What to SEE/Multi-arts

Make August a month to remember

27 July 2023

Is winter over yet? If you can’t beat the weather, just ignore it and stay indoors. Our August gig guide is full of good reasons to do just that. 

Don’t let the rain dampen your enthusiasm for all things bright and beautiful. Lift your spirits with music, art, theatre and a few good laughs. 

Step into showbiz 

Step out in style with dancers auditioning for ‘The Chorus Line’. Photo supplied

A Chorus Line 
2-13 August @ The Royale Theatre at Planet Royale 

It has been described as the musical that saved Broadway – attendance was bottoming when this novel creation burst onto the scene in 1975, turning the theatre hub’s fortunes around. A Chorus Line was developed with dancers auditioning for coveted chorus roles, their raw and moving stories making their way into the musical (and the film starring Michael Douglas a decade later), a true ensemble piece made for and by those trying to break into the business. Drew Anthony Creative invites you to step into the high drama (and high kicks) and soak up iconic songs such as What I Did for Love and I Can Do That once more. But get moving – it only has a short season. 

Leap into the unknown 

Fly high with young performers in ‘ECLIPSE’. Photo courtesy NICA

13 August, 5.30pm and 7pm @ Fremantle Town Hall 

What does the future look like? Where do we go from here? CircusWA’s Academy youth performers share their vision of the possibilities in ECLIPSE, asking us to think deeper and posing the question: What can we build together? Conceived in WA by Sally Richardson in response to the changes wrought by the pandemic, and first performed by the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), ECLIPSE comes back to where it all began for a production that will develop and evolve with young performers across the country. Part of Fremantle’s 10 Nights in Port 2023, it promises to be an intriguing journey. 

Sara Macliver and Fiona Campbell are delightful divas. Photo supplied

Hit the high notes 

Divas’ Delight – The Trilogy 
17 August @ St George’s Cathedral 

When these two divas get together, the music is glorious, and the smiles are as wide as their repertoire. Mezzo Fiona Campbell, who is also the creative director of Perth Symphony Orchestra, and celebrated soprano Sara Macliver are two of Western Australia’s leading singers who also happen to be long-term friends. That bond is evident as they perform a mixture of classical and cabaret favourites with panache and a dash of frivolity. With their previous two outings at the cathedral a sellout, this talented combination is bound to leave you feeling good. 

Discover political secrets 

‘Extraordinary Auspol’ ponders our political history. Photo: Nicolee Fox

Extraordinary Auspol 
22 August – 9 September @ The Blue Room Theatre 

Think you know your political history? Let political educator and YouTuber David Cox and writer and director Dean Lovatt give you all the important facts. Well, the absurd ones at least. The duo dive into the archives to bring you stories tall and true about Australian politics. Who was the only Communist Party member elected to parliament? Which of the faces gracing our bank notes was involved in a steamy sojourn in Paraguay?  And what on earth was Victoria’s ceremonial golden mace (a symbol of authority) doing in a brothel? Extraordinary Auspol offers a twisted take on domestic (and international) affairs. 

Explore the land 

Chris Pease, Down the rabbit hole II, 2013, oil on canvas, 61.5 x 90.5 cm
The University of Western Australia Art Collection, University Senate Grant and Gift of the Friends of the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, 2014, Copyright and courtesy of the artist and Gallerysmith.

Until 19 August @ Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA 

Co-curated by Badimia and Yued artist Amanda Bell and Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery curator Lee Kinsella, Kanangoor/Shimmer asks you to consider the environment as you wander through the expansive exhibition, guided by sound and light. In this mix of new commissions and works from UWA collections, delicate silks of Utopian artists, paintings overlaid on mining maps and detailed creations of river systems are all woven into the fabric of landscape, encouraging us to reflect, engage and challenge our relationship with the land. 

The Princess (Nicole Youl) is not happy with the Showgirl (Hattie Marshall). Photos: Nik Babic

Fall in (and out) of love

The Princess and the Showgirl 
31 August – 3 September @ Fremantle Town Hall 

Freeze Frame Opera continues its innovative spin on the classics, ripping Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvrer from its French aristocratic roots and setting the messy love triangle – aren’t they all? – amid the glamour of 1950s America in The Princess and the Showgirl. Think the Kennedys and Marilyn Monroe, but with magnificent music. Based on the true story of an actress who fell foul of royalty in the 18th century, this opera has all the passion and betrayal (and glorious costumes) a body can take. Directed by Penny Shaw, it stars Nicole Youl as the Princess and Hattie Marshall as her bitter rival, the Showgirl.   

Raise your hopes 

Feel the power of the Soweto Gospel Choir. Photo supplied

Soweto Gospel Choir 
16 August @ Margaret River Heart, 17 August @ Albany Entertaiment Centre, 20 August @ Perth Concert Hall 

Send your spirits soaring with the majestic harmonies of the Soweto Gospel Choir. The triple Grammy winners are touring Australia with their show Hope, which explores the Freedom movement from Nelson Mandela’s South Africa to Martin Luther King’s crusade for civil rights in the United States. Renowned for their euphoric performances, the choir will sing a mix of traditional songs – in six of their 11 languages – and anthemic protest songs from the likes of Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. “These are the songs we grew up on; that inspired us and that keep inspiring us,” choir master Shimmy Jiyane says. Let them inspire you, too. 

Raise a glass 

Rebecca Guy is making music from grapes. Photo supplied

Sips and Sounds 
19 August @ UWA Watersports Complex 

Love matched wine and food? Why not wine and music? Rebecca Guy has brought her two loves together for a perfect match. The founder of WA Classical Music Connect, which creates inclusive music experiences for the community, has composed three pieces to complement three beauties from Kim Tyrer at Galafrey Wines. Guests will sip on sparkling ganache, reserve riesling and shiraz as they listen to Guy (flute), Grace Ahquee (violin) and Emma O’Keefe (cello), bring their rich, earthy tones to life. There will also be canapes and prizes at the fundraiser to support mental health in the community. 

Hear poetry in motion 

Scott-Patrick Mitchell will host WA Poetry Month Showcase. Photo: Joel Evans

Hidden in Plain Sight 
11 August @ Fremantle Town Hall 
WA Poetry Month Showcase 
24 August @ Fremantle Town Hall 

Celebrate the spoken word in all its splendour with soul-stirring poetry, music and conversation. Hidden in Plain Sight, part of the 10 Nights in Port program, brings storytellers such as Ebony McGuire and Rushil D’Cruz together with musicians and dancers for an intimate evening at Fremantle Town Hall. Keep the soliloquys going at the annual WA Poetry Month Showcase later in the month. Hosted by Scott-Patrick Mitchell, the event brings together some of the west coast’s wondrous wordsmiths, including Renee Pettitt-Schipp, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa and Kaya Ortiz, as well as DJ sets from the TAB Family crew. Open your ears and your hearts. 

Pictured top: Take a leap into the future with CircusWA’s Academy youth performers in ‘ECLIPSE’. Photo: Angelica Rush

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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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Cleaver Street Studio