The Grinning Man

25 April - 19 May 2024

Run Time: 2.5 hours, including interval.

Recommended for ages 12+

Content Warning: Occasional course and derogatory language, haze, sexual innuendo and intimate situations, brief strobe effects, discussions and references to death and dying, loud noises.

Please ensure you purchase the correct ticket. No refund or exchange policy is in place.

Note: Only one price for preview shows. 

18 May 2024, 6:30 pm

Tactile Tours are designed for people who are blind or have low vision to equitably access and enjoy the arts and can benefit people with Autism and other multi-sensory disabilities. With an experienced describer guide, the audience can journey around the physical space to understand the dimension, layout and scale of the production; interact with set pieces, costumes, and props; and have the opportunity to meet with designers and performers discussing their work.

To register, enter the code TACTILETOUR before selecting your seats.

About

“Welcome to a time in history that never was, to a world wildly different and yet weirdly similar to your own…”

Following an extended West End run and an explosive world premiere at Bristol Old Vic as part of the theatre’s 250th season, The Grinning Man is a magical and macabre musical based on the novel The Man Who Laughs, written by the globally celebrated author, Victor Hugo (Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), and will make its Australian Premiere at the Alex Theatre St Kilda in April 2024.

This award-winning musical is a fairy-tale love story streaked with pitch-black humour, lashings of Gothic horror and swashbuckling adventure. This “gothic, dark world of magic and mayhem” (WhatsOnStage) is brought to life by Carl Grose (Robin Hood), with an “outstanding score” (The Sunday Times) by Tim Phillips (Shameless), Marc Teitler (The Magician’s Elephant) and Tom Morris (War Horse).

 

A strange new act has arrived at Trafalgar Fair’s freakshow.  Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile?

In the grim and blackened streets of Trafalgar Square, with the help of an old puppeteer, his pet wolf and a blind girl, Grinpayne’s tale is told. Desperate to know the terrible secrets of his mysterious past and discover the truth of his gruesome disfigurement, Grinpayne leaves everything he knows and loves behind and embarks on a journey into an even crueller world – an aristocracy. An epic tale of gothic horror, laughter, hope and humanity’s deep desire to be ‘seen’ and loved for who we truly are – in our darkness and our light.

Book by Carl Grose
Music by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler
Arrangements and Orchestrations by Tim Phillips & Marc Teitler
Lyrics by Carl Grose, Tom Morris, Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler
BY ARRANGEMENT WITH ORiGiN™ THEATRICAL ON BEHALF OF CONCORD THEATRICALS LTD
Presented by Salty Theatre and Vass Productions

The Cast

Mojo/Dance Captain/Cellist

Cameron Bajraktarevic-Hayward (he/they) is a Melbourne (Naarm) based Actor, Musician, Singer and Dancer. Originally from Western Sydney (Darug Nation), Cameron moved to Naarm in 2020 to study at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Since moving to Naarm, Cameron was part of the 2022 performance season for the VCA in ‘Mongrel: Cracked’ (dir. Maude Davey and Sarah Ward), ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ (dir. Jason Langley) and ‘Morning Melodies 2022’ (dir. Jayde Kirchert).

 

Following their time at VCA Cameron performed as Young Ebenezer in A Christmas Carol 2022 and 2023 (dir. Matthew Warchus) and played the role of Dolokhov in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (dir. Dean Drieberg) at Darlinghurst Theatre Company. Cameron is thrilled to be making their Melbourne Theatre Company debut in My Brilliant Career (dir. Anne-Louise Sarks) as Frank later in 2024. Cameron is proudly represented by Ian White Management and is a MEAA member.

Princess Josiana

Melanie Bird is a Melbourne-based performer. She is a 2020 graduate of Showfit’s two year full-time musical theatre course. Prior to Showfit, Melanie completed a year at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music studying classical singing and opera.

Her professional theatre credits include A Christmas Carol (GWB and The Old Vic), A Little Night Music (Hayes Theatre Company), MIDNIGHT The Cinderella Musical (Aspect Entertainment), Jekyll and Hyde (Hayes Theatre Company) and Next to Normal (James Terry Collective).

She has also been part of many developments of new Australian work. These include Kate Miller-Heidke and Kier Nuttall’s Bananaland (Brisbane Festival), Sheridan Harbridge, Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank’s My Brilliant Career (Melbourne Theatre Company), Miranda Middleton, Grace Chapple and Luke Bryne’s Paper Stars (Salty Theatre) and Sean Donehue and Nicholas Waxman’s Bearded (Australian Music Theatre Festival). In 2023 Melanie hosted and performed at Rod Laver Arena in Australian Open Kids Tennis Day: Arena Spectacular. Melanie has also been featured on the original cast recording of My Brilliant Career by Bryant and Frank as well as Scarlet: The Original Concept Recording (DhB Theatrical).

Young Dea

Lilly’s currently studying Year 12 with a focus on music and sciences. Lilly takes lessons in voice and trumpet and participates in several jazz ensembles along with choirs and orchestras. As her school’s Music Prefect she most enjoys encouraging younger members to take any opportunity to grow their music friendships and experiences. 
 

