Theatre & Performance


kerosene is a gritty and intimate one woman show written and directed by Benjamin Nichol, and performed by Izabella Yena. It runs at Theatreworks Saint Kilda from the 20th- 30th of January, 2020.

Days Left

Set in the outskirts of metropolitan Melbourne, kerosene is a simple and unapologetic solo character study exploring the ways in which society perceives and trivialises acts of female violence. It is a homage to the blind loyalty that accompanies lifelong friendships and the realities of what it means to grow up young, quiet and forgotten in modern day Australia.

The work is presented in two parts: an act of revenge drives the narrative, while memories and reflections of a complex and lifelong friendship colour the minutiae of teenage lives and the socio economic reality of the play’s characters.

Development of the project is taking place throughout November, December and January, with the season heralding Melbourne’s long awaited return to theatre and presented through Theatre Works GLASSHOUSE festival on the 20th of January.

Our stages and screens are already overwrought with stories of middle-class woes, first world problems or needless re-staging of European classics. Independent theatre is one of the few places left to explore class warfare, unpopular opinions and the complex grey areas of a society that wants to see everything in black and white. When we only access the selective pool of stories offered by mainstream narratives, public empathy wanes and it becomes increasingly difficult for us to contemplate the lives of those outside of our immediate social bubble.

In supporting this project you are assisting in the platforming of untold narratives, and giving voice to those often relegated to the outskirts of our storytelling culture.

We have crafted this show specifically for a post Covid era of live performance, absent of frills and spectacle and instead embracing the power of simple storytelling and intimate connection between performer and spectator. It has been designed with the capacity to tour so as to maximise its creative reach to people of all walks of life.

Since we already have the generous support of Abbotsford Convent- being participants of their Pivot initiative- as well as in-kind performance space provided by Theatreworks, any funding generated through the ACF will go towards artist wages and begin to cover the time and effort they’ve invested into the project.

We’re seeking $6,000 spread across five artists over a period of three months. The wages will broken down as such:

Writer and director’s fee- $1500
Performer’s fee- $1500
Producer’s fee- $1000
Composer’s fee- $1000
Lighting designer’s fee- $1000

Covid-19 has had a critical and lasting impact upon the arts industry, with many practising and experienced artists faced with the realties of unemployment or forced into other lines of work.

Your contribution will go straight into the pockets of the artists involved in this project, allowing them to explore, create, and craft this important work with freedom and ease after a year of intense financial struggle.






Theatre & Performance

Live Projects


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We’re dedicated to telling stories about people who’ve been relegated to the margins of society, and the day to day issues that face. We’re interested in complex characters and the sometimes conflicting decisions they make. The team is made up of Benjamin Nichol, Izabella Yena, Jack Dixon-Gunn, and Connor Ross.

Benjamin Nichol is a Melbourne based writer, actor, director and two time graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) and a Masters of Writing (for Performance). His writing typically explores the intersectionality between sexuality, class, faith and
survival. Currently he has two plays in development: ‘a little prayer for you’ was commissioned by the City of Melbourne and explores a year in the life of a mother and son living on welfare; and ‘fairybread’ (Darebin Speakeasy / Creative Victoria) is a study in queer subculture, sex work and survival. He has had writing and performances presented with the University of Melbourne, Poppy Seed Theatre Festival, Voice in my Hands (VIMH), La Mama, fortyfivedownstairs and Fresh Theatre for Social Change. Benjamin appeared in both Melbourne and European seasons of LOVE by Patricia Cornelius. The production was presented at the Teatro Biennale in Venice (marking the team as the first ever Australians invited to attend). The New York Times described his performance as “superb.” Benjamin regularly writes, directs and teaches with the Fresh Theatre for Social Change, a theatre program utilising theatre for its social change potential with ‘at risk’ youth.

Izabella Yena will bring this bold one woman work to life. Earlier this year marked Izabella’s feature film debut, starring as the lead role of Shirin Abbas in Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (Every Cloud Productions/Roadshow Films), directed by Tony Tilse. A regular collaborator with The Melbourne Theatre Company, she will play the lead role of Annie in 2021 production of Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes, opposite Dan Spielman. Other MTC credits include Home, I’m Darling, (directed by Sarah Goodes); The Violent Outbursts That Drew Me To You (MTC 2019
education program); Slap. Bang. Kiss. (MTC creative development); The House of Bernarda Alba (MTC creative development). In addition to this she has starred in the Helpmann Award winning national tour of Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday (Performing Lines); Atomic (Malthouse Theatre
creative development) and two critically acclaimed productions at Theatre Works (Fierce, Lifetime Guarantee). A 2016 VCA graduate, her accolades are many and varied. She was a 2017/18 Malthouse Theatre Vanguard Cohort and Ambassador; a 2016 VCA Patricia Kennedy Award winner; a 2016 Melbourne Fringe Best Performance nominee; and a recipient of the 2015 Pratt Bursaries Scholarship.

Jack is an actor, producer and photographer from Melbourne. Since graduating from VCA in 2016, Jack has had the incredible opportunity to work regionally, nationally, and internationally. Some of his credits include Romeo in the CWTC state tour, Sebastian in Twelfth Night as part of the Essential Theatre national tour, Williams in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest with Monster Media/ MTC, Talthybius in Women of Troy for CWTC, Danforth in The Crucible for CWTC, as well as being part of a number of developments for new Australian work, most recently Two Hearts- written by Laura Lethlean and directed by Katie Cawthorne. Jack’s photography work has taken him all over Melbourne. His clients include Melbourne Shakespeare Company, Drama Victoria, Chunky Move, MEAA, Malthouse Theatre, Howard Fine Studios, Underground Cinema, VCA, The Corner Hotel and CWTC.

Connor Ross is a sound designer and composer who focuses on creating immersive auditory environments for theatre, screen, installations and sound art projects. He has a particular focus on using organic, ambient textures to develop mood and tension in his work. With a background and ongoing career as a live sound engineer, Connor utilizes this experience in his development of production-specific surround systems to accommodate his theatrical and sound art designs. Connor’s theatrical work has extended from engineering and systems design, sound effects and foley, through to fully-scored productions and the development of new musicals. Connor’s theatrical scores are heavily based on the idea of recurring motifs to reinforce thematic elements of a text, subtly influencing an audience throughout a work. Recent theatrical credits include work on: Lobby Hero at Fortyfivedownstairs (Dir. James Vinson, Around the Moon Productions, 2019); Lake Disappointment at Meat Market (Dir. Gavin Roach, Melbourne Fringe, 2019); My Wife Peggy at Gasworks Arts Park (Dir. Gavin Roach, Gasworks Premiere, 2019); We Were There at Chapel Off Chapel (Dir. Dirk Hoult, Tilted Projects, 2018); Macbeth at Southbank Theatre (Dir. Simon Phillips, Melbourne Theatre Company, 2017).


Fleur Murphy


Patricia Cornelius


Raimondo Cortese


Jennifer Innes


Rebecca Lister


Lynn Reed