Moat Festival 2019

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Moat Festival 2019

8 - 23 March, with a special Launch event on Friday 1 March 2019.

The 35th Moat Festival featured five full-length theatre productions, as well as a work in development cabaret, the Moonlight Cinema, and a closing night one-woman show. The festival showcased some exceptional emerging talent on campus with each event taking place on the La Trobe University Bundoora campus. 

We launched Moat 2019 with an official season launch. It featured a full performance of the show Creatures of the Deep, written, produced and performed by La Trobe Student Theatre and Film alumni (a Picked Last for Sport production).

Moat 2019 Season Launch. Photography by Melissa Viola.

Vernon God Little

Based on the book by DBC Pierre, adapted by Tanya Ronder, and directed by Bob Pavlich:

Fifteen-year-old Vernon Gregory Little is in trouble. And it has something to do with the recent massacre of sixteen students at his high school. The town wants vengeance and encouraged by a clamouring media, blame is laid at Vernon’s feet. He escapes the quirky Texan backwater of his home town and finds himself after some bizarre adventures in Mexico where he hopes to re-unite with the divine Taylor Figueroa. It is a darkly funny and scathing portrayal of America in an age of trial by media, materialism, and violence. 
Based on the 2003 Booker Prize winning novel by DBC Pierre this highly theatrical adaptation featuring a selection of classic country songs interlaced throughout. A Melbourne premiere, it was performed in the beautiful outdoor Moat Theatre. 

Vernon God Little. Photography by Melissa Viola.

If the Truth be Told

Written by Margaret Hickey and directed by Josh McFarland:

You know these people, whether you’ve walked passed them on the street, served them at work, or even have a relative who is similar. If The Truth Be Told celebrates the average Aussie men and women and through these intricate monologues we get an insight to the good times and bad times that many of us can face through our life time.

If the Truth be Told. Photography by Kat Carrington.

They Saw a Thylacine

Written by Justine Campbell and Sarah Hamilton, and directed by Stella Tehan:

Two women are unknowingly the last people to see the Tasmanian tiger alive. Around a crackling campfire, together they tell a story of extinction, of human intervention and neglect, and of hope. Perhaps it is already too late but perhaps it is never too late. They Saw A Thylacine is being performed for the first time since the original authors themselves starred as feisty tracker Beatie and impassioned taxidermist Alison. We hope we can show you what the thylacine meant to them.

They Saw a Thylacine. Photography by Melissa Viola.

Dream Play

Based on the play by August Strindberg, adapted and directed by Walt Dyson:

August Strindberg’s A Dream Play is the story of god’s daughter sent to earth to find out what it is to be human. 118 years after its first performance, this radical adaptation replaces the religious imagery with real dreams remembered by the ensemble cast. Characters, places, songs, and thoughts dissolve and reappear but like a dream, when it’s over it might just make a little bit of sense…

Dream Play. Photography by Melissa Viola.

The Drag

Based on the plays of Mae West, adapted and directed by Cole Mckenna:

Mae West was an American actress, singer, screenwriter, comedian, and playwright known for her bawdy double entendres and breezy sexual independence. In 1927, she spent ten days in prison, charged with “obscenity and corrupting the morals of youth” for the play she had written, directed, and was performing in. The Drag is inspired by her work. 

A party in the 1920s is our window into the lives of New Yorkers and newlyweds Roland and Clair. The play delves into a world of decadence and ruptured mundanity, exploring strained relationships and the pain that comes with having to hide who you are.

The Drag. Photography by Melissa Viola.


Written and performed by Jess Cook:
This is not what this cabaret was supposed to be.

Jess Cook is a recent graduate of La Trobe University, and this was her first entry into the Moat Festival. But hey, better late than never!

Lovesick takes an unexpected journey into a mind tainted by romance, but doesn’t want to admit it to herself. It’s a tale of fleeting crushes, contradictory thoughts and sordid love affairs, told through anecdotes of past and present, and music.

Lovesick is a developmental piece for Moat, born through the curveballs life throws at us. It is raw, it is real, it is contradictory and it is often rife with saccharine confessions that bring on copious amounts of self-loathing.

Barely a Queen

Conceived and performed by Josh McFarland:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. What the bible forgets to mention is that also in the beginning God decided she was bored and created LIARNESS! The goddess of being barely a queen. This show will include laughter, tears, and stories of a 23 year old drag queen trying to make her mark in this world.

And The Moonlight Cinema.

Check out the full 2019 program below!