by Claire Wilson
Gripping, entertaining and comic at times. Wheatfield with Crows presented by Motif Collective and produced by Madeleine Stephens has it all.
Upon arrival guests will be immersed into the wonderful world of Vincent Van Goh, with carefully curated works scattered throughout the gallery accompanied by classical musicians for both aural and visual delight. If you have never been, the After Dark Gallery will ground you in mystery, intrigue, and frankly darkness; preparing you splendidly for the main event. Go early, look around and linger.
Graduating from the gallery to take your seat, make sure you get in early before all of the best viewing seats are taken facing centre stage—my only criticism of this venue. When you arrive at your seat, listen for a moment. Notice the curated soundscape complete with bird calls and nature sounds. This thoughtful composition is reminiscent of a summer’s day in a field. Perfectly contrasting the dark physical environment. Get ready to be wowed.
Jacob Miles plays Vincent Van Gogh with perfectly poised child-like wonder and clever contrasting despair, the realisation of his declining mental health. Supported by Alec Fuderer, playing Theodore Van Gogh (brother of Vincent), the context of Van Gogh’s suffering takes shape. The remainder of the cast gave equally stunning efforts and are captivating to watch. These performers are well rehearsed.
Wheatfield with Crows is delivered by talented performers, depicting the trials and triumphs of Vincent Van Gogh’s existence as an artist with great conviction. The cast of mostly WAAPA graduates, have a profound impact on the audience with their collective energy and impressive collaboration. Scenes are enthralling and emotive. Impressive and intriguing. I was compelled by the recount of Van Gogh’s extraordinary life. If you know little or a lot about the artists’ personal history, this theatrical take will provide you a new and refreshing perspective. Due thought is given to the script and the audience is allowed space for humor between serious moments. Lighting, music and props are used sparingly and expertly to not detract from the energy that each of the nine performers bring. Every detail is considered and has an important role in contributing to the story.
The Motif Collective seeks to be a collaboration of musicians, performers and producers in the Perth arts scene that encourage ambition and adventurism. Well, they ought to be proud of their premiere production Wheatfield with Crows because it does just that. A must see for anyone with an appetite for arts and the theatre.
Venue: After Dark
21st and 22nd January 2022