SUMMER is set to sizzle as artistic director Wendy Martin unveiled the 2018 Perth Festival program at Perth Concert Hall last night.
Martin’s third annual program will be the 65th year of Australia’s oldest arts festival which has returned to its original name Perth Festival, following years under the banner of Perth International Arts Festival.
The traditional title is fitting, given that the joy of ancient and modern rituals and art’s power to bring people together runs through the program from February 9 to March 4.
The 2018 Perth Festival will include nine Australian exclusives, two world premieres, five Australian season premieres, two commissions and a dizzying array of more than 230 music, theatre, dance, literature, film and visual art events – many of them free.
It will all begin with Siren Song along St Georges Terrace on February 9 as female voices, including Tara Tiba who performed at the launch, serenade the city street for the eight minutes it takes for the sun to set and a Noongar smoking ceremony takes place.
The serenade will occur every dawn and dusk for the first 10 days of the 2018 Perth Festival.
The 2017 festival favourite Museum of Water will culminate in an interactive installation by artist Amy Sharrocks as her hundreds of collected bottles of water and WA stories are displayed at Fremantle Arts Centre.
Other festival highlights include the Australian premiere season of The Barber Shop Chronicles after a sell-out season at London’s National Theatre and Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour who will present his audacious unrehearsed theatre event Nassim where a series of guest actors each night grapple with the hazards of a new language.
Perth Festival has commissioned Black Swan State Theatre Company and DADAA to present You Know We Belong Together to continue the Festival’s commitment to breaking down barriers in disability arts while In The Second Woman, audiences are invited to step in and out of a 24-hour live performance and cinema spectacle as Sydney’s Nat Randall repeats the same short scene 100 times with a revolving door of 100 Perth men volunteering as her co-stars.
Renowned Compagnie XY present a triumph of giddy, heart-in-your-mouth acrobatics in Il n’est pas encore minuit (It’s Not Yet Midnight) and Indonesia’s Papermoon Theatre and Melbourne’s Polyglot Theatre join forces for Cerita Anak (Child’s Story), an immersive adventure on the high seas for children aged 2-7 and their adults.
Fifth-generation master in the Chinese tradition of glove puppet theatre Yeung Fai is the 2018 artist in residence and the dance program will explode with Taiwan’s award-winning U-Theatre production Beyond Time, mixing martial arts, dance, thundering taiko drums, music and multi-media.
Martin said she visited U-Theatre in their work place last year and joined the company’s daily meditation sessions.
The Chevron Gardens contemporary music program returns, as does Lotterywest Films and Festival Classical Music program while Perth Festival Writers Week has turned from a weekend to a week long celebration of literary events at The University Club of WA.
As a tennis tragic, Martin said she was looking forward to Borg vs McEnroe as part of the Lotterywest Films season.
This year’s official scent is Damask Rose and there will be hints of the scent in food and drinks from Perth Festival restaurant and bar partners.
Full program and tickets at www.perthfestival.com.au.