Development Diaries: Little Fictions Fun Facts

We’re so excited to be part of the Sydney Fringe again this year presenting four different and fabulous shows each Monday night of September at the very groovy Knox Street Bar, Chippendale. What better way to spend a Monday night than in the company of friends, enjoying great pub grub with a cocktail, boutique beer or fine wine? To get a good seat or to grab a table for you and your friends, buy your tickets early.

For those of you who are new to Little Fictions, and even those of you who are old friends, here are some fascinating facts to ponder while you count down the days until the first our shows on Monday, September 5.

1. Little Fictions is a two-hour show in which actors perform short stories to a live audience. It has been running for over the 18 months and in that time we’ve staged 26 shows at our home base, Knox Street Bar, Chippendale. In that time, 20 actors have performed 259 short stories. The show couldn’t go on without our wonderful team of stage crew and front of house.

Pictured L to R above: Jeanette Walsh, Bronwyn Mehan, Ross Williams, Hayley Scrivenor, Kasumi Ando.

 

2. Authors whose short stories we showcase come from all over Australia – from Woolwich to Wollongong, from Perth to Pambula. And some are Australians living overseas in places like Vienna, Berkeley and Kirabati. They love being in the audience and hearing their work read by professional actors.

Pictured above, 1st row, L to R: Emma Diaz with author Joanne Burns; author Emma Rose Smith with Eleni Schumacher; author, Julie Koh with Lauren Hamilton Neill. 2nd row, L to R: Holly Myers with author Josh Mei-Ling Dubrau; author, Jon Steiner with Felix Johnson; author Sue McCreery with Oscar Morphew.

 

3. Actors who perform at Little Fictions work in film, TV as well as on stage. You may have seen Tim McGarry during the recent season of ‘My Name is Asher Lev’. Or maybe you saw Eleni Schumacher last year in ‘Great Island’ at 107 Projects. You may even remember her stage production of Margot Lanagan’s chilling story, ‘Black Juice’. Ella Watson-Russell recently performed in QTC’s ‘Bastard Territory’ and is set to tour with a play in Indonesia. Lauren Hamilton Neill scored a role in ABC TV’s ‘The Gods of Wheat St’,  Felix Johnson is in ‘Secret City’ and Nicholas Starte plays the lead role in the film, ‘Broken’. 

Pictured above 1st row, L to R: Oscar Morphew, Ella Watson-Russell, Holly Myers, Eleni Schumacher. 2nd row, L to R: Felix Johnson, Lauren Hamilton Neill, Tim McGarry, Nicholas Starte.

 

4. Our regular MC, Adam Norris is arts journalist for Brag Magazine by day and one of the most well-read people you’d meet. Apart from sporting a dashing array of hats, he is a consummate teller of anecdotes. Just the combination you’d look for in the host of an entertaining literary event. When Adam is off interviewing Lowden Wainwright III, plucking a dulcimer or tracking down obscure paperbacks, we are very lucky to have Hayley Scrivenor, Uni of Wollongong PhD candidate and all-round smart, funny gal to host the show. 

Pictured above: MCs Adam Norris and Hayley Scrivenor

5. And on very special occasions, like International Women’s Day … and the Sydney Fringe, we are very lucky to have Monique Schafter as guest host. She’ll be presenting ‘Vaginal Spray’ on Monday September 5 which deserves a fun fact of its own, see #9. Monique is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who you will see reporting on ABC's nightly current affairs program, 7.30. 

In this role, Monique has interviewed a wide range of ‘incredible humans from young Afghan asylum seekers, to hip hop legend Ice Cube, to Russian feminist punk collective, Pussy Riot’. 
Outside of 7.30, Monique co-directed (with Mat Govoni) the short documentary 'In My Shoes' (ABC2) exploring the issues faced by young transgender Australians. It won best Australian short film at the 2015 Sydney Transgender International Film Festival. In 2013, Monique directed the documentary 'Our Little Secret' (ABC2) exploring the motivation behind child sexual abuse. 

Some of you might also recall Monique as co-host of the ABC's ground-breaking current affairs/comedy program Hungry Beast, produced by Andrew Denton.

Above: Guest MCs Monique Schafter and Jack Gow

6. This truly fun fact is about Jack (Mr Comedy) Gow. When he is not performing his critically-acclaimed solo show, Everybody’s Doing it!..Dying, That Is…, or editing USyd’s Honi Soit, he wanders over to Little Fictions. Jack hosted ‘Sydney Stories’ for us back in May when Sydney Writers Festival asks us to put on a show that focussed on Sydney. It was so popular that we’ve decided to run it again as part of the Sydney Fringe. More on this in Fun Fact #11.



7. Where do the Little Fictions stories come from? The majority of the stories that are performed on stage come from the twenty or so short story collections and anthologies published by local Indie press, Spineless Wonders. Little Fictions also commissions new works and there is a regular Call Out for pieces up to 2000 words. Deadline for the latest call out is Oct 2. Find out more about Spineless Wonders and how to submit to Little Fictions at shortaustralianstories.com.au

8. Raffles. We will have lucky door prizes each week during Sydney Fringe where you’ll get a chance to win one of two prizes: – a spin of Knox Street Bar’s cocktail wheel and on the Quills’ Hoist.

9. Vaginal Spray:  Feminist tales for women and men - returning to the stage by popular demand. A terminally-ill nun shocks her elderly companion by searching the male escort ads. A guy struggles to understand his girlfriend’s head-shaving grief over the death of poet, Dorothy Porter. A Newtown woman grows her pubic hair to use as a bike seat. Join MC Monique Schafter (HUNGRY BEAST, 7.30 REPORT) and Little Fictions’ talented actors for a night of short stories featuring women who break away, women who stand their ground and women who stand by each other. Monday Sept 5, 7pm.

Credit: We Go To The Gallery, Dung Beetle Press

10. The Great Unknown is a night of strange, absurd and macabre stories; tales of ghost towns, mind reading babies and words that leap out at you from the page. Literally. Plus stories that speculate about the world to come. Join MC Adam Norris and Little Fictions’ talented actors for a night of uncanny tales that are sure to horrify, surprise, enthral and even delight you.

11. The fact is, if you come along to Sydney Stories, with comedian-MC Jack Gow,  special guest, Patrick Lenton (A MAN MADE ENTIRELY OF BATS) and Little Fictions’ talented actors, you’ll be guaranteed a top night. There’ll be tales from Sydney buses and trains as well as stories of sex, office politics and migration.

Pictured above: Patrick Lenton

12. You can’t, in fact, inhabit the skins of criminals, stalkers and bystanders. But the stories at Little Fictions’ Crime Scenes will put you right inside their minds. An elderly victim comes face to face with her young, jailed perpetrator. A teenage girl is swept up into the world of Croc, the bikie. Let MC Adam Norris take you behind the crime scene tape for a night of chilling tales by some of Australia’s top crime writers, read to you by Little Fictions’ talented actors. 

Credits: book cover by Bettina Kaiser. Illustrations above by Paden Hunter.

You can purchase tickets for Little Fictions here.