150 Flamin’ Teapots | Goulburn28.08.2013
The Country Arts Support Program is an Arts NSW devolved funding program, administered by Regional Arts NSW and local Regional Arts Boards on behalf of the NSW Government. This project was funded by CASP.
Quintessential bush humour met pyrotechnics in March when Goulburn celebrated 150 years as a city. Lieder Youth Theatre put on a show that included a riveting fire-twirling Ned Kelly and 150 blazing interpretative teapots, and told the story of Goulburn in 20 hilarious minutes. They put together the visually thrilling performance in just 6 weeks. RANSW caught up with the group’s artistic director, ChrisJohn, to find out more about these flamin’ teapots. Interview by Estelle Pigot.
What was the idea behind the Flamin’ Teapots project?
To give local young people a platform to celebrate Goulburn’s 150th birthday.
How did you incorporate fire-twirling into the show?
Fire manipulation is the signature work of the Lieder Youth Theatre, but we had never used it to tell a story, especially not to tell the history of our town. The challenge was to develop fire skills in a way that comically traced the history of Goulburn in 20 minutes. There was lots of brainstorming and workshops, trials and ideas thrown out the window. The end product was very different to previous fire shows and quite an exciting extension on past shows.
Who instructed the performers in this art?
The Lieder members teach each other under my guidance, and a team of back-stage adults assist to structure a highly organised and coordinated procedure of safely practiced routines. These skills have grown over the years and it is great how they are passed down through the company from show to show.
Who were the performers?
The Lieder Youth Theatre Company is an ever-evolving and eclectic mix of town and country teenagers and young people. In this case, the performers ranged in age from 12 – 26 and were an equally balanced gender mix, with newcomers learning from the skilled and more experienced ones.
How was the final performance received by the audience?
Overall, 500 audience members spent the day listening to music in the park. The Lieder show was second last and the crowd swelled at this point to its largest numbers for any one act. We were thrilled with the audience response; the audience generally saw our show as the highlight to the event. All the LED effects and fireworks incorporated into the fire manipulation sequences was a new development that pleased audiences and performers.
What do you think was the value of the overall production?
Lieder Youth were well applauded for their efforts. They are currently booked for 3 new fire shows. Events like this are essential to encourage and focus our young people’s skills to give them a taste of the pleasure, pressure and the limelight and an opportunity to stand up and be counted as a talented young achiever in our community.
Follow the Lieder Youth Theatre on Facebook
Visit the Goulburn150 website
Program of events throughout the year: here