Lilly has appeared in this year’s 2024 Genazzano FCJ College and Xavier College Musical Production of The Little Mermaid and the 2023 Genazzano FCJ College and Xavier College Musical Production of Legally Blonde. Lilly is also excited to be competing in this year’s Generations of Jazz festival in Mount Gambier on trumpet.

Lilly appeared on stage at Vision Australia’s  2017 Carols by Candlelight introducing Keala Settle and was previously a member of the Australian Girls Choir. 

Lilly is extremely excited to be joining the production of The Grinning Man.

Lord Dirry-Moir

Anthony Craig is a versatile performer and multi-instrumentalist, embraced by Aussie audiences and known for his banjo playing, character work and comic flair. After completing a Musical Theatre degree at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2014, he went on to gain international experience in feature films and on stage. Recent credits include Once (Darlinghurst Theatre Company), The Gruffalo’s Child (CDP Productions), Into the Woods (Watch This), Ernani (Opera Australia) and upcoming feature film Woody Woodpecker 2 (Universal). He starred in the one-man show Private Peaceful (MLP) and was nominated for ‘Best Actor in an Independent Production’ at the 2020 Green Room Awards. In 2020, Anthony also created the award-winning children’s entertainment group Story Surprise with his wife Lauren, and has the time of his life producing music, live performances and videos for families all over the world. Most recently, Anthony was proud to be the co-writer and musical director of Melbourne Shakespeare Company’s hit new family musical: Outback Adventures.

Mother

Shelley Dunlop is a Naarm-based actor, singer and musician. Some recent onstage credits include Irene in Anna Bella Eema (Melbourne Fringe), Olivia in Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (NIDA Actors Studio) and Deb in Ordinary Days (Life Story Theatre). She also recently musically directed two original Australian shows: Post (Something Blue Productions) and The Girl Green As Elderflower (La Mama), as well as the choir for James Grim’s Woodcutters in 2023. She is thrilled to be part of The Grinning Man.

Osric/Young Grinpayne

Born and raised in Wollongong, Matthew (he/they) swapped the world of elite sports for the pursuit of a career in musical theatre.

Moving to Melbourne, Matthew was a part of the final VCA foundation Musical Theatre course and also graduated from Andrew Hallsworth’s Musical Theatre course at PSA – where he performed the role of Sky Masterson in their production of ‘Guys & Dolls’.

Matt’s professional credits include: Tom Watson in ‘Parade’ (Soundworks), Alan in ‘I Can Jump Puddles’ (Antipodes), Matterson in ‘The Hello Girls’ (Heartstrings in association with Hayes Theatre Co.), and they also performed the National Anthem at the Socceroos vs Ecuador Game (Channel 10). 

Matthew is a strong advocate for disabled visibility, themselves having Cerebral Palsy. Outside of performing, Matthew has held many National records and National titles in Paralympic swimming, and they have also travelled the world with the Australian Paralympic Soccer Team, ‘The Pararoos’ and featured in their self-titled documentary as well as taking part in fundraising events and campaigns for the team and the broader disabled community.

Matt hopes to see more instances of physical disability being visible and represented on stage & screen.

Ursus

Dom Hennequin is a Green Room Award-nominated actor based in Melbourne. He’s appeared in the Australian tour of Friends! The Musical Parody as Gunther, Urinetown the Musical as Officer Lockstock at Chapel Off Chapel, and productions of Miss Saigon, Violet, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Dom has co-written and starred in several cabarets including La Vie Brohéme and Pasquale the Musical, featured in workshops including 18/23, and is the creator and star of the upcoming web series, Self-Tapers. Dom is excited to be part of this Australian premiere of The Grinning Man and hopes you enjoy the show.

Queen Angelica

Stephanie was most recently in the world premiere of Midnight: The Cinderella Musical as an onstage Swing, performing as the stepsister Tiffany and in other roles. She also originated the role of Joyce Byers in the Australian premiere of Stranger Sings! The Musical Parody. Other recent stage credits include Genevieve Gryffindor in Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts (Salty Theatre), Stephanie Necrophorous in NINE (StageArt), Rhoda in A New Brain, Violet Karl in Violet and Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie (MTGV Award). Screen credits include the lead role of Big Sarah in the dramedy series Displaced. Her voiceover work includes narrator Trudie Poodle in the children’s ‘true’ crime podcast adaptation of the popular children’s book series The Underdogs, and Samantha in the podcast Busy Bodies with Mr Snotbottom (Winner of ‘Best Kid’s Podcast’ 2023 Australian Podcast Awards). 2024 will also see Stephanie playing the role of Miss Thorn (cover Judy Denmark) in Ruthless! The Musical.

Lord Trelaw

Born and raised in Perth, Luke is a proud Chinese Australian man. Luke graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a Bachelor of Music Theatre in 2019.

