Melbourne Festival Chat: Roslyn Oades

Roslyn Oades new work, Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday is already a must-see see of this festival. Developed by Malthouse and the Melbourne Festival, it’s based on interviews with people facing eighteen and eighty – ages that bookend adult life – and features Oades’s “headphone verbatim” technique.

Roslyn Oades
Roslyn Oades

What do you love most about your Melbourne Festival show?
The generous real people behind it – I love them to bits.

What three words best describe the experience of seeing your show?
Honest, fun, moving.

What other Melbourne Festival show will you NOT miss?
Since I Suppose and Have I No Mouth – works by two great companies I’ve wanted to catch for some time!

What was the first festival you were a part of?
The 2012 Sydney Festival, with my last show, I’m Your Man. 

Apart from the Melbourne Festival, what festival would you love to be a part of?
Push Festival in Vancouver.

If you’re a local, where in Melbourne do you always take visitors?
Mario’s Café in Fitzroy – good coffee, warm staff, friendly locals – the perfect introduction to Melbourne.

What’s one of the great things about being part of a festival?
I love being part of the Festival buzz. It’s a magnet for art lovers – a great way to catch up with colleagues and be inspired.

What do you like to do when you have a day to yourself?
If the weather’s nice, nothing beats a meandering bike ride along Merri Creek.

If you could invite anyone to see your show (and you know they would come), who would it be?
A big-hearted, art-loving philanthropist who walks up to me afterwards and says, “What do you want to make next Ms Oades and how can I help? Sky’s the limit!”. 

If someone wants to buy you a drink at the Foxtel Festival Hub, what should they order?

What is the best theatre advice you’ve received?
Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know what you’re doing yet… Leave things open as long as you need to.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give emerging theatre makers?
Don’t compromise your idea – we need bold, fresh, new voices. Commit to making your own show (and your own mistakes) not somebody else’s.

What was the last book you read?
Cairo by Chris Womersley (it’s a fun Melbourne-flavoured read)

What work changed how you make theatre? Why?
Murder of Crows. An incredibly beautiful immersive audio installation by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. It woke me up to the profound potential of a sculpted audio environment to engage the imagination – I was completely mesmerised. 

What director/actor/writer/creator would you love to work with?
Bruce Gladwin, artistic director of Back to Back Theatre.

Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday
9–26 October

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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