Director likes mic
ZOE Pepper, Tim Watts and Adriane Daff have spent the past 10 years working together on a variety of projects since meeting during their days at WAAPA.
Despite this, their independent theatre companies Side Pony Productions (Pepper) and The Last Great Hunt (Watts and Daff) have not officially co-produced a work until now.
The Irresistible, showing at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts from June 14-24, will rectify this, bringing along the resources of both companies to support the artistic collaboration.
All three co-wrote the work which Pepper, of Swanbourne, is directing and Watts and Daff will perform.
“We generated a lot of the dialogue through improvisation so we’d film it, transcribe the improvisations and then turn it into a script, refine and develop the story,” Pepper said.
“We really wanted to make a work that looked at our own biases and unconscious bias.
“We found that quite a tricky thing to do and in our last development, we played around a lot with live voice manipulation; looking at how two different characters can say the same thing and how you respond to them so differently depending on the kind of voice they have.”
The result is a theatre work where Watts and Duff play nine characters that keep changing as their voices change, thanks to radio mics worn during the performance.
“The audio is a really big part of the show, which borders on a mystery, sci-fi story,” Pepper said. “It’s about a couple whose niece comes to stay with them.
“They later discover that she has powers and these powers tear their life apart.”
Pepper said the production was a chance to shake things up after a decade of theatre making.
“When you get to a certain point and you’ve made enough works, you can start to see a pattern you’ve been repeating,” she said. “We came into this really wanting to crack that open and make a work that had a different feel and style with sci-fi and this level of mystery is quite foreign to the other works that we’ve done.
“It feels fresh and different and gives the audience the feeling that anything could happen, in the best possible way.”
Director Zoe Pepper with actors Adriane Daff and Tim Watts during rehearsals at PICA.