Heads up: Next Wave and Persona ~ theatre notes

Monday, May 21, 2012

Heads up: Next Wave and Persona

The Next Wave festival - a look at up and coming artists from around Australia, with a significant international component - is now in full swing, illuminating all sorts of hidden corners of Melbourne. It's a must for anyone interested in what's happening underneath the skin of the culture. I've been out and about over the weekend, catching some of the early events. My program included a Day Pass adventure, which is a seductive and startlingly cost-effective way of experiencing the festival. A guided tour of Next Wave which begins with a breakfast talk at the Wheeler Centre and curates visits around the city to various exhibitions, events and performances, it's highly recommended.

My diary tells me that I won't get to write about most of the work I've seen until after the shows are closed, so here are a couple of brief notes. So far highlights have been No Show's fun Shotgun Wedding, and Natalie Abbott's extraordinary dance work Physical Fractals. And make sure you find time to pop into Laura Delaney and Danae Valenza's installation at the Mission for Seafarers, Hull. I'm also told that The Exchange Program - Dewey Dell and Justin Shoulder - is unmissable, but haven't yet got to either performance. What's clear already is that this is a really exciting festival. Closes Sunday. Check out the program here.

To make life for theatrenauts more complicated: outside the Next Wavey goodness, Persona, Adena Jacobs's theatricalisation of Ingmar Bergman's screenplay, is presently on at Theatre Works. It's incredible theatre. Hoping to do some justice to this production in the next few days, but in the meantime, try and get there before it closes, also on Sunday.

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