There will be something to excite audiences of all tastes when four of the world’s most acclaimed touring productions visit Perth Festival this summer. Artistic Director Wendy Martin has revealed her first early picks for 2018, featuring the finest circus, theatre, dance and music you will find in this or any other city in the world.
The awesome foursome are: the Australian premiere of French circus spectacular Il n’est pas encore minuit … (It’s Not Yet Midnight …) from Compagnie XY; Inua Ellam’s riotous London hit play Barber Shop Chronicles; British dance wild-child Michael Clark’s To a simple, rock ‘n’ roll … song; and the Indiana Jones of historic music Jordi Savall in a special performance with the ensembles Hespèrion XXI and Tembembe Ensamble Continuo.
“I am thrilled to be able to share these delicious early samples from the banquet of delights that will make the 2018 Perth Festival an utterly unforgettable experience,” says Wendy Martin. “These four astounding productions come to us after dazzling audiences around the world.”
“They certainly offer something for everyone and reflect the breadth of the Festival program to be announced in full on 9 November. All of these wonderful artistic adventurers are sure to entertain, provoke and make the spirits soar.”
Il n’est pas encore minuit … (It’s Not Yet Midnight)
The Regal Theatre: 8 – 17 February
Get set for a heart-in-your mouth, edge-of-your seat adrenaline rush as the 22 thrilling acrobats of Compagnie XY perform in Australia for the first time. This esteemed circus collective pushes the limits of physical ability and brings poetry to the body in motion with their daring stunts. Your jaw will drop in wonder as they flip and dive through the air and create five-storey human towers of power. It begins with the chaos of an all-in brawl that gradually emerges into a study in cooperation and trust. Injected with humour and the sounds of a 1920s jazz club, this is a must-see circus event for everyone.
Barber Shop Chronicles
The Octagon Theatre: 9 – 18 February
Barber Shop Chronicles heads to Perth Festival direct from a sell-out season at London’s National Theatre, where it has won rave reviews for its barbed banter, hair-raising tales and block party atmosphere. Our 2017 Festival artist-in-residence Inua Ellams hits the stratosphere with this heart-warming and hilarious show set in six different barber shops across London and Africa all on the same day. The 12 high-energy performers josh and joust their way through secret men’s business as Chelsea plays Barcelona in a soccer final on the TV. Newsroom, local hot spot, confessional and football stadium, Barber Shop Chronicles holds a mirror to life with razor-sharp insight, upbeat music and laugh-out-loud humour.
To a simple, rock ‘n’ roll … song
His Majesty’s Theatre: 14 – 17 February
David Bowie, Erik Satie and Patti Smith provide the soundtrack for the Perth debut by British dance wild child Michael Clark. Described by The Evening Standard as ‘an adrenaline shot that sends you away buzzing’, the Olivier Award-nominated To a simple, rock ‘n’ roll . . . song comprises a triple bill of gorgeously arresting choreography by the iconic Michael Clark. Performances by a company of fearless and otherworldly dancers and scintillating lighting design. This power-driven dance work in three acts starts with a cool reflection on Satie, before pulsating with the punk rock of Smith. The sensational finale features an intricate and sublime Bowie tribute that will move your mood from melancholy to joyous rebellion.
Folias Antiguas & Criollas: From the Ancient World to the New World
Perth Concert Hall: Saturday 17 February
Catalan early-music superstar Jordi Savall is acclaimed for the way he breathes new life into little-known musical gems from the Middle Ages to the Baroque era. A tireless researcher into early music, this reviver of lost musical treasures and versatile performer turns each concert into a vibrant celebration that is as much visual spectacle as sonic experience. Savall and two leading ensembles, Hespèrion XXI and Tembembe Ensamble Continuo span the Old World to the New World with inspired and energetic music, song and dance from Baroque Spain and the Americas.
The 2018 Perth Festival runs 9 February to 4 March. Special early-bird prices available on these four extraordinary shows until the full 2018 Festival program is revealed on 9 November. For more information, visit: www.perthfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Barber Shop Chronicles – photo by Marc Brenner