Features/What to SEE/Multi-arts

What to SEE: March gig guide

1 March 2023

As the sun sets on Perth Festival and we edge closer to the cooler months, there’s still plenty of heat in the local arts scene. March into the new season with a diverse mix of music, art, film and so much more.

Anyone who says there isn’t much to do in our fair city, or in the regions for that matter, isn’t looking hard enough. From new takes on old songs to stories writ large on screen, Julie Hosking finds more than a few gems to keep you busy in March.

Musical mix tape 

Kav Temperley shows his solo stripes. Photo supplied

Kav Temperley 
18 March @ Lyric’s Underground 
After winning a legion of fans as the frontman of Eskimo Joe, Kav Temperley has cemented his reputation as a solo artist with his second album Machines of Love & Grace. Recorded during border closures that kept the world out of Perth, he describes it as a “much more organic rock’n’roll album”. Get a taste of it live in an intimate show at Lyric’s Underground on Saturday, 18 March. The Maylands venue has a full roster of talent this month, including roots legend Jeff Lang on 4 March and De Cuba Son performing hits from the likes of Buena Vista Social Club on 10 March. Drummer and songwriter Holly Norman also launches her EP Matilda Bay, a broad church that includes folk-pop and instrumental jazz, on 30 March. See the Lyric for the full program. 

Mark Isaacs will put a new spin on some classics. Photo: @sonicsydney

New Standards by Mark Isaacs  
29 March @ The Ellington Jazz Club 
Jazz veteran Mark Isaacs has been tickling and pounding the ivories around the world for more than four decades, performing at jazz festivals from Tokyo to Helsinki and collaborating with legends such as Dave Holland and Roy Haynes. He returns to Western Australia for a solo show presented by the Perth Jazz Society, where he’ll put his own spin on some of the most beloved melodies from the 1960s and 1970s. Paul McCartney, the late Burt Bacharach and Joni Mitchell are just three of the superlative songwriters featured on a program designed to make you see – or should that be hear – the classics in a new light.  

Richard Tognetti and Joseph Tawadros. Photo supplied

The Four Seasons
Presented by the Australian Chamber Orchestra & Joseph Tawadros 
22 March @ Perth Concert Hall 
Egyptian-born Joseph Tawadros plays an almost inconceivable 53 instruments, but is renowned for his mastery of the oud, the Arabic lute which dates back to 7th century Persia. Tawadros joins Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a different take on a perennial favourite, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Featuring Tognetti as violin soloist, the Baroque masterpiece will be interspersed with Tawadros’ original compositions for oud, riq (an Arabic tambourine), percussion and strings. Drawing their inspiration from the cosmopolitan Venice into which Vivaldi was born, the violinist and the virtuoso want to push through musical boundaries and summon a heady time when the flow of knowledge and culture between East and West was unstoppable.  

Screen scenes 

Revisit ‘Le Grand Bleu’ at Alliance French Film Festival.

Alliance French Film Festival 
8 March – 5 April @ various cinemas 
Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue) was a huge hit in France in the late 1980s and the story of childhood friends pushing each other to ever more dangerous depths won fans around the world, too. Beautifully restored, the Luc Besson classic is one of the attractions at this year’s Alliance French Film Festival. The 34th celebration of French cinema opens on 8 March with a splash of glamour – Masquerade is set on the Cote d’Azur where Adrien (Pierre Niney) is enjoying a life of luxury with the older Martha (Isabelle Adjani) until he falls for a younger woman and things take a darker turn. Over the next month, Francophiles can binge on a smorgasbord of French cinema, from romance and comedy to drama and thrillers, across Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema, Palace Raine Square and Camelot Outdoor Cinema. See the full program.  

‘Call Me Soroya’ is part of PRIDE Queer Film Festival.

PRIDE Queer Film Festival 
8-14 March @ The Backlot 
The PRIDE Queer Film Festival (PQFF) returns for its seventh edition with a celebration of international queer cinema. The seven-day event will feature 32 world premieres from as far afield as Philippines and Sweden, and 11 Australian premieres. There are five feature films on the program, including Call Me Soroya, which follows Josue’s transition to her true self, Soroya, over six years, and Surviving Pulse, following a similar time frame in the aftermath of a mass shooting. The focus, however, is on the short format, with screenings broken up into themed sessions, such as Queer Men, Queer Documentaries and Queer Australia, showcasing six or seven stories. The festival will then hit the road, heading to Karratha in April and Kalgoorlie and Geraldton in May. See the full program

Community celebrations 

Djoogan Keeninyirra dancers prepare to perform. Photo supplied

Hand in Hand – Kidogo Irish Aboriginal Festival 
17-19 March @ Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach 
 This unique festival, founded by Kidogo Arthouse founder Joanna Robertson, is back for a third year of live performances down by Bathers Beach, Fremantle. A celebration of two cultures with close connections, Hand in Hand is also keen to create future collaborations, bringing several Irish performers out for this year’s event with support from Ireland Culture. It’s a feast of art, music, poetry and stories. Kick back to the sounds of musicians such as Lucky Oceans, Eddie Sherlock and Kenneth Dawson, watch the Djoogan Keeninyirra dancers bring Noongar stories to life, and soak up the words of poets from near and far. Naturally, it all kicks off on St Patrick’s Day.  

