A team of West Australian theatre performers have banded together to form an internationally travelling theatre troupe that’s pushing creative boundaries with their Perth Festival debut.
The Last Great Hunt (TLGH) is the epitome of Western Australia’s performing arts scene, with productions such as Lé Nør – which gives viewers the unique experience of watching a film on screen, while seeing its live behind-the-scenes action – offering just a small taste of the creative talent blooming in this fine state. We chat to Tim Watts and Arielle Gray about the company and their debut Perth Festival performance.
FQ: How did TLGH come about?
TW: We were all making new work in Perth under various companies, working in similar ways and often collaborating with each other. TLGH came about because we decided to formalise what we were already informally doing. We thought we could all benefit as theatre-makers if we teamed up under one infrastructure and shared resources.
FQ: Did you know everyone before the company was formed?
AG: Yes, we all knew each other and were working together before the company was formed. That’s why we were pretty confident that we would work well together and no one would be murdered.
FQ: Where has TLGH taken the team?
AG: TLGH has allowed us to create new work with supported development time, premiere that work in Perth, and then tour various shows all around Australia and the world. So TLGH has taken us pretty far. We are yet to go to space though…
FQ: How does the team work together?
TW: The things we value in rehearsal rooms are playfulness, honesty, risk taking, collaboration, inventiveness and creativity. Every show we work on as a company tends to have a different process depending on the specific requirements of that show, but that is one of the exciting things about the company – we are eager and driven to challenge ourselves into hunting down the bigger and better beast (show).
FQ: What’s one of your favourite TLGH performances?
AG: A show that I think we all hold dear in our hearts was actually pre-TLGH (but we all worked on it). Pollyanna was an interactive promenade show with six concurrent and interactive storylines that premiered at FringeWorld in a whole wing of the old treasury building, and later did a short development season at Old Sunset Hospital. We had 10 fully installed rooms, 18 performers and it was just an insanely fun and massive monster of a show.
FQ: Lé Nør is your Perth Festival debut. What’s it like being a part of this internationally acclaimed festival?
TW: It is so exciting to have the weight of Perth Festival behind us. It has meant that we are able to create a show that is a more ambitious, both in size, our tech and our team!
FQ: What influenced Lé Nør’s concept?
TW: We accidentally started making Lé Nør while we were re-developing another one of our shows Falling Through Clouds. We started coming up with all this awesome film/theatre crossovers and then realised during the development, “hang on, we think this stuff might be a different show”. So, we put it in our back pocket and came back to it and developed the idea into what it is now.
FQ: In your opinion, what is the current state of Perth’s performing arts industry?
AG: It’s really exciting to be part of an industry that has so much new work and new creators coming onto the scene. There are so many young makers that are experimenting within the medium, which is really inspiring to watch. One of the reasons we are based in Perth is because it is a great place to create work, so obviously we are fans. Having said that, there are always things that could be improved like more affordable and accessible mid-sized venues.
and buy tickets to Lé Nør at https://www.perthfestival.com.au/event/le-nor.