We are back with part two of the interview with the fabulous Adam Mitchell; Perth theatre director.
In the photo above we have featured a scene from one of the plays he directed “When The Rain Stops Falling.”
Adam talks about this play in Part 1 of his interview which you can read here. Adam Mitchell Part One.
Enjoy Part 2…..
6) What are your thoughts on the arts and theatre in Perth?
I feel like we’re at a real turning point. I think that the Fringe festival is an absolute illustration of that. 10 years ago when we had a Fringe Festival no one went. Now Fringe has become such a success, I feel like we’ve finally grown up. I feel like people finally feel that going to see live entertainment is a worthwhile thing to do. I also feel that the arrival of this festival and others like it, have taken some power away from the theatre companies and given it back to the artists, and Im talking all sorts of artists, theatre makers, writers, musicians, everyone. There is a chance now to be seen internationally which is fantastic. It used to be that people wanted to do a co-production with Perth Theatre Company or a co-pro with Black swan. Now all of a sudden there is a vehicle which allows people to bypass those agencies and companies. Artists can now have a direct line to making work for a world stage and I think that’s really, really exciting.
7) What are your hopes for the future of theatre in our city?
We need to have more gatekeepers. There are too many people who control the purse in terms of arts funding. There are too few people who have a say in what’s relevant and what’s possible. What we need to be doing is disseminating the money to more artists, more diverse artists. Artists that don’t necessarily want to work in the Heath Ledger theatre, artists that want to find their own spaces or create spaces or use lesser known spaces. It’s really interesting at the moment in Newcastle because they’ve found a really interesting way to tackle the downturn and that is to lease out the empty shops at a subsidised rate to artists who are using them as performance spaces. I think Perth has a long way to go in terms of that but we just need the bureaucrats to say “wow, you know what, art does have a place and a value and we need to actively encourage these creative people and industries to stay in our city. Variety magazine rated WAAPA as one of the 25 best drama schools in the world. In front of Central School in London, in front of some of the big schools in America, and WAAPA is the equivalent or better, yet we have no programs and nothing that enables artists who graduate from this institution to stay and have a sustainable career in the arts, so they all go to Melbourne, or they go to Sydney or they go international. How amazing would it be if people came here to study and when they were finished they stuck their heads out of the institution and said wow, what a creative city. I want to stay here and play. That’s my hopes for this city. Sorry I went very preachy there for a while. Must be the wine. We do have wonderful places like the Blue Room which is really unique and experimental but I feel like Perth needs to go further. I think the audiences are there and are willing. In terms of festivals PIAF is honestly one of the best festivals in the country. I don’t know how it happened but our international arts festival is really world class so we are getting there. Go Perth.
8) What’s in the future for you Adam?
I’m working on a lot of projects at the moment. A musical at WAAPA called “The Children of Eden” which we are in rehearsals for right now. It’s got some beautifully rich choral work and is based on the first nine books of the bible. It’s epic and glorious. Then I am in development for some new works, a solo work with Claudia Alessi. I am also working on a new play by Nathaniel Moncrieff about the race riots in the 1930s in Kalgoorlie which we will be starting in a few months.
I am also working on the new Finegan Kruckmeyer play “Those who fall in love like anchors dropped upon the ocean floor” which is on at The Blue Room in November and that takes us through to the end of the year. Lots of exciting stuff.
9) And second last question, what is Adam Mitchell’s favourite season and why?
Oh gawd it’s a real toss-up. It’s not spring. You’d think it might be spring but it’s not. Spring is neither here nor there. It’s a transition period. If I was in Paris…….. Can I be a real wanker? If I was in Paris, I would say Autumn. Or if you’re in Oregan or Maine, Autumn, how can you go past that. But in Perth, I’m not sure. I really love winter, I love storms, I love rainy days. I love winter fashions, I love coats. I love red wine. I love all of the cliché’s that go along with that. But then I love summer. How can you go past summer. Really though I think I’m an autumn man. I love the drama of autumn. Driving down Beaufort Street with the plane trees it’s all so beautiful. I also think it’s a nice time of the year in terms of the arts, for creative people, it’s normally a very intense work time for us. Workwise summer is really quiet and then things get going again in Autumn and everything is exciting and new. Yep Autumn- Autumn is my season!
10) Any final thoughts or words of advice you have for our readers?
I think surprise yourself. It’s hard to do new things so to the readers I would say just get out there and see what’s on offer. Try to do something new every month. Go and see a comedian you’ve never heard of. Go to a concert, get along to a foreign film, it may be diabolical but it may be amazing. You never know. So my advice is to just get out and get amongst it.
Thank you so much Adam. We look forward to your upcoming shows.
If you missed part one of this interview you can read it here. Adam Mitchell Part One
Have you seen any of Adam’s plays? Are you planning to go to the ones he has coming up?