The occupants of Night Terrace – an otherwise ordinary suburban terrace house which travels randomly through space and time – are hearing voices! Or at least laughter. And applause. It seems semi-retired adventure scientist Anastasia Black and her companions have landed in a place where the normal rules of logic have been replaced by an ever-increasing spiral of hilarious misunderstandings. Who are these invisible watchers? How does the mysterious little girl fit in? And just what is a “disposable yacht tycoon”?
Situational Awareness is a special episode of Night Terrace, recorded live in front of an audience – and until now, it was only available to backers of our season two Kickstarter campaign. But in the spirit of the Christmas special, it’s set to launch this Friday, December 16 – and you can preorder it now!
Set sometime during the show’s second season, it features the core cast of Jackie Woodburne (Neighbours), Ben McKenzie and Petra Elliott, as well as guest stars Tegan Higginbotham (Whose Line Is It Anyway? Australia), Steven Gates (Tripod), Amanda Buckley (Impromptunes, Impro Melbourne) and Eryn Saunders (Sonnigsburg).
You can score all 40 minutes of live-recorded fun, complete with a laugh track supplied by our wonderful audience, for just $5 – and it’s available for preorder via Gumroad and Bandcamp. Both platforms offer gift purchases, so if you don’t like cluttering up people’s houses with new objects, why not give them the gift of time travel comedy instead?
It’s that time of year again! No, not Moomba. The Grand Prix? I don’t think so. Nor the Food and Wine Festival, Fashion Festival, Flower and Garden Show, Motoring Festival or Melbourne Queer Film Festival… No, it’s the Melbourne International Coffee Ex– wait, what? We have one of those? Really?
Do they have tea?
Sorry, got distracted there. No, the particular item we mean from the over-stuffed calendar of the Festival State is of course the Melbourne International Comedy Festival! And many of the performers who appear in Night Terrace are featured in this year’s program.
Petra Elliott (Sue) is one of the stars of the improvised puppet show, The Mighty Little Puppet Show! You won’t want to miss her performing as one of the “Ritas”, colourful puppets on which the audience will build their own characters. It also features guest stars David Innes and Rob Lloyd. The Mighty Little Puppet Show runs at 7:30 PM, upstairs @ Little Sista (next to the Town Hall). It’s a rotating ensemble show, so if you want to see Petra you can catch her on March 25, 27, 29 and 31, and April 1.
Ben McKenzie (Eddie Jones) has had a hand in Claire Hooper’s show this year, through his games company Pop Up Playground; together they present Being Claire Hooper, a whimsical, Claire Hooper-themed treasure hunt through the city. You might even see a familiar face or two… Being Claire Hooper begins at 6 PM each Saturday and Sunday at the statue of Burke and Wills at City Square (opposite the Town Hall). Tickets are very limited so be sure to book!
Amanda Buckley, woman of many voices and one of our company players, features in the completely improvised musical Impromptunes. Every night the ensemble cast will create an entire stage musical based on your suggestions. It’s on at 7 PM at Trades Hall in the Old Council Chambers for ten shows only, March 24 to April 3. Like Petra’s show, it’s a rotating ensemble, so to catch Amanda book tickets for March 24, 30 or 31, or April 3!
You can also find many of our guest stars in the festival! Go see them, do. Check the linked listings for more details.
Brianna Williams (Eddie miniseries, season two) – Little Mountain Goblin. Belleville, 8:30 PM, March 23 – April 2.
Celia Pacquola (season two) – The Looking Glass. Comedy Theatre, 7 PM, four shows only – March 30 and April 1, 2 and 4. Celia also hosts this year’s Gala, airing on Channel 10 at 8:30 PM on Monday, March 21.
Jackie Woodburne (Neighbours) returns for season two as Dr Anastasia Black, alongside co-stars Petra Elliott as Sue Denholm and Ben McKenzie as Eddie Jones. Eight brand new adventures take them to London 60 years in the past, an impossible spaceship in the far future, a society of endlessly warring fiefdoms and even weirder destinations. But with new housemate Sue proving as capable as Anastasia, is there still a place for Eddie in the Night Terrace? And could it be that after all this time, their adventures might finally come to an end?
As well as the returning cast and crew, the new season features a stellar array of guest stars, including Gary Russell (The Famous Five), Colette Mann (Prisoner), Ian Smith (Neighbours), John Clarke (Clarke & Dawe) and Louise Jameson (Doctor Who) – and that’s just in the first episode! Here’s the full trailer for the season:
To celebrate the launch, we released a new teaser trailer every day from February 22 to 28 – all the work of our genius sound designer, David Ashton of Sample and Hold Studio. You can hear them all below:
After nearly a year in production, Season Two of Night Terrace will finally be unleashed on the ears of listeners across space and time on a date only a time traveller could love: Monday, the 29th of February! You can hear our brand new season two trailer below:
To celebrate the release, we’re having a launch party in Melbourne! The cast, crew and Kickstarter backers who made Night Terrace will gather to enjoy performances from Adele Scott (Feminerd), Tom Dickins (A Brief Case of Madness), the Adam Rudegeair Trio and our very own Petra Elliott, as well as a few more surprises!
