Announcing a Rogues Double Bill at FringeHQ Oct 9-19!

Company of Rogues are transferring their hit Sydney Fringe show Gravity Guts into the new FringeHQ theatre hub this October 9-19 in an exciting double bill with the world premiere of Peter Maple’s poignant Ginger. Black. Brunette. Blonde.  

In Sophia Simmons’ uplifting, semi-autobiographical Gravity Guts, we meet Sophia, a young woman describing her journey to adulthood through her relationship with her alcoholic father and their shared passion for science and science fiction. Joyful, delicately woven, and darkly humorous, Gravity Guts attempts to explore the big questions – how do we survive growing up? What exactly is a qasar? How do you find your voice in a vacuum? Directed by Erica Lovell this award-winning play recently enjoyed sell-out shows at Sydney Fringe where it has been nominated for a Fringe Award.

And in Peter Maple’s Ginger. Black. Brunette. Blonde. We’re invited into the mind of Sarah, a woman trapped by the memories of a mother she barely got to know, treading water in her daily life and hoping to break free from the grip of her own memories. The play, recently developed during EDGE Sydenham with the support of Inner West Council, is a personal and poetic investigation of the power and danger of love, memory and grief, directed by Simon Thomson.

Both works will feature rising star Emily McKnight (Jay’s Jungle, Emily Who, SheShakespeare’s Macbeth), who will play the central roles of Sophia and Sarah.

For Emily, working on two plays simultaneously is both a thrill and a challenge “I really feel like I’m living the dream,” she said, “I’ve been able to meet and get to know both playwrights, and as I work on their stories I’m noticing the difference and similarities of these two young women, to each other and to myself. I think everyone can connect with them in some way. Everyone grows up having to navigate complicated relationships, and we all experience grief, love, longing, loneliness and self-doubt.”

Kerri Glasscock, CEO and Festival Director of Sydney Fringe says: “We are absolutely thrilled to see the smash hit Gravity Guts be able to present a return season in our FRINGE HQ hub. This ground breaking project has been activated with support by the State Government, City of Sydney and property owner Greencliff to provide Sydney’s local independent artists affordable, non-curated space. Projects like this one are vital in being able to nurture our local stories and support local artists.”

Two very different new Australian works from two award-winning playwrights, and a great local cast of all-female performers led by McKnight, will make for an unforgettable night of entertainment in Sydney’s new home of independent theatre, FringeHQ.

When: 7:00pm, Tues 9th – Sat 19th October
Where: FringeHQ – Level Up! 24 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross
Tickets: Adults $45, Industry $40, Concession $35, Twilight Single Show $30, Preview/Playwave $25
Running time: 105 minutes including interval   |  Ages: Suitable for ages 13+
Bookings: www.sydneyfringe.com/fringehq/whats-on and  www.companyrogues.com


Gravity Guts nominated for Sydney Fringe Award

The Rogues are totally thrilled to be nominated for a Sydney Fringe award for our latest work, Sophia Simmons’ Gravity Guts.

Sophia’s poetic words about growing up, the universe and everything have been a joy to bring to life, and it’s due to the hard work and immense creativity of the 14 women making this play that The Rogues can shout about our very first award nomination.

The Sydney Fringe Awards will be decided this Sunday, 29th September. We’ll be holding breaths and crossing toes all day waiting to know if we have taken a prize – and wouldn’t that be awesome?!

A huge thanks to Kerri Glasscock, Sydney Fringe and the whole fringe community for their support. Our little season at the Emerging Artist Sharehouse was not only a smash hit (sold out shows!!) but we met some amazing new creatives that we can’t wait to play with.

Thank you.

Gravity Guts to Premiere at Sydney Fringe!

“An extraordinary, deeply affecting meditation on the space between hearts and minds”
Barefoot Review

Company of Rogues will present the NSW premiere of Sophia Simmons’ award-winning story about growing up, the universe and everything as part of the 2019 Sydney Fringe Festival’s Emerging Artists Sharehouse, this September 10th to 14th.

In Gravity Guts we meet teenage Sophia. She’s into science, sci-fi and Sigourney Weaver. She’s not sure why, but at least it’s something she can talk to her dad about, even when he’s a bottle in. She’s trying to understand a lot – growing up, her dad, and the complexities of the universe. She reckons she’ll need all three to become an astronaut. That, and serious Rubix cube skills.

