(With apologies to Shakespeare.) All the Best shares two stories about the power of names. A refugee from Afghanistan arrives in Australia and changes his name — twice. And the so-called Political Friendship Group in Canberra, which works towards equality for LGBTI Australians, is the setting for a rare story of bipartisan cooperation in these politically-troubled times. It’s a story that is especially moving for the producer of the piece, Kate Doak.
Free to be Adam
You might not guess it by his name, but Adam Free is an asylum seeker from Afghanistan who now lives in Melbourne. Adam isn’t actually the name he was given at birth. He’s changed his name not once, but twice, and all in the space of two years.
Produced by Georgia Moodie.
Music credits: Toothless by Jai Pyne; Bells by The Desks.
The Parliamentary Friendship Group
Kate Doak is a political junkie, and wasn’t surprised by anything that happened in Canberra- until finding out about a curiously-named ‘parliamentary friendship group’ including politicians across the spectrum. They have joined forces to help sex and gender diverse Australians who are stuck in a rut because of inadequate medical benefits and inconsistent state and national laws.
An Australian is on her way to Mali, in West Africa, for her dream adventure trip: to attend the Festival in the Desert. But the musicians have already fled. Escaping war and violence, the nomadic Tuareg musicians have crossed the border to Burkina Faso. In the desolate refugee camps, despite hunger and homelessness, their music lives on.
Music is Life
Produced by Caitlin Gibson.
Music credits: Original recordings of Disco and Amanou Imma by Caitlin Gibson with permission from the artists. Also: ‘Radio Mali’ by Ali Farka Touré; ‘Ikyadarh Dim’ by Tinariwen; ‘Ichichila’ by Tartit; ‘Issalalkas’ by Tarbiyat.
Thanks to Giordana Caputo for providing voiceovers of Disco, Miles Martignoni for additional training and Danielle Gesser for translations from French to English. Also to Mahmoud Ag Imma for his assistance in locating musicians in Burkina Faso.
Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally. Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez. Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo.
All the Best presents literary mag The Lifted Brow in musical form: featuring Woody Allen and, of course, his clarinet. And when two stroke victims find their ability to speak severely affected, a speech pathologist with a penchant for singing tries an unorthodox method to help their recovery.
Spread around the city of Newcastle, NSW, were a number of stroke victims, fighting their own private battles after losing their speaking abilities. Speech pathologist Bernadette Matthias had an inkling that one of her own passions – singing- could help bring a group of strangers together, and help them cure each other.
Woody Allen at the Cafe Carlyle
For two seasons a year, Woody Allen plays clarinet in the Eddy Davis band on Monday nights at the Café Carlyle in New York City. While on his travels, Nick Marland decided it was his one chance to meet his hero, face-to-face. With a creased suit straight out of a backpack, a $210 ticket made more expensive because of French champagne consumption, and throngs of adoring fans to compete with, what could possibly go wrong?
All the Best jumps back into the fray — and this time the fight takes place in hearts and minds, in beds and cancer wards. A share house turns into a battleground when an army of bed bugs invades, and two lovers face themselves and each other when multiple sclerosis and cancer enter their lives.
Battle of the Bugs
In the inner-city Sydney suburb of Newtown, share houses are filled with second (and third, and fourth)-hand furniture of questionable origin. One of these pieces found its way into the home of Heidi Pett, like a Trojan horse. Inside, an army of microscopic beasts was waiting.
Produced by Heidi Pett.
Music credits: ‘Lance Jr’ by Courtney Barnett; ‘All the Rowboats’ by Regina Spektor; ‘Opposing Forces’ by Frederic Taigorn.
Lovers and Fighters
Tessa and Patch are lovers, who fight. Between the everyday battles of love and life, they find themselves fighting multiple sclerosis and cancer- together.
Produced by Tessa Dowdell.
Music credits: ‘Setting Sail’ by Brombaer & Phole & Fljóta; ‘Dramamine’ by Modest Mouse; ‘2:45am’ by Elliot Smith; ‘Metal Heart’ by Cat Power.
Production Manager: Carly Anne Kenneally.
Features Executive Producer: Belinda Lopez.
Executive Producer: Giordana Caputo.
All the Best presents science fiction pulp in sound. Extraterrestrial life forms arrive uninvited, space travel gets in the way of an intergalactic romance and a puppy trainer gets more than he bargained for when the dog starts talking back.
See Me After Class
Take a lonely dog trainer, a puppy school, and the most handsome talking golden retriever in the world and you have this tale (no pun intended) of hacking and high romance.
Written and read by Nick Coyle.
Produced by Que Minh Luu.
Sound design by Luke Mynott.
Living in a sharehouse presents the inevitable set of problems: dirty plates, loud music and unwelcome visitors of the extraterrestrial kind.
Read by Diane Wanasage
Written by Zacha Rosen.
Produced by Dominik Krupinksi and Zacha Rosen.
Music credits: ‘Bubble Lady’ by Camille; ‘My Freeze Ray’ from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog;’Entre dos Aguas’ by Paco de Lucia.