Image of car at beachside with things piled on roof
Calendar, Children, Immersive Experience, October 19, September 19

Children: On Our Beach

28 Sep – 12 Oct @ Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle ·
Presented by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre ·

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” John Lennon

You are invited with us and Fomo the Dog, on a shoes off, hands on,  never before experienced holiday to a very special beach. Once you have cleared the serious identification business and passed the pest control border you will be straight into the pre-departure fun and games – we recommend you arrive early to get some gnarly selfies! It is your chance to ride a surf board, be part of sculptures by the sea, play a game of beach volleyball and swim in a sea of shimmering balls.

The show is not seated, so be prepared to enjoy, participate if you want to and be transported to an imaginary beach where strangers become friends.

Duration: 50 mins
Perfect for 5+ but suitable for everyone!

More info
W: www.sppt.asn.au/
E:  boxoffice@sppt.asn.au

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Gabriella Munro as May and Sally Clune as Cousin. Photo: Susie Blatchford.
Immersive Experience, News, Performing arts, Reviews, Theatre

A deep dive into the heart of darkness

Review: Feet First Collective, S-27 ⋅
Fremantle Arts Centre ⋅
Review by Steven Cohen ⋅

There’s something about dystopian reality that bites, that shakes and shudders at our sensibilities. And when that “something” manifests itself in the theatre it leaves a discerning mark on the audience.

From Orwell’s’ 1984 to The Handmaids Tale, we’re used to dystopian thrillers. Audiences seem drawn to alien settings and alienated characters. The stories are riveting, the dialogue terse and the scenes dramatic.

But dystopian drama is much rarer because the style is founded in science fiction. And a theatre, by its very nature,  is a forum for collective reflection, drawing out participation and expression of popular concerns.

Good dystopian theatre will illuminate the urban and reflect the irreparable. Perhaps more than that, dystopian theatre gives us a chance to recall the true horrors of horrors so that we might learn something and begin again.

Sarah Grochala’s play S-27, first produced in London a decade ago, is better than good.  It is both tense and disturbing in recounting the tales from Khmer Rouge Cambodia.

Aptly staged in the historical asylum of the Fremantle Arts Centre, local producers Teresa Izzard and Lauren Beeton successfully manage to immerse the audience into a universal atrocity, balancing the cultural intricacies of Pol Pot’s ruthless ideology with the indignation of his horror.

To begin, we are stripped of our belongings, given numbers, separated from our partners and hoarded into a small slither of a room.  Violence is within earshot and sometimes seen.  Posters illuminate the blankness of the walls – English renditions from Pol Pot’s Little Red Book – illuminate the extremism of the revolution.  Some of the audience are pulled away. Most stay in situ and in line. Quiet and following.

Eventually we arrive in a cold dank old hall, replete with a single line of facing parallel seating with a single forward fronting chair perched alone in between. An old-style camera, the type my dad used to carry, sits on a tripod aimed at the empty chair. The theatre space is more a thriller scene. The audience become intimate witnesses.

Then we meet May, cold and tearless, whose job is to photograph the living dead. As May’s story slowly unwinds, so does she and we become witness to the frailty of human emotion and what it takes to survive a holocaust. Compassionately played by Gabriella Munro, May is the protagonist whose interactions with those she photographs underpins the production.

The seven supporting cast members are nameless. Sheathed either in black police garb or for a few, they serve as photographic fodder. Their acting is tight and well-controlled, blending erratically into the catastrophic nightmare.

Balancing the well-constructed performances is original music by Rachael Dease, haunting sound by John Congrear and claustrophobic lighting by Andrew Portwine, who successfully encase the audience’s senses in a confronting maelstrom.

This is a story that must be told.  It is uncomfortable, horrific and bloody, but important for our own humanity.  S-27 is a gem of a play.  We are lucky to have such wonderful talent in our city.

S-27 continues until July 21.

Pictured top: May (Gabriella Munro) and Cousin (Sally Clune) as photographer and subject. Photo: Susie Blatchford.

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Image of girl seated on chair with face blurred
Calendar, Immersive Experience, July 19, Performing arts

Theatre: S-27

12 – 21 July @ Fremantle Arts Centre ·
Presented by Feet First Collective ·

Feet First Collective presents the WA premiere of S-27 by Sarah Grochala cocooned within an immersive experience that unfolds inside the rooms and winding halls of the iconic Fremantle Arts Centre as part of the 2019 Fremantle Festival.

Winner of the iceandfire/Amnesty International ‘Protect the Human’ Playwriting Competition in 2007, the play was inspired by the history of Cambodia’s S-21 prison under the rule of the Khmer Rouge and draws on prison records and interviews.

S-27 is an opportunity to imagine a dark and disturbing future. This work will be of interest to theatre lovers, history buffs and Fremantle businesses looking for a really different team experience in their City. Numbers for this performance are strictly limited so early bookings are encouraged.

