01/06/2017 - 13:54

Artist in residence with Chris Isaacs

01/06/2017 - 13:54

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Local playwright and ‘theatre maker’ Chris Isaacs wants his performances to provoke questions. 

Artist in residence with Chris Isaacs
Chris Isaacs is a co-writer and performer in the Last Great Hunt’s latest production The Advisors. Photo: Jamie Green

Local playwright and ‘theatre maker’ Chris Isaacs wants his performances to provoke questions.

His latest show, The Advisors, does exactly that.

“It’s an exposé of advice presented to the audience in one hour of high-energy good, bad and obscure advice,” Mr Isaacs told Business News.

“What advice is given? And how is that advice given?

“It’s about how we police each other, how we start to construct the identity of others or control the identity of others through the advice we give.”

Mr Isaacs is one of several co-writers and performers responsible for The Advisors, the most recent production to come out of The Last Great Hunt, a collective of Perth-based theatre makers.

The show opens tonight and runs at the State Theatre Centre until June 10.

“Some moments in The Advisors pack a real punch and have some heat in them,” Mr Isaacs said.

“Then there are moments where you think ‘that’s actually really great advice’.

“I want audiences to leave with questions, to feel a certain degree of comfort and discomfort; generally I want them to start treating each other better.”

The world of storytelling and words has always enthralled Mr Isaacs, who took his first steps into the professional writing scene after his Edith Cowan University tutor presented one of his draft scripts ‘The Forlorn’ to Northbridge-based independent theatre, The Blue Room.

In 2006, the script was transformed into a production and Mr Isaacs has been involved in the local theatre scene ever since.

He said collaboration was an essential part of modern theatre.

“Perth’s not big enough to have a competitive nature between companies or artists,” Mr Isaacs said.

“If a show gets audiences in and they enjoy it and that means they take a risk on something else next time, then everyone benefits.”

Mr Isaacs spends around 30 weeks of the year with the Last Great Hunt, filling in the gaps with freelance work.

“There’s always a challenge of finding work or what you want to say; what’s the next story I want to tell, does it have enough meaning, is it real or am I doing it to just do it?” he said.

The Last Great Hunt will take three shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, including a piece Mr Isaacs wrote called The Great Ridolphi, which won three awards at the 2016 Perth Fringe Festival and will also feature in the upcoming Subiaco Theatre Festival (June 7 - July 1). 

“A lot of the work I’ve written is about connection; what holds us together and what pushes us apart,” Mr Isaacs said.

“I like revealing things to people.”

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