Beckett’s invites you to The Brainstorm: a celebration of Victor Hugo and French food and its first birthday

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Enjoy a five course French meal with a 20-minute performance exploring Victor Hugo’s writing with The Brainstorm at Beckett’s next Thursday, 24 March 2022. Victor Hugo is best known as the author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Beckett's Theatre vignettes The Brainstorm

Hugo, at work alone in his studio, brainstorms the essential ingredients of a ripping yarn which will become his next best-selling novel.  He conjures up a cast of characters, spicing their relationships with betrayal, obsession, love, sacrifice, and a good dash of skullduggery 

 

Who is Beckett’s?

Beckett’s bravely opened its doors almost one year ago, on 24 March 2021 during COVID. Named after Wendy Beckett, acclaimed Australian playwright-director, and Glebe local, and also business partner of the venture. Beckett’s is headed by co-owner and Chef Jeff Schroeter, and his wife Jules, who fell in love with him the moment she tasted his caviar covered steak tartare. The partners have had a friendship of over 15 years that came about through their children attending the same primary school.

 

The Brainstorm

The Brainstorm is a theatrical exploration of the writing process of France’s legendary Victor Hugo; a genius in exile, accompanied by an especially imagined 5-course French dinner, named “The Poet’s Menu”. The performance was written, and will be performed, by Patrick Dickson. It’s a taster of the show presented at O’Punsky’s Theatre and supported by the Blake Beckett trust.

 

The Poet’s Menu includes a soup starter inspired by Les Misérables, before moving on to Victor Hugo’s favourite dish from Le Grand Véfour Restaurant, namely vermicelle, poitrine de mouton et haricots blancs. A third course of escargots follows before a 4th course of game and the dessert I wish I could have right now: the French lavender crème brûlée – is anyone else salivating?

Beckett's theatre vignettes The Brainstorm

The Brainstorm is Beckett’s March theatre vignette event (and is being held on the 1st anniversary of Beckett’s opening). It is part of the Beckett’s ongoing line-up of Clubhouse events. This event is open to Clubhouse members and the general public. (more about the Clubhouse membership here: https://www.beckettsbardining.com.au/club-house)

 

This, and other Clubhouse events, will be held in the newly renovated Private Wine Cellar which was designed by Halycon Pratt, Wendy Beckett’s set designer.

Victor Hugo, photograph by Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon).
Archives Photographiques, Paris

 

Theatre Vignette Series

The Brainstorm is the first of series of regular theatre vignettes to be held at Beckett’s. Turning dinner-theatre on its head, the series will punctuate 5-course dinners with a themed theatrical performance as the intermission.

 

KEY INFO FOR THE BRAINSTORM

WHAT: A 5 course French “Poet’s Menu” with a 20-minute Victor Hugo inspired theatrical performance.

WHEN: Thursday 24 March 2022, 6pm -10pm

WHERE: Beckett’s Private Wine Cellar, 134A Glebe Point Road, GLEBE

HOW: Purchase your ticket to the event via this link:

https://www.beckettsbardining.com.au/whats-on/theatre-vignettes-no-2

If you wish to become a member and enjoy discounted access to this and other events, sign up via this link https://www.beckettsbardining.com.au/club-house

HOW MUCH:

Clubhouse members: Tickets are $125 per person for with the option to add matched wines for $75 per person.

Non-Clubhouse members: Tickets for $145 per person. Optional matched wines can be added on for $85 per person

 

Have you read any of Victor Hugo’s works?

 

For other events happening in March, take a look at our What’s on in March article.

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Beckett's

Sit in on “Freud’s last session” in Parramatta

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Freud’s Last Session is a play based on a conversation between Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis, taking place just a few weeks before Freud took his own life. They passionately discuss love, sex, the existence of God and the meaning of life. We interviewed Yannick Lawry who plays C.S. Lewis in the show.

Freud's Last Session

Hello Yannick, you will soon be performing in a show called “Freud’s Last Session”. Tell us a bit about this show.

It’s a story based on an imaginary meeting between Sigmund Freud and CS Lewis. England is about to enter the Second World War and Mark St Germain brings together two of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century in a discussion about the meaning of life with their diametrically opposed views of the world.

 

You play the famous C.S. Lewis in this show. Have you read his works? What do you think of them?

Yes, I have read The Screwtape Letters (and played the role of the chief demon named in that book on stage!). I have also read Mere Christianity and the Narnia series of books. I loved these books as a child and have also found much wisdom in them at different times in my life. I find C.S. Lewis’ ability to explain theological concepts in a very simple and concrete way very interesting.

