Lan­guage no bar­rier to art

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - REAL ESTATE - Moya Stevens

DI­REC­TORS of the Mt Mol­loy-based Cen­tre for Aus­tralasian The­atre (CfAT), Cather­ine ‘Cat’ Has­sall and Guil­laume ‘Willem’ Brug­man, have an affin­ity with the Far North.

Late last decade, Willem and Cat were in­vited to es­tab­lish a the­atri­cal en­sem­ble by Diane Ci­lento at her Kar­nak Play­house just north of Moss­man. This ven­ture had barely got off the ground when their pa­tron took sick and sub­se­quently passed away.

Prior to this in­tro­duc­tion to this re­gion, Cat and Willem had worked in Syd­ney and re­gional New South Wales and Vic­to­ria, help­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the­atri­cal groups in their quest for dis­cov­ery and growth.

“Af­ter lead­ing a some­what no­madic ex­is­tence along the east coast of Aus­tralia, and spend­ing some time at Kar­nak, we knew that this area was where we could en­joy the val­ues of the land, giv­ing us and our au­di­ences eman­ci­pa­tion from the city – and vice versa,” Willem said.

The style of per­for­mance pre­sented by CfAT is called De­vised The­atre where the script orig­i­nates more from the ac­tors than from a writer.

“Through this type of per­for­mance we pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity for young ac­tors to train with ex­pe­ri­enced per­form­ers,” he said.

The com­pany has staged a range of shows over re­cent years in Cairns, and their Cargo Club cabaret was per­formed at Ju­lat­ten two weeks ago.

“We were in­vited to put Cargo Club on in Bris­bane ear­lier this year and we were hum­bled by the ex­cel­lent reviews,” Willem said. “Be­cause it is a de­vised show, each per­for­mance is dif­fer­ent but al­ways en­ter­tain­ing.”

CfAT draws tal­ent from all cul­tures and of­ten some of the di­a­logue is spo­ken in other lan­guages.

“We in­clude ac­tors from Ja­pan, In­done­sia, Thai­land, Sri Lanka, PNG and of course from our own in­dige­nous com­mu­nity,” Willem said.

“And even though some of the di­a­logue is in a for­eign lan­guage, the au­di­ence pretty well knows what is be­ing said.”

Cos­tumes for CfAT are cre­ated by one of Aus­tralia’s most renowned fash­ion de­sign­ers, Linda Jack­son.

“When we set­tled in Far North Queens­land, many of our as­so­ci­ates said why not move back to Syd­ney or Mel­bourne,” Willem said, “but we asked our­selves why would we do that with all the the­atri­cal pol­i­tics, noise and peo­ple.

“We be­lieve we can have an im­pact on the­atre right here – with new for­mats and sub­ject mat­ter with a syn­the­sis of oc­ci­den­tal, ori­en­tal and in­dige­nous tra­di­tions.

“We are plan­ning to build a stu­dio and pro­duc­tion cen­tre in Mt Mol­loy for study in in­ter­cul­tural the­atre,” Willem said.

END

Cargo Club cabaret was per­formed in Ju­lat­ten re­cently

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