Big week for Ten Days on the Island: just one final week of preparation before the festival opens. It’s one of my favourite moments – the artists start to arrive, rehearsals are in progress and we begin to see what the works in progress are actually going to look like!
It’s not every day that Tasmania has the World Premiere of a new play by one of Australia’s most dazzling playwrights, so on Monday I was in Hobart for the first read-through and design presentation for Kate Mulvany’s latest play The Mares with the play’s fantastic cast and creative team at Tasmanian Theatre Company. Kate’s script sure does pack a punch: it’s funny, disturbing, visceral and brutal. It flows between the contemporary and ancient worlds, and sets striking psychological and physical challenges for the cast and brilliant director Leticia Carceres to meet over the coming weeks. From the buzz in the room and that very dynamic first reading, I strongly sense that The Mares is going to be a powerful experience in the theatre. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if theatre’s your thing, do not miss this opportunity to see some of Hobart’s finest in full flight.
We’re also getting our first glimpse at the extraordinary films from the Women of the Island team, rehearsals for mapali Dawn Gathering are gathering pace in Wynyard, Burnie, Ulverstone and on the beach in Devonport and the first floor dining room in the Pulp building on Bass Highway has almost completely been transformed into Tasmania’s newest contemporary art space, ready for the technical team from Germany for Lisa Reihana’s In Pursuit of Venus (infected) to arrive at the end of the week. Final touches go in next week, including the creation of the Pulp Festival Lounge, where I’ll be interviewing Festival artists in our talks series What’s Tasmania Talking About? in the first weekend.
Program notes are great, but I always find it inspiring and fascinating to talk directly to artists about their work. The journey from concept to realisation is something that never fails to intrigue and surprise me. This series of talks is a way of sharing those conversations with you – the audience. Enhance your festival experience by joining me for a relaxed exchange of ideas with a brilliant group of Festival artists, as we delve deeper into the how and the why of art-making and reveal the hidden secrets of the Ten Days on the Island 2019 program!