S-27 contains adult themes and is recommend for 15+ years. Fremantle Arts Centre is a licenced venue: 15 -18 year-olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Please visit the website to check mobility requirements.

12-14 and 16-21* July
*Additional late show on 20 July (Doors open 8.30pm – Performance at 9.30pm)

Doors open: 6:30pm (Drinks available,  meet in bar area in the Cell Room)
Performance begins: 7:30pm (Cell Room and Pavlich Room)
Running time: 80mins (approximately) Ticket Price: Standard $25 +bf
Bookings: fac.oztix.com.au/default.aspx?Event=100846

More info:
https://www.fac.org.au/whats-on/post/s-27-sarah-grochala/

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Child playing with woven items resting on a car tyre
April 19, Calendar, Immersive Experience, Installation

Immersive Experience: Manguri Wiltja

13 April @ Fremantle Arts Centre ·
Presented by FORM and Fremantle Arts Centre ·

During the Revealed Market, children and families are invited to enter Manguri Wiltja, an interactive play space made from intricate tjanpi woven forms, repurposed tyres and evocative sounds. A wiltja is a traditional shelter created here from woven circles, offering a tranquil space for contemplation. The installation draws upon the playful yet sophisticated aesthetics of both Tjanpi Desert Weavers and Polyglot Theatre and is designed to introduce children to the culture and Country of Warakurna.

FORM presents Manguri Wiltja at Revealed in a world premiere. The installation will tour nationally throughout 2019. For more information visit www.form.net.au

Manguri Wiltja runs from 10am-12pm and to 2-4pm.

More info
W: www.fac.org.au/whats-on/post/manguri-wiltja/
E:  artscentre@fremantle.wa.gov.au

Pictured:
Manguri Wiltja project third development workshop in Perth, November 2017. Photograph by Bewley Shaylor,  c/o Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Polyglot Theatre, and FORM

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Film, Immersive Experience, News, Perth Festival, Reviews, Theatre

A star is born

Perth Festival review: The Last Great Hunt, Lé Nør   ·
PICA, February 13 ·
Review by David Zampatti ·

Lé Nør  (The Rain) is the most ambitious work yet by The Last Great Hunt. It’s also the first time that all six members of the West Australian company have combined their talents as devisers, operators and performers in one production.

The result is awe-inspiring.

Here’s the bare bones: Lé Nør is set on the imagined North Atlantic island city-state of Sólset (from now on I’m going to dispense with the accents and umlauts; more on them later) that has endured a terrible seven-year drought that has reduced its inhabitants to water-hoarding, water-blackmailing obsessives. When the rains finally come, they keep coming. Before long the little island faces an even more existential threat.

We follow the lives of the inhabitants of one apartment block, Inez (Gita Bezard), a pregnant rescue helicopter pilot, and her husband Leal (Jeffrey Jay Fowler), Petri (Chris Isaacs) and his inseparable mate Tobe (also Fowler), and two single women drawn to each other, Eliza (Arielle Gray) and Soren (Adriane Daff). Another woman, Suzette (Jo Morris, the only non-Hunter in the cast) pines for her fled boyfriend in her lonely flat, endlessly playing and replaying Phil Collins’s Against All Odds.

All of their shenanigans are overseen with mild menace by the narrator, TLGH’s gamester-in-chief, Tim Watts.

That’s the last you need bother about the plot. It’s the how, not the what, that this thing is about.

As well as the Collins dirge, there’s I’m Not in Love, White Wing Dove, Head over Heels, How Do I Get You Alone, steak knives and more in the exquisitely hideous 1980s soundtrack ­– is there a word for nostalgia for a time you didn’t have to endure yourself?

That’s only part of the referential delight of the work. It’s a deep dive into a world transformed by the lens of a camera, a stage show that becomes, more completely than anything I can remember, the Grand Illusion, the making of cinema.

Effectively the set is a screen that dominates the PICA stage, designed, along with its attendant gadgetry, by the “seventh Hunter”, Anthony Watts. All the show’s action, all its effects, are created for, and live on, that screen. Around it bustle the Hunters and stage manager Clare Testoni, setting scenes, setting up camera shots, striking poses, delivering lines, all to be distilled into images on it.

It’s a phenomenally intense ride – if anything a little too dizzying to actively engage in for 90 minutes – wildly funny and sexy. It’s a technical achievement, with a personality and charisma, like nothing we’ve seen from a West Australian company.

The title, the Hunters say, means “The Rain” in the hilarious gibberish-language they have concocted for the show (there are English surtitles), but we know better.

It really means film noir (although some of the shots, of Gray and Daff in particular, owe as much to flicks like David Hamilton’s soft focus, gauzy 1977 Bilitis as anything grittier) but film theory is probably as unimportant here as narrative. Nothing is important (when nothing is real, there’s nothing to get hung about).

