All The Queens Men create spectacular theatrical and participatory community arts experiences.
Led by Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid, All The Queens Men champion social equality by providing creative opportunities for diverse members of society, celebrating these ‘everyday experts’ in exciting and technically proficient art contexts. Combining contemporary and popular art forms and tropes, All The Queens Men mission is aligned to that of pioneering UK company Duckie who state –
we believe that art and performance can be used as tools to bring about community solidarity, to make ordinary people happy and even for personal development and recovery for the most vulnerable amongst us. We use popular forms of entertainment, volunteer participation and the poetics of partying to make our shows accessible to communities that are marginalised from society.
With over 30 years of combined experience in contemporary community engagement, All The Queens Men have presented leading large-scale community projects around the world including: Arts Centre Melbourne, Bleach Festival (Gold Coast), Ansan Arts Festival (South Korea), ANTI Contemporary Arts Festival (Finland), Sydney Festival, Darwin Festival, Arts House (Melbourne), Brisbane Powerhouse, Next Wave Festival (Melbourne), Festival of Live Art and City of Melbourne amongst many others.
Robyn Archer AO FAHA is a singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts. In addition to her continuing career as singer, writer and director, Robyn is currently Strategic Advisor, Gold Coast Arts and Culture; Chair of the Arts Centre Gold Coast (and tasked with oversight of the A$150million transformation of the Arts Centre into the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct); Chair of the National Institute of Dramatic Art ( NIDA)’s Master of Fine Arts in Cultural Leadership, and ongoing mentor for the European Festivals’ Association international Academy/Atelier for young festival artistic directors.
An acknowledged exponent of classic European cabaret, Robyn was named Cabaret Icon at the 2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, and won the Helpmann Award as Australia’s Best Cabaret Performer 2013. Recent concerts have included Canberra, Adelaide, Oxford (UK) and the Melbourne Recital Centre. All three of her current cabaret recitals (French, German and American) will be seen in a season at Griffin Theatre, Sydney, July 4-15 2017 and she has ben invited to perform at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and in New York in 2018. Robyn has written a new show The Sound of Falling Stars which she directs for a premiere at the 2017 Adelaide Cabaret Festival and subsequent performance at the Auckland Cabaret Festival. She has performed throughout the world, from Bogota to Berlin, Darwin to den Bosch, Paris to Perth, and her one-woman show A Star is Torn ran for over a year in London’s West End. She made landmark recordings of Brecht songs, in English translation, at Abbey Road with the London Sinfonietta. Robyn has recorded twelve albums, including many of her own songs such as the ground–breaking Menstruation Blues , and her writing includes essays, songs, works for the theatre and children’s books
In demand as a speaker, Robyn hosted the 2016 Performing Arts Exchange of APACA (and will repeat that role in August 2017 as well as being their thinker in residence) and the Australia Council Awards, gave a keynote address for the Council on Humanities and Social Sciences and was mentor for the EFA Festival Academy in Chiang-Mai in December ( her 7th year in that role). She opened the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference, in New York in January 2017 and was invited to speak for the programming team at Esplanade Theatres on the Bay in Singapore in February. UWA Press published a selection of her addresses as Detritus and she appears in the Australian Book Review ( Robyn is the second ABR Laureate) and Griffith Review, most recently with the lead article for their edition on South Australia – State of Hope.
Former Artistic Director of the National Festival of Australian Theatre (Canberra), the Adelaide and Melbourne International Arts Festivals, Ten Days on the Island (which she created for Tasmania), and The Light in Winter (which she created for Federation Square, Melbourne), Robyn worked for two years on the European Capital of Culture, and on the start-up phase of Luminato (Toronto). She has received many awards including The Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Cultural Leadership Award, the International Society of Performing Arts International Citation of Merit, and the Premier’s Lifetime Achievement Award ( SA).
She is patron and ambassador for numerous organisations throughout Australia, including Restless Dance Theatre, Brink Productions and the Adelaide Football Club ( all Adelaide), the Australian Art Orchestra (Melbourne) and is mentor to the European Festivals Association’s Festival Academy and to a number of younger artists and artistic directors.
Robyn is an Officer of the Order of Australia, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) and Officer of the Crown (Belgium), and holds honorary doctorates from Flinders University (South Australia), Griffith University (Queensland), and the Universities of Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities.
You can see more about Robyn at The Deparcher Lounge – robynarcher.com
Carlotta is an Australian cabaret performer and television celebrity. She began her career as an original member of the long-running Les Girls cabaret show, performed entirely by heavily costumed males, which started in 1963 in the purpose built Les Girls building which stood on a prominent corner in the heart of Sydney’s Kings Cross, New South Wales. The building was owned by Sydney identity Abe Saffron. Carlotta, a transgender person, rose through the ranks of the show to eventually become the show’s compere and its most famous member. Les Girls and Carlotta soon became must-see attractions for visitors to Sydney and the show was popular with visiting international celebrities. The show continued in the Les Girls building until 1993, the Les Girls show went on-the-road, touring Australia, which inspired the film “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”. The Les Girls building, which was still standing intact with original 1960s features, throughout the 1990s was the venue for alternative cabaret, including the much loved Sunday night club The Tender Trap (club).
