble performer she has toured both nationally and internationally with acclaimed company Finucane & Smith (five years) and world renowned Strange Fruit (six years). Anna has created two full-length solo works; Big Shoes to Fill and underground hit, I Heart Jack. She is a regular favourite at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Very Big Laugh Out and Comedy Club for Kids. As an actor and performer Anna has made several television appearances including Ronny Chieng: International Student (ABC), Kid’s WB (Channel 9), Stand and Deliver (ABC), Studio at the Memo (Foxtel) and The Great Debate (Channel 10).
Special guests to be announced.
Bookings – fortyfivedownstairs.com