Luke made his professional stage debut in 2021 playing Igor in Young Frankenstein for the Hayes Theatre Co, and originated the role of Ron in their world premiere production of Dubbo Championship Wrestling. Luke returned to the Hayes to join the Australian premiere cast of Jekyll & Hyde in the role of Bishop/Guitarist.

Luke’s recent work includes Porpoise Pool with Bite Productions as part of the 25A program at Belvoir St Theatre, in the role of Jonah. Luke covered the role of Petey and George in the Australian tour of Dog Man the Musical, joined the cast of Arden of Favershim with Bell Shakespeare as part of the ‘play in a day’ program, and
performed in a staged reading of If/Then with Neglected Musicals at the Hayes Theatre co.

Dea

Luisa Scrofani is a Helpmann-nominated singer and actor. She made her professional debut at 19 in Violet (JRP Australia), and has gone on to successfully perform in a string of independent and main-stage productions. 

Credits include: Spring Awakening (StageArt), In The Heights (JRP Australia, Helpmann Nomination for Best Lead Female Actor), Blackrock and Dreamsong (EbbFlow Theatre Co.), My Brilliant Career (MLive + Original Cast Recording), Paper Stars (Salty Theatre), Bonnie and Clyde (JRP Australia), SENSER (TheatreWorks), Pear-Shaped (Rogue Projects), Midnight (Aspect Entertainment), and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum (Watch This).

She is absolutely thrilled to be originating the role of Dea in the Australian Premiere of The Grinning Man, and would love to thank her family, friends and agents at Ian White Management for their continued support.

Grinpayne

Maxwell is a graduate of the Music Theatre program at Victorian College of the Arts.

Maxwell’s theatre credits include: Lee Harvey Oswald/The Balladeer in Assassins  (The Hayes theatre and the Sydney Opera House), Ex in Bananaland (Brisbane festival and Sydney festival), Christian/Duke standby for Moulin Rouge The Musical! (Global Creatures), Greg Connell in The Boy From Oz (The Production Company), Bjorn Ulvaeus in Muriels Wedding The Musical (Global Creatures), Lancelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice  (Melbourne Shakespeare Company), Ensemble (Johnny/Tunny understudy) in American Idiot (shake and stir).

Maxwell played the role of Dirk in the webseries The Five Minute Call directed by Ainslie Clouston

Maxwell is a Glug Award recipient for Most Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer for Assassins.

Barkilphedro

Jennifer was seen most recently in the outrageous Vampire Lesbians of Sodom by Charles Busch presented by Little Ones Theatre at Fortyfive Downstairs. She also toured nationally in Musica Viva’s Chopin’s Piano mid-2023 playing multiple roles in a stunning fusion of chamber music and theatrical performances. Jennifer played the role of Ali in the critically acclaimed MILF AND THE MISTRESS, written by Jane Montgomery Griffiths for Theatreworks, in the 2023 Midsumma Festival, a show she is producing and touring in 2024, including Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.

Other recent credits include the roles of Priam and Chryses in the Brisbane Festival hit season of HOLDING ACHILLES, and as Katia in the Malthouse/Belvoir co-production of LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI in Melbourne and Sydney. Earlier stage credits include Victoria Opera’s HAPPY END and Malthouse’s BECAUSE THE NIGHT in which she performed the role of Queen Gertrude.

Other stage highlights include the Malthouse/STC co-productions of THE HISTRIONIC and WOMEN OF TROY, ARBUS & WEST (MTC), and MAMMA MIA. Awards include the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Award for the Baroness in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and a Green Room Award for MERCILESS GODS (Little Ones Theatre/Griffin Theatre).

Screen credits include Mandy the Mullet in WENTWORTH, Enid Holdstock in MS FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES and Margot Molloy in the feature film, THE SURROGATE. Her most recent film appearance, as Dorothy in DEAD LESBIANS, played at MQFF (2023) and will play in this year’s Queer Screen’s 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival. A multiple award-winning audio narrator, Jennifer is best known for the internationally acclaimed ONCE MY MOTHER

Off-Stage Swing

Angelo Vasilakakos (he/him) is a Naarm/Melbourne based performer and a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). During his time there, Angelo worked closely with choreographer Freya List and director Trudy Dunn after taking on the responsibility of Dance Captain in his graduate production of ‘Urinetown’ as well as Officer Barrel. Similarly, he was fortunate enough to work under the direction of Jason Langley and with Pete Rutherford as Music director on ‘Merrily We Roll Along’, appear as a creator and performer in the fringe-style cabaret ‘Mongrel’ (dir. Maude Davey) and work closely with the creative team to develop the new work ‘Dubbo Championship Wrestling’ (dir. Sheridan Harbridge). These engagements prepared him to go on and bring life to Benny Southstreet in Antipodes Theatre Company’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ (dir. Trudy Dunn, Brandon Pape) for which he received a Green Room nomination for Best Supporting Artist. 

Off-Stage Swing

Olivia Charalambous graduated from NIDA with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts (Acting) in 2013. She describes herself as a creative hustler!