Carlotta was featured in the soap opera Number 96 in 1973 as Robyn Ross, the new girlfriend of Arnold Feather. In the story it was soon revealed that Robyn was in fact a transsexual showgirl, a revelation that led to the character’s quick departure from the show. To preserve the shock ending to this storyline the true identity of Robyn’s portrayer was kept secret from all but a few central cast and crew members of the series, her scenes were shot on a closed set, and Carlotta was credited as “Carolle Lea”.
Carlotta’s sex-change operation in the early 1970s was not the first such procedure in Australia, but due to her celebrity status it became the first to receive publicity there. Carlotta was also one of the inspirations for the film Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. She had a few short breaks from Les Girls for international tours, but overall by the time she left the show for the final time in 1992 she had spent a total of 26 years performing with the troupe.
From 1997, Carlotta has been a regular panelist on the discussion program Beauty and the Beast.
In 2005, she featured in her own half a million dollar stage production, “Carlotta’s KingsX”, presented at the Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney. Produced by Brett Elliott and Richard Bernardo, the 90 minute show delivered classic storytelling, stand up comedy, lavish costumes, and team of ‘Les Girls’ dance performances throughout. Supported by massive 6x22m video backdrop, video content presented the story of Kings Cross collated from footage supplied by ABC, Channel Seven and Channel Nine.
Carlotta is currently touring Australia with her “Carlotta – Queen of the Cross; show and regularly features at all sorts of festivals and gala premieres, including Melbourne’s Midsumma, Gold Coast’s Glitter and Brisbane’s Melt festivals.
Carlotta is a guest panellist on Channel TEN’s Studio 10 morning Show. Where she gives her view on the latest breaking news and hot topics. Studio 10 broadcasts live from 8.30am every weekday from Network Ten’s Sydney studios at Pyrmont, plus a “best of” edition on Saturdays and Sundays.
Deborah Cheetham, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.
In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Deborah was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance.
In 2017 Ms Cheetham was invited to perform an excerpt from her latest work Eumeralla, a War Requiem for Peace in the ancient language of the Gunditjmara people, at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco for the opening of the Venice Biennale, before embarking on a recital tour including performances in London, Paris, Rome and Singapore.
Like her multi-award winning opera Pecan Summer, Eumeralla is set to advance the progress towards a meaningful reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Australians.
Gerry Connolly is an accomplished Australian comedian, actor, impressionist and musician, best known for his satirical caricatures of public figures.
Corporately and in one-off national events, Gerry Connolly is in demand as an after-dinner speaker and entertainer. Over many years, he has enlivened audiences and dinner guests with his musical charms and venting his observations through concise and sometimes ridiculous performances via political luminaries such as Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Margaret Thatcher, John Howard and highlighted the unique leadership styles of the likes of Pauline Hanson, Bronwyn Bishop, Tony Blair, President Abdurrahman Wahid, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Clive Palmer. Media celebrity Lee Lin Chin is a crowd favourite, as is his most demanded character, Her Majesty The Queen, in whose guise he has launched nearly everything not nailed down.
For half the reign of the present Queen, he has represented Her Majesty in the Southern Hemisphere, and occasionally travels to her other realms when time allows. This turn began life at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in revue, and along with his rendition of former premier, Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen quickly became the basis of his one-man shows.
Toni Lalich is one of Australia’s most experienced accompanists, working with singers and instrumentalists in Melbourne for the past 25 years. She has performed in premiere venues in Europe, the UK and throughout Australia.
Toni is also a founding director of Australia’s national Indigenous opera company Short Black Opera with her partner, Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham AO. Toni has been vocal coach and company manager for Short Black Opera since 2011 and has been instrumental in the company’s five seasons of Deborah’s opera Pecan Summer, most notably at the Sydney Opera House in 2016.
Toni and Deborah have just returned from a recital tour featuring performances in Venice, Rome, Berlin, Paris and Singapore, together spreading a message of tolerance, acceptance and belonging through the universal power of music.
With a career spanning more than 30 years and six countries, Melbourne-born Kathleen has worked as a conductor, composer and educator leading orchestras and choirs, opera, musical theatre and ballet productions in such venues as Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. An advocate for social justice, since 1990 she has conducted myriad LGBTI arts organisations and events, including more than a decade leading the award-winning 200-voice San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. She was Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade in 2006 and two San Francisco mayors named “Kathleen McGuire Day” in her honour in 2010 and 2013. Kathleen lectures at Australian Catholic University, teaches music at two secondary schools and conducts the Star Chorale and the Tudor Choristers. As Cultural Ambassador she will lead the massed choir and orchestra at Gay Games 10 in Paris in August 2018.
