Sean Williams

soap kitchen

posted on 13 Sep 2006 at 9:19 am

Earlier this year, at Conflux, I was granted a unique opportunity. I’m not talking about interviewing Sir Arthur C Clarke, although that was another special moment from the same con. I’m referring to the reading of my sci-fi musical, “The Soap Bubble – A Space Opera”, by a hand-picked cast consisting of some of this country’s greatest writers, artists and editors, all giving up their spare time and energy to the project in a feat of generosity and goodwill for which I will forever be grateful:

Astrogator Jane Foo-Wong – Deborah Biancotti
Morale Officer Alek Maas – Simon Brown
Captain Gabe McKenzie – Richard Harland
Uncle Warren & The Alien – Rob Hood
Corporal Sarah Mravinsky – Cat Sparks
Security Chief Andre Passant – Nick Stathopoulos

Based on my novella “The Soap Bubble”, first published in Alien Shores in 1994, the play version was a project fronted by Bluetongue Theatre director and old friend Catherine Adamek. With funding from Arts SA, and the help of dramaturge Sean Reilly and Phil Spruce, we knocked together a working draft in early 2003, then sent it to various places (such as Playlab) for feedback. The draft performed in June was the latest, and could be described as a deep space First Contact story with a reality TV edge.

Music doesn’t currently exist for the songs, but a theme for the show-within-a-show does, as written by me and orchestrated for the reading by Jack Reineckie (this version) and Robert Dobson. Other incidental music used in the performance was written by Mirko Ruckels.

I’m a big believe in collaboration and community. The reading of “The Soap Bubble – A Space Opera” was a celebration of both. I will be eternally in debt to everyone involved: the readers, the musicians, Trevor Stafford for giving me a prime slot at his excellent con, and to the audience for coming along and, afterwards, offering suggestions on how the script could be improved. It all added up to a wonderful experience that I doubt will ever be equalled.

It was also fracking hilarious. Hurrah!