Hello. Stephen here.
This is my first post here, in what will be an attempt to document the entire journey of my one man stage show Raiders of the Temple of Doom's Last Crusade from its genesis, right up until... well, right up until today.
And so I suppose I'd better start at the beginning.
The idea for the show first came to me after I saw Charles Ross's brilliant One Man Star Wars show, when it came to Melbourne seven or eight years ago. If you're not familiar with it, that show does exactly what its title promises - Charles Ross performs the entire original Star Wars trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) on stage at breakneck speed, all by himself, with no props or costumes. All the characters, all the events, all the space battles, all the special effects... It's an incredible, energetic, funny, virtuoso performance, and seeing it instantly planted a thought in my mind.
"Could I maybe do the same thing with the Indiana Jones trilogy?"
At that stage, it was little more than an idle thought. Something that I would find really fun... but if I were to do it, would there ever be enough of an audience for it? Is this one of those things that would seem like a good idea to me, but to nobody else?
I let the idea sit, promising myself that I'd get back to it one day. Then, a few years later, my good friend and colleague Michael Ward told me of his idea for a stage show that attempted to cram all the James Bond films into an hour. Again, of course, the trailblazing Charles Ross was something of an inspiration here. Michael invited me to write the show with him, perform in it with him, and produce it with him, and so our Bond-A-Rama odyssey was born.
Oh, a bit of background may be required here... I'd written and performed with Wardy many times over the years. We'd written on various TV comedy shows together, including Full Frontal, Newstopia, TV Burp and Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell, and we wrote and performed in a two man show I Said, I Said for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2001. That show picked up the Comedy Festival's Moosehead Award, so we went into Bond-A-Rama feeling relatively confident that we could probably find a way to do this and make it work. And that we'd have a lot of fun along the way.
Now, I know you're not here to learn about Bond-A-Rama, so I'll cut to the chase.
We did a season of Bond-A-Rama! in 2011 at Chapel Off Chapel in Melbourne, with Michael, me, Lawrence Mooney and Emily Taheny playing all of the roles. The show was directed by the brilliant Russell Fletcher, who had directed Michael and I in I Said I Said, back in 2001. (Which is important for later on - bear with me....)
Due to the success of the first season of Bond-A-Rama, we did a second season in 2012, in a bigger venue, with a slightly updated script, and with the brilliant Ben Anderson replacing Lawrence in the cast, due to Lawrence's unavailability.
As Michael and I had served as writers, performers and producers on the show, I had learned a LOT about how to take a show from its inception to its Opening Night, and beyond.
As 2012 wore on, the idea of that Indiana Jones show popped into my head again. With all that I now knew, perhaps the idea of writing, producing and performing my "One Man Indiana Jones Trilogy" as a fully-fledged show that people would actually pay to see wasn't quite so silly after all.....