Originally written as a one-woman show, Director Erica Lovell (Boy Out of the Country, The Good Doctor) has reimagined Sophia’s script, which won the national 2018 Pioneer Playwriting Award, to represent a broad spectrum of women, “Sophia’s struggle, though deeply personal, is also a universal rite of passage for all women.” she said, “we grapple with our relationships with men, and the first relationship we must come to terms with is our father – whether he be present, absent, perfect or imperfect.”

Lovell has also drawn on her extensive musical theatre experience as a performer and divisor to create a stunning vocal soundscape with an 11-piece all-female ensemble who bring Sophia’s universe to sonic life in a production that promises to be a highlight of the 2019 Sydney Fringe.

For Emily McKnight (Jay’s Jungle, SheShakespeare’s Macbeth, Emily Who), the role of Sophia is an exciting and empowering new opportunity. “Working on this play has been one of the most challenging yet fulfilling experiences of my acting career so far,” she said, “Sophia goes on such a big journey of self-discovery that is beautiful, messy, nerdy, and really has moments that I think we can all relate to. Plus, the movement and sound of this amazing ensemble really lifts it to the next level.”

Gravity Guts is a heart-warming and often hilarious blend of autobiography, creative nonfiction and comedy that tells the story of a girl who just wants to break free from her father’s orbit, but first she needs to build up the guts.

“Has you feeling, laughing, and wanting more.”  Weekend Notes

When: 7:45pm, Tues 10th – Sat 14th September
Where: Emerging Artists Sharehouse, The Living Room, Erskineville Town Hall, 104 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville.
Tickets: Adults $30, Concession $25, Playwave $18. Booking fee $0.51 concession, $0.61 adults.
Running time: 60 minutes
Ages: Suitable for ages 13+
Bookings: www.sydneyfringe.com or  www.companyrogues.com


Rogues @ EDGE Sydenham

Company of Rogues is working once more with award-winning playwright Peter Maple on his latest work Ginger. Black. Brunette. Blonde. – in development as part of the EDGE Sydenham festival, powered by the Inner West Council.

An an investigation into grief and the power of the mind (and our memories), Ginger. Black. Brunette. Blonde intensely investigates our personal and famlial ethics through the experience of two women.

EDGE Sydenham has given Peter and The Rogues an amazing opportunity to bring together incredible local actors Suz Mawer, Cassady Maddox and Emily McKnight with Director Simon Thomson, to test this powerful new script for the first time.

Challenging one of our most powerful human experiences, Peter’s poetic words asks ‘how do we honour the past and the person we’re missing without making the pain our future?’ 

We invite you to see this new work before any future seasons and meet the playwright and artists after the show – in fact, we’d love for you to stick around and give us your thoughts and feelings about the piece.

Tickets are complimentary for the in-progress showing. Donations to the artists are welcome.

Details
Ginger Black Brunette Blonde
2pm, Sunday August 4th
St Peters Town Hall
39 Unwins Bridge Road, Sydenham

Inner West Council Logo

A puppet of a little girl looks ahead while behind a quizical nun and schoolboy look on.

Little Girl Lost – Thank You

On Monday 29th July we held the in-progress showing of Little Girl Lost – our collaboration with Matriark Theatre Company and playwright Peter Maple. The Rogues would like to thank everyone who came to see this beautiful new piece of family theatre – and for your amazing feedback.

This uplifting new work attempts to help families talk about Dementia through a fun and mysterious adventure story, animation, music and magical puppetry. We were thrilled to have a house that was so full we all had to muck in for extra seats to be set in Harold Park Hall – our beautiful home for the showing courtesy of City of Sydney. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the city and Inner West Council.  

We’re planning a big future for this little play, so stay tuned to hear more about it. And if you were there, please let us know your thoughts – we’d love to hear them. For now, and from the Rogues/Matriark family, thank you!


Images by Noni Carroll Photography


This development of Little Girl Lost has been made possible with the support of an Inner West Council Art and Culture Grant and the City of Sydney.

Little Girl Lost is based on an original idea by Goldele Rayment with a creative team that included Jane Grimley, Robbi James, Peter Maple and Emily Turner.

Announcing Little Girl Lost

Company of Rogues and Matriark Theatre are delighted to announce their partnership to develop Little Girl Lost, a new work for young audiences written by award-winning playwright Peter Maple. The work will have an in-progress showing open to the public on Monday, July 29th. 