Some acting credits include: Young Eponine, Les Miserables – 10th Anniversary Production (Cameron Mackintosh); Anna, Spring Awakening (Original Australian Cast – Sydney Theatre Company); Jack Irish (ABC-TV); Rose, Dogfight (Doorstep Arts); Sunny Ray And The Magnificent Moon (Arena Theatre Company); Naomi, 21 Chump St (Pursued By Bear); Audience Member, Underbelly Files – Chopper (Channel 9); Liv, Livstagram (The OC Project), Susie and Others (U/S Megan); Puffs (Original Australian Cast – LifeLike Touring/TEG); Jesus Christ, Dreamsong (Ebbflow Theatre Company); Ziggy, Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (Hayes Theatre Co); Ophelia/Livvie, Hamlet: Prince Of Skidmark (The Listies/Critical Stages/Sydney Theatre Company); Druzilla, Villainy (No Mates Productions, Moving Light Productions & The MC Showroom); Elise, The Convent (IAM productions); Louise/Eve, Ruthless The Musical (Stagebugs Productions); Poussay, She Slayed (Victory People Theatre)

Directing credits include: Disney’s Camp Rock The Musical (Soundworks Productions); Skank Sinatra (Jens Radda, The Butterfly Club); Between The Lines JR (Junior Theatre Festival New Zealand & Australia), Make ‘Em Laugh (Mikey Halcrow, Perth Fringe), Pursuing Pleasure (The Round/Midsumma Festival)

Off-Stage Swing

Jessie Monk is an artist hailing from GunaiKurnai Land, Victoria based between Naarm and Berlin. After graduating from the Victorian College of The Arts, BFA Music Theatre course in 2018, receiving both the Lionel Gel and Ron and Margaret Dobell Awards, Jessie went onto play Teenage Girl 1, in the Australian Premier of David Bowie’s ‘Lazarus’, before heading to Israel to train in Gaga (contemporary dance) with Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company, eventually landing in Europe’s artistic capital, Berlin. Jessie has since developed an underground following as an avant-folk musician and multi-faceted artist, playing large festivals and support slots around Europe, reviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine and featured in rotation on Europe and Australia’s leading radio stations (DFK, Triple J, Double J, BBC, ABC), as well as twice receiving the MusikInitiativ Künstler:innen Award (2021, 2023). Having just returned to Naarm, nursing her Sophomore Album, ‘Mis O’ The Mountains’, Jessie is beyond delighted to be back on Australian stages.

Creative Team

Executive Producer

Vass Productions was founded on Aleksandar’s entrepreneurial success and his extensive theatrical experience.

He studied drama at the National Theatre and went on to perform in musicals, plays and in television series’ and then became Australia’s youngest agent, representing 300 artists. He was the Victorian President of the Theatrical Agents Association for several years. As an independent producer his successes include Fiddler On The Roof with Topol, It’s a Dad Thing, All my Sons, Joseph and His Technicolor Dreamcoat, Burn This, Amadeus, Hair, Barnum, Noises Off, Chase Me Comrade, Hamlet, Evita, Copacabana, A Street Car Named Desire, The Blue Room, Oh Calcutta, The Last Of The Red Hot Lovers and the play 8. Aleksandar founded the Vass Theatre Group to continue his dedication to producing shows of the highest quality. The company’s productions include the Australian Premiere and National Tour of Bad Jews, the Australian Premiere of the international dance and light sensation Pixel, the World Premiere of Sexercise The Musical, the Australian Premier of Around The World in 80 Days, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Hand to God. With Kate Whitbread, Aleksandar founded MOMO Films to produce and distribute films throughout Australia. Their films include Surviving Georgia starring Shane Jacobson, Pia Miranda and Holly Valance and Cloudburst with Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Flicker and The Unlit. The Team currently has two more films in production.

In 2016 the Vass Theatre Group acquired the historic Spiegel Zelt. Vass Productions show Spiegel’esque premieres in Sydney, November 2016 and then the Spiegel Zelt has been on tour across the West Coast of Australia. Aleksandar Vass OAM is a global entrepreneur with interests in glass manufacturing, energy development, and many other industries as well as entertainment.

Learn more about Aleksandar at vassproductions.com.au/aleksandars-vass-oam

Producer & Associate Director

Ashley is the Director and Co-Founder of Melbourne based theatre company Salty Theatre and is an Associate Producer with Vass Productions. She has 30± years of experience across the theatre, television and film sectors, both on stage and screen and off. Her work has been seen and heard in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia, initially as a performer before transitioning into the roles of producer and director.

Hailing from Toronto, Canada and now a proud citizen of Australia, Ashley got her first taste of producing when she premiered Heartache, Milkshakes and Broadway, which was performed at the renowned cabaret venue Don’t Tell Mama in NYC. Ashley’s most recent credits include producing and managing three seasons of Voldemort and The Teenage Hogwarts in Victoria and Adelaide, co-producing the return season of METAMUSE for Vass Productions and Luca Dinardo, and directing and producing the premiere of cult hit Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical. Ashley also co-created The Hatch Lab and the Australian Musical Artists Collective, to help fill a gap in the new musical development and production market in Australia.

