Dreamland play like coming to a 'party'
NORPA Artistic Director Julian Louis has perfected the art of immersive theatre where the boundaries of stage and reality mix and the audience find themselves thrown into a theatrical world that reflects their lives.
NORPA'S latest production 'Dreamland' is well on track to open next Wednesday and is performed at Eureka Hall.
'Dreamland' is a time capsule of local history, characters and ghosts that have frequented Eureka Hall since it was built in 1906.
By placing the audience in the actual hall itself there is not only a sense of the physical history of the building but the audience are essentially also placed on set.
Mr Louis said that they have a terrific band, the lighting bars are going up, and they're bringing as much gear to the small hall as they can to animate the story.
"We are tracking well for opening night.
We're still playing with how to tell the story because there is not one story... there are multiple stories,” he said.
"It is like coming to a party but instead of dancing or talking all night you are actually witnessing people's lives - the stories of love, loneliness, and of searching for purpose.
"And it is also about surrendering to living in a regional setting.
"What I am loving about directing this at the moment is we have a dance floor stage as well as another stage so the seating is actually traverse which is on either side of the action.
"And there are some scenes where there is a dance with axes so the audience will need to be ready to get out of the way!
"It is a lot of fun and we just can't wait to share this with audience.
"Where theatre can actually reflect the stories and sentiments even in a small way to a community, it is a great gift.”
He said it was the audience's night to be immersed in a theatrical experience.
They're joined by acclaimed actress Toni Scanlon (best known for her role as Helen Blakemore in the Australian TV police drama Water Rats but also an award winning stage actress in All My Sons and King Tide) and acrobat Darcy Grant who is also a founding member of internationally acclaimed contemporary circus company Circa.
The work has been created in association with Arts Northern Rivers If These Halls Could Talk project, and in collaboration with the Eureka Hall Committee and community.
The first two weeks of Dreamland sold out so NORPA have added more shows, including Saturday matinees but tickets are selling fast.
Wed 23 Nov - Sat 10 Dec
8pm (Saturday matinees at 4.30pm)
Dreamland will be performed at Eureka Hall, Cnr Eureka Rd/Federal Drive, Eureka (30 mins west of Byron Bay)
Limited capacity per performance