While the launch event is primarily for those involved in Night Terrace, there are a small number of free tickets available for the general public as well. Head on over to the Bella Union web site to snag yours if you’d like to come along! You’ll be able to buy the season digitally both from our Buy page and from Bandcamp on the day, and we’ll also have a small number of copies available for sale on limited edition USB.
Recording for season two of Night Terrace is well underway, with six of our eight episodes recorded! Well, mostly recorded. Night Terrace production can be quite timey-wimey, as actor availability leads to gaps to be filled later, but our company actors Dave Lamb and Amanda Buckley are always on hand to fill in a missing voice. Hearing Dave Lamb play a 1950s Tea Lady is… interesting.
Our first recording day saw Lawrence Leung and Mad As Hell’sEmily Taheny joining us, while the second brought us Gary Russell, Jane Badler and Ian Smith. Yes, Harold From Neighbours joined Susan From Neighbours for the time-traveling adventure you’ve always hoped for. And they were all brilliant.
One of our other welcome visitors this year has been Madame Fromage, our caterer! We always stress we can’t make this show without the generosity of our listeners, but Madame Fromage brought crowdfunding to a new level by graciously donating lunch! Not only did this free up our budget to put more money toward hiring actors and studio time, it also gave us more time, since we no longer had to be up late making sandwiches the night before a studio day. (Yes, that’s the glamour of audio comedy production.) We heartily recommend you hire her for your next crowd-funded audio production recording/historical banquet/event.
Our main studio this year has been Bakehouse Studios in Richmond, a massive warren of rooms mostly used as a rehearsal studio. Most musicians in Melbourne have been to Bakehouse at some point, with John and David realising on arrival that they had recorded there 20 years ago when it was Stable Sound. An enormous image of Nick Cave (and The Boys Next Door) greets you as you enter, and by the evening the huge beer-garden-like central courtyard is full of tattooed and pierced musicians. At one point we discovered Frenzal Rhomb were rehearsing in the next studio. We could hear them through the wall of the control room, but we’re confident you won’t in the finished episode!
We then spent some more intimate days at the Sample And Hold studio, with Andrew McClelland and Ming-Zhu Hii joining us for an afternoon of space travel. And then The Chaser’sAndrew Hansen came down from Sydney to record a couple of episodes with us. And a prequel scene. And some webisodes. We may have been out of control. We also made him tell us how great it was to work with us while we recorded him. At that point it had become more of a hostage situation.
We have one more major studio day left, as well at least two smaller sessions and our live show (September 12! Book those tickets now!), but we have great stuff in the can and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you.
On Saturday, April 11, we were honoured to be awarded the Convenors’ Award for Excellence at the 20th annual Aurealis Awards in Canberra! You can read more about the awards and see the full list of nominees and winners at their web site. In the meantime, while we were unable to accept the award ourselves, we did write an acceptance speech, and we’d like to reproduce it here.
We are so unbelievably thrilled to receive this Aurealis Award. Night Terrace has been a dream project for us – we’ve been supported by our listeners from the beginning, every cast member we asked said yes, we managed to send Susan From Neighbours into space to say a lot of silly things, and now this. We are speechless, which is why this is typed.
This award also comes as something of a shock since – as the cast and crew of Night Terrace includes women, homosexuals and people of colour – we thought we had been banned from receiving any science fiction accolades. You can’t imagine what Happy Puppies this makes us.
Our goal was to make a narrative series that worked both as comedy and science fiction, and this award makes us feel we made it at least some of the way. We’re so sorry we can’t be in Canberra, but we’re sure there are other people who spend their lives sorry they are in Canberra, so it balances out.
Thank you to the conveners for this honour, to all the listeners and backers of Night Terrace season one and two for making this happen, and to Tehani Wessely for accepting this on our behalf. Thank you!
We’re pleased to announce another of our great guest stars for season two: comedian Dave Callan! Dave will appear in this season’s historical episode, but that’s all we’ll say. No spoilers!
Fondly remembered for his long stint as “the beardy one with the beautiful accent” on Australian variety shows Rove and Rove Live, Callan is best known as a Triple J DJ – he presents “The Graveyard Shift” from 1 AM on Sundays – and one of Melbourne’s favourite comedians. He’s often on the telly with appearances on Spicks and Specks, the Comedy Festival Gala and Good News Week, as well as being a regular game reviewer on ABC2’s Good Game. He’s performed live comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe and toured Britain, South East Asia, the U.S. and even Hobart.
In recent years he’s departed from regular stand-up to embrace his other love, one he has in common with our mascot, the bilby: dance! His 2014 show A Little Less Conversation was such a hit he’s followed it up with this year’s A Little Less Conversation 2: A Little More Less Conversation, playing at Trades Hall at 9:45 PM (8:45 on Sundays) until the festival ends on April 19.
Dave is not a stranger to voice work; he’s fondly remembered for his segment on Rove Live, “Words That Sound Better When Said By Dave” (for which a Facebook fan page still exists!), and in 2011 played the role of Fergal, a Sea Cucumber who runs an Irish Pub, in the adult animated web series Mollusks, alongside a stellar cast of Sean Micallef, Roz Hammond and Bob Franklin.
