From the editor
IT’S always a huge pleasure to flee the bonds of head office and eastern summer time and go to Perth’s arts festival: yes, even when the three-hour time difference wreaks havoc with one’s schedule. In fact, the dislocation is part of the experience I find — the sense of being in another world is more intense. It is extremely conducive to festivalgoing. It was also a pleasure to have a natter with new Perth International Arts Festival artistic director Jonathan Holloway and find him exceptionally upbeat about his first outing. We talked a bit about how ticket sales can never be the full measure of arts success, yet if people don’t respond to what you offer, you probably need to take a look at what you’re doing. Well, the people of Perth appear to have responded wholeheartedly to Holloway’s program, something he found extremely uplifting. Perth was one of the most culturally receptive places in the world, he said, and if he had any lingering cynicism after working in the arts for many years, it couldn’t survive here. He was thrilled 30,000 people turned out to see Place des Anges, the opening-night spectacular that showered the city with feathers, but took particular pleasure in the response of one of that number, an 80-yearold woman. She told Holloway it had been like the war ending all over again; an inspiring response. Another woman, wheelchair-bound, had been able to experience Oraculos — a show seen by only one person at a time — because it was specially adapted for her. Holloway is not wrong to see these moments as crucial. Big audiences are created person by person, each one of them unique.