Tristan Meecham is the Director of All The Queens Men.
All The Queens Men create spectacular theatrical and participatory arts experiences.
Credits include; Fun Run (2017 Bleach Festival, 2017 Arts Centre Melbourne, 2015 ANTI Contemporary Arts Festival; Finland, 2015 Ansan Street Arts Festival: South Korea, 2013 Sydney Festival; Opening Event, 2011 Darwin Festival, 2010 Next Wave Festival) in which Tristan runs a marathon on a treadmill live on stage supported by hundreds of performers from the wider community, Game Show (2014 Festival of Live Art; Arts House, 2013 World Theatre Festival: Brisbane Powerhouse) in which 50 contestants compete for the chance to take home the hosts very own possessions; and currently in development The Coming Back Out Ball, a spectacular social event celebrating LGBTI elders. Presented at the Melbourne Town Hall, The Coming Back Out Ball will open the 2017 Victorian Seniors Festival on Saturday 7 October.
Tristan was Artistic Director of Give it up for Margaret: A month of philanthropic inspiration, a festival that inspired innovative arts philanthropy. GIUUFM was created in partnership with Victorian College of the Arts, Margaret Lawrence Bequest and over 20 subsidiary organisations.
Tristan was the creative lead for Going Nowhere, a sustainable international arts exchange at Arts House (2015 Green Room Award winner for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary Performance). Most recently, he remounted The Everyday Imaginarium as part of Vitalstatistix’s Climate Century in Port Adelaide. From 2010-2014, Tristan was an Artistic Associate and the Philanthropic Manager of Aphids.
Tristan is the recipient of the VCA George Fairfax Memorial Award, British Council’s Realise Your Dream Award and the inaugural Richard Pratt Scholarship. He is the Chair of Green Room Award’s Contemporary and Experimental Performance Panel.
Tristan has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) from QUT and Bachelor of Dramatic Arts (Acting) from VCA. Currently, he is completing a Masters of Cultural Leadership at NIDA.
Cameron Menzies is an award nominated and award winning International Australian director. His career has encompassed music theatre, theatre, Opera and documentary film-making. Cameron has been engaged by companies including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Köln Cologne, Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, OzOpera, Short Black Opera Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Australian National Academy of Music, City of Yarra, The L’Oreal Fashion Festival, Virgin Melbourne Fashion Festival, The Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, The Perth International Arts Festival and Intermusica UK and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
He has directed world premiere productions, including CONTACT! – A Netball Opera for the Arts Centre Melbourne, Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding for Victorian Opera and song cycle Redfern for Short Black Opera Company for Opera XS at the Malthouse Theatre, directed Pecan Summer in its debut Perth and Adelaide seasons and AFTERLIFE by Michel van der Aa Nederlands Opera for Melbourne International Arts Festival 2012, and is the Creative Director for Operette for the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festivals 2012-15.
Cameron has been nominated for and won awards, including 2011 Berlin New Music Opera Award, the 2008 Bayreuth Opera Award from Opera Foundation Australia, The Besen Family Artist Program (Direction) Malthouse Theatre, Australian Opera Committee scholarship, The Amy Alice McDonald Scholarship 2007 – 2011, Opus 50, scholarships from the Victorian and New South Wales Wagner Societies, and has two Green Room Award Nominations.
Cameron trained in acting under acclaimed teacher Hayes Gordon OAM at the Ensemble Theatre and obtained his Bachelor of Music from the Victorian College of the Arts. He was the Chief Opera Director at The Opera Studio Melbourne from 2009-2013 and lectured in Stagecraft at the Victorian College of the Arts. Cameron held the position of Artistic Director of Opera for the City of Stonnington from 2009 – 2014.
In 2014, Cameron made his International directorial debut in London, where he created a new production of Don Giovanni for Britain’s Foremost Chamber Opera Company DivaOpera. He returned to Australia to direct the Adelaide Premiere of Australia’s first Aboriginal Opera, Pecan Summer for Short Black Opera Company. Cameron has also directed William and Mary for the Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival, assisting on The Riders for Victorian Opera and directing a chamber work of Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon for The Port Fairy Spring Music Festival Len Vorster and Ensemble13. Cameron’s production of STATUS – Real Life stories of HIV Stigma for the 20th International AIDS Conference has received International critical acclaim.
Cameron was nominated for Best Director for the Green Room Awards for Professional Theatre Excellence in Victoria. His production of The Magic Pudding is also nominated for Best Costume and Set Design, Best Conductor and won the Green Room award for Best Ensemble.