 

Do you have an interest in Freud’s work or psychoanalysis?

I am actually working towards a ‘Masters’ degree in psychology (with no intention at the moment of giving up the stage!) and this is an area of work I would like to get into. Although psychoanalysis is not a common mode of treatment for patients seeking therapy to help them deal with life’s difficulties, it is the backbone of Western psychotherapy. Despite a turbulent life, which is alluded to in the play, Freud’s theories and ideas are hard-wired into our collective subconscious.

 

What can audiences expect from the show?

Freud’s Last Session is a story about two men who have very different views on life and the world. In real life they have been fiercely critical of each other and this play is a dramatisation of their fierce opposition. What I like about this play, which is set in 1939, a time when perhaps our society had different values, is that even in the heat of passionate disagreement, these two men exemplify respect and admiration which shows that opponents need not automatically be enemies and that disagreements need not necessarily lead to derision or dislike of the other.

 

Who is it for?

My young godchildren will come to see the play. It’s really a show for people of all ages. But anyone who has asked themselves the big questions of life (or who likes the works of Lewis and/or Freud) will find familiar arguments and new perspectives to enjoy and ponder.

 

The play is set in Sigmund Freud’s living room on the day that England joins the Second World War. Do you find that performing in (or watching) this play with the war in Ukraine currently underway changes the experience of the play?

There are key passages in the play which, during our rehearsals, touched us because of their poignancy in view of the current situation. Freud talks about leaving Austria and not realising that Hitler was in fact a monster. Lewis replies that humanity survives in spite of monsters to which Freud simply says “to welcome the next monster”. Rehearsing for the play, the theme of history as a cycle and human nature changing little despite our advances in many other areas of discovery and knowledge gave us cause for reflection.

 

We are doing this interview in French, how is it that you speak French? Do you have any French-speaking parents or family?

My mother is French. Also, I studied French and law at university. I lived in Paris for a year as a French Assistant in a high school north of Paris. I moved to Australia in 2008 to live and work as an actor and I speak to my mother on the phone every week in French. I am also always looking for more opportunities to meet and converse with French speakers

Freud's last session

You have performed in theatre in Australia (where you live, I believe) and in the UK. What has been your highlight so far?

Setting up my theatre company -Clock and Spiel Productions- with my partner Hailey McQueen in 2016 has been the highlight of my career to date. Having the opportunity to present stories like this that pose and open up a discussion about life’s big questions is my favourite form of artistic expression.

 

How do Australian audiences differ from English audiences?

Sydney audiences like to laugh. British audiences like to think. Whether your inclination is British or Australian, Freud’s Last Session will appeal to both!

 

How long have you been acting? When and why did you decide to act as a profession?

Connecting with people and understanding what makes us different from each other is what attracts me not only to being a psychologist but also to being an actor/storyteller. On the screen or on the stage you can go on a journey, feel what a character is feeling and help the audience to go along with you. It is a joy and a privilege!

 

Freud's last session

When everything was closed due to COVID-19, how did you spend your time?

I also work in voiceover so I had the chance to voice a selection of documentaries and commercials during the two Sydney lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

 

You act in the theatre but you have also done television. Do you want to do more television or is theatre your first love?

In April, I will be shooting a feature film about sex trafficking in Australia. I love any work where my values and the things I care about can align with what I can do as an artist. I love presenting characters and telling stories that do that in whatever medium, although being in the same room as the audience and somehow making the journey together is hard to beat. The connection with the audience that the actors feel during and after is really special and valuable.

We thank Yannick Lawry for this interview.

 

KEY INFO FOR FREUD’S LAST SESSION

WHAT: Freud’s Last Session, a play in English

WHEN: From today, Wednesday 9 March until Saturday 12 March

WHERE: Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

HOW: Buy tickets through this link: https://riversideparramatta.com.au/show/freuds-last-session/

HOW MUCH:

Ticket prices are:

Adults $49

Adults (Riverside members) $44

Concession $45

Concession (Riverside members) $41

30 and under $39

30 and under (Riverside members) $35

18 and under $34

18 and under (Riverside members) $31

Groups of 8: $45 per person

 

All reservations also attract a reservation fee of $4.60

 

Are you familiar with the works of Freud and C.S. Lewis?

 

To find out about other events with links to France and the French-speaking world, see our What’s on in March article.

 

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