Song­bird takes flight

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Business - Sara Fitz­patrick

AS a young girl, Shakara Wal­ley thought it was nor­mal for peo­ple to break into song at any given mo­ment.

She and fel­low fam­ily mem­bers would strike a chord on the guitar and belt out a melody when­ever the urge took hold.

Har­ness­ing this fer­vour for har­mony, the emerg­ing Perth the­atremaker could not re­sist adding a few num­bers to her new play.

Song­bird, Wal­ley’s writ­ing de­but, fea­tures sev­eral self-com­posed tunes writ­ten while tour­ing the fes­ti­val cir­cuit with her fa­ther.

“I come from a very mu­si­cal back­ground: my whole fam­ily can play any num­ber of in­stru­ments and we all sing,” Wal­ley said.

“In Year 2 I started with vi­o­lin and then up­graded to ukulele and then guitar. I have a short at­ten­tion span so have learned to play bass and pi­ano also – I get bored and move on to the next thing.

“Mu­sic re­mains a big part of my life and my fam­ily and I still sit and sing to­gether.”

Fol­low­ing her di­rec­to­rial de­but last year with Con­fes­sions of a Py­ro­ma­niac, Wal­ley’s Song­bird will premier dur­ing Naidoc Week through Yirra Yaakin’s Next Step pro­gram and fo­cuses on themes of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, tragedy and love.

“I had to get out of my own speech pat­terns and think about how other peo­ple talk,” Wal­ley said.

“I wrote the script with the lan- guage that I use, so when the ac­tors read it they said: ‘I don’t talk like this’.

“I’m a be­liever in col­lab­o­ra­tion so I worked with my ac­tors and writ­ing men­tor and lis­tened to other peo­ple and took on sug­ges­tions.”

Wal­ley said she was ner­vous in bring­ing her pro­duc­tion to the stage and sim­ply hoped peo­ple would en­joy the show.

Song­bird per­form­ers Beth Cooper and James Tay­lor.

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