A tiny longhorn beetle, a majestic southern right whale and an ancient Galapagos tortoise will share the stage with some of Australia’s greatest acting talent this July, for the world premiere of The Wider Earth.
The Wider Earth is a groundbreaking collaboration between QTC and the insanely talented Brisbane-born team Dead Puppet Society, together with acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Lior and famed Sydney-based producer Tony Buchen.
The production is Dead Puppet Society’s most ambitious yet featuring over 30 custom-created puppets and eight actors, a result of the company spending time working with the genre-breaking Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa and travelling to the Galapagos.
With a bevy of astonishing puppets breathing life into creatures great and small – from the tiniest longhorn beetle to the majestic southern right whale and the ancient Galapagos tortoise – The Wider Earth re-imagines the tale of scientific visionary Charles Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle.
Dead Puppet Society’s David Morton – who penned The Wider Earth and will also direct and design – says it’s a coming-of-age story about science and faith and how one doubting young man with a questing heart set out to ask a question of Mother Nature and found the answer to everything.
“And because of the nature of the story and the world we are creating, our collaboration with Lior and Buchen is absolutely and totally perfect. We will work with both of them to create an original score which will accompany the entire production, given the important role that music will play in supporting the visual storytelling of this production,” he says.
Lior is one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters, renowned for his beautiful voice and songs that radiate with truth and sincerity. He is an ARIA award winner and eight time nominee including Best Male Artist, Triple J’s prestigious ‘J Award’ nomination for album of the year and Best Independent Release. Although Lior has composed for television, winning Best Original Song Composed for the Screen for Giggle and Hoot at the 2012 APRA Screen Music Awards, this project represents his first foray into composition for theatre.
Similarly, Sydney-based producer, mixer and songwriter Tony Buchen is sought after all around the world because of his immense talent. Most recently he has worked with emerging Australian artists The Preatures, Asta, Thelma Plum, Jeremy Neale and Montaigne, and is equally at home mixing the debut album for Californian mega choir The Silver Lake Chorus, providing string arrangements for US based duo The Falls, and collaborating on string quartet Fourplay’s latest project with acclaimed UK author Neil Gaiman.
“We’re so excited that this work will bring human performers and our trademark puppet characters together in a meaningful way that isn’t often seen in mainstream theatre,” says David.
The story of The Wider Earth will take audiences from the dizzying heights of the Andes to the depths of the Amazon rainforest, through the storms of Tierra del Fuego, to the endless wonders of the Galapagos Islands, and while the sense of creation and theatre will be incredibly visual and at times, jaw-dropping, David advises the tale is very much for an adult audience.
The Wider Earth will play from 9 July to 7 August at Bille Brown Studio. For more info or for tickets click here