The Nightline

Created by Roslyn Oades, Bob Scott & Collaborators
Commissioned and Produced by Urban Theatre Projects

Step into an exclusive underground eavesdropping club designed for insomniacs, night owls, lonely-hearts, and dreamers…

The Nightline is an audio portrait of the night inspired by locally-sourced anonymous phone calls, left between the hours of midnight and 6am. Visitors to The Nightline are led into a mysterious late-night club, which promises companionship to the sleepless and rest to the restless. Inside they encounter a dimly lit room full of lonely tables, each equipped with a modified rotary-dial telephone and personal switchboard. The phones ring, inviting visitors to pick up and listen in. Like a cabinet of curiosities, guests are encouraged to curate their own listening experience by plugging freely between eight channels of content provided on their switchboards. As the work progresses the phone connections begin to deteriorate. The levels of phone interference continue to increase until the audio experience spills out to include an immersive surround-sound system. The room itself becomes activated, a haunting of sorts, as though the act of listening in has conjured up an electrical storm, and fragments of an epic dream-like shared-story from the city at night emerges.

Reviews Excerpts for The Nightline

“Brilliant, bizarre, quirky and a little bit disquieting, voyeurs and eavesdroppers delight in sound bites of locally-sourced late night anonymous musings and confessions”. – Kiriaki Koubaroulis, Audrey Journal

“For me, the experience – sitting in the dark, listening – is meditative and soothing, like drifting in and out of a radio broadcast in a foreign language”. – Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, Guardian Australia

At the heart of The Nightline is a creative partnership between director Roslyn Oades and sound artist Bob Scott, in what is their fifth audio-based documentary theatre collaboration. In the spirit of creative non-fiction, The Nightline sees them recompose from reality to conjure up an unsettling journey through the night and a temporary community of sorts – made up of those still awake after midnight. The work draws on field recordings, phone messages, original composition and site responsive design to create an immersive theatrical audio experience. They are joined by Fautso Brusamolino (lighting design & coding), Clare Britton (site-design), Katia Molino (performer/collaborator) and Greg Cameron (phone-switchboard design).
The Nightline grows out of a long-term research and development process in Western Sydney. Over a two-year period, Roslyn met with a Brainstrust of five young Western Sydney artists, with the aim of developing a project inspired by local night owls, insomniacs, dreamers, shift-workers, pranksters and soul searchers. Central to their process was setting up the Nightline Message Bank, a late-night recorded message service open between midnight-6am. The Nightline phone number was then shared with the public via a small, targeted campaign (involving word-of-mouth, business cards & tear-a-tab street posters), encouraging late-night callers to leave personal musings, confessions, stories, songs and dreams. The Brainstrust also left regular late-night messages. As a dedicated team they became increasingly interested in the intimacy of the ‘lone voice on the end of the line’ in the small hours of the night – as well as the reoccurring themes of anxiety, wonder, isolation and connection. This eclectic collection of late-night offerings forms the foundation and inspiration for this project.

The Nightline is now available to tour, for more information and enquiries contact us by emailing admin@urbantheatre.com.au 

About The Artists

Director: Roslyn Oades

Roslyn Oades is an award-winning theatre maker best known for her pioneering work in the field of headphone-verbatim performance. Original works for stage include: Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, I’m Your ManIn a Deep Dark ForestCutaway–A PortraitStories of Love & Hate and Fast Cars & Tractor Engines. Her productions have toured nationally with Performing Lines and I’m Your Man, was adapted into an online interactive documentary with SBS. Roslyn recently embarked on a new series of place-based audio experiences, which include Cell 26, an audio work designed for a prisoner cell and Sea Stories, an audio work for sunrise. www.roslynoades.com

Sound Artist: Bob Scott

Bob Scott is a sound artist and music producer working in live and recorded music, theatre, film and broadcast. He is a regular collaborator with Ros Oades on many projects including Hello Goodbye Happy BirthdayI’m Your Man and Stories of Love & Hate. Other recent projects include Sound Design for Sydney Chamber Opera’s Howling Girls, Sound Design for Brett Dean’s Hamlet, Head of Audio for Gallipoli Symphony from Turkey, audio post for Australian Chamber Opera and Jennifer Peedom’s Mountain and Johnny Greenwood and Australian Chamber Opera’s Water. Bob is a recipient of various ARIA awards, Greenroom Awards and an Australian Sound Guild Award.

Lighting Design: Fausto Brusamolino

Fausto Brusamolino is a lighting designer and creative coder based in Sydney, designing for theatre and film in both conventional and non-conventional venues. Fausto creates lighting installations and works as a consultant for artists, artworks and exhibitions. In his work, creative coding is used as an organic element of the show, and becomes a distinctive production asset to create stunning and unique aesthetics. Fausto received the 2018 Green Room Award for Best Visual Design for Tangiwai.

Site Design: Clare Britton

Clare Britton works across visual art, design and performance. Clare has an active freelance practice and has collaborated to create original work consistently since 2000. From 2003-14 Clare was Co-Artistic Director of My Darling Patricia collaborating on the company’s process and acclaimed body of work. Currently, Clare tutors in the School of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney and is a PhD candidate researching the Cooks River and artworks that move through landscapes at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. Clare holds a Masters of Studio Art from SCA and is a recent recipient of the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship.

Performer/collaborator: Katia Molino

Katia Molino has a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the School of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong. She majored in theatre and movement. Since then she has worked as a freelance performer. In the past, Katia has worked on four other shows with Roslyn Oades; Fast Cars & Tractor EnginesStories of Love & HateCutaway-A Portrait, and I’m Your Man. Most recently, Katia has performed in Theatra Kantanka’s Obscene Madam D (directed by Carlos Gomes) and NORPA’s Wildskin (directed by Julian Louis).