Based in the Northern Rivers of NSW, NORPA is a company that makes theatre from the ground up, taking inspiration from the surrounding country and culture. Their latest work, Wildskin, showcases an all-female ensemble of riotous physical performers, each portraying an array of hilarious, recognisable and oddball characters.
“We wanted to explore and subvert the view of regionality and the idea of the bush horror,” said Julian Louis, Wildskin Director and NORPA Artistic Director. “Wildskin is the story of one woman’s journey but it also takes the horror genre and re-imagines it in a really fun way. We play with people’s expectations that have been set up by narratives of backpacker murders or films like Wake in Fright or Wolf Creek and take audiences to a surprising place with it.”
Eva believes the only way to mend her broken life is to go solo on the road. Lost, alone and under-prepared, she soon finds herself breaking rules and embracing danger. After a long night of the soul, encountering wild animals and decidedly odd humans, Eva discovers she can handle any challenge life dares to throw at her.
Wildskin carries all the hallmarks of NORPA original works like the company’s sell-out shows Railway Wonderland and Dreamland. Adventurous, entertaining and collaborative NORPA shows use multiple artforms and creative voices to tell stories of universal resonance that have their feet planted firmly in the red soil of the Northern Rivers region.
“I’m inspired by creating scenarios for great performers to work in. The cast of Wildskin includes top level circus and physical theatre performers and actors working with an incredible creative team. Our works are partly written but are also partly devised so there’s space for the performer to improvise and to have real input into how the story develops. I find this collaborative approach creates surprising and exciting theatre,” said Louis.
“As a film writer and director, referencing the horror genre to create a dynamic story for theatre that explores the role of women was a challenge, but where the work has arrived is really exciting and unique,” said Wildskin story writer Hattie Dalton. “In the creative development phases I’ve already witnessed the enthralling mix of talented actors and physical performers animate Eva’s wild ride for the audience.”
NORPA’s Wildskin will play Lismore City Hall from Friday 28 September to Sat 6 October 2018. Further details at www.norpa.org.au.