Sometimes you’d do well to listen to the hype. For the last week people have been raving to me about the Last Great Hunt’s ambitious new theatre work, Lé Nør [the rain], now showing at PICA as part of Perth Festival. Finally it was my turn, and it did not disappoint.
One of the local productions from this year’s Festival program under the Made in WA banner, Lé Nør was commissioned by Perth Festival, PICA and Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. It’s a very ambitious piece that combines live theatre with filmmaking as the cast performs a faux foreign film live on stage.
Sound different? It sure is. Having read about this premise I was expecting the back of a film set with crew, on set politics and the like. The Last Great Hunt have taken their vision further: no backstage bickering or director yelling cut. Instead the audience witnesses the film performed, filmed and played out in its entirety before them. Exposing the use of cinematic devices with often hilarious results, it’s seamless, and brilliantly done.
Adriane Daff in Lé Nør, image by David Collins.
Not ones to shy away from a challenge, The Last Great Hunt have gone one step further and created their own gibberish language: an invented hybrid of borrowed ancient Germanic languages. It’s the best part of the show and so flawlessly performed that I quickly forgot that it was invented. English surtitles, then, form an essential part of the viewing process.
Lé Nør manages to be uproarious and romantic whilst critiquing climate change. It’s told through three parts: the drought, the rain and the flood, each forming the backdrop for a range of emotions explored by performers Tim Watts, Adriane Daff, Arielle Gray, Chris Isaacs, Gita Bezard, Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Jo Morris.
On one level Lé Nør is about human suffering and destruction, but really it’s all about form. Watching Jo Morris climb the walls of a telephone box, whilst seeing how it’s done, was a treat, as was an opening fight sequence from Daff and Gray.