There’s a searing honesty and beauty to the work of the Edge Ensemble, which brings together six young artists to make high quality contemporary performances.
The core performing company for Western Edge Youth Arts, the ensemble is made up of performers from Samoan, Vietnamese, Maori, Ghanaian, Croatian and Sudanese backgrounds. This cultural complexity strongly influences their work.
They weave physical theatre, music, spoken word, rap, dance and Shakespeare into unique performances under the mentorship of artistic director Dave Kelman and innovative director Tariro Mavondo. The result is electrifying.
Through a professional development program, the ensemble is mentored to develop broad performance skills and Western Edge’s unique brand of interactive theatre. Company members also take up roles as workshop facilitators for our community projects.
The Edge Ensemble current members:
Rex Pelman has worked with Western Edge on major community theatre performances. Rex is a skilled musician and a member of a hip-hop choir.
Piper Huynh has been a leading figure in recent major Western Edge community projects Chronicles and Fate and is also a member of our successful Playback West company. Piper is an emerging writer, actor and photographer.
Oti Willoughby is an emerging actor and rapper. He has recently performed in Western Edge community productions Random, Fate and Iago.
Natalie Lucic is a talented writer and actor. She has worked on projects with Platform Youth Theatre as well as recent Western Edge productions Iago and Scheherazade.
Achai Deng is a singer and hip-hop performer with the Phoenix hip-hop group. The Edge Ensemble is her first major acting role.
Abraham Herasan is an actor and theatre maker who first joined Western Edge as a member of the Flemington Theatre Group in 2011.
Book the Edge Ensemble
To book the Edge Ensemble for school or community performances or workshops, please call us on 03 9091 4725
For further deatails on our next performance go to Shows
Current Edge Ensemble
WHERE DO SPIRITS GO WHEN THE WATER RISES?
Alright, so here’s what I know.
Me. My island.
My space, my peace.
Knew this place like the back of my eyelids,
Could read it like a book, cover to cover, leaf to root to paw print to coloured flower and fruit.
Caliban’s island is sinking. Ariel is an artificial intelligence system with the power to save the world. But as she learns more about the people she was built to protect, she is forced to make a choice that could destroy them.
Exploring the battle ground of global climate politics through the eyes of those on the front lines, this brand new Australian work reclaims Shakespeare’s iconic character of Caliban and gives him his own voice in a world where only the richest survive.
Floating stories from Sudan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Noongar country in Western Australia, Caliban is a dynamic and energised performance that draws from the past to question how we’re living in the present. Crashing between Shakespeare and rap, nature and technology, physical theatre and audio visual projection, this electric performance allows young people to grapple with Australia’s most urgent question: how do we save the planet if we’re the ones to blame?
Created and performed by the Edge Ensemble: Natalie Lucic, Ror Akot, Piper Huynh, Ebony Maguire, Amarachi Okorom, Craig Gunguta.
Director: Penny Harpham
Writer: Georgia Symons
Set and Costume: Owen Phillips
Sound Composition and AV: Daniel Nixon
Stage Management: Jessica Hutton
Production Management: Sally Farr
Caliban premiered at the Coopers Malthouse 24-26 November 2016 with the 2016 Edge Ensemble. Original script by Georgia Symons, Achai Deng, Abraham Herasan, Piper Huynh, Natalie Lucic, Rexson Pelman, Oti Willoughby and Dave Kelman.
MEDIA & REVIEWS
“an adaptation that wreaks perfect havoc on its source text, layering the urgency of climate change into its plot and characters.” – ★ ★ ★ ★ Theatrepeople
“Western Edge Youth Arts have done and continue to do remarkable work but the real accolades go to the Edge Ensemble for a clever thought-evoking message.” – ★ ★ ★ ★ ArtsHub
“spirited, vibrant and painfully accurate” – Theatre Press
“Caliban is pertinent worthwhile theatre… Go Western Edge!” – Stage Whispers
CALIBAN Touring Dates & Tickets
14 May, 11am – Potato Shed (Drysdale)
16 May, 10.30am – Riverlinks (Shepparton)
17 May, 8pm – Wyndham Cultural Centre (Wyndham)
18 May, 11am – The Bowery (St Albans)
22 May, 6pm – Bunjil Place (Narre Warren)
23 May, 10am – Bunjil Place (Narre Warren)
23 May, 12.30pm – Bunjil Place (Narre Warren)
25 May, 1.30pm – The Wedge (Sale)
31 May, 7.30pm – Mildura Arts Centre (Mildura)
Further information & touring enquiries: Call Sally Farr on 03 86584052
The Caliban Tour is proudly supported by
Past Edge Ensemble
Watch the waters rise on Instagram and Twitter at #CalibanSt
In the not-so-distant future, Caliban has left his island because it is disappearing under rising sea levels. He has come to Melbourne to search for Miranda, the girl he grew up and with and once loved. Now he searches the streets of the hot city looking for love and meaning.
#CalibanSt is a twenty-minute interactive street comedy by the Edge Ensemble that combines slap-stick, audience interaction, fast and funny poetic dialogue, and strange and complex characters.
Be a part of the story by posting thoughts and photos online with #CalibanSt. The best tweets or instagrams of the day, as judged by the Edge Ensemble, will win a $200 JB Hi-Fi gift card or second prize of a $100 iTunes gift card.
Iago Interactive has toured schools in Melbourne’s west in June and July, including North Geelong Secondary College, Footscray City College, VU Secondary College (Deer Park), Hume Central Secondary College and Manor Lakes P-12 (Wyndham) during June and July.
The interactive work takes selected characters and scenes from Iago, a radical contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, created by the Edge Ensemble, and performed in a highly acclaimed season at the Coopers Malthouse theatre in May 2015. Iago Interactive includes discussions of safe sex, pornography, male violence, women and men’s attitudes to sex and how to build respectful relationships. It challenges male violence against women and promotes respectful relationships through a unique interactive model that allows the audience to comment on, question and impact the outcomes of the piece.
Set in a fictitious boxing gym, Iago re-imagines Shakespeare’s characters as young people from different cultural backgrounds from Melbourne’s western suburbs. Expect to be captivated with this contemporary, fast-paced exploration of gender identity and sexual politics in a rapidly changing world.
Presented by Western Edge Youth Arts and performed by the Edge Ensemble.
Date: 7 to 9 May 2015
Time: 7 May at 7pm, 8 May at 7pm, 9 May at 3pm and 7pm
Venue: Malthouse Theatre, 115 Sturt St Southbank.
Tickets: Adults $28, Conc $20, group discounts for 10 or more.
MA 15+ Contains strong themes and sexual references
‘This vigorous contemporary adaptation of Othello transplants the plot of Shakespeare’s tragedy to a boxing gym in the western suburbs. It’s a thoroughly multicultural production – one of its pleasures lies in seeing an ensemble of young actors who claim heritage from countries as diverse as Samoa and Uganda, performing with confidence.’ – The Age, 8 May 2015
‘Tackling the themes of Shakespeare’s morally complex tragedy Othello is challenging, but this visceral and provocative re-imagining handles it bravely and delicately. A skilfully interwoven examination of identity in a modern multicultural society.’ – Time Out Melbourne, 8 May 2015