Cameron’s productions of Lucia di Lammermoor and Le Nozze di Figaro for DivaOpera toured the United Kingdom, The Channel Islands, France and Monte Carlo in 2015. He has recently directed Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins Starring Meow Meow at Hamer Hall to great acclaim and a new opera commission by Finegan Kruckmeyer and Joseph Twist – The Grumpiest Boy in the world at the Malthouse Theatre both as part of Victorian Opera’s 2015 season. He has been the Event Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Annual fundraising Banquet since 2014 . Cameron will direct his acclaimed production of Le Nozze di Figaro in Cape Town South Africa for DivaOpera and in Cherbourg France, Lucia di Lammermoor for Victorian Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne , Cosi fan Tutte in London and Pecan Summer for Short Black Opera at the Sydney Opera House in 2016. He will also be directing a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet for a tour in China as well as The Magic Flute and The Pirates of Penzance for the Australian International Opera Company again for a tour in China.
Bec is an Australian based performer, producer, director, choreographer and engagement specialist. Bec encourages people to see their world in new ways through highly physical, participatory, practical, collaborative and celebratory actions. For over 15 years, Bec has passionately worked in the space where professional artists and communities of interest meet; collaborating with communities and artists nationally and internationally. Together with Tristan Meecham, Bec leads All The Queens Men, is a founding member of Everybody Now! with Kate McDonald and Ian Pidd and regularly collaborates with acclaimed artists Madeline Flynn and Tim Humphrey. In 2017-18, Bec is a Fellowship recipient from the Australia Council for the Arts. Bec has continually served on arts boards and regularly mentors young and emerging artists formally and informally. Bec’s true loves are Staffordshire Bull Terriers and dancing.
Lois Weaver is an artist, activist and part time professor of Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary, University of London. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theater, WOW and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop in London. She has been a writer, director and performer with Peggy Shaw and Split Britches since 1980. Recent work includes: Miss America (2008); Lost Lounge (2009) and RUFF (2012). Split Britches’ collection of scripts, Split Britches Feminist Performance/Lesbian Practice, edited by Sue Ellen Case, won the 1997 Lambda Literary Award for Drama. In 2012, Split Britches was presented with the Edwin Booth Award by City University of New York in honor of their outstanding contribution to the New York City/American Theater and Performance Community. Her experiments in performance as a means of public engagement (publicaddresssystems.org) include the Long Table, the Library of Performing Rights, the FeMUSEm and her facilitating persona, Tammy WhyNot. Tammy collaborated with senior centers in NYC on What Tammy Needs To Know About Getting Old and Having Sex which premiered at La MaMa ETC, NYC in November 2014. Lois was named a Senior Fellow by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in 2014. She is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and a Wellcome Trust Engaging Science Fellow for 2016-18.
Andrew Westle is passionate about gender equality, social justice and making art accessible to everyone. His work defies boundaries and includes research, performance, evaluation, writing, theatre making, public health and stage management. In his almost-completed PhD, he continues to examine issues of gender and gender equity in three leading Australian contemporary dance. This research has been presented at a number of international conferences and published in numerous publications including Dance International (Toronto).
In his work across disciplines, including sexuality and health research with a specific focus on LGBTIQ health, he always questions the status quo and aims to create spaces for challenging conversations where ideas inspire dialogue, action and engagement. He especially believes in the potential for dialogues and collaborations outside of the traditional cultural spheres, including within health, business and government.
As a writer, he was awarded a fellowship at Writers Victoria in 2016 and was a writer in resident for the 2016 Next Wave Festival. His latest project is his podcast Delving into Dance that present a wide range of perspectives about dance, including interviews with Deborah Jowitt, Stephanie Lake and Gideon Obarzanek. The pilot season had a listenership of over 4000.
Great thanks to the following people who have contributed to the project’s development: Lou Austin, Kirsty Baird, Catherine Barrett, Caroline Bayer, Paul Brophy, Lenine Bourke, Kent Burgess, Karen Cochrane, Jan Cochrane-Harry, Pauline Crameri, Maddie Dowling, Tanja Farmer, Nanette Fox, Forde and Nicol, John Hall, Bonnie Halsall, Cas Hunter, Bryony Jackson, Shona Johnson, Melanie Joosten, Gregory Lorenzutti, Erin Milne, Roger Monk, Jacinta Moylan, Jess Murphy, Katie Page, Chris Reidy, Sue Thomson, Ben Starick, Brad Spolding and Jennifer Wolcott.
Extra special thanks to LGBTI elders: Michelle Brooker, Liz Craig, Heather Morgan, David Morrison, Toni Paynter, Judith Slade, Ardy Tibby, Noel Tovey, Tony Walsh and Gordon Wilson.