Blink is one to keep an eye on
CREATIVE director Melissa Cantwell’s compulsion to make theatre was a big factor in the formation of project-based independent theatre company The Kabuki Drop.
“It began as a way to start building a body of original work; works new to WA with some of the amazing artists we have across the independent sector and really start to explore different ways of using space,” Cantwell said.
“It’s lovely to work on projects we think are relevant to the city and that we can do with different partners in different ways.”
The company debuted with IOTA in The Average Joe at Fringe World Festival 2017 and will now present commissioned play Blink during the City of Perth Winter Arts Season.
Cantwell, the former artistic director of Perth Theatre Company, said the two-hander play written by Phil Porter had been brought to her by actors Andrea Gibbs and Sean Walsh.
“Andrea had found it and I just fell in love with it and the idea of them performing in it,” Cantwell said.
“They’ve worked together for years across different mediums of comedy, impro and stand-up, so it’s lovely to be working with them in this little dramatic piece.
“It’s just an extraordinarily delicate and beautiful piece of writing. We’re weeks into the rehearsal process now and we’re still discovering these little flashes of genius. There’s a beautiful subtlety to the comedy and the relationship between these two characters.”
The play follows two outsiders who cross paths and have a romance.
Cantwell said it was slightly left of centre, so audiences never quite knew where they were going next with the endearing characters.
A large part of the commission was about The Kabuki Drop working with City of Perth to take an otherwise empty space and transform it into a non-traditional venue.
This has been done at 266 William Street, Northbridge, which in a previous life was the home of the Australian Writer’s Guild WA branch.
“The space itself is quite large but we love the idea of it being a really intimate, small performance, so the seats are limited,” Cantwell said.
“It’s a heart-warming play, which is appropriate for the winter festival, and it’s unlike anything I’ve come across in terms of new writing. It’s superbly written and a joy to bring to life.”