The Suitcase Royale V Zombie Wombats

Zombie wombats attack a caravan park. What more do you need to know? Except that Zombatland is the new show by The Suitcase Royale. With wonderfully insane stories, live original music and sets made from found and ‘junkyard’ objects, they have created style so unique that it’s rare to see the Melbourne troupe perform in their home town as festivals all over the world demand their inventive gorgeousness.

Anne-Marie Peard has a quick chat to Joseph Neil O’Farrell, Glen Lawerence Walton, Miles Henry O’Neil and new Royale Thomas Salisbury. Zombatland has a very short season at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 14–18 March.

Zombatland, Miles O'Neil, Glen Walton, Joseph O'Farrell
Zombatland, Miles O'Neil, Glen Walton, Joseph O'Farrell

 If you’re not scared of zombie wombats, what are you scared of?
“An eight year old with a badge.”

If you lived in a caravan, where would your next stop be?
Heathcote Caravan Park. Best caravan park in Central Victoria. Ask for April, she’ll sort you out.

After so much touring, what’s it like to be home?
It’s great, we get to hang out with our legendary friends and get to enjoy our record collections. Touring is pretty much the best though.

What festival has been the most surprising?
We just played the Perth International Arts Festival. We always knew it was going to be great, but the crowd reaction and turn out just blew us away!

 What was your first trash/found prop?
An old gramophone we found out the back of an Italian restaurant.

Where do you find the best junkyard props?
Hard rubbish collection month in Hawthorn.

Where is the best op shop in Melbourne?
Good question, but we will never tell.

What was your best op shop purchase?
On the same day we got a full penguin outfit and miniature motorbike for the penguin to ride on….awesometown!

What do you always buy new (not second hand or found)?
Sandals. Never buy second hand sandals, it’s not natural.

How did the three of you meet?
There is a fourth member now and we all met at Deakin University, or as we like to call it: The Dream Factory.

What was the first album (or possibly CD) that you bought with your own money?
It was a cassingle. “Three Little Pigs” by Green Jelly.

 What song are you embarrassed to know the words to?
“Drops of Jupiter” by TRAIN.

What song will you always dance to?
“Born to Run” by the boss

North or south of the river?
North side for life baby. (Or until the developers kick us out of Northcote.)

Beer or cider?
There is nothing like an ice-cold beer after running from Zombats all day.

Tell me a tour story that should really stay on tour.
There is a long one that took place in the Arizona desert. It involves a coyote cave, being bogged in a river bed, flash flooding and impending death. Lets just say US Border Patrol did get called and we are thankful to be alive. Don’t ever drive out into an unfamiliar desert without a map.

What’s next for The Suitcase Royale?
Very exciting things are in the works. But for now we are pumped to tour Zombatland around Australia for the rest of the year.

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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