Melbourne MUDfest 1995
By Bronwen Beechey
MELBOURNE — Melbourne University has been an artistic springboard for many performers, from Barry Humphries to the D Generation. Since 1990, the Melbourne University Drama Festival — MUDfest — has built on this tradition to inspire new generations of students.
A biennial festival originally established to showcase theatre activities, MUDfest now covers all art forms. From July 26 to August 12, MUDfest will involve more than 1000 students from the university and the associated Victorian College of the Arts, in 28 individual events.
"There has been a specific, though unintentional, common theme this festival", says MUDfest coordinator Vanessa Pigram. "Many works are dealing in some way with the effect that technology is having on everyday life."
A quick glance through the program confirms this, with multi-media productions such as Kaberett-Internet, an excursion into the virtual-reality world of Berlin in 1999, and the intriguingly titled Great Renaissance Video Show No. 37: The Tempest, which explores Shakespeare's play in the form of a "video" of the original Globe Theatre production in 1611. Visual art exhibitions include Happiness is Having a Deep Freeze, which Pigram describes as "an appreciation of domestic technology".
Other events recommended by Pigram include Edward Bond's "bleak but funny antiwar play" Red, Black and Ignorant, Peter Handke's The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other, a "filmic" vision of a world at odds with itself in which a cast of 30 actors, using no dialogue, create more than 300 characters, and Subterranean Scribblings, a selection of graffiti culled from Melbourne University toilets which is certain to provoke discussion. Last but not least, in the Monument to Vinyl, the union lawn will become a graveyard for that nearly vanished icon, the vinyl LP.
For more information about MUDfest phone (03) 9344 8358.