Perth Festival teases 2017 program with Opening Weekend announcement

The organisers of the Perth International Arts Festival have teased details of their 2017 program, revealing a glimpse at what they have in store for the opening weekend, including details of next year’s opening event.

In recent years the festival opening event has been a grand spectacle, from gigantic puppets walking the streets of the city, to large-scale concerts celebrating the state. 2017 is no different in terms of scale, with the festival showering Perth’s Kings Park in lights, animations, 3D projections and sound.

Boorna Wannginy: The Trees Speak will transform the park into a nocturnal wonderland, leading audiences through the park to explore the diverse seasonal fauna of South West WA. The free walkthrough will start at Fraser Avenue, with the eucalypts brought to life with 3D projections and animations, allowing great flocks of birds appear overhead and giant marsupials and other animals to be seen scurrying amongst the trees.

Nigel Jamieson, the director of last year’s Home, has teamed up with WA designers, animators, Noongar storytellers, artists and scientists for the event, which aims to reflect Kings Park as a natural treasure trove of beauty, wisdom and knowledge.

“After Home, our 2017 Festival opening goes even deeper into a sense of place in Kings Park, one of Perth’s most beloved public assets,” PIAF Artistic Director Wendy Martin said. “Using Kings Park as our canvas, this sound and light spectacular will be a unique experience of wonder, magic and transcendence.”

Also set for opening weekend is The Gabriels: Election Year in the Life of One Family, a new play cycle from Tony Award winning playwright and director Richard Nelson. A Perth Festival exclusive, the as-yet unfinished trilogy of plays follows the ups and downs of the 2016 US election through the lens of one family as they come together around the dining table. The production has already been hailed as an American classic, with the New York Times describing it as “the most resonantly topical and emotionally engaging play of this election year”.

The final program tease is in the form of The Dark Mirror: Zender’s Winterreise, a reimagining of Schubert’s iconic song cycle in the style of Weimar cabaret. Another Australian exclusive, The Dark Mirror will see UK Tenor Ian Bostridge team up with director Netia Jones and WA Symphony Orchestra musicians for this music-theatre event that has been described as a “dark and enthralling tribute to Schubert’s genius”.

Perth International Arts Festival 2017 will run from February 10th to 5th March 2017.

The full festival program will be announced on November 2nd with tickets on sale to the public from November 7th. For more information visit HERE


This content has recently been ported from its original home on Arts on the AU and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.