NORPA, one of Australia’s leading regionally-based theatre companies, may have lost their Lismore performing arts centre in the devastating floods but it hasn’t stopped the company from creating something beautiful, powerful and joyous with its new major work Love for One Night.
NORPA are no strangers to delighting audiences by staging spectacular shows in interesting places – they have performed sell-out shows on the platform of an abandoned train station (Railway Wonderland) and in a country hall (Dreamland). Long-time collaborators, director Julian Louis and writer Janis Balodis, are now taking audiences to The Eltham Hotel, a majestic old watering hole in the hinterland that has been a meeting place for more than 100 years.
Country hotel pubs like The Eltham play a unique role in communities. They attract all walks of life and are a place for yarns, for meeting up and colliding into strangers. It is this melting pot of characters, surrounded by charm and hospitality, which first inspired the concept for Love for One Night.
In Love for One Night a series of brief encounters are told through story, dance, and song with a live band scoring all the action. The Eltham Hotel itself becomes both set and character with live videography projected onto its façade and the audience taking it all in from tiered theatre seating constructed in front of the hotel. Love For One Night has been created through a devised theatre making process – a collaboration by the creative team and performers: including research, story collection, improvisation, character and scene development.
Love for One Night is a circle dance of love stories, featuring twenty-four characters played by five actors. Some of the characters include: Sunny, a single mum, hopeless romantic and housekeeper at The Eltham; barflies Brad and Rosa who are childhood sweethearts and banter lovingly over schooners and rugby; and David and Rob who fell in love with the same woman. The dexterous cast includes long-time NORPA collaborators Katia Molino and Phil Blackman, alongside local talents Zoe Gameau, Claire Atkins, and performer Lloyd Allison-Young. They lead us through love in all its guises from deep friendship to infatuation, romance and heartbreak and, of course, sexual attraction and unbridled lust.
An unforgettable night of theatre under the stars at The Eltham Hotel, September 8 to 24.
Tickets: $20–$59 | www.norpa.org.au