A strong advocate for new works, Ashley connects with artists in Australia as a mentor, coach and dramaturg to support and assist them in the development of new works both as writers and as independent producers. She also works with creatives globally to debut their musicals in Australia. Ashley is committed to being an advocate for women in leadership and BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and disabled creative artists as well as identity-conscious casting.

Select theatre credits: Lucy in Ladies in Retirement (Off-Broadway); Heartache, Milkshakes & Broadway (Don’t Tell Mama NYC); The Sound of Music (Andrew Lloyd Webber/Mirvish); Belle in Beauty and the Beast; Cosette in Les Miserables, Jasmine in Aladdin; Mary in Mary’s Wedding; The Kid/Linda U/S in Pal Joey (The Shaw Festival); Alice in Alice Through the Looking Glass (The Stratford Festival). Select film/tv credits: The Cutting Room, The Cold Equations, 1-800 Missing, Goosebumps, Stickin’ Around, and Little Bear.

Ashley cannot express enough love and gratitude to her husband Jeremiah and their son, Grant, for the endless support, patience and encouragement on this epic journey!

Director

Miranda Middleton is an award-winning director, writer, and choreographer with a Master of Fine Arts (Directing) from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). She aims to create theatrical events which spark joy, connection, and a sense of shared humanity. In 2024, Miranda is a recipient of the Sandra Bates Director’s Award at the Ensemble Theatre. 

Miranda’s most recent directing credits include ‘Pear-Shaped’ (Theatre Works), ‘Lemon Tree on Dreg Street’ (Theatre Works), ‘SENSER’ (Theatre Works), ‘Not Today’ (Seymour Centre), ‘PASH’ (Melbourne International Comedy Festival), ‘Sowing Seeds’ (Gasworks Arts Park), and ‘Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody’ (Theatre Works). 

In 2022, Miranda was the Assistant Director of the new musicals ‘Come Rain or Come Shine’ (directed by Simon Phillips) at Melbourne Theatre Company and ‘The Lovers’ for Bell Shakespeare (directed by Shaun Rennie). She was also the dramaturg on Brittanie Shipway’s play ‘A Letter for Molly’ (Ensemble Theatre), and has adapted/directed two ‘Play in a Day’ readings for Bell Shakespeare – ‘Timon of Athens’ and ‘Arden of Faversham’.

In 2023, Miranda was the Resident Writer at Theatre Works. She has two new musicals in development: ‘Paper Stars’ and ‘Silver Tongue’.

Musical Director

David is a music director, pianist, arranger, orchestrator, and vocal coach based in Melbourne, Australia. He was most recently Assistant Music Director of the Australian tour of Moulin Rouge! (Global Creatures). Previously, David was the Conductor/Keyboardist for
the Australian tour of Cruel Intentions (DVE), and Assistant Music Director for the Australian tour of The Wedding Singer (DVE), before becoming the show’s Conductor/Associate Music Director for its New Zealand tour.

Other past creative credits include Music Director for the Australian productions of the Edinburgh Fringe smash hit Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts (Salty Theatre/Red Hot Productions), Top Gun! The Musical (Salty Theatre/Chapel off Chapel) and the World Premiere of Hashed Out: A Kansley and Lidert Song-Cycle (VCA), which he also orchestrated. He was Music Supervisor/Orchestrator/Sound Designer for Senser (Brittanie Shipway), and Music Supervisor/Arranger for People Suck. David has been the Music Director/Co-Arranger for several development labs and workshops of the new Australian musical Paper Stars, including recently at the Australian Musical Theatre Festival in Launceston, Tasmania.

David has overseen and implemented music technology for the Australian productions of Hamilton (Michael Cassel Group), Moulin Rouge! (Global Creatures), & Juliet (Michael Cassel Group), and Muriel’s Wedding (Global Creatures), and is Music Technology Supervisor for Moulin Rouge! in Korea and Japan. He composed an original score and lyrics for the pantomime Little Red Riding Hood, and has contributed orchestrations/arrangements for countless productions, including Amazing Grace (Manilla Street Productions), Broadway Unplugged (BU Inc.), and Starbound (Launchpad). He studied towards a Bachelor of Applied Music (Composition) before transferring for completion into the Bachelor of Music Industry (Performance) at Box Hill Institute, Victoria.

Learn more about David at davidyouings.com

Choreographer

Freya List is a critically acclaimed creative working across theatre, film, tv, company works and music. As well as being a versatile choreographer, movement director and educator, she is passionate about fostering community, and has created valuable platforms for dancers to interact and inspire both locally and abroad.

