Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes of Fame by Noel Anderson (Review)

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I had heard Andy Warhol’s name before. A few times. Thrown around in pop culture here and there. History, even. In movies, perhaps too. I am a big fan of The Dandy Warhols, I would think to myself at the mention of his name. God he must be famous. But the question why, for some reason or another, never jolted my fingers towards a bio book shelf in a library or a keyboard of a computer to the Google search tool bar, to actually find out why he is so famous.

The answer was delivered to me last night when I took a seat in the Jewish Museum in St Kilda and watched Noel Anderson’s new play reading and performance, Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes of Fame.

Why is it at the Jewish museum? Was Andy Warhol Jewish? No, was the answer: Warhol had asked Ron Feldman for an idea of what he should paint next and the answer was, Jewish people of the twentieth century (FULL ARTICLE).

A nice stroll through the Jewish timeline for a pre-performance history lesson leads you through the nooks and crannies of the museum to the wall space which cradles Warhol’s famous paintings of Einstein, Meir, Freud as well as much of his other art. Seeing these paintings established on the walls of a building in St Kilda seemed so surreal. These pieces of art had traveled from all around the world and here I was on a regular Saturday night viewing them. Warhol must have been really famous, I thought to myself.

The play reading and performance told me the story of Andy Warhol moving from Pittsburgh to New York, making it big, just because he wanted to be famous and he wanted everyone else to have their 15 minutes of fame. I was overly impressed with the succinct, witty and sometimes intense, raw script written by Noel, a fellow Melbourne Writer’s Social Group member, and just as impressed with the quality of the actors and their energy and timing. Moreover, I liked the intimate space, I felt apart of the story, a quirky audience member to Warhol’s life. If only I had a Polaroid, I thought.

Noel supplied time and space for questions and answers in this intimate space and I asked him how much active research went in to this play? About 6 – 8 months was the answer.

I thank Noel, because for some strange reason, I couldn’t ever be bothered to type in two simple words in to Google to find out why Warhol is so famous, yet Noel had spent 6-8 months researching and writing, staying up late for whole night’s to write scenes, just so that we as an audience could find ourselves lucky enough to kick back for an hour or two and feel the play performed around us, see Warhol’s life lived amongst us, in this interactive play space at the Jewish Museum. It made me realise that Warhol’s fame was because he wanted it. He knew what he wanted. He never would have ummed and ahhed about looking up someone’s name in a library. There’s a lot you can learn about someone in their 15 minutes of fame.

Well done to the talented performers and to Noel for sharing his 15 minutes of fame with us. There is one more showing next Saturday 16th May, the performance starts at 8pm but the doors are open the hour before so that you can see Warhol’s work. It costs $30 and is at 26 Alma Rd St Kilda.

Oh like, gee, you should get in there already 😉

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“Are you bisexual?”

“No, I’m an entrepreneur!”

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