This week, from June 15-18th, at 7 pm, Factory will switching gears from a music venue to a theatre stage to showcase Beats around the Bush: The Word Opera. Given the recent atrocity in Orlando, this week will be a difficult and fitting time to attend this piece of theatre.
Through a mix of theatre and spoken word, Beats around the Bush will take its audience to Malate – a mystified gay district – “to witness the crisscrossing paths of four millennial friends and their lovers throughout one tumultuous weekend.”
The script was written by Riley Palanca, a recent immigrant to Newfoundland from Manila, who wanted to mysticize his nostalgia of the highs and lows he experienced in Manila’s gay district, Malate.
“It’s a very novel bit of scriptwriting because not unlike Shakespeare,” says producer Graham Hunt, “it mixes beat-inspired poetic soliloquy with Hollywood-inspired dialogue,” which he promises is “altogether fresh and compelling.”
The eight-person cast includes Jeremie Monette (director), Graham Hunt (producer), and actors Cole Hayley, Justin Stellars, Micheal Vokey, Elliot Barrett, Lucas Ings-Simms, and Rob Monette.
The play will be the first Factory hosts, though it’s no surprise the folks who run this new music venue said yes to this, they’re proving to be an all around community venue open to anything, like bringing back all ages shows, songwriter circles, dance marathons, and now, different arts’ disciplines like theatre.
“Denver Drake, its manager, generously offered us the venue as part of their art-friendly ethos. This has been very exciting for us, we’re hoping that their brick and muraled walls, as well as their top-notch lighting systems, will make for a brilliant spectacle to effectively bring Riley’s script to life.”
Wayne James, co-owner of the great new restaurant Seto Kitchen + Bar, also played a big role in bringing this play to life. He sponsored the affair’ return the favour to the community by booking a meal there this month. “We’re very appreciative of his enthusiastic support for local LGBTQQ art,” says Hunt.