12 November 2011

Ned Comes to Newport

On Friday 11th November I went to see Ashley Davies' 'acclaimed multimedia production of Ned Kelly which re-tells the story we all think we know. Featuring a live, six piece band, performing with projected archival images and a recorded narration by Ian Jones, Australia's foremost Kelly historian. This moving presentation evokes all the emotions and drama of this haunting saga'. I took Georgina to give her a break from her study and she asked me what was the show - I had to say I didn't really know. When we got there the Substation was set up in carabet mode (seats and tables - about 12o people including some local hot guitarists - curious!). The show started off with a folk duo who were great and after a break the light went out and then on came the band - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, violin keyboards and full drum set (I think the drummer was Ashley Davies who wrote the show).
It started off with some slides and footage of the bush (in color) and then went to b&w - some narration (recorded) and then some slides of text - then the band got going. It was soon clear why the hot musos were in the audience - these were serious players who provided the sound track to the text and occasional narration. Each section was divided into chapters (The Mad Dream Becomes a Nightmare / Dancing on The Coffin) and so it had the feel of an oratorio without the singing. The music stood on its own (I would have bought the cd if it was on offer) but its impact on the story was strong and evocative - Jerrilderie, Ned being chased, the last stand, The court were all brought to life for the 1.5 hours of the show. Fantastic - not a hero worshopping or condemning of Ned, just the story within its context to give us an insight into the life and times of Ned in Victoria during his lifetime.
Well worth seeing if it comes together again.
to read more http://www.mattwalkerandashleydavies.com/maash_hit_of_the_festival.htm

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