Calendar, June 19, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: 100 Reasons for War

27 – 29 June @ The Actors Hub, East Perth ·
Presented by The Actors’ Hub ·

A chaotic, mind-opening work that leads to numerous questions about the state of humanity – and our individual role in it – is the latest offering from The Actors’ Hub. Written by award-winning playwright Tom Holloway and directed by Ella Hetherington,  100 Reasons for War was originally commissioned to mark the 100th anniversary of Australia’s  involvement in World War I.

The play takes a tangential look at the reasons societies often find themselves in terrible and tragic conflicts. Funny, moving and provocative, 100 Reasons for War questions the multiple and complex reasons why war has become such a prominent feature in the history of humankind.

100 Reasons for War plays at 7pm June 27, 28 and 29. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BCXZH

The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

More info:
www.trybooking.com/BCXZH

Pictured: Gillian Mosenthal, left, Tia Cullent , Talia Hart, Laura Goodlet, Ricky Anderson,
Anna Rettay, Ava Layas and Ricky Melwani put themselves through the paces for 100 Reasons for War.

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Figures dressed in black on stage holding a board
April 19, Calendar, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Beast

2 – 6 April @ The Actors’ Hub, East Perth ·
Presented by The Actors’ Hub ·

Love and fear – the two major themes that shape us while growing up – form the heart of Beast, the latest offering from The Actors’ Hub. Directed by Ellis Pearson, the story follows the trials and tribulations of people in a rural village as they face the danger of “the beast”.

“The story of having to overcome the monster is so old in human history, and so fundamental, that the students and myself – the group provocateur – found the task of creating our own version just too irresistible,” he said. “We uncovered facets of love and fear that are vital ingredients in the task of facing up to the beast and, along the way, felt we came to understand our own fears, desires and loves a little more. The challenges in the journey of making Beast were mainly finding ways to make what is essentially an adult fairytale into a contemporary story that can be exciting to an audience well-schooled in the joys of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Hollywood versions
of Marvel comics.”

An actor and theatre-maker for the past 40 years, Pearson has been in large and small ensembles that have performed in 17 countries around the world. He has won best supporting actor awards for the feature films The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman’s Finger and Paljas, as well as Edinburgh Fringe First Awards for his company Theatre for Africa. Nowadays, Pearson spends most of his time as a teacher.

With Beast, he said that one of the aims was highlighting the tremendous power of group collaboration. “Although we have followed archetypal themes, we have tried to make theatre that is magical and has the possibility of enchanting the audience at every moment, with laughter never far away,” Pearson said. “Through the articulate use of body and voice, colour and harmony of song – and the skilful use of invented sound-making instruments of all kinds – the actors have woven a tale that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats until the last gasping moments of the play.”

Beast plays at 7pm April 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 with a 2pm matinee on April 6. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BBROZ

The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

More info:
www.trybooking.com/BBROZ

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4x4x4
Calendar, Fringe World, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: 4x4x4

19 Jan – 17 Feb @ The Actors’ Hub, East Perth ·
Presented by the Actors’ Hub ·

A team of actors is testing its mettle four nights a week over the next month by performing a different show each night. In 4x4x4, the same team from The Actors’ Hub will perform four separate 60-minute shows during Fringe World – four nights, four shows, across four weeks.

Director Amanda Crewes described it as an amazing challenge for the actors.

Implied Consent gives a 360-degree perspective on what people believe consent is, giving an often harrowing exploration as to how they imply it. “The challenge was creating a piece that is both entertaining and truthful to the devastating impact this issue has on us culturally,” Crewes said.

In L’Appel Du Vide, the actors use physical theatre and Jacques Lacoq basel masks to explore different stages of life and how the relationships we form, and connections we yearn for, are impacted by things we think we want. Crewes described it as otherworldly and a rare opportunity to see basel masks being used in Perth theatre. “The story is told through movement only so we spent a lot of time making sure the physical storytelling was clear,” she said.

The Les Darcy Show is a high octane, action-packed piece featuring dancing and fighting set in the early 1900s, focusing on the short but incredibly full life of the Australian boxing legend. Called the Maitland Terror, Darcy won 52 of his 56 fights and was crowned middleweight champion of the world – all before his tragic end in 1917 at the tender age of 21. “The actors have had to master Irish dances and physical boxing,” Crewes said. “They have to throw a punch – and a good one at that! “It has rich and gritty Aussie, Irish and American characters and, at its core, it’s a celebration.”

