Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE - Tanya MacNaughton

IT is rare for Rene­gade Pro­duc­tions founder Joe Lui to read a play and im­me­di­ately feel the need to turn it into a pro­duc­tion.

But that is ex­actly how the di­rec­tor re­acted to play­wright Finn O’Brana­gain’s Selkie.

“I think a di­rec­tor mak­ing a play is like mak­ing your own po­etry with some­one else,” Lui said.

“And when you find those mo­ments where you think you can speak through this per­son and this per­son through you, it’s pretty mag­i­cal.”

A selkie is a crea­ture of Gaelic mythol­ogy that ex­ists as a seal in wa­ter and can shed its seal­skin to as­sume hu­man form on land.

Lui, who is also known in the theatre com­mu­nity for his ta­lent as a writer, de­signer and com­poser, said a lot of his works heav­ily in­volved mytho­log­i­cal el­e­ments, phe­nom­ena and sto­ries as a way of ex­am­in­ing the present.

“I, how­ever, tend to have a style that is more brash and di­dac­tic,” Lui said.

“When I read Selkie, the sim­i­lar­ity was there with the myth be­ing looked at in a con­tem­po­rary way, and ex­am­in­ing re­ally im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal is­sues through myth, but I loved that it had a sub­tle and beauty to it.

“Finn is as pas­sion­ate and vo­cif­er­ous as me po­lit­i­cally and very much sees art in the same way I see art, as a way to in­cite so­cial change.

“I think per­haps I have more of the tint of the dema- gogue in me and she is a more sub­ver­sive voice.”

Lui has col­lab­o­rated with chore­og­ra­pher Laura Boynes and dancers Ky­nan Hughes and Yilin Kong, who have added con­tem­po­rary dance to the theatre pro­duc­tion.

“The big­gest chal­lenge work­ing on this pro­duc­tion has prob­a­bly been try­ing to hold the en­tire thing in my head,” Lui said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d452254d452254

Rene­gade Pro­duc­tions founder Joe Lui.

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