Inspired by family members who have experienced cognitive decline, Little Girl Lost has been designed to help families understand the experience of Dementia/Alzheimer’s in an entertaining, honest and poignant way. 

Director Scott Parker

Director Scott Parker, from Matriark Theatre (Urza and the Song in the Dark, There is a Tribe of Kids), said, “We were excited to have Company of Rogues ask us to be involved with Little Girl Lost – the idea to create a brand new work addressing cognitive decline with young audiences feels bold and risky, qualities that always get us excited. Our vision is to craft a thrilling adventure story that is thoroughly entertaining, beautifully rendered and can nudge the door open for families to talk about ageing in a safe and sophisticated way.”

Told using magical puppetry and quirky animation, we follow Rima, a young girl who wakes up to find herself in a dark place – a land of talking animals and shifting wilderness, where the familiar is made unfamiliar (and vice versa). But she doesn’t know who, what or where she is. 

In order to find her way, Rima will charge herself with an epic journey full of mystery, the bizarre, and the inspiring, aided by an Elephant who knows the way, and a Monkey that just wants to play. Exploring what it is to remember and be remembered, this current development will bring to life the play’s themes, music, puppetry and visual design along with Peter Maple’s poignant words.

Playwright Peter Maple

For Peter Maple (Beast. Belly. Beast, Dead Sunrise), the work is an opportunity to create an experience his own young family could love, “I want to captivate on a visual, auditory, and narrative level, as well as get at the heart of what makes us us, our hearts, bodies, and minds” he said, “I think if we can understand ourselves then, perhaps, we can understand our world”.

Robbi James from Company of Rogues (Boy Out of the Country, Morgan Stern) noted the significance of the partnership, “here was a fantastic opportunity to partner with Matriark, to share our passion for the themes in the play and to explore creating theatre for families for the first time,” he said, “I’m thrilled that Scott was inspired by the idea and we’re inspired by his insatiable desire to create something really special for future audiences”. 

Featuring actors Eliane Morel (Ba Ngoi, Women in Shakespeare), Hayden Rodgers (Josephine Wants to Dance) and Dannielle Jackson (Emily Eyefinger, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show), Little Girl Lost will enjoy two school incursions with Inner West primary and secondary students before the in-progress showing at Harold Park Hall on July 29th. 

The performance is open to the public and is a wonderful opportunity to experience a new show before anyone else, as the creative team test the story, animation and puppetry elements for the first time. 

When: Monday 29th July, 6.30pm (hall open from 6pm, refreshments after performance)
Where: Harold Park Hall, The Tramsheds, 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
Tickets: Adults $14, Concession/Industry $9, Under 15 Free – a small ticket fee applies to paid tickets only.
Running time: 40 minutes   
Ages: Suitable for ages 8+   


This development of Little Girl Lost has been made possible with the support of an Inner West Council Art and Culture Grant and the City of Sydney.

Little Girl Lost is based on an original idea by Goldele Rayment with a creative team that included Jane Grimley, Robbi James, Peter Maple and Emily Turner.

The Rogues Farewell Founder and Artistic Director Goldele Rayment

Company of Rogues announces the departure of our Artistic Director, Goldele Rayment, who founded the company solo in 2015. Goldele leaves to pursue her artistic practice as a teacher, dramaturg and director, and to enjoy time with family after her recent wedding to educator Aston Kwok.

The company will now be helmed by producer Robbi James in partnership with performer, director and producer Erica Lovell.

“Since Robbi joined Company of Rogues we have achieved career milestones which had previously seemed unattainable to me, such as touring Morgan Stern both nationally and internationally, and obtaining our first grants for a creative project,” Goldele said, “It is a remarkable thing to seed an idea and have others join you with as much passion and commitment as he has.”

Goldele fondly remembers the dozens of arts professionals the company has worked with in her time as Artistic Director, “I am incredibly grateful to Erica and Robbi, and to the too-many-to-name-here performers and other creatives with whom I have made joyous, risky, challenging and inspiring theatre under the auspice of Company of Rogues” she said.

Robbi and Erica will each take the title of Executive Creative Producer, working collaboratively to develop and produce our ambitious 2020 season.

“Robbi and I share a goal for The Rogues that will continue Goldele’s vision to select work that challenges and inspires us” Erica said, “we’re committed to finding and developing original stories, to seeking out new arts opportunities and to creating space for invisible artists to be seen on Australian stages.”