Odette Mercy & Her Soul Atomics will rock the block party. Photo supplied

William Street Long Table Lunch & Block Party 
11 March @ William Street, Northbridge  
Is there anything better than an extra long lunch? Lunch backed up by some mighty fine music, of course. The William Street Long Table Lunch is a new collaborative community event that serves up a mixed menu from the street’s venues, including Bivouac, Chicho Gelato and North Bird Wine, with a side order of jazz. From 4pm, the street will transform into a block party with live sets from artists such as Alter Boy, Racka Chachi and Odette Mercy & Her Soul Atomics. And the night moves continue with The Bird and Ezra Pound backyard carpark hosting sets from the likes of Grace Sanders, Sai Galaxy (Digital Afrika) and Siobhan Cotchin. Tickets to the lunch are expected to sell out, while the block party is free. 

Family fun 

Sculptures by the Bay returns to Dunsborough Foreshore. Photo supplied

Dunsborough Arts Festival 
4-6 March @ Dunsborough Foreshore 
Cottesloe isn’t the only beach where artwork will be popping up like daisies this long weekend. One of the highlights of the annual Dunsborough Arts Festival, Sculptures by the Bay boasts almost 100 sculptures this year, from stainless steel constructions to ceramics and recycled electronics. Wander the South-West holiday haven’s beautiful foreshore and Seymour Park, marvel at the creations and vote for your favourite – there’s even the chance to buy one to take home. The three-day festival also includes an art market; X Factor youth talent competition; circus, art and drumming workshops; and two evening concerts, John Stringer on the Saturday and Oats Supply on the Sunday. 

These Dummies can’t wait to entertain the family.

Don’t Mess with the Dummies
by Dummies Corp 
15 March @ Queens Park Theatre Geraldton
18 March @ Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
The award-winning Dummies promise plenty of laughs for young and the young at heart as they wreak havoc on a camping trip in the jungle. In a show featuring acrobatic and aerial feats and a lot of clowning around, the Dummies also go out of their way to rope in the audience. This all-female circus extravaganza won the Best Children’s Presentation at Adelaide Fringe in 2021 and has performed in more than a dozen countries. As an extra treat in Bunbury, the Dummies are also running a circus workshop for children aged 6 and up, from 4.30pm to 5.30pm on the Friday before the show. The kids will learn some of their tricks and discover how creative play can build confidence and resilience.

Artistic immersion

‘Kungkarrangkalpa (Seven Sisters)’ by Angilyiya Tjapiti Mitchell.

Women’s Way
11 March – 2 April @ Artitja Fine Art Gallery 
First Nations women have been forging their own creative path in remote communities for decades, expressing themselves through paint, textiles, ceramics and many other mediums. At Pukatja in the remote north-west of South Australia, they have long been the heart of Ernabella Arts, spinning, weaving, carving and painting to support their families. At Yeundumu, in the Northern Territory, female artists called themselves Warlukurlangu after a Dreaming site meaning “belonging to fire”, their strikingly colourful strokes lighting up the canvas. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Artitja Fine Art Gallery’s exhibition Women’s Way showcases paintings and sculptural objects from more than 20 emerging and established female artists from six remote art centres, including Papulankutja Arts and Spinifex Hill Studio in WA, with works as diverse and powerful as they are. 

Experience a strange new world. Photo: Olivia Davies

Presented by Tura  
9-11 March @ The Liberty Theatre 
Step inside Perth’s first arthouse cinema for an immersive audio-visual experience – and a test of one musician’s endurance. For six hours each day for three days, trumpeter Callum G’Froerer will control images created and captured live by composer and photographer Olivia Davies with the sound he generates. Samples are then played back in different forms, creating an ever-changing mood. Though each hour presents a full cycle, no two cycles will be the same. Drop in and out (or stay for the duration) from 3pm-9pm each or any day, move about at your leisure and create your own audiovisual journey. One of the final acts of the 2023 Perth Festival, the work was created with software developed by media designer Nick Roux and is designed to make us think about our relationship with the digital world. 

Pictured top: Selina Teece Pwerl’s “My Country – Landscape’ is one of the artworks in the Women’s Way exhibition. Image supplied

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Author —
Julie Hosking

A journalist with more words to her name than she can count, Julie Hosking has worked for newspapers, magazines and online publications in Melbourne and Perth. She has been a news editor, travel editor, features editor, arts editor and, for one terrifying year, business editor, before sanity prevailed and she landed in her happy place - magazines. If pushed (literally), she favours the swing.

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