Freya recently won the Green Room Award (Betty Pounder Award for Original Choreography) for her work on Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical (David Venn Enterprises) and Next To Normal (James
Terry Collective). She was also nominated for the Betty Pounder Award for Excellence in Choreography for her work on Bright Star (Pursued by Bear). Other notable stage credits include the National tours of: Tick, Tick, Boom (StoreyBoard Entertainment) and Chess in Concert (StoreyBoard Entertainment), The Children (MTC/ STC), Next To Normal (James Terry Collective), A View From the Bridge (MTC), RENT (James Terry Collective), Parade (Soundworks), Kabaret Dietrich (Fringe Festival), Mystery of Edwin
Drood, Sweet Charity, Little Women and Urinetown (VCA). As well as choreographing and directing her own full length dance works Half Full (Collaboration The Project) and Sondheim (Transit), she has been involved in developing the new works of WAGs (Workshop) and I Can Jump Puddles (Antipodes).
Freya is currently in rehearsals for the Victorian Opera’s Candide, which will play at the Palais in early 2024.

Freya is the director of the international outreach program ‘Dancing Through India’ and the popular event series ‘Playing Field Series’ that highlights local musicians and dancers. Freya collaborates with many music artists through the creation of music videos, live shows, tours and movement coaching. Some of these artists include Hopium, Ben Abraham, Sex on Toast, Thelma Plum, Women of Soul Collective,

Hayden Calnin, Woodes, Franco Gonzo, Chealsea Wilson and Braille Face. Freya is very excited to be part of bringing The Grinning Man to Australia for the first time.

Set & Costume Designer

Sophie is a Melbourne-based set and costume designer. Sophie graduated with a Bachelor of Production (Design) from VCA in 2010 winning the Beleura John Tallis Design Award in her final year. Sophie recently designed costumes for Death of a Salesman (GWB
Entertainment and Red Line Productions) and Come Rain or Come Shine (Melbourne Theatre Company). Recent set and costume designs include Monument (Red Stitch Actors Theatre) and Unprecedented (HotHouse Theatre).


Earlier design work from Sophie includes Hungry Ghosts (Melbourne Theatre Company); Burn This, The One and Mr Burns, A Post Electric Play (fortyfivedownstairs); All the Shining Lights, Those Who Fall in Love like Anchors Dropped Upon the Ocean Floor, Between the
Clouds, Pyjama Girl and Letters from the Border (HotHouse Theatre); Selling Kabul, A Simple Act of Kindness, Fast Food, Iphigenia in Splott, Grace, Extinction, Rules for Living and You got Older (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre).


Sophie was Design Associate on A Christmas Carol (GWB Entertainment), and Costume Design Associate on Girls & Boys, Bernhardt/Hamlet, An Ideal Husband and Twelfth Night (Melbourne Theatre Company).

View Sophie’s work at sophiewoodwarddesign.com 

Lighting Designer

Aron is an emerging designer with a passion for the visual and a drive to create immersive designs for live performance. 

Receiving his formal performing arts training from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Aron holds a Master of Fine Art in Design for Performance as well as a Bachelor of Fine Art in Technical Theatre and Stage Management.   

Aron enjoys the unique creative opportunities offered in independent theatre and, in the past, has worked on productions including Halftime the Musical (The Hayes, 2021), This Genuine Moment (La Mama, 2021), Bad Machine (Casula Powerhouse 2022), Pear Shaped (Theatre Works 2023), and In The Club (Theatre Works 2023).  

View Aron’s work at aronmurray.com 

Sound Designer

Ash is a Melbourne based sound designer, who originated in Sydney specializing in Musical Theatre since 2014, and has had the delight of designing shows such as; All Shook Up (Babirra), School of Rock (WTG), Fiddler on the Roof (Footlight), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Babirra), Wise Guys – A New Musical (Henry Jaksetic), We Will Rock You (SCMS), Catch Me If You Can (SCMS), Ladies in Black (SMS, Amateur Premiere), Nunsense! (SMS) and operating shows like Winnie the Pooh – A New Musical Adaptation (TEG Life Like), Mamma Mia! (Babirra, WMTC), Matilda (KCMS) and, A Night on Broadway! (MMS).


Ash has been nominated for Best Sound for their productions of, All Shook Up, School of Rock Fiddler on the Roof, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Froum and Into The Woods.

Ash studied Live Production (Technical Services) at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney and is excited to be working on The Grinning Man with Vass Productions, and hopes you enjoy the show!

Sound System Designer

We established in 2010 as two friends who had a common dream to produce professional AV equipment rental and lift the benchmark in high-class live event production services in the Southern Highlands. We pride ourselves on our industry knowledge, personal service, and a highly technical standard of work that have earned us the trust of professionals across the entertainment spectrum. 

We uphold in three core principle required to run a successful business.  

Proudly servicing more than a thousand clients across Australia. We offer a unique blend of professional lighting and audio visual solutions for a small private event, a large-scale arena production, or anything in-between – we strive to understand your needs and deliver the right solutions and support to suit your project and give you peace of mind.

