WHAT COUNTRY FRIENDS IS THIS ?
International Tour 2018/2019. What country friends is this? is a new theatre piece devised by the 2019-ensemble and Joachim Matschoss with music by young composer Tom Pitts. What country friends is this? sees Viola (Twelfth Night’s heroine) to land in Illyria which looks part forest of Arden, part contemporary city. Viola disguises herself to explore this strange place and tries to find employment and bumps into Juliet (who has just met Romeo at that infamous party). Love hits and a confused Cesario (Viola) runs away, meeting other Shakespearian heroines along the way. The theatre piece deals with identity, relationships, love, gender and what it means to be young in today’s times. Above all it explores Shakespeare’s themes in a fun way. Soliloquies become songs and the audience will not escape the magic of love. It is presented by BYTE (BackYardTheatreEnsemble), an independent company that produces theatre dedicated to devised issue-based work nationally and internationally for many years. What country friends is this? will be shown on a bare stage with an ensemble of four actors/singers. They share their thoughts and their innermost feelings with the audience. This is a piece of theatre that includes original songs. It part comic, moving and thought-provoking. What country friends is this? will premiere in Melbourne/Australia in 2018, before touring in late February to April 2019 to HongKong, China, Thailand, Singapore, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, France, Switzerland, the USA, Ireland, the Philippines and the Netherlands. The show features: Casey Bohan, Anna Lyons, Megan Mitchell and Olivia Smith. https://youtu.be/OofLeNUJ888
After nearly two years of preparation, BYTE brought its play Romeo, Hamlet, Helena and Juliet, a collage of Shakespeare’s most loved plays to Mansfield. The production was set in the forest of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and told a tale of love, cross dressing and mistaken identity. The performances were great all around and the young actors really owned their parts and told the eternal story Romeo and Juliet for today’s teenagers in a high-energy often very comical way.
The audience was blown away by the professionalism, ability, skill and sheer fun they saw when viewing BYTE's production Fake Is Real at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne. There was a great depth of maturity and understanding of the material by every cast member.
As I reflected afterwards, Romeo, Hamlet, Helena and Julietis a production which ‘runs away with itself’. It is an emotional journey (with much of it funny and happy) exploring many different themes but with the central theme of love evident throughout.
Romeo, Hamlet, Helena and Juliet was bloody brilliant. Strange, but bloody brilliant. The actors were amazing. A million times better of what I’ve seen at schools here. It would have been amazing if they had more than one night in Rome. That would mean that I could go and watch it again!
The musical play Shivers was written and directed by Joachim Matschoss and brought to us by BYTE. It told the story of inmates working in commercial convent laundries in the 1950s. The homes housed girls who had been deemed wayward, homeless, deviant, at risk of moral danger or pregnant. The intensity of the performances by the young actors was electrifying. The staging was highly non naturalistic using Bunraku puppetry in a highly effective way.
The touring piece of BYTE was depressing and challenging, but also full of hope and a way forward, written by Joachim Matschoss Alone is Bliss dealt with the issues of self-harm and abuse. The performances were outstanding. Matilda Reed played the lead role with a frightening authenticity and terrifying intensity.
BYTE performed Louis Nowra’s play Cosi to a sold out house in Carcavelos/Lisbon. The play is set in the 1970s, during the Vietnam War. Inmates of an asylum are trying to perform Mozart’s opera ‘Cosi van Tutte’. The cast had impeccable timing and an amazing contrast between calm, emotional moments and sudden bursts of confusion.
Missing in Me is a new theatre piece devised by the ensemble and Joachim Matschoss with music by Ross Brooks, Matthew Baker and Matthew Ganton.
Missing in Me tells the story of Samira and her sister Tilly who surrounded by wealth and an absence of love. Samira has about to finish her schooling and tries make sense of what is ahead of her. The theatre piece deals with identity, parent-child relationships, love and what it means to be young in today’s times.
It is presented by BYTE (BackYardTheatreEnsemble), an independent company presenting theatre from and for young people. Missing in me is being presented on a bare stage with an ensemble of four actors/singers. They share their thoughts and their innermost feelings with the audience. This is a piece of theatre that includes sound scapes and original songs. It part comic, moving and thought-provoking.
Missing in Me will premiere in Melbourne/Australia, before touring to China, Thailand, Singapore, Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The production features: Holly Bohmer, Annie Lumsden, Emily O’Connor and Tara Vagg.