KaBooM: Stories from distant frontlines
“Moving and thoughtful response to the issue of war… Packed with ideas and emotionally powerful” TimeOut Melborune
“A unique theatrical experience. Brave and adventurous” Toorak Times
Wilde Applause is proud to represent Tashmadada’s production of KaBooM.
DURATION 60 mins
TOURING PARTY 3-4 (Option of 1 or 2 performers)
KaBooM: Stories From Distant Frontlines is a highly visual performance work based on real stories of refugees who fought on various battle frontlines and arrived to build new lives in Australia.
In the work they are welcomed to this country by Sylvia Purrurle Neale, an indigenous Arrernte woman, who watches each tale unfold. Whilst witnessing their plight, Sylvia also tells her own story of struggle and ‘war’; and in response to their collective hardship she opens her heart and invites them to share the ‘spirits’ of the land:
Reach out feel our spirits.
Come sit with us, learn our ways.
This Country, anytime anywhere we are here.
KaBooM positions the audience, as witness, into the midst of the performance arena. They are placed in a metaphorical field of war, populated with visual imagery and the debris of battle. Spectators are moved through discrete performance areas. There is no fourth wall – the sense of involvement and engagement is direct.
The work has had seasons with Alice Desert Festival (September 2015) and fortyfivedownstairs (Melbourne, April 2014).
Each of the tales serves as a basis for leading theatre practitioners to create, in collaboration with performance maker/director Deborah Leiser-Moore, a theatrical response. They engage an arsenal of contemporary theatrical weapons- projections, aerial work, and elements – hay, water, clay – to create a series of interlocking performance vignettes. Each story has a very specific and individual aesthetic to it reflecting the individuality of each of the men and their experiences. The entire work is united by a pulsing sound track from Spanish composer, Bigtoxic and an overall theatrical vision and visceral aesthetic is realised by Leiser-Moore.
The international collaborators for KaBooM are Deborah Leiser-Moore, Adriano Cortese (Ranters Theatre), Regina Heilmann (PACT and Bundanon), Younes Bachir (Barcelona), Gail Kelly (ACAPTA), Lech Mackiewicz (Poland) and Bagryana Popov(Bulgaria and Australia) and Sylvia Purrurle Neale. Each of them has a long and diverse theatrical background.
Deborah is a performance maker, performer and director whose bold, visual and physical works use multiple theatrical languages to investigate culture and contemporary issues. Her most recent major works include: KaBooM: Stories From Distant Frontlines, a promenade performance/installation about cultural memory and war (from the women’s point of view) for which she interviewed ex-soldiers from global conflicts. The work was performed at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne and then remounted for the Alice Desert Festival in Alice Springs, where she collaborated with local artists, focusing on the ‘war’ story of Indigenous activist/performer Sylvia Neal and performed in an aircraft hangar utilizing the planes; The Dead Twin by Chi Vu, which she directed and performed in, and staged as a visceral promenade performance piece at Footscray Community Arts Centre in collaboration with Theatre Works as part of the FLIGHT Festival and at George Town Festival in Penang, Malaysia; Cordelia, Mein Kind, which explores an inherited history of exile and loss and was performed at La Mama Theatre after touring nationally and internationally, including to the Festiwal Szekspiroski in Gdansk, Poland.
Other notable moments include an invitation from Richard Schechner to perform and collaborate in his promenade performance work, Imagining O presented at the Peak Performance Festival, New York. The work wove Shakespeare’s Hamlet with Story of O to explore the power dynamics of women; and: a room with no air (with Regina Heilmann), HUNGRY, The Cool Room, HazChem! and, with Entr’acte Theatre, The Memory Room, Aqua Azzura and Possessed/Dispossessed.
Deborah is currently working with Melbourne’s Ranters Theatre and Korea’s Creative VaQi in Unknown Neighbours performed at Ansan International Arts Festival (Korea) and Theatre Works, Melbourne as part of 2018 Festival of Live Arts. She also recently had the lead role in the short film, Fitting, directed by Emily Avila, which will be shown at the 2018 Sydney Film Festival. In 2017 she travelled to Zagreb to perform My Body, My Country, an intimate piece that explores the body as archive, at Queer Zagreb. Deborah is presently developing her new work, The Medea Project, a personal and feminist reimagining of Medea which will be presented at Footscray Community Arts Centre in 2019 before touring to the ACT Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Deborah’s other national and international touring highlights include: Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide International Festivals, Marsh Theatre (San Francisco), Theater J (Washington DC), Toga Festival (Japan), Magdalena Aotearoa Festival (New Zealand), Sydney’s Carnivale Festival, Performance Space and Belvoir St. Theatre, Searchlight Festival, Melbourne’s La Mama, fortyfivedownstairs and Malthouse Theatres, The International Women’s Playwrights Festival in Athens, Greece and an Australia Council residency in Israel. She has presented her body of work at Romeet Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and has been artist in residence at Domino Project (Zagreb, Croatia) and part of their festival, Sounded Bodies (supported by the Australian Embassy in Zagreb; at Bundanon in NSW; and at Kinitiras Studio in Athens, Greece, where she worked with local performer Afrodite Vervenioti.
Deborah has studied in Japan with Tadashi Suzuki, trained in the work of Ettiene Decroux, Rasaboxes with Richard Schechner and has created a successful pedagogy for performance and teaching. Deborah was a regular sessional lecturer for many years at La Trobe University, University of Western Sydney and University of Wollongong, where her roles included undergraduate teaching, supervision, course design and direction of productions. She has also been invited to lead workshops at Monash University, Victoria University, NIDA, Beit Zvi in Tel Aviv, Aristotle University, Greece and in New Zealand. Deborah has been the recipient of a number of grants and has presented her work at conferences, including: the CDE conference at University of Bamberg, Germany, with a compilation video of her work, entitled Memory, Place, Reconciliation and the Body; the only Australian invited to Odin theatre’s 40th Anniversary symposium and festival in Aarhus, Denmark; the International Congress of Jewish Theatre in Vienna (as a guest of the Australian Embassy).
Deborah is presently an artist in residence at Footscray Community Arts Centre. She completed a Masters in Performance at Victoria University with ‘Here and There – Then and Now’, a video/installation/performance work looking at wedding rituals of Jewish and Muslim women, and her practice-led PhD at La Trobe University, which explored using contemporary performance languages to communicate the stories/experiences of ex-soldiers who fought in global conflicts.