So let’s celebrate that beautiful voice with a clip of Dave dancing!
Happy Easter everyone! Did you know that in Australia, wild rabbits are considered a pest, causing considerable harm to farmlands and native wildlife? That’s why we have a movement here to replace bunnies at Easter with bilbies, native marsupial animals which are cuter and kinder to the Australian environment!
We’ve adopted the bilby as a mascot here at Night Terrace, and for the last two years produced some informative videos about them (and the music they enjoy). So please enjoy these videos from this year and last!
We loved it during season one when we asked people to be in Night Terrace and they enthusiastically said yes – and this season, we have some more great actors and comedians joining us! We’ve already confirmed the return of Virginia Gay (All Saints, Winners and Losers) and Jane Badler (V, Mission: Impossible), and our fantastic ensemble players Dave Lamb (Bell Shakespeare) and Amanda Buckley (Impro Melbourne, Graham Clone: Virtually Live!).
Joining us for the first time, we have Gary Russell! Gary might be best known for his long-time work writing Doctor Who novels and writing and directing audio adventures with Big Finish, but did you know he also played Dick in the television version of The Famous Five??? Amazing!
Gary is no stranger to audio, having appeared in numerous Big Finish productions as various computers, psychic worm and, in one story, “First Yokel”. We won’t say too much about his appearance in season two of Night Terrace, except that he’ll be in the first episode of the season and his character will definitely have a name.
Also joining us for season two is Lawrence Leung! Lawrence is an award-winning stand-up comedian, you might know Lawrence from his ABC1 comedies Choose Your Own Adventure and Unbelievable, or most recently from starring in and writing episodes of Australia’s first kung fu comedy series, Maximum Choppage for ABC2 (still available on iView!).
Lawrence is currently performing his new stand up show The Escapist at Melbourne International Comedy Festival until April 19. Lawrence may have solved a Rubik’s Cube while skydiving and have a Jedi named after him in a Star Wars comic, but he’s never travelled through time and space with Susan from Neighbours, so we’re happy to give him a new opportunity for geekery! Though we’ll keep the nature of his role a secret for now…
Watch out for more guest star announcements in the near future!
Night Terrace’s guest cast is full of great comedians, and since the production is based in Melbourne, many of our performers are participating in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival! We thought we’d do a round up of our season one guest stars (and main cast!) so you can go find them.
Ben McKenzie (Eddie Jones) appears as the warm-up guy for WorkSpace at the Carlton Courthouse from April 2 to 12. WorkSpace is a new web series, a sit-com depicting the lives of three entrepreneurs trying to share a co-working space, and it’s being recorded live during the comedy festival. Details here.
Amanda Buckley (various supporting roles) features in Impromptunes: The Completely Improvised Musical at Trades Hall at 8:15 PM, running throughout the festival; if you want to catch her improvising though, better go before April 7, because that’s when she starts appearing alongside Ross Daniels in the extraordinary comedy story of an 80’s synthpop star, Graham Clone: Virtually Live! at 9:30 PM at the Butterfly Club.
Cal Wilson (Vraxnol in Moving House) has come up with a great visual pun in the promo image for her show, Undercurrents. Catch her at the Swiss Club (plus one show at the Town Hall) at 7 PM (6 PM Sundays) for the duration of the festival. Details here.
Andrew Hansen (additional cast, Moving House) and Chris Taylor (starship captain, Starship Australis) appear together in a send-up of arts festival in-conversation events, In Conversation With Lionel Corn. They’re on at 7 PM (6 PM Sundays) at the Forum Theatre for two weeks from April 7 to 19. Details here.
Virginia Gay (Miss Baker, Time of Death) stars in a cabaret version of that timeless book of tales, Cautionary Tales for Children, returning from a hit season earlier in the year. Virginia performs at The Famous Speigeltent at the Arts Centre on the 12th, 18th and 19th of April; check here for details of show times.
Andrew McClelland (The Colonel, Time of Death) premieres his new stand-up show Overdressed & Underwhelmed. It’s already scored a four-star review from the Herald-Sun, so get in quick! He’s on at 9:45 PM (8:45 PM Sundays) at Trades Hall for the duration of the festival. Details here.
Alan Brough (Barry, Sound & Führer) has teamed up with Casey Bennetto (of Keating! The Musical fame) to bring you the story of The Narelles, the Australian pop group who never were but are nevertheless coming back. They’re at Trades Hall for the duration of the Festival at 8:15 PM (7:15 PM Sundays). Details here.
Adam Richard (Bubbles, Discoworld) appears in his own show #FGT at 8 PM at the Imperial Hotel for the duration of the festival; details here. He is also co-host with Justin “Hammo” Hamilton for the much-loved comedy variety show The Shelf, Mondays at 7:30 at The Toff in Town, plus ten live recordings of The Shelf Podcast, mostly on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the Imperial Hotel. You can find details for the variety show here, and for the podcast here.