The South Eastern Times : June 29th 2017
NEWS 13 Performer takes show to world FORMER Millicent resident Braden Hamilton is busy preparing for the performance of his life when he takes to the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe stage next month. The talented actor and writer will deconstruct the body of religious beliefs and practices of one of the world’s most elusive religions as one of the leads in the absurdist rock comedy Scientology: The Musical. With his comedy group George Glass, the talented 24-year-old will be among the hordes of punters and performers descending on the Scottish capital for the biggest arts festival in the world in August. Scientology debuted at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe Festival, where its caricature of the terminology, doctrines and practices based on real life accounts of the religion garnered critical acclaim. “The performance is a musical, but it’s more of a rock comedy than a traditional musical,” he said “When we performed at the Fringe we had a pretty good reception and we were interested in taking it further after we had finished. “The applications for the Edinburgh Fringe were about to close and we were still doing the Adelaide run, so we hadn’t really given applying to perform there much thought. “One of the guys in the show organised a venue for Edinburgh and then asked us if we were interested in going, we said ‘yes’ straight away and thought about logistics after that. “We’re really lucky to live in Adelaide because it is a really good place to test out new material and is a pretty good warm-up for Edinburgh. “The Fringe starts in August, so we have been busy practicing and writing more material before we leave.” Mr Hamilton is one of four actors in the show and takes on the role as a proxy of founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. “There are four of us in the acting group and we have another guy who plays the drums and acts alongside us,” he said. “A big part of the show is the music and it makes the material a little bit more accessible to the audience.” The musical follows the journey of the young convert George as he progresses through his Scientology journey from his free personality test at the Life Improvement Centre to his admission to the militaristic order of the religion known as the Sea Organisation. The show aims to break through the celebrity-centric dialogue of Scientology and introduce audiences to the esoteric religious movement with a reported membership of 15 million people worldwide. “Our interest was never to go in and defame Scientology and those who believe in it, but it allowed us to ask some questions of religion and introduce it to people,” Mr Hamilton said. “Scientology was developed in the 1950s, but it really became a thing in Australia in 1983, so something happened at some point. “One of the questions we were looking to answer is what people saw in Scientology and what makes one religion more valid than another. “It is very interesting, but it is also rife with opportunities for satire.” To prepare for the production and ensure the material was factually correct, the comedy group undertook extensive research into the Church of Scientology, going as far visiting the Adelaide facility to undertake the infamous Oxford Capacity Test. “If you ask someone what they know about Scientology, they’ll usually say Tom Cruise, so it has been challenging trying to write material in a way which people can understand,” he said. “We researched it a lot and looked at Scientologists and their beliefs and practices. “We visited the Scientology centre in Adelaide, where I saw how people could feel connected with it.” Scientology: The Musical begins its two week run at venue Just the Tonic at the Mash House on August 15. “We’re all pretty excited and we’re looking forward to seeing how the run goes,” Mr Hamilton said. “After Edinburgh, we’ll look at next year and trying to take the show to as many Fringes festivals as we can. “Hopefully we can continue to work on it and make it to the Melbourne Fringe.” www.thesoutheasterntimes.com.au The South Eastern Times, Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 13 SACRILEGIOUS: Former Millicent man Braden Hamilton will hit the international comedy stage next month as he takes off to Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a two-week run of Scientology: The Musical. IN BRIEF Sponsorship deal CONDITIONAL sponsorship worth $1500 for the annual Southern Ocean Art Prize will continue to be provided by the Robe District Council. Council will be acknowledged on all promotional material as a sponsor. The amount is the same as previous years.
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