Friday, April 3rd, 2009
BLAK Yak Theatre (note to subs: there is no ‘C’ in Blak) is presenting the world premiere of Brown Acid this April, a comedy about a group of would-be musicians trying to form a band.

Written by local playwright Martin Lindsay, their efforts are foiled at every turn due to a combination of different attitudes and unexpected events.

“The play evolved from memories of my inept efforts at getting a band together during my uni years,” Lindsay said.

“Our plans for world domination were foiled by spending more time imagining album covers and interviews than actually playing, culminating in the inevitable realisation we were the time wasters often mentioned in ‘musician wanted’ adverts.

“Years later at the pub, a drinking partner suggested I make something of my long, boring stories about my failed music career, largely in the hope I would stop telling them.

“Instead, I pestered him all the more, as the story of a band made up of these ‘time wasters’ took shape over an extensive series of scribblings on soggy beer mats.”

The Brown Acid title comes from an infamous broadcast at the Woodstock music festival, warning people about a bad batch of drugs circulating among the crowd.

“The subsequent catchphrase ‘Stay off the brown acid’ summed up everything a rubbish band could get wrong or make a mess of,” Lindsay said.

Director Nick Donald, a founding member of Blak Yak Theatre, is bringing Brown Acid to life, injecting his love for directing comedy and passion for music into the play.

“It’s an entertaining look at a band that is completely useless and know it,” he said. “Anyone who’s ever been in a band will find it close to the bone and incredibly amusing.

“My challenge is making sure the final result is as funny and entertaining as it can be, not just for music aficionados, but also for theatre audiences and people who don’t fit into either category.

“Rather than go and see a cover band, people should see an original band. Or instead of seeing Pride and Prejudice on stage, go see something you’ve never heard of.”

Donald feels music is more about business nowadays, rather than music itself, where the bottom line is everything, regardless of talent or creativity.

“It’s no longer about a band being good and passionate about what they do, it’s all about marketability,” he said.

Martin Lindsay also appears in his own play as Colin, the bass player, who is wary of his band mates because of a turbulent history in the music industry.

“He’s an aggressive anti-social guy who has an unhealthy obsession with his bass guitar,” Lindsay said. “Colin’s slightly older and more experienced than the rest of the band, having been in – and thrown out of – a number of other bands.

“It’s interesting to approach the character as an actor now rather than a writer, and also interacting with the rest of the cast as they develop their own interpretations of the other characters.

“A director on the same wavelength offers a fresh perspective and their own experiences that can spark ideas and bring out the best in a script. They ask the questions you might have glossed over or haven’t considered.”

Lindsay has performed in a range of productions over the past 10 years and his one-act play, A One Night Stand-Off, scored a host of awards in 2008 including best play, best direction and best new writing at two major drama festivals.

He describes Brown Acid as a celebration of local bands – good and bad – for getting out there and having a go at making music.

“I hope it encourages people to consider venturing to their local to hear something new,” Lindsay said. “Even if it’s played by a bunch of noddies who wouldn’t know a melody if it smacked them with a bass guitar.”

Brown Acid plays at 8pm, Wednesday to Saturday, April 15-18 and 22-25, at The Studio in the Subiaco Arts Centre on Hamersley Road. Tickets are $18 or $14.50 concession, available through BOCS on (08) 9484 1133 or

* For interview requests with the writer, director and cast members, or for further information, contact Scott Northover on 0438 118 733 or [email protected]

brownacid1.jpeg: The cast of Brown Acid… Martin Lindsay, Adam Shuttleworth, Scott Northover and Kristen Berry (Picture – Michael McAllan).

brownacid2.jpeg: Banding together… the cast of Brown Acid are Martin Lindsay, Scott Northover, Adam Shuttleworth and Kristen Berry (Picture – Michael McAllan).

brownacid3.jpeg: Singing in the shower – Brown Acid cast members Scott Northover, Martin Lindsay, Adam Shuttleworth and Kristen Berry (Picture – Michael McAllan).

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Blak Yak Theatre

Blak Yak is a vibrant community theatre company based in Perth, Western Australia. Established in 1993, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our productions and our dedicated audience which spans a broad range of loyal theatregoers.

Blak Yak was the first theatre company in Australia to present Terry Pratchett's plays, starting with Mort in 1997, and has built a reputation as being the premiere theatre group staging adaptations of popular novels, films and television shows such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Red Dwarf, Human Traffic, Men Behaving Badly, The Underpants and Coupling. More recently, Blak Yak mounted the world stage premier of Black Books drawing on three episodes of the award-winning TV hit to create a single night of hilarity.

But there's much more to Blak Yak than film and TV adaptations. Not afraid to take chances, Blak Yak has presented original WA-written plays including our most recent offerings Prod and Prejudice and Enmity, both of which received critical recognition at the 2007 Southwest Dramafest. Other notable productions include Lysistrata and Amadeus and our recent production of Picasso's Women also received critical praise, with one of our performers winning Best Actress at the 2007 ITA Finley Awards. At the same ceremony, one of our actors won Best Other Than Lead Male for Black Books.

Blak Yak has won many awards over the years, particularly for our one-act repertoire. At the 2003 WA State Drama Festival, for example, Blak Yak was the first theatre group to win Best Play in both the Adult and Youth sections with Two Women and a Chair and Cloud Over the Morning. These accolades stand as testament to the talent and commitment of our performers and directors as well as those who lend a helping hand behind the scenes.

At Blak Yak, we are always open to new ideas and new talents. For performers, upcoming auditions will be posted on the Auditions page of this website as well on the Theatre Australia website ( Directors and scriptwriters are also encouraged to make contact and explore opportunities to mount their shows with us.

For more up-to-date news of what's happening at Blak Yak, check out the Yakkity Yak newsletter which is updated regularly.
Scott Northover
P: 0438 118 733


New comedy about group of would-be musicians


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