Learn more about Luminous Entertainment at luminousentertainment.com.au

Sound Operator

Josh is an accomplished audio engineer and theatre technician based in Melbourne. He honed his skills through study in Sound Production at RMIT, graduating in 2021. Leveraging his expertise and passion for theatre, He founded his own production company. Specialising in delivering tailored audio solutions, Josh’s company caters specifically to the unique needs of school and community theatre productions. His commitment to excellence and dedication to enhancing the auditory experience of each performance have earned him recognition and acclaim within the industry.

Stage Manager

Joel (He/Him) is an experienced Stage Manager with a multifaceted history of working in theatre. Joel’s career in stage management started in 2018 as the swing assistant stage manager on The Book of Mormon. He then completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre and Stage Management at NIDA in 2021. Since then, Joel has worked on the Australian touring productions of SIX The Musical Mamma Mia The Musical, both with LWAA (Louise Withers And Associates). Joel recently finished working with The Australian Ballet on their Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland production. He has also worked with the on casting with MCG (Michael Cassel Group) on Mary Poppins and &Juliet.

Assistant Stage Manager

Isabella (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist who is thrilled to be part of The Grinning Man team! Isabella’s credit behind the scenes include acting as Composer/Musical Director/Producer on the Australian premiere of The White Rose: In Concert, which sold out to critical acclaim in August of 2023, Company Manager on the Performing Artists Company’s A Chorus Line, as well as Stage Manager/Lighting Operator/Musical Director on multiple educational and youth productions. As a performer, Isabella graduated from the 3-year Musical Theatre course at Patricks School of the Arts in 2023 with performance highlights including Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Xanadu (Melpomene), and the development of the new Australian musical Silver Tongue (Hands/Silver US). During 2023 Isabella was also a Resident Artist at Broadway Unplugged, with highlights including the annual February show at the Botanical Gardens, and was featured at Homegrown at Chapel Off Chapel as both a Composer and Performer.

Assistant Stage Manager / Props and Wardrobe Assistant

Emily is a Naarm based theatre maker, seamstress, and costume designer with aspirations in Covid activism and accessibility within the theatre industry. Her most recent credits include co-costume design with Amy Oakes for Measure of a Moment by Charles Mercovich (Punchbuggy Theatre), costume design for Stranger Sings! A Parody Musical (Salty Theatre), costume design for Merry Wives of Windsor, costume and puppets design for The Wacky Wombat by Emma Austin and Anthony Craig (Melbourne Shakespeare), costume design for SLUTNIK 2: Planet of the Incels by Flick (Theatre Works), and costume design for DESTROYED by Ebony Rattle (Midsumma).

Costume & Design Assistant

Tait is a Melbourne/Narrm based costume & design assistant.

Graduating from VCA Bachelor of Production (2023), Tait has recently been apart of multiple Australian Ballet productions such as Swan Lake (2023) and Alice in Wonderland (2024), she was costume supervisor and art director on Jason Is My Dad (2023) a film by Ash Zukerman. She has also been working as a mechanist and stage hand at Arts Centre Melbourne and the Malthouse Theatre.

Tait continues to grow her portfolio of work with many different theatres and companies, she also has a keen eye for photography and is continuing to use her seamstress skills both in and out of the workplace.

Swing Assistant Stage Manager

Singapore born and Adelaide raised, Nicole (she/her) is an inaugural graduate of the Elder Conservatorium Bachelor of Music Theatre. As well as performing, she has credits behind the scenes in assistant stage managing and directing.
 
Recent performer credits:
Sophie in Greenroom award winning BLUE TO THE HORIZON (Sevenfold TC), Deb in ORDINARY DAYS (Be You Prod.), Vicki in A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING (Exeunt Prod.), Ali in MAMMA MIA! (ECMT).
 
Other credits:
SPRING AWAKENING, CABARET, SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD (ECMT).
 
Nicole was also a featured artist in BROADWAY UNPLUGGED (Be You Prod.), semi-finalist in the AOC INITIATIVE 2020 (Tarik Frimpong), and featured in Greenroom nominated film I NEED YOU TO SEE ME (Vidya Makan). Other offstage role credits include SCHOOL OF ROCK (STaM), 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Salt Pillar Prod.), ReCONNECT! (NSA Theatre of Disability).

Intimacy Coordinator

Amy Cater is part of the first cohort of qualified Intimacy Coordinator practitioners, training and working since 2018 when the profession first arrived in Australia. A selection of screen credits include Love Me S1+2, Safe Home, The Twelve S2, The Newsreader S2+3, Swift St, The Rooster, Bad Behaviour, The Clearing, Erotic Stories, Fake, Exposure, Better Man, Sleeping Dogs, Human Error, Inside and Gold Diggers. 

Previous stage works include Jacky, Is God Is, Cyrano, My Sister Jill, Sunday, Bernhardt/Hamlet, Fun Home, As You Like It, Seventeen (Melbourne Theatre Company), Death of a Salesman (GWD Entertainment) &Juliet (Michael Cassel Group), Cruel Intentions and Elvis Revolution (David Venn Enterprises). 