Steve Irwin and Dame Edna Everage are brought to life in An Evening with… as they explore the question: who is the ultimate Australian? In a style reminiscent of Have You Been Paying Attention?, both characters battle it out as they talk sex, politics and religion. “We wanted to honour these characters everyone knows so well while saying something about divisive thinking,” Crewes said.

4x4x4 plays 7.30pm January 19 to February 17 with Implied Consent on
January 19, 25, February 2, 10 & 14; L’Appel Du Vide on January 20 & 26,
February 1, 7 & 17; An Evening with.. on January 24, February 3, 8 & 16
and The Les Darcy Show on January 27, 31, February 9 & 15.

Book at: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/4x4x4-fw2019
Please note: the plays feature occasional coarse language, sexual
and drug references and violence.

The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

More info:
https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/4x4x4-fw2019

Pictured: Glenn Wallis, centre, tries to find shelter from life in L’Appel Du Vide.

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Romeo and Juliet
Calendar, December 18, November 18, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Shakespeare gender swap for Romeo and Juliet

28 Nov – 1 Dec @ The Actors’ Hub ·
Presented by the Actors’ Hub ·

One of Shakespeare’s most popular and well-known plays will soon come
alive at The Actors’ Hub – with a twist.

Directed by Amanda Crewes, Romeo and Juliet is regarded as the most famous
lovestory in English literary history. “Romeo and Juliet explores the theme of
love, so I wanted to look at the text in terms of what’s still often considered
forbidden love today,” Crewes said. “That brought me to our current,
very cloudy view on same sex relationships. I wanted to determine whether
changing the gender changed our view on this love story.”

In this version, there are two casts with Romeo and Juliet played by women one
night, followed by men the next. “We want to honour what it universally means
to be in love and explore the dangers of extremist views,” Crewes said.

She said this interpretation of Romeo and Juliet offered a whole new perspective
but was also grounded in an existing awareness. “We know this story, we know
how it ends, we know what the lessons are and yet when presented with the
situation today we still, more often than not, withhold our tolerance and
forbearance,” Crewes said. “This is an issue we need to start talking about
because stories of forbidden love are still ending in death.”

Romeo and Juliet plays 7pm November 28, 29, 30 and December 1.
Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/ZHQW

The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

More info:
www.trybooking.com/ZHQW

Pictured: Love under watch in Romeo and Juliet, featuring Jared Stephenson,
Stephanie Bedford, Tia Rose and Quintus Olsthoorn.

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Rats' Tales
Calendar, November 18, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Rats’ Tales

21 – 24 November @ The Actors’ Hub ·
Presented by The Actors’ Hub ·

A hugely entertaining, dark and magical cycle of folk tales from around the world
is taking centre stage at The Actors’ Hub this November.

Written by Carol Ann Duffy and adapted by Melly Still, Rats’ Tales deliciously
confronts the dark side of the imagination which makes the tales all the more
illuminating.

“It’s supposedly the case that you’re never more than 10 feet away from a rat,”
director Amanda Crewes said. “With Rats’ Tales, you’re certainly never far from a fiendish plot twist, a thrilling metaphor or a dazzling feat of theatrical invention.”

The latest production comes in the wake of Crewes previously directing Duffy’s
Grimm Tales, dramatised by Tim Supple.

“These productions are so much fun – great ensemble pieces,” she said. “They
challenge the actor’s ability to create and imbue character. The stories are so fun for the audience, too, and they allow a director to really step into their imagination.”

The main challenge, according to Crewes, is trying to re-create the magic the
stories bring to the imagination for stage.“It requires strong characterisations and is physically demanding,” she said. “They’re vivid characters and the actors have to push themselves both vocally and physically with their choices.From an audience perspective, it’s exciting to see an actor transform into different characters – they love that sort of thing and wonder ‘How did they do that?’ It’s wonderfully creative with the actors on stage the entire time. The show is good old-fashioned fun and pure entertainment, as the actors embody these larger-than-life characters.”

Rats’ Tales plays at 7pm on 21, 22, 23 November and 2pm and 7pm on 24 November.
Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/ZCDG
The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

More info:
www.trybooking.com/ZCDG 

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Implied Consent
August 18, Calendar, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Implied Consent

17 – 18 August @ The Actors’ Hub ·
Presented by: The Actors’ Hub ·

DO WE pretend we don’t understand consent to push our own agendas – or are we genuinely confused?