So just sit back and watch Jo Morris in a phone box climbing up the walls and across the ceiling while you see how it’s done; watch two fight superstars (Gray and Daff as goodie and baddie respectively) suddenly come to life on their billboard; watch Bezard’s matchbox helicopter swoop down to rescue our heroes from Solset’s last unsubmerged rooftop (the one with the billboard) like eagles on the slopes of Mt Doom.

With Lé Nør The Last Great Hunt have confirmed their individual and collective stardom and their mastery of their craft. Now it’s time for the real fun to begin.

“Lé Nør” is playing at PICA until February 24, and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre February 28 – March 2.

Pictured top: Visual marvel – Jo Morris and The Last Great Hunt soar. Photo: Daniel Grant.

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Lady and Man Dressed in Red for a party
Calendar, Children, Fringe World, Immersive Experience, Music, Performing arts

Children: Let It Go! Singalong and Dance Party!

1 February @ Big Top @ Sunset Veranda ·
Presented by King’s Krib Productions ·

Join in the fun with your favourite songs from kids films! Bring your singing voice and happy feet and Let it Go! Journey under the sea and ride on a magic carpet to a whole new world in this interactive, immersive experience  of pure imagination! There will be bubbles, a snowstorm and much more!

We’d love you to come dressed as your favourite character, like a mermaid, princess, genie, pirate, or lion! Created for ages 3-12, but all kids are welcome, even “grown up” ones! Parents are encouraged to join in and assist their children in the immersive zone, or there is a seated area for kids who prefer less stimulation.

WINNER: CHILDREN’S EVENT, WEEKLY AWARD WINNER, FRINGEWORLD
Additional show added!

Performance time:  11.30, with Chloe King and Zane Alexander

More info
W:  www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/let-it-go-singalong-and-dance-party-fw2019
E:  hello@nataliedirisio.com.au

Pictured: Chloe & Zane, credit Derek Martin

 

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Our Sandman
Calendar, Immersive Experience, January 19, Performing arts

Immersive Experience: Our Sandman

8 – 19 January @ Cool Change Contemporary ·
Presented by Elsewhere/Rebecca ·

Our Sandman is an intimate, immersive and multi-sensorial sound work about our dreams and the presence of the Sandman in both our dream-driven and dream-deprived lives.

Audiences are invited to relax into their sleeping selves, close their eyes and listen to the stories of vivid dreamers and avid sleepers amongst new electronic music pieces presented in a nest of mattresses and softness. Join an exploration in experiencing dreams consciously whilst uncovering the quiet adventures that we go on during dream sleep.

Compositions, soundscapes, audio recordings and live vocals are augmented by EEG headgear (data collected from brainwaves) throughout the performance.

Writer, Performer and Composer: Rebecca Riggs-Bennett
Lighting Designer & Stage Manager: George Ashforth
Video Designer: Hannan Jones
Sound Designer: Niharika Senapati
Visual Dramaturge: Clare Testoni
EEG Programmer: Gabbi Fusco
Provocateur: Steve Bull
Producer: Noemie Huttner-Koros
Publicity: Kayla MacGillivray
Photographer: Tasha Tong Faye

The development and realisation of this work was supported by the Perth  Institute of Contemporary Arts’ Studio Program and developed and produced with the assistance of Crack Theatre Festival for the 2017 festival.

Please contact us if you have any accessibility questions about the event, and we will try to be as accommodating as possible.

We wish to acknowledge the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation, the traditional and rightful custodians of the land on which we operate. We recognise their strength and resilience and pay respect to their Elders past, present and future.

More info
W: www.eventbrite.com.au/e/our-sandman-tickets-53088555298
E : kayla.macgillivray@gmail.com

Pictured: Tasha Tong Faye

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Five Short Blasts
Calendar, Immersive Experience, Perth Festival

Immersive Experience: Five Short Blasts

20 Feb – 3 March @ East Fremantle ·
Presented by Madeleine Flynn & Tim Humphrey ·

As morning and evening breaks over the Port of Fremantle you’re invited to hop on a boat to encounter the sights and sounds of the area from the people who live and work there. Inspired by the maritime signal of five short blasts to indicate uncertainty, this journey takes audiences out on small quiet boats to listen, to navigate the unknown and to discover new ways of seeing.

Board at Zephyr Cafe, East Fremantle
5:45AM, 7:15AM & 6:45PM

A Perth Festival Commission

Created by Madeleine Flynn, Tim Humphrey, Marie Taylor, Cassie Lynch, Bec Reid and the water communities of Fremantle

More info:
www.perthfestival.com.au/event/five-short-blasts

Pictured: Five Short Blasts , credit: Toni Wilkinson

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