From great Russian theatre to world-class Israeli dance; from Man Booker Prize winners to Tony Award winners, from multi-player video theatre to a life-size bouncy castle Stonehenge, the 2014 Perth International Arts Festival really does have something for absolutely everybody.
The 62nd Perth Festival’s diverse program offers a world-class cultural feast for arts lovers of all ages and persuasions. In a quintessentially Western Australian experience, more than 1000 of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists transform and disrupt Perth as the Festival spills across unique venues and glorious, outdoor spaces.
Perth International Arts Festival is the longest-running annual multi-arts celebration in the Southern Hemisphere and the jewel in the crown of Western Australia’s cultural life. Living up to its worldwide reputation for excellence, in 2014 the Festival delivers a program of unforgettable, enriching works, created by artists who are daring, thoughtful, and innovative, with 26 Australian exclusives, 33 Australian premieres and two world premieres.
“The 2014 Perth Festival collaborates with the world’s greatest artists and many of Western Australia’s most creative and talented people to find new and exciting ways to create a Festival in and of Perth,” said Perth Festival Artistic Director, Jonathan Holloway.
“Joining us in our exploration of what it is to be a 21st Century festival in the remotest and yet most connected capital city in the Southern Hemisphere are Robert Wilson, Dawn Upshaw, Martin Amis, The National, William Kentridge, Tod Machover and Public Enemy, to name just 20 of the 1000+ artistic collaborators.”
The 2014 Festival explodes in a spectacle of wonder with Veles e Vents. For three nights over the opening weekend, the Spanish masters of public theatre take to the seas and the sky, recreating a ship’s grand and perilous voyage in a sublime visual display of fireworks and light.
The 2014 Theatre and Circus program traverses the spectrum from the gritty to the surreal, inviting the world’s most acclaimed performers to the Australian stage. Modern master of the Russian avant-garde, Dmitry Krymov, makes his Australian debut with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It), a whirling re-imagining of history’s first great love story, that of Pyramus and Thisbe.
From Israel comes the Australian premiere of Not by Bread Alone: 11 deaf-blind actors take audiences on a profoundly moving journey through their inner world, as bread is kneaded, formed and baked on stage. Raw and explosive, South Africa’s Yael Farber adapts Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie to post-apartheid South Africa in Mies Julie, revealing theatre at its most potent.
Theatre genius Robert Wilson returns to Perth in the exclusive Australian premiere of Samuel Beckett’s blackly comic masterpiece, Krapp’s Last Tape. From New York, Perth welcomes An Iliad, superstar Denis O’Hare’s riveting one-man performance of Homer’s Trojan epic.
The UK’s internationally renowned NoFit State Circus brings circus as you’ve never seen it with the Australian premiere of Bianco, a graceful, aerial adventure of drama and breathtaking ability which immerses the audience in the action.
Further highlights include two Festival co-commissions. Malthouse Theatre’s The Shadow King is an explosive interpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, melding contemporary Aboriginal storytelling in a blood-soaked interrogation of kinship, land and belonging. Co-commissioned by the Festival, Opus fuses the contemporary circus of Australia’s finest, Circa, with dynamic music of Shostakovitch performed by France’s Debussy String Quartet.
Perth Writers Festival is the hub of Festival discussion and discourse. Join a stellar line-up of authors, readers and thinkers in this much-loved celebration of the written word. A thought-provoking opening address by best-selling novelist Lionel Shriver examines the intersection of literature and religion, and a closing address on the tenuousness of life and love from one of Australia’s great novelists, Richard Flanagan, will bookend an incredible weekend of literary events.
Other writers attending include literary giant and British provocateur Martin Amis; prolific British novelist, biographer and critic and Order of the British Empire recipient Margaret Drabble; and Stella Prize winner Carrie Tiffany.
The Festival’s free program takes art to the people as the streets of Perth are playfully transformed and life re-imagined. Sam Routledge & Martyn Coutts’ I Think I Can brings avatars to life in an enchanted model town.
Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege, invites Festival goers to literally leap into ancient history, re-creating Stonehenge as a full-scale bouncy castle, and the Chevron Festival Gardens become the ambient Festival hub as guests gather, discuss and participate.
In a fitting Festival finale, Between the Desert and the Deep Blue Sea, A Symphony for Perth. The work will be crafted by Tod Machover and played live for the first time by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in an epic, interactive musical feast on the Festival’s last night.
The 2014 Perth festival runs from 7 February to 1 march. For more information and full program, visit: www.perthfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Circa – Opus