Goldele’s next steps include her new focus on directing opera, including directing Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s Last Night of the Proms in August for the Pacific Opera Young Artists program.

For Robbi it’s a bittersweet change, “I’m humbled and grateful to Goldele for believing in me, in our work and in our partnership. Her original vision will always be at the heart of Company of Rogues. I will dearly miss Goldele’s energy, artistry and passion but I’m also excited to see where these great assets will take her next”.

Thank you Goldele, and Chookas to a bright creative future!


Some of our favourite memories of Goldele at work…

Farewell Statement from Rogues Artistic Director Goldele Rayment

When I first established Company of Rogues in 2015 it was a platform for myself as a director in Sydney after relocating from Melbourne and a hiatus of a number of years during a period of ill health. I hoped that I could build something that would be sustainable and lasting for myself and those involved. As an Artist with a Disability I knew there was no way I could do this without substantial support and help, and I searched for 2 years for a core collaborator. When Robbi James joined me as a partner in crime in 2017 these dreams started to become a reality.

Unfortunately the strains of running, what is currently an unfunded, profit-share collective still striving for full financial viability, has become too much for me while also trying to support myself financially and maintain my artistic practice.

Since Robbi joined Company of Rogues we have achieved career milestones which had previously seemed unattainable to me, such as touring our production of Morgan Stern both nationally and internationally and obtaining funding grants for a creative project. It is a remarkable thing to seed an idea and have others join you with as much passion and commitment you yourself have. I am incredibly grateful to Robbi, and now Erica Lovell and to the too many to name here performers and other creatives with whom I have made joyous, risky, challenging and inspiring theatre under the auspice of Company of Rogues.

Over the years I have continually wrestled with what is means to be an Artist with a Disability in an industry that demands far too much even of its “able bodied” and “able minded” workers and to sustain an artistic career that will accommodate and not undermine my health. For now, I’m taking things slowly, putting in place supports that will help sustain me long term. I’m enjoying settling into married life and taking time to focus on my health. 

Over the coming years I plan to keep developing myself as a director, with a strong focus on Opera. In August I’ll be directing Last Night of the Proms for the Willoughby Symphony orchestra as part of Pacific Opera’s emerging artist program. I will continue my work as a Teaching Artist with high schools and the broader community, and I hope to start working with tertiary institutions and professional performers.

Goldele Rayment
Artistic Director and Founder, Company of Rogues

Boy Out of the Country

Having enjoyed a successful preview at the Pioneer Play Festival in 2018, Company of Rogues’ Boy Out of the Country – a fast, funny and smartly observant story about family, property, and the progress of life – returns for a premiere Sydney season at the Bondi Pavilion Theatre May 9-25.

In it, troubled country boy Hunter returns home from the city after a mysterious seven-year absence to find the family home swept up in a regional housing estate, his mother in aged care, and his brother Gordon in charge.

In this moment of shifting economies and loyalties Hunter goes in search of answers, but for he and Gordon sibling rivalry and childhood nostalgia will collide with unexpected consequences.

Written by award-winning playwright Felix Nobis, Boy Out of the Country is a bush ballad for contemporary regional life, written in vernacular verse reminiscent of the poetic tradition of Banjo Patterson. Here, old Australia meets new Australia – a country cop comes to terms with rapid social change, a backyard is less important than an extra bedroom, and the places that were once so familiar can change before our eyes.

Directed by Erica Lovell, this newly-realised production features the original cast inclduing Tom Harwood (Things Not to do After a Break Up), Jason Glover (Van Dieman’s Land), Jeannie Gee (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), and Amelia Robertson-Cuninghame (Anatomy of an Offence, Love Child). Joing the cast in the role of Walker will be celebrated actor and teacher Stan Kouros (Actors Centre Australia).

Lovell said “Having grown up in a small Australian town Boy Out of the Country resonates with my own experience of seeing regional places transformed, of going back to discover changes that are always striking.”

Boy Out of the Country emerged from the Melbourne Theatre Company Affiliate Writers Scheme and was awarded the R. E. Ross Trust Script Development Award. It was selected as the premiere work for the inaugural Pioneer Play Festival in Castle Hill 2018.

What: Boy Out of the Country

When: 9-25 May 2019, Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Sun 5pm

Where: Bondi Pavilion Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach