Blink is one to keep an eye on

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly life -

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.”

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