The 2018 Perth Festival (February 9 to March 4) directed by Wendy Martin and which includes 230 music, theatre, dance, literature, film and visual art events was announced yesterday.
The outdoor events begin on February 9 with the female voices of Siren Song and a Noongar smoking ceremony and seven-minute serenade to the sun by sound artist Byron J Scullin.
The theatre program includes Nigerian-born playwright Inua Ellams’ Australian premiere season of The Barber Shop Chronicles after a season at London’s National Theatre. “Audiences get to share a rollicking and heart-warming night of laughs, music and barbed banter with a bunch of men in six different barber shops across London and Africa as they watch a televised soccer match on the same day,” say Festival organisers.
Russia’s Farewell to Paper is a one- man show by poet and director Evgeny Grishkovets who “bids adieu to the material that has served humanity so ably for centuries”. Robert Lepage’s The Far Side of the Moon is performed by Yves Jacques to a score by Laurie Anderson. It’s a “witty one-man production about two estranged brothers explores interplanetary mysteries, drawing inspiration from the US-Soviet space race”. Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour presents the unrehearsed Nassim in which a series of guest actors each night “grapple with the hazards of a new language”.
A Festival commission in partnership with Black Swan State Theatre Company and DADAA is You Know We Belong Together as part of the Festival’s “commitment to breaking down barriers in disability arts”. It is co-created by Perth actor Julia Hales and Black Swan Artistic Director Clare Watson. The show is a “celebration of love, living with Down syndrome and Hales’ lifelong dream to appear on the Australian TV soap Home and Away“
French circus Compagnie XY present Il n’est pas encore minuit (It’s Not Yet Midnight) which features “five-tiered human towers, catapulting bodies and the uplifting groove of a 1920s jazz club”. Indonesia’s Papermoon Theatre and Melbourne’s Polyglot Theatre are staging Cerita Anak (Child’s Story) “an immersive adventure on the high seas for children aged 2-7 and their adults that combines puppetry, song and shadow imagery”.
In 2018 the Dance program includes Taiwan’s U-Theatre with Beyond Time (main image above) described as “a glorious mix of martial arts, dance, taiko drums, music and multi-media”. Vessel is the new work from Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet and Japanese sculptor Kohei Nawa in which seven dancers “test the limits of human movement on a stage flooded with water”. It features a a score by composer Ryuchi Sakamoto and Marikho Nara, Britain’s Michael Clark and his company present to a simple, rock’n’roll … song, a “dance and music cocktail set to a stunning soundtrack by Erik Satie, Patti Smith and David Bowie”. Local dance makers Lucy Guerin, Gideon Obarzanek and Dancenorth will partner with Indonesia’s musical duo Senyawa in Attractor, a “trance-dance odyssey that invites audience members on stage to share a ritual of ecstatic abandonment”.
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