"Stay With Us" Is Theatre That Makes You Think and Feel
Stay With Us is the latest offering from Perth theatre company Last Great Hunt. It’s a space responsive work, set in the rooms and foyer of Riverview Hotel — and yes, it is that terrifying beast, immersive theatre. Don’t stress too much though, this is the gentlest and least stressful kind of immersion possible. You’re so caught up in the strange world that’s been created for you that you forget that you’re playing a pivotal role in the unraveling of the plot.
After being greeted at the foyer, our intentionally small group of seven people (there are several show times per night to accommodate the small audience size) are introduced to our tour guide Tim Watts. We are shown to our first room via the rear carpark, which has a distinct Twin Peaks vibe. Tim’s role is to guide us through the three rooms, and in between dispenses nuggets of philosophy and science with the manner of a slightly nervous time traveller.
The 7 of us were a group, joined together, our atoms meeting in this configuration only once, maybe to meet again under different circumstances and in different bodies. We helped a grieving woman connect with her lost sister, delved into the body and memories of a dead woman and snuggled up for a bedtime story. And we had so much fun.
Claire Testoni, last seen in The Beast, welcomes you to the final room like the sparkly eyed nanny you never had and always wanted. Dressed in granny nighties and clutching our teddy bears, the seven of us gazed at the ceiling as the final act is played out on the ceiling above us.
This story of the bonds between sisters, of grief and loss, of atoms meeting and splitting through space and time, is intensely beautiful. Director Arielle Gray along with co-creators Chris Isaacs and Tim Watts have designed a highly engaging and thought provoking work.
This is theatre to make you think and feel.