LOVE and fear – the two major themes that shape us while growing up – form the heart of Beast, the latest offering from The Actors’ Hub.
Directed by Ellis Pearson, the story follows the trials and tribulations of people in a rural village as they face the danger of “the beast”.
“The story of having to overcome the monster is so old in human history, and so fundamental, that the students and myself – the group provocateur – found the task of creating our own version just too irresistible,” he said.
“We uncovered facets of love and fear that are vital ingredients in the task of facing up to the beast and, along the way, felt we came to understand our own fears, desires and loves a little more.
“The challenges in the journey of making Beast were mainly finding ways to make what is essentially an adult fairytale into a contemporary story that can be exciting to an audience well-schooled in the joys of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Hollywood versions of Marvel comics.”
An actor and theatre-maker for the past 40 years, Pearson has been in large and small ensembles that have performed in 17 countries around the world.
He has won best supporting actor awards for the feature films The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman’s Finger and Paljas, as well as Edinburgh Fringe First Awards for his company Theatre for Africa.
Nowadays, Pearson spends most of his time as a teacher.
With Beast, he said that one of the aims was highlighting the tremendous power of group collaboration.
“Although we have followed archetypal themes, we have tried to make theatre that is magical and has the possibility of enchanting the audience at every moment, with laughter never far away,” Pearson said.
“Through the articulate use of body and voice, colour and harmony of song – and the skilful use of invented sound-making instruments of all kinds – the actors have woven a tale that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats until the last gasping moments of the play.”
Beast plays at 7pm April 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 with a 2pm matinee also on April 6. Tickets are $30, $25 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BBROZ.
The Actors’ Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.