Matthew Lutton, acclaimed young director and founder of the theatre company ThinIce, was last night awarded a Western Australian Citizen of the Year Award.

Matthew was announced winner of the Youth Arts category by His Excellency Dr Ken Michael AC at a gala presentation at Burswood Entertainment Complex. The award was accepted by his mother Susan Lutton while Matthew is currently working on a new opera in Munich for the Bavarian State Opera.

Matthew, who at age 17 founded ThinIce while still at school, was the winner of the Youth Arts category – an award that recognises a young person aged 18-25 years who has been engaged in the pursuit of excellence in the arts. Previous recipients of the award include choreographer Jason Gilkinson and now international fashion designer Michelle Jank.

Matthew is committed to the WA arts industry and in just nine years has firmly established a reputation as one of the country’s most exciting new talents. Since completing university studies at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) he has worked with most of Australia’s leading theatre companies and directors, last year directing The Mysteries:Genesis at Sydney Theatre Company with Andrew Upton and Tom Wright.

Now at just 25 years of age, Matthew’s directing credits are numerous and well received, and ThinIce has emerged as one of the country’s most progressive theatre companies. His most recent work Love Me Tender premiered at the 2010 Perth International Arts Festival, following on from previous festival productions of Antigone in 2009, The Lady Aoi in 2007. The West Australian has said “Unconventional and endlessly inventive, the Lutton theatre experience is intoxicating…”

Matthew’s other past works include The Duel (ThinIce and Sydney Theatre Company), Red Shoes (ThinIce and Artrage 2008), Don't Say the Words (Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney), and Tartuffe (Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre).

Throughout his career Matthew has resisted the trend of migrating from the West to more established arts communities and has chosen Perth as his base for both himself and his company ThinIce.

He acknowledges his home state as an important part in growing his career: “Perth is the place where I started my investigation into this wonderfully illusive thing called theatre. It has provided me with a space to explore my own questions and instincts, and has been a home for me to reflect on myself, my work, and the community that surrounds me. ThinIce has been the hub of these explorations, and as the vision for each projects expands, so does the ambitions of the company,” says Matthew.

Due to his efforts, extraordinary theatre originating from WA is being seen around the country. His work has been staged Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart over the last 24 months.

ThinIce through Matthew, has adopted the premise of breaking down state borders to allow many WA actors and theatre artists the opportunity to work professionally interstate. Similarly, ThinIce continues to bring many of Australia's best actors to perform for Perth audiences. The upcoming production of THE TRIAL in October will see renowned actors Ewan Leslie (War of the Roses) and John Gaden (King Lear) touring to Perth.

In addition to his work with ThinIce, Lutton volunteers his time to work with students and teachers, and mentors other young aspiring artists.

In April 2008, Matthew became the youngest member to be appointed to the Australia Council for the Arts’ Theatre Board, where he represents WA. He was also appointed to the panel of judges for the national Helpmann Awards – Australia’s most prestigious awards for the stage.

In 2008 Matthew received a commission from Aldeburgh New Music in the UK to create a new contemporary opera with Czech composer Miroslav Srnka. This current project will premiere in Munich at the Bavarian State Opera in 2011.

The latest production from Matthew Lutton and ThinIce is Franz Kafka’s THE TRIAL, adapted by Louise Fox. This co-production between ThinIce, Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company will come to the Subiaco Arts Centre this October.

THE TRIAL is the story of Joseph K, who on this 30th Birthday is arrested for no explicit reason. He knows he is accused of being guilty, but just what his ‘guilt’ seems to grow more and more ambiguous every day. Slowly, his composed demeanor is eroded, and the world around him becomes increasingly nightmarish as reality slips from his grip.

THE TRIAL will run for a ONE WEEK SEASON ONLY at Subiaco Arts Centre from October 22 to 30 October, 2010. Tickets are on sale now through BOCS, or phone (08) 9484 1133.



Most read Perth reviews

Sylvia Cornes certainly looked the part of Rickie Lee Jones with a sheer black mesh dress, a top...

One of the finest pieces of collective ensemble works seen for many years in Perth.

After a trying 5 day lockdown it was a relief to be among the few who could revel in the...

No one could accuse Gordon Southern of being a slick act.

This effort by Dr Le was a very mixed bag.