Beauty and the Beast
Julie Atlas Muz - Beauty
Julie Atlas Muz has become one of the most acclaimed and prolific conceptual performers and choreographers anywhere. Her come-hither performances that have secured her a vaunted place in opposite realms — the underworld and the establishment art world. Muz was named Lambent Fellow, Valencia Biennial Artist, Whitney Biennial Artist, and Artist-in-Residence from Chashama, Joyce Soho, Dixon Place and Movement Research. Since 2010 she has been touring large scale theaters in France with the Cabaret New Burlesque as well as creating and starring in radical evening length productions in Spiegeltents around the globe.
Julie has created and toured The Freak and the Showgirl and Apocastrip WOW with her husband Mat Fraser. The show has been hailed as “gobsmacking” and has toured to shocked and delighted audiences in Australia, Holland the UK and America. A Whitney Biennial Artist, A Valencia Biennial Artist, Ethyl Eichelberger Award Recipient, Lambent Fellow, and a Franklin Furnace Artist, Muz proudly champions the tradition of naked ladies in public spaces as acts of political resistance initiated in the 11th century by Lady Godiva.
Mat Fraser - The Beast
Mat Fraser is one of the U.K’s best known disabled performers, and is a multi disciplinary performing artist, actor, writer, and musician, who has played to a myriad of International audiences. Always interested in the relationship between disability and entertainment, his wit, subversive lack of political correctness, the sideshow style, & his playful sexuality, combine to make work that is new, challenging, and funny. He also hosted the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Paralympics, drummed with Coldplay in the closing ceremony, and is a regular performer at The Box, & The Slipper Room & Sideshows by the Seashore in Coney Island
Recent credits include “The Fades”, “Cast Off’s”, & “Holby City”, with documentaries such as “Born Freak” & "Happy Birthday Thalidomide", as well as his award winning plays such as “Sealboy: Freak”, and “Thalidomide!! A Musical”, both financially supported by ACE. He also played the lead in the controversial “cripsloitation” action film “Unarmed But Dangerous”. He is the title holder of the Erotic Award (U.K.) for Best Male Striptease artist 2007. In January 2014, he'll be debuting his new solo shows commissioned by a group of British museums, called "Cabinet of Curiosities: How disability was kept in a box", details of which, as well as all other information including his full CV, are on his website www.matfraser.co.uk
Jonny Dixon – Puppeteer
For the past 20 years Jonny has worked extensively in the fields of physical theatre, mask, puppetry, and devised performance. Having trained at Ecole LeCoq in Paris and at Bretton Hall, Jonny’s adventures have included performing award winning mask theatre in Iran, Opera in Texas, Puppetry in Norway and Shakespeare in Singapore. Recent work includes playing Caliban for The RSC in Stratford and touring a 2-man version of Richard III for Kevin Spacey’s company visiting 8 different countries around the globe. He also created a solo show, Muzzle, which received critical acclaim and played to packed houses in the UK and Germany. Jonny is an experienced mask and puppet maker and made puppets for Billy Elliot the Musical in the west End and Broadway. He also works as a professional illustrator and artist and is currently building his own 90-foot houseboat from scratch!
Jess Mabel Jones – Puppeteer
Jess has worked extensively as a puppeteer and actress in theatre. Credits include Blind Summit, RSC, Little Angel Theatre and The Watermill. Jess is Associate Director of Finger in The Pie and programmer of the prestigious Finger in The Pie Cabaret. Jess has written The Tragic & Regrettable Life of Teofila Teodora de la Lima and numerous street theatre pieces for her old company Woodenfingers. Her autobiographical show My Name is Rifnur is being developed with the Battersea Arts Centre. @jessmabeljones
Kevin Pollard – Costume Designer
Kevin Pollard has worked in costume for nearly 3 decades. His portfolio ranges from major international productions to small-scale, intimate theatre. In the mid 1990s he designed costumes for Improbable Theatre’s critically acclaimed Shockheaded Peter, for which he was nominated for an Olivier award. Since then, Kevin has worked on a wide variety of productions. These include the National Theatre’s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Magic Flute for the WNO and Satyagraha, L’amour de Loin and The Pearl Fishers at the ENO. He has also worked for the New York Metropolitan Opera, most notably as costume designer for Enchanted Island in 2012. Kevin’s other work includes long-standing relationships with Temesis Dance, Spike Theatre and Fittings Multimedia Arts. Recently he has worked on the Manchester Royal Exchange production of Edmund the Learned Pig and the National Theatre of Scotland on its award-winning Ménage a Trois.
Colin Grenfell – Lighting Designer
Colin has been lighting shows and performances for over 20 years. It started when he met Phelim, Lee and Julian from Improbable and they asked him to run away on tour. The first productions were 70 Hill Lane and Animo, and this was the start of a long collaboration; they have made shows touring the UK and around the world, including Theatre of Blood (National Theatre), The Hanging Man (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Lifegame (National Theatre, UK Tour, La Jolla Playhouse, Off Broadway, Brisbane, US Tours), Spirit (Royal Court, UK & US Tours, Sydney Opera House, New York Theatre Workshop). For the National Theatre of Scotland Colin lit Black Watch, The Bacchae, 365, and Men Should Weep. Also in Scotland, The Elephant Man, A Doll's House, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Steel Magnolias, Equus (Dundee Rep), Pandas (Traverse Theatre), Beauty and The Beast, Hansel & Gretel (Citizens Theatre), and numerous shows on the fringe for the festival.
