Wilkes fo­cused on So Long Suck­ers

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page -

Brown also worked on the show and all three will per­form un­der the di­rec­tion of Kyle J. Mor­ri­son.

“We did the first de­vel­op­ment up in Broome,” Wilkes said.

“We went up, told sto­ries and had a yarn around a ta­ble.

“We thought about what we could do with th­ese sto­ries be­tween a white Aus­tralian, a Kim­ber­ley man and a Noon­gar man liv­ing in the city; So Long Suck­ers came from that.”

The re­sult is a chal­leng­ing per­for­mance com­bin­ing phys­i­cal theatre, live mu­sic and sto­ry­telling where each ac­tor has a con­nec­tion to the spirit of a head­less hero: Ya­gan, Ned Kelly and Jan­damarra.

“I’m also one of the Three Wise Men, al­though we keep that quite am­bigu­ous and don’t get fully re­li­gious with it,” Wilkes said. “And my goanna totem comes back ev­ery now and then through my move­ment and dance; it’s my phys­i­cal pres­ence.”

Wilkes said he wanted au­di­ences to re­flect on the type of world peo­ple lived in to­day with al­co­hol.

“We can’t es­cape this sur­round­ing theme of al­co­holism as much as we try,” he said.

“I think we’ve built this kind of prison which is very con­fus­ing and I love theatre that chal­lenges my mind.

“It’s a very tricky show to watch and make sense of, but I hope au­di­ences make sense of it in their own way.”

So Long Suck­ers is rec­om­mended for ages 15 years and older.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d454028

Ian Wilkes has a rich lin­eage in the dra­matic arts. IAN Wilkes was des­tined to per­form with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Com­pany; it is in his blood.

Sev­eral of his fam­ily mem­bers have an as­so­ci­a­tion with the Abo­rig­i­nal per­form­ing arts or­gan­i­sa­tion, which was founded in 1993, and it was his grea­tun­cle Jack Davis who wrote Honey

Spot, the first Yirra Yaakin pro­duc­tion Wilkes was in.

“We toured to Syd­ney Opera House with that one,” Wilkes said.

“It was a beau­ti­ful play about the coming to­gether of two races through Noon­gar dance and bal­let.”

The 26-year-old has since toured in chil­dren’s show Good Lovin’ and been in the two-part Dream­time sto­ries se­ries Kaarla Kaati­jin and Kep Kaati­jin, mean­ing fire and wa­ter.

He will di­rect the third part of the se­ries, Boodja Kaati­jin, mean­ing earth, later this year. For now, Wilkes is fo­cused on So

Long Suck­ers, which will be at Su­bi­aco Arts Cen­tre from May 26 to June 4.

The WAAPA Abo­rig­i­nal theatre course grad­u­ate is a co-col­lab­o­ra­tor in the pro­duc­tion ex­plor­ing the de­struc­tive ef­fects of al­co­holism in in­dige­nous and non-in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.

Peter Docker and Em­manuel James


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