Amy has 20 years experience working with sexuality, embodiment, consent and intimacy; specifically within the adult industry, client therapy and education spaces. Amy was a Director/Senior Photographer of ethical erotica for 4 years. She is a qualified Psychosomatic Therapist, Sexological Bodyworker and Somatic Sex Educator. Amy has a trained background in theatre, dance and the performing arts. Amy mentors and consults on sexuality and gender best practice. Her work in LGBTQIA+ advocacy and education is a key component of her cultural influence in the Intimacy Coordinator industry.

Venue Manager

Since 2018 Andrew has been working as a freelance Stage Manager and Production Manager based in Melbourne. They are a graduate of Melbourne Polytechnic with a Diploma in Live Production and Technical Services (2019) and in 2023 joined the Alex Theatre St Kilda as Production & Operations Supervisor before moving into their current role as Venue Manager. Most recently Andrew was the Associate Producer for the Alex Theatre’s hugely successful first production of 2024, ‘Fountain Lakes in Lockdown: A Drag Parody Play’, written and produced by Thomas Jaspers.

Andrew has been with Salty Theatre since 2020 as their resident Stage Manager, managing many of their events and theatrical productions. They helped mount the Australian premiere of ‘Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts Musical Parody’ in 2021 followed by a return season in 2022 and at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2023. 

Some other credits of Andrew’s include: Stage Manager/Show Caller – ‘Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical’ (Salty Theatre), Stage Manager/Production Manager – ‘SENSER’ by Brittanie Shipway (Theatre Works), Stage Manager/Show Caller – 9 plays with Gavin Roach across their 2022 and 2023 seasons (Meat Market Melbourne, Theatre Works), Assistant Stage Manager intern – ‘The Selfish Giant’ (Victorian Opera, 2019), rehearsal Assistant Stage Manager intern – ‘Barnum the Circus Musical’ (Storeyboard Entertainment & JTM Productions),  Stage Manager/Props – ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (Artefact Theatre Co.).

Marketing Manager

Our Access & Disability Consultants

Sophie Delezio

Lauren Hayes

Lauren is a creative and passionate Digital and Arts Accessibility Consultant, who divides her time between Australia and Aotearoa new Zealand. Lauren has over 7 years’ experience in collaborating with organisations to review and provide guidance on best practice regarding accessible and inclusive design of products and services. As a freelancer, Lauren has significant experience in providing technical and advisory support to not-for-profit, disability, arts and community organisations, including Arts Access Victoria, Melbourne Fringe, Travellers Aid Australia, Canva, the Show me Shorts Film Festival, and the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts. When she’s not auditing websites or helping artists to make their work accessible, you’ll find Lauren checking out live concerts and theatre, learning Welsh, or exploring local cafes.

Nilgun Guven from Vitae Veritas

Nilgun is the founder/CEO of Vitae Veritas (VV) a not-for-profit arts organisation whose mission and objectives work at the intersectionality of human rights, inclusion and access, aesthetic innovation, creative production and cultural change; championing equitable access to arts and culture; and promoting
leadership and innovative programming for disabled, blind and low vision artists, audiences and broader communities of interest.

VV is a key provider of audio description, tactile tours, and related capacity-building programs across metropolitan and regional Victoria. These initiatives encompass training, professional development, and consultation within the performing and visual arts industries; collaborating with diverse stakeholders and
clients spanning disability, advocacy, health, education, local and state government also.

VV is committed to employing individuals with lived experiences and unique specialisations, respecting the principle and practice of ‘nothing about us without us’. This inclusive approach ensures VV’s projects, programs and events are co-designed and co-delivered consistently of high standard, is fair, relevant and fit-for-purpose, and continuously responsive and improving.

Additionally, VV is deeply committed to supporting and nurturing audio describers in the field, investing actively in the sustainability of their practice and professional development needs.

VV fosters a diverse pool of describers and guides with varied identities, backgrounds, and lived experiences, who all boast inclusive arts practices, collaborating with diverse companies, and individuals with disabilities, who altogether bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, understanding and sensitivity to this work.

VV is also the proud home of Fog Theatre and Sparc Theatre, and mentoring individual artists in their creative pursuits, passions and projects; and contributing to various funded and academic research anddevelopment projects.

Learn more about Vitae Veritas
Disrupting Sighted Ableism
Disrupting Sighted Ableism: Call to Action

Our Donors & Supporters

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Shows and Events on at the Alex Theatre St Kilda

Live theatre, musicals, concerts, meetings, conferences, and a diverse array of events. 

Seeking Jazz Trio!

EOI Due: 15 July 2024, 5pm



Seeking Burlesque Performers!

EOI Due: 16 July 2024, 5pm


50 Shades! The Musical Parody

19 - 27 July 2024

Sorry For Existing

26 - 27 July 2024

Shakey Slam 2024

28 July 2024, 6pm

Impromptunes

2 August 2024, 8pm - 9:20pm

Thinner Than Water

15 - 25 August 2024

Broadway Bar

16 August 2024, 7pm - 10pm

Half-Arsed History

17 August 2024, 7:30pm