Toni hosted the debut edition of Issimo Magazine's newest venture: The Cocktail Hour.
TONI BRIENT dares the intrepid Indiana Jones to a battle of the most evil spirits she can find.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped into another era when you enter the Melbourne cocktail bar 1806.
Red velvet curtains frame the bar, and two crystal chandeliers hang above it.
On the wall behind, dozens of bottles are arranged in simple yet stylish wooden casing. That’s where the real magic – and historical novelty – comes in. 1806’s skilled bartenders can mix enticing concoctions from almost every decade in the past two centuries. In fact, the bar’s name comes from the first year the word ‘cocktail’ appeared in print.
It seems fitting to meet the man who is arguably the world’s most famous archaeologist at such an historic venue.
Dr Indiana Jones made the epic journey from the 1930s to 1806 to meet Issimo for a drink and discuss his foray into theatre.
The imposing ‘Indy’ props himself at the bar clearly looking for trouble – iconic fedora, leather jacket and bullwhip at the ready.
A drink Dr Jones? We’ve seen you enjoy champagne, whisky and bourbon on film. Perhaps a nip of one of those?
“As long it’s not a poison martini it will be fine?”, drawls cinema’s daredevil.
The character is being brought to life by Australian actor Stephen Hall in a one-man show at Melbourne Fringe Festival later this month.
Hall’s extensive resume includes writing credits for BackBerner and Spicks and Specks. He has portrayed Bert Newton in The King, Flea in Romper Stomper, and – as a rite of passage for most Australian actors – had a stint on Neighbours.
But ‘Indy’ is quite a different character, and as Hall admits, is not one without its challenges.
In one-hour The Raiders of the Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade, Hall portrays a parade of characters for the three Indian movies. It will be his first show without any supporting actors, and the audience will see him switch between characters like leading lady Marion and Indy’s father Henry Jones Snr.
“All the Nazis, the good guys, the bad and the lovely ladies – thankfully there are only three,” Hall explains.
On stage he cheats death and “bashes himself up” including sequences where his “head melts a couple of times.”
“There’s a lot mime and minimal props so a large suspension of disbelief is required.”
A fan of Indiana Jones since he was 11 when the first movie was released, creating such an ambitious show might be a little daunting for Hall but it is also “really fun. “
“It’s all in an affectionate tribute sort of tribute space.”
And of course, it wouldn’t be a night with the infamous adventurer without something catching on fire – but thankfully Indy didn’t recreate the time he and Marion burnt down a bar in Cairo. The fire was masterfully contained in an elegant glass by 1806 manager Andy Wren. Fans have long tried to create the perfect cocktail in honour of Indy, and Andy’s Indiana Blazer is sure to be a strong contender for the title. Andy was happy to share the recipe for those wishing to try the drink at home:
The Indiana Death-Defying Blazer
30ml Ardbeg single malt whisky
30ml Bookers bourbon
15ml Pere Bertrand triple sec
10ml Crawleys Agave syrup
10ml hot water
Add all Ingredients to a blazing tin. Set on fire and throw between two blazing tins.
Once the flame turns orange, pour into glass. Finish with a twist of lemon.
Barman Andy says he will reconstruct The Indiana Death-Defying Blazer theatrically at 1806 when it’s ordered.
The Raiders of the Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade will be at the Melbourne Fringe Festival from Friday, September 20 until Saturday, October 5. melbournefringe.com.au