Yes, Julius Caesar landed in Lyall Bay tonight! And it’s after midnight so we can leak Chapman Tripp info!

What a year The Bacchanals are having!  Thanks to all who made it to the Lyall Bay show tonight – we had a GREAT night and we’re all in pretty good spirits now that theatrical award-season creeps near!  In the Chapman Kips we’re currently nominated for Best Ensemble (Slouching Toward Bethlehem), Best Actor Playing A Politician In An Election Year Play (Phil for Slouching Toward Bethlehem), Best Break-up (Jack Marshall and the National Party – STB again!), Best Stage Manager (yay Hannah Nielsen-Jones!!), Best Fight (No Taste Forever!) and the nomination for Best Line in an NZ Play – “The teapot – my arch-nemesis!” – was a rehearsal-room pitch by David which made it into the final script of Love In The Time Of Vampires!  Salesi has fared well in best cross-gender acting and best pash (Public Service Announcements) … And at the more serious highbrow end of things, the Chapman Tripps (the serious ones held in a ridiculously proper theatre space and with everyone being all full of solemnity instead of the ones held at BATS with everyone drunk and silly) feature FOUR Bacchanals-related nominations!  That’s right – Slouching Toward Bethlehem has been nominated for Outstanding New New Zealand Play, Alex has been nominated in the Outstanding Performance/Actor of the Year category (for his performance in The Engine Room, but still, he’s ours really!), as has Phil for his performance in Slouching Toward Bethlehem, and David has been nominated for Director of the Year!

Yeah, who cares about awards?  What you really want is the gossip on the Women Of The Bacchanals, as promised earlier in the week.  This isn’t meant to be a sexist or offensive post.  It’s more to make the point that, well, some of Shakespeare’s plays aren’t that kind to women and the women in Julius Caesar fare fairly crappily.  And I’m sure I speak on behalf of the rest of the Men Of The Bacchanals (yep, those with long memories may recall that was the planned title for our 2006 calendar, conceived on a late night in the winter of 2005 as Josh, James, Alex, Hadleigh and David drank port around the fire in a hotel in Whangarei.  Ah, the glory days!) when I say it grieves me a little every time we perform Julius Caesar that such a brilliant array of female actors get such a raw deal in this play.

Jean plays an assortment of roles originally written for men and also sings before the show starts.  Jean – an Aries – works at the War Memorial, at the BATS box office, has an amazing cat and an amazing voice.  Brianne gets to play Calphurnia which means she has one scene in which her husband mocks her publicly for being barren, and then one scene where he ignores her and goes to work anyway.  In real life, Bri – a Pisces – is a brilliant publicist (she is single-handedly responsible for the number of times we managed to get Muldoon mentioned in The Dominion Post this year) and also has an amazing singing voice.  Kirsty was a slave to the evil corporation known as Ticketek for a long time, but has escaped them and now works at the Film Archive.  Kirsty – a Capricorn – is tall and thin beyond belief, speaks German, and her belching can be heard in the deepest forests of the Amazon.  She also gets to play an assortment of roles written for men.  Her eyes aren’t really that red; it’s all the fault of Photoshop!

Dasha had an unpleasant experience recently where, during an exam (Dasha – a Taurus – studies Law & Psychology when she isn’t working at the Pit or the BATS box office) someone copied all her answers, so the examiners removed them both from the exam and made them sit the exam again.  Dasha passed and the cheater was kicked out of the course!  In Julius Caesar Dasha plays a bunch of roles written for boys, and has the smallest line count of the whole cast.

Elle enjoys eating.  We have plenty of file photographs of her eating, but thought we’d put this one in instead (taken, no doubt, just after she’d been eating).  Elle – a Capricorn – works as a dental assistant and gets to play Portia in Julius Caesar, meaning that like Brianne she gets ignored by her husband in her couple of substantial scenes, and then she commits suicide offstage.

So there you have it!  Jean, Bri, Dasha, Kirsty, Elle – we (that is, Alex, Andrew, Benjamin, David, Phil, Salesi, William and Jonny) would like to say, YOU ARE GREAT and sorry the play has such crap women’s roles.  Next time we’ll do a play that serves you better!

Next time: Julius Caesar hits the Tararua Tramping Clubrooms – don’t miss it!