Colin has also been resident lighting designer at Opera Holland Park, lighting 24 shows over the last eight years. Other work includes The Caretaker (Everyman Liverpool, West End, Adelaide Festival, US Tour), The Village Social (National Theatre of Wales), Riflemind, Alex (West End), Through a Glass Darkly, When the Rain Stops Falling (Almeida Theatre), Thief of Baghdad (Royal Opera House).
Beauty and the Beast
Adelaide Festival 2015
March 10-13 2015
One Of Us Productions in co-production with Improbable
What do you get when a born freak, a former beauty queen & an award-winning maverick Director tell the true story of Beauty and the Beast?
Mat Fraser, British disabled actor and writer, Julie Atlas Muz, American art star and a Miss Exotic World/Miss Coney Island, and Phelim McDermott, Artistic Director of Improbable, conspire to make an adult fairytale like no other.
A magical sexual journey into real and fabled romance between beastly and beautiful characters, where roles are shared as love is declared. The Shadow play, song, & dance in this multi-layered story will re-kindle your lust for life, and make you think about who loves who, and why they do.
Warning: this show contains both beautiful and beastly nudity, and scenes of an explicit sexual nature. Age guidance: 18+
★★★★★ "What a privilege to be a part of this theatrical socerty [...] It's a leap that feels a lot like falling in love". The New York Times
★★★★ "It's the kind of show that ends with spontaneous hugging in the audience." Time Out New York
★★★★ "Dangerous, playful, eliciting screams of scandalised laughter." The Times
★★★★ "An X-rated saucy seaside postcard brought to life" The Guardian
Phelim McDermott – Director
Phelim is a founding member of Improbable. He has been directing and performing since 1984, when he co-founded dereck dereck Productions with Julia Bardsley. Directing includes Improbable Tales at Nottingham Playhouse, The Government Inspector for West Yorkshire Playhouse, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the English Shakespeare Company, and Shockhead Peter, with Julian Crouch, a collaboration with The Tiger Lilies for Cultural Industry. He directed the West End Show Alex by Charles Peattie and Russel Taylor at The Arts Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre.
Productions with Improbable include the multi award-winning 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man and Theatre of Blood, a collaboration with the National Theatre. He directed the acclaimed Philip Glass opera Satyagraha, in collaboration with the English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Philip Eddols – Set Designer
As a freelance designer and maker, Phil has worked both nationally and internationally on both indoor and outdoor events throughout his career. Venues include opera, film, theatre, Rock and Roll and Carnival. One offs include Commonwealth Games 2002, OlympicGames 2004, (Opening Ceremony) International outdoor festivals and the Metropolitan Opera Gala 2009 in New York. Recent designs include Treasure Island (outdoors), for the Bristol Old Vic “Science museum Live” with London Science Museum, and numerous co-designs with Julian Crouch for Improbable, “The Hanging Man” winning Best Designer in TMA Awards 2003. Performance work includes opera chorus with ROH production “Lady Macbeth of Mstensk”, Satyagraha for ENO and Met New York. Phil designed the set of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" at the Bristol Old Vic this July, and is currently working on two shows involving fairy tales: shows live on tour include Rapunzel by Ballet Lorent and Science Museum Live. Dracula is now playing at Wilton's Music Hall, and future works involve various site specific outdoor spectacles in the summer.
Ed Clarke – Sound Designer
Credits include: Danny Boyle's Frankenstein (Olivier, National Theatre) – Olivier Award nomination 2012; Orpheus (Battersea Arts Centre and Little Bulb); Backbeat (Duke of York's Theatre); The Mysteries and The Good Hope (Cottesloe, National Theatre); The Railway Children (Waterloo International Station and Roundhouse Theatre Toronto) – Olivier Award nomination 2011; Phoenix (BigHouse Theatre); 1 hour 18 minutes (Sputnik Theatre); FEAR (Bush Theatre); His Teeth (Only Connect Theatre); Alex (Arts Theatre, UK and international tour); Mike Leigh’s It’s A Great Big Shame, (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Treasure Island, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, Kindertotenlieder, Angela Carter’s Cinderella (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith).
Caroline Williams – Assistant Director
Caroline Williams is a director and performer- currently Artistic Associate at The Yard. Caroline began working as an actor after studying English at Cambridge University, before moving on to become an independent theatre maker. Caroline was one of the original members of Paper Cinema, devising and performing The Odyssey in venues throughout Europe and the UK. Her interest in visual story telling and experimental theatre led her to train at the London International School of Performance Art. Since the success of her first piece, Puffball, in 2012 Caroline is continuing to write and direct her own work.
Mishi Bekesi – Production Manager
Mishi L. Bekesi (sound engineer, lighting technician & Dj) aka Deeperred works extensively on the International and London theatre, music, fashion, and club scenes. Among his works includes several projects with Steve Frost, Boothby Graffoe (comedy), Antonio Forcione (music), Linda Marlowe, Susanna York, Blue Man Group, Reduced Shakespeare Company, Told by an Idiot, Rannel Theatre company, Makin Projects, Leo Kay, State of Flux Dance Film Company, Gecko Theatre Company, Improbable, LivingStructures, ED-FEST, Prince O'Neil Prod., Fresco Theatre; Peter Richweisz (photography).