The performers in today's story are trying to impress a very important audience. This is their one chance to show what they can do.
PAUL MCCARTHY: This is the toughest audience that Martha Lott or any other performer will face in Adelaide this festival time.
MARTHA LOTT (ACTOR): So many men, so little time. I am very nervous but Wayne has been fantastic and we have been rehearsing all day so I think we will be okay.
PAUL MCCARTHY: These are some of the most important talent scouts from around the word. Festival directors, booking agents and entrepreneurs are here to headhunt the best of Australian shows.
STELLA HALL (NEWCASTLE/GATESHEAD INITIATIVE): Adelaide I think now has got a reputation as being the place to come and see work.
JULIA CARRUTHERS (SOUTHBANK CENTRE, UK): You are pretty sure you are going to see something here that is very different from what we have at home.
PAUL MCCARTHY: The Australia Council's Performing Arts Market is a place where artists are bought and sold. You have to be very good just to be given a moment in the spotlight to show what you can do. About 35 artists or groups have won the right to stage a 25 minute performance and the buyers are fussy.
MARTIN WECHSLER (NEW YORK): We are looking for a world class company that will be interesting for our audiences that is doing aesthetically challenging, beautiful work.
SUZANNE WALKER (LONDON): It is no use bringing over a choreographer's work that is 'that's great', but actually we have artists who are making that kind of work that are offering it perfectly well to our audiences. What I am looking for is something that is quite different and is really, really unique.
PAUL MCCARTHY: For performers the market can be crucial for their future. Australian Dance Theatre has leapt to almost unbelievable heights after being discovered here six years ago.
LOUISE FOX AND LEE ANNE DONNELLY (AUSTRALIAN DANCE THEATRE): Given that Europe is actually the world's centre for contemporary dance, to be able to tour there as regularly as we can is a fantastic bonus.
All of our international touring has essentially come from the arts market. It has put us on the world stage.
PAUL MCCARTHY: Julia Carruthers from London's Southbank Centre booked the dance troupe after seeing them at the market in 2002.
JULIA CARRUTHERS: What was fascinating for me was the quality of the dancers, the way they jumped up and they didn't come down. Absolutely outstanding. And I thought 'I have got to get those dancers on a stage in London to kind of shake everyone up'.
MARTHA LOTT: Possum Brown, is that a Bible in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
PAUL MCCARTHY: While the ADT is well used to this pressure cooker environment for Martha Lott it is a completely new experience. She is pitching a show that is still being developed based on the life of Mae West. She knows she is competing against some big guns to get her show on the road.
MARTHA LOTT: When I am back I am better. It has taken two years to get together so far so, I think, I mean it will all take off, I am positive it will, I hope it will. But if it does then yes, it is going to be a very big change in my life. So there is a lot hinging on it.
It is nice to see you up Mr Grant.
The toughest is a superlative adjective. For more about what superlative adjectives are and how to use them, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: superlative adjectives
A talent scout is someone who looks for talented people.
A festival director is someone who plans and runs a festival.
Performing arts refers to forms of entertainment like dancing, acting or playing music.
Here bought is the past participle of the irregular verb buy. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: buy
Here sold is the past participle of the irregular verb sell. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: sell
Given is the past participle of the irregular verb give. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: give
Here won is the past participle of the irregular verb win. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: win
†world class company
If something is world class, itís one of the best in the world. Here, a company refers to a group of actors, singers or dancers who perform together. A world class company is one of the best in the world.
Aesthetics refers to the beauty and good taste of something. If something is challenging it stimulates interest or thought. So an aesthetically challenging work will make people think about what is beautiful - it might be beautiful in a new and different way.
A choreographer is a person who creates dances. The choreographer makes up the steps and tells the dancers what to do.
If something is crucial it is extremely important or necessary
Here leapt is the past participle of the irregular verb leap. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: leap
We use given at the beginning of a sentence to mean considering or knowing. You could say on a rainy day.
Example: Given the weather, I'm not surprised that you're wet.
†on the world stage
To be on the world stage means to have the attention of the world.
Here thought is the past tense of the irregular verb think. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: think
Big guns are people who are the most successful at what they do in their field.
Example: There are a lot of big guns at the writers' festival.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.
Taken is the past participle of the irregular verb take. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: take
begin to succeed
Example: It took a while for the film to take off.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb take off, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: take off†
What are 'big guns'?
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