SlowDive at APAM

The Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) occurs once every two years. In previous years, APAM has occurred in Adelaide – usually at around the same time as the Adelaide Festival. But this year, over 600 delegates representing 31 countries came to Brisbane to attend APAM 2014. The delegates attend showcases and hear pitches from 52 Australian and New Zealand companies and artists looking for partners, collaborators and investors to tour their performing arts works. My work SlowDive was one of these lucky works to be selected to be presented at APAM this year.

SlowDive APAM image copy

The work is about nightclubs and takes the audience on a downward spiral into night club culture. I drew inspiration from one of her part time jobs as a hobby DJ at Ric’s in Fortitude Valley where she DJ’d for 3 years every Saturday fortnight (2007, 2008, 2009). There was a lot to observe from the DJ booth looking down onto the dance floor, and many of these concepts were tied into the show. There’s some funny moments, but the work for is for a 18+ years audience only, as it touches on some serious issues and content.

SlowDive was presented in club format at the Brisbane Powerhouse. APAM runs over 4 days and is closed to the general public unless you have a spare $790 to part with to attend. It’s a pretty big deal!

SlowDive was originally developed in 2009 as at the Judith Wright Centre Shop Front as a 30 minute work called Hey Scenester, and then further developed at the Brisbane Powerhouse in January 2010.

After the success of Hey Scenester at the Brisbane Powerhouse in early 2010, with some financial support from Arts Qld, I was able to redevelop the work further again, and SlowDive had an 8 season run at the Brisbane Powerhouse in December 2010. The re-vamped “Hey Scenester” was renamed SlowDive, and it had a fantastic response in Brisbane.

In MArch/April 2011 SlowDive had a season at the Arts Centre Gold Coast where it was tweaked for Gold Coast audiences and called “Cavill Ave”. I gave the work a gold cost night club feel, with changes to characters, costuming, and the inclusion of Gold Coast local (and QUT graduate) Sarah Potter. The door wench in the line up put coconut oil on everyone as they entered- I wanted the whole space to smell like the Gold Coast beach in the 1980’s!

Then in August 2011, SlowDive was presented at the Cairns Festival in the Attic Night Club. This was a significantly different version as we toured the work without the set, and spent a few days translating the work into the night club space.

2.5 years since  it’s last season in Cairns, SlowDive was remounted for it’s biggest and most important performance yet – for APAM 2014!

Rehearsals for SlowDive were held at Mill Street Studios for two weeks where the work was remounted.

The show set got a revamp. Technical coordinator and lighting designer Simon Cook adds LED lights to the pool table:


It was exciting to rehearse at Mill Street Studios. Mill Street Studios is my new dance space in Goodna, Qld. Here’s some grabs from dress rehearsal on Thursday the 20th of February.

reh 1 hand shake SlowDive dress run at Mill Street Studios rehearsals more

Rehearsing at Mill Street Studios meant that the set could be used and the work could be blocked out to the scale of the performance space.

The APAM performance space at the Brisbane Powerhouse was essentially a large corporate tent that we transformed to resemble a night club space. The tent is where works were pitched during the day, but the idea for SlwoDive was that the APAM delegates see the space transformed into a night club for the final night of APAM.

Making a corporate tent look like a night club is no easy feat. Furthermore, with limited (aka alms zero) lighting rig, and a few hours to bump the show in and out, I thought that framing the space with scaffold would help transform the space into an industrial looking night club.

Yes, I’d been watching this Snap must video – which may have triggered the idea ;-)

My drawings:

I sent reference material and sent sketches of what she wanted the space to look like to Simon Cook.

Scan 1 copy Scan 2 Scan 3 version 6

Simon’s tech drawing that he created from my reference material and rough sketches:

 Slowdive LX and set draft 2

Bump in:

Bump in to the marquee tent at the Brisbane Powerhouse occurred at 8am on Friday the 21st of February. There was only 12 hours to transform the space according to the above plans.

The tent:

image IMG_7691

Grabs from Footage:

12 hours later the space was transformed in time for the performance. Here’s some grabs from the footage.




apam 2 copy



SlowDive at APAM was made with the generous support of PowerArts, Metro Arts, and rehearsal space in-kind at Mill Street Studios.


The SlowDive set is adaptable to both traditional and non-traditional theatre spaces. The capacity of the audience size is dictated by the size of the performance space. A larger space permits larger audience numbers. SlowDive can be performed with a full cast of eight, or a scaled back cast of six. Every SlowDive incarnation so far has seen the work tweaked to suit different audience demographics and reference different subcultures.

PHOTOS OF THE PERFORMANCE Photographs by FenLan Photography














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