THEATRE REVIEW: Perpetual Wake "is a tangled tale of lies and deception"
Perpetual Wake is a show that looks at our intrinsic need to please other people. Featuring the regular crew of The Last Great Hunt performers - Jeffrey Jay Fowler, Arielle Gray and Chris Isaacs, plus rising star Charlotte Otten, Perpetual Wake is a tangled tale of lies and deception. It tells the story of author Bernice who, fearing no one will accept her new book, lies to get it a fair review. Her previous books have all been romances and - although commercially successful - have not garnered her the critical response she thinks she needs. She especially craves approval from her husband, a boorish author of a single, highly admired novel who now makes a living from reviewing the work of other people in 'The Paper'.
(Images by Annie Harvey and Dana Weeks)
Literary genres - and the value we attach to them - is a major theme in this work. Scenes from Bernices’ book are played out in a noir-ish surrealism, as the lovers hunt a stag that refuses to die. The more noble pursuit of literature is given over to the scenes depicting real life. This enables a conversation about what is more worthy - literary fiction or genre novels? Commercial success or critical acclaim? It’s a question most creatives have to grapple with at some point, and a real fear when it comes to putting their work out into the world. This is the stag that refuses to die - the judgemental whisper in the creatives ear that tells them they’re not good enough.
The Last Great Hunt are a highly valuable addition to the theatre scene in Perth. They produce works that inventively play with form and have the ability to engage the intellect as well as the heart. Written by Jeffrey Jay Fowler and Gita Bezard, and directed by Bezard, Perpetual Wake will stay with you for days as you untangle the various threads of the story within a story.
4 out of 5 stars