It’s a question explored in Implied Consent at The Actors’ Hub, after more than 50 interviews were conducted with people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

“The show gives a 360-degree perspective on what people believe consent is, giving an often harrowing exploration as to how they imply it,” director Amanda Crewes said.  “Many were nervous to talk about it – Implied Consent presents challenging and diverse perspectives on where the line sits in such a grey area.  We take this unvoiced issue and, through real people’s stories, show how implying consent to the small things can spiral out of control.  This insidious epidemic needs to be taken back to the basics of care, compassion and tolerance.”

Implied Consent is the second in a trilogy of plays from The Actors’ Hub exposing a culture that needs to be redefined, following the subject of coward punches in One Punch Wonder. All use the genre of verbatim theatre, using the exact words of people interviewed.

“The actors aim to give as accurate a representation of the interviewees as possible,” Crewes said.  “It’s always a challenge to present the material in a way that is engaging, especially given the subject matter can get quite heavy at times.  We want to do justice to all sides of the argument, so all the stories need to be told.   But how do you tell the big stories delicately and the small ones richly without distorting the truth in any way?”

Crewes said the idea of using theatre to demand cultural change – and the possibility of Implied Consent starting that change – excited her.  “We have allowed ourselves to be drawn into technologically-induced isolation to a point where we have forgotten how to relate to each other, perhaps even forgotten what it means to be human,” she said.  “Theatre is the best place to explore that because we go to see and understand ourselves to make sense of what is going on around us.”

Implied Consent plays at 7pm August 17 and 18. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at http://www.trybooking.com/XGVH.
The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

More info: http://www.trybooking.com/XGVH

Pictured:
Tyler Lindsay-Smith, left, Justin Gray and Quintus Olsthoorn explore unvoiced issues in Implied Consent.

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Three sisters one brother
Calendar, June 18, Performing arts, Theatre

Theatre: Three Sisters One Brother

27-30 June, 7pm @ The Actors’ Hub, 129 Kensington Street, East Perth ·
Presented by The Actors’ Hub ·

WHAT happens when you take a famous Anton Chekhov play and set it in 1890s Queensland?

The answer lies in Three Sisters One Brother, written and directed by Ross McGregor at The Actors’ Hub this June.

Adapted from Chekhov’s Three Sisters, the play has been given an Aussie flavour to suit a variety of conditions, characters, historical facts and politics.

“If you’re interested in lasting classic plays, as those in many countries have been able to do with their own culture represented on stage for hundreds of years, this is an opportunity to see our own history,” McGregor said.

“The 1890s was a decade of amazing progress in Australia – women were allowed to vote in South Australia a year after New Zealand, there was a shearer’s strike for fairer pay, the Labor Party was born and electricity started to be introduced.

“Plus there were bushfires, droughts and squatters, which really highlighted the grit of the people.”

McGregor said the main challenge was providing a gift to the audience during every minute of their attendance.

“I want them to be able to follow the individual and conflicting journeys of the 14 characters, who are sometimes on stage at the same time,” he said.

“They should come out feeling they have understood the show, after being taken on an emotional, sometimes amusing and intellectual journey, with a new understanding of how powerful a satisfying play can be.”

Involved in theatre, TV and film since his school days, McGregor has worked professionally for more than 50 years as a producer, director, writer and teacher.

He has worked with Channel 7 and Channel 10, as well as Canberra Repertory, Hunter Valley, Darlinghurst and Stables Theatres, Tasmanian Theatre Company, The Q Theatre, Seymour Centre, National Institute of Dramatic Art and WA Academy of Performing Arts.

“Three Sisters One Brother is a chance to explore how a young family, ripped away from their homeland to settle thousands of miles away, are continually reminded this promised Eden seems to wilfully slip through their fingers,” McGregor said.

“It emotionally keeps pulling them back to what was never real.

“The production was also an opportunity to present Australia on stage.”

Three Sisters One Brother plays 7pm June 27, 28, 29 and 30. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/VTCA.

The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

More info: www.trybooking.com/VTCA

Pictured: Talia Hart, left, and Jared Stephenson find Three Sisters One Brother – an adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters – hits the right note.

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