Beau­ti­ful WA sto­ries

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Theatre - Tanya MacNaughton

BARK­ING Gecko Theatre Com­pany had a big 2016.

Not only did the theatre com­pany for young peo­ple and their fam­i­lies present the en­dear­ing Bam­bert’s Book of Lost Sto­ries, which won the Help­mann Award for Best Pre­sen­ta­tion for Chil­dren, but it moved from the Su­bi­aco Arts Cen­tre to the State Theatre Cen­tre of WA.

And it looks set to have an even big­ger 2017 af­ter the launch of next year’s sea­son pro­gram, fea­tur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion of Salt­bush (July), an in­ter­na­tional tour of Bam­bert’s Book of Lost Sto­ries, new work My Ro­bot (Novem­ber) and a Liv­ing Lec­ture for teenagers on Shake­speare’s Romeo and Juliet (May).

“Salt­bush has toured the world for years and is an ex­tra­or­di­nary piece of dig­i­tal im­mer­sive theatre for young peo­ple,” Bark­ing Gecko artis­tic di­rec­tor Matt Edger­ton said.

“It’s the story of two Abo­rig­i­nal friends trav­el­ling across Aus­tralia through country and ur­ban land­scapes.

“The aes­thet­ics of the piece are all de­ter­mined by Abo­rig­i­nal arts, so there are pro­jec­tions of beau­ti­ful Abo­rig­i­nal art­works, song and mu­sic, and young peo­ple are in­vited up on stage to par­tic­i­pate.”

Bam­bert’s Book of Lost Sto­ries has been given fur­ther life with sea­sons in Europe, Bris­bane and Mel­bourne.

Bark­ing Gecko chief ex­ec­u­tive He­len Hristof­ski said they were in­cred­i­bly ex­cited about the Euro­pean tour.

“The idea of beau­ti­ful sto­ries with a WA ac­cent res­onat­ing glob­ally is just so thrilling,” Hristof­ski said.

Edger­ton will di­rect My Ro­bot, which will be writ­ten by Fine­gan Kruck­e­meyer who the artis­tic di­rec­tor re­gards as one of the world’s best writ­ers for chil­dren.

“We’ve started with the premise ‘If you could make your own ro­bot, what would it be like?’,” he said.

The pro­duc­tion is a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Scitech, UWA and Steve Ber­rick at pvi col­lec­tive.

“Bark­ing Gecko is about not be­ing afraid to con­front big is­sues, big themes and big ideas in the world and to do it in a way that’s joy­ful, up­lift­ing and hope­ful,” Edger­ton said. “The holy grail is to make some­thing kids and adults both laugh at and they’re both moved by.

“Our vi­sion state­ment is to in­spire au­di­ences of all ages to em­brace a cre­ative life full of cu­rios­ity, em­pa­thy and play.”

More at www.bark­inggecko.com.au.

Pic­ture: Jon Green

Bark­ing Gecko Theatre Com­pany launched its 2017 pro­gram.

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