WAAPA takes The Hope Fault from book to stage

Director Andrew Hale with his WAAPA second year acting student cast. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d495954
Director Andrew Hale with his WAAPA second year acting student cast. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d495954

COLLABORATION was key for director Andrew Hale as he has adapted Tracy Farr’s Fremantle Press novel The Hope Fault with WAAPA acting students.

Across the two-year process, three from the initial idea, Hale not only had the luxury of multiple workshops with his cast but author Farr was also in the room.

“It’s been great to have that time because new theatre is not an easy thing to do,” Hale, of Wembley, said.

“I’ve tried to make the process as collaborative as possible because one of the things I dislike about modern theatre is the idea that one person has all the ideas.

“I’ve been able to work with these actors from the beginning and they all have a really great connection to the material.

“Tracy sat in the room for the second workshop and became like a defacto stage manager taking fantastic notes and was happy to allow things to be other than they were in the novel.”

Director Andrew Hale. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d495954

The sweeping family saga set across three generations is a story about familial connections and fault lines where central character Iris comes to a huge realisation about her past.

“We try to steer ourselves through life but we don’t necessarily have a handle on the things that make us the way we are,” Hale said.

“Poet Robert Bly said a man spends the first 40 years of their life putting things into a little bag so he doesn’t have to deal with it and the second 40 years taking them out and examining them one by one. He said it about men but I think that’s true about all people.

“Our main character Iris is in her late forties, early fifties and is going through that process, and slowly discovers one of those things that fundamentally made her who she is without her having any say over it.

“She’s basically repressed it because as a little girl she preferred to remember it in a different way. But she can’t move forward because she’s remembering her past wrong.”

Hale said the adaptation process was like smashing a beautiful vase into a thousand pieces and then sticking it back together again to grow a plant in it.

“It becomes a really organic living thing,” he said.

“When you’re turning a novel into a play, it’s not about what you keep but what you get rid of. Tracy had the luxury of a lot more words than I can say in 90 minutes.”

WAAPA in conjunction with the Minderoo Foundation and Fremantle Press present this world premiere to coincide with the re-opening of the Enright Studio after a $1 million fit-out.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: The Hope Fault

Where: Enright Studio, WAAPA

When: October 11 to 17

Tickets: www.waapa.ecu.edu.au

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