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Warning: Undefined variable $ub in /var/www/wp-content/plugins/advanced-page-visit-counter/public/class-advanced-page-visit-counter-public.php on line 160 November 2021 – John McRae Photography & Studio
I was asked to produce imagery for the production of Qween Lear which will be one of the headlining performances in the 2022 Sydney Festival. So along with Dee Dee as a fierce Sydney drag identity, we set up a photo-shoot in the mens toilets of the Cricketers Arms pub in Surry Hills to promote this immersive theatrical performance. As part of the festival programme, Qween Lear will take place in the Hordern Pavilion, itself the site of so many parties in the age of excess and ecstacy.
Part rave, part theatrical extravaganza,Qween Lear explores the demise of Sydney’s party era through the tale of an ageing drag matriarch played by Minnie Cooper (AKA Aaron Farley), abdicating her nocturnal throne. Set over one night around the turn of the millennium and stacked with Australia’s fiercest performers, a dazzling light show and throbbing original score, it’s a joyous love letter to the legends and legendary stories of Sydney’s lost nightlife.
The story of Sydney’s nightlife is inseparable from its queer history. Sparked by the 1978 Mardi Gras protest, the birth of house music, and a flourishing queer counterculture, our fair and feisty city gained an untouchable reputation for hedonistic nightlife in the eighties and nineties. Hordern Pavilion parties were the red-hot and sweaty epicentre of this fantasy world of love, fetish and house music. Now it will the home of a queer version of the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear.
Post-show Exhibition: At the conclusion of the Qween Lear performance in the Hordern Pavilion, ticket holders are invited to a free digital photography exhibition representing some of Sydney’s most iconic parties from the late twentieth century. This project has been proudly supported by the Powerhouse Museum.
Lorraine Chai (see link here) is a young, dynamic musician who not only teaches and plays music but has formulated her own instructive method for musical education. I first met Lorraine 8 years ago when she came to my studio for a series of head shots and recently she returned to update her image portfolio.
Although classically trained, Lorraine has extensive music skills having studied with many renowned jazz teachers such as Judy Bailey, Sandy Evans, and Kerrie Biddell and music theatre with Pat H. Wilson.
Having grown up with a musical family, Lorraine began playing and performing from the age of four. Lorraine has studied the Guitar, Percussion, Oboe, Violin, Clarinet, and Voice. She is an international multi-talented instrumentalist and educator. Lorraine graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music Studies in 2008 and then completed her Graduate Diploma of Education at the Australian Catholic University a year later. In 2009, Lorraine completed the ATCL Recital (Associate Diploma Trinity College London) in classical singing and in 2011, completed a certificate of conducting from The Australian Band and Orchestra Director’s Association (ABODA).
It’s coming up to that time of year once more in Sydney … yes it’s the Beresford Hotel’s annual Christmas show. Under the direction of Minnie Cooper, the forthcoming pageant features some of the bright stars of the Sydney drag scene. Surrounded by tinsel and diamonds, Fran and Coco came to my studio to pose for a series of Hollywood glamour shots for the Beresford’s poster, accompanied by dancer Hayden dressed as the Little Drummer Boy.
In 2021 The Beresford continues its tradition of Absolutely Xmas. Joining Minnie Cooper, and Tora Hymen is Coco Jumbo, Fran Giapanni and Hayden as the new talent.
There’s excitement in the air. Prinnie Stevens, Australian singer, performer and all-round entertainer extraordinaire is gracing the stage for brand new productions. She came to the studio with her team (hair, makeup and styling) to create new, vibrant imagery for upcoming shows as we all rocket out of lockdown. Her performance in “Sisters are doing it for themselves” begins at the Brisbane Powerhouse in February……see Link here
Prinnie shot to fame for her amazing performances as a contestant on “The Voice” and subsequently she has appeared in several major stage productions including Rent, Thriller Live, The Bodyguard, Hair and Oh, What a Night! and many other theatre, cabaret and television appearances. On her instagram bio, Stevens describes herself as “Polynesian RnB Soul Singer”.
Hansen Yuncken is well underway into the construction of their extension to the Meadowbank TAFE. I was asked to document the current state of the building project and to highlight the diversity of their workforce, including such technological innovations as 3-D modelling, computer visualisations, the use of i-pads and drones.
On the same day we organised additional corporate head shots of several site executives, for the Hansen Yuncken corporate profiles, see below.
At the end of November, the new season of Trevor Ashley’s production of “The Lyin’ Queen” begins at the Sydney Opera House.
Trevor came to the studio to complete a series of new publicity shots with Todd McKenney (Dancing with the Stars, The Boy from Oz and numerous TV and stage productions) who has just joined the cast going into the new season in Sydney.
The day after the shoot, the Sydney Morning Herald published a story (30-31 Oct, 2021) promoting Trevor’s show and the return to normality in the theatre world, reproducing a still from our shoot (see below).
The Weekend Telegraph ran an article in “Sydney Shortcuts” on the weekend with a one of my production images from last year’s sell-out season to promote the 2021 season (see below).
As Trevor says; “I couldn’t be more thrilled that Todd has joined the cast of the show. He’s an Aussie legend and has the best sense of humour, so I can’t wait to be on stage with him in this outrageously hilarious comedy.”
Expect dinosaurs, politics, parodies and an inflatable gorilla in this laugh-a-minute musical extravaganza and wild romp.