Rachael Woodward’s Valentine has a whole lot of heart at PICA

Rachael Woodward as Valentine.
Rachael Woodward as Valentine.

RACHAEL Woodward has always been more interested in physical theatre than text-based performance, so it was music to her ears during her last year at high school that WAAPA was starting a Bachelor of Performance Arts course.

She relished her performance-making studies at WAAPA and during her final year in 2015, had the seed of an idea to create a clown character.

“In WAAPA we had a unit at Spare Parts Puppet Theatre with puppetry training, which I absolutely loved,” Woodward, of Balcatta, said.

“Once I graduated, Spare Parts ran their FirstHand training program which I applied for with this project Valentine. I got to spend a year working with all the wonderful people at Spare Parts, developing and figuring out the story and how to do some of the puppetry.”

The result is the heart-warming Valentine, showing during Awesome International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things, which is about a clown in the title role who has lost her heart.

“It’s very joyful but is also very sad and sweet,” she said.

“It’s about learning that it’s ok to miss someone. Valentine has a great relationship with her grandpa and when he passes away she has to figure out how to connect with people.”

Woodward said the show had opened her up to being vulnerable, featuring a lot of her own story in it, with the grandpa character based on a mix of both her grandparents.

Valentine is for ages five years and older and features a cast of two, Woodward in front of the curtain and a second performer hidden doing interactive shadow puppetry.

“Hopefully audiences have a lot of fun and it reminds them to have the courage to be ok with letting your heart wander and roam.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Valentine

Where: PICA Performance Space

When: October 2

Tickets: www.pica.org.au