Review | Laura Money
It’s Dark Outside makes a triumphant return to Perth in the intimate Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre WA. Debut show of The Last Great Hunt ten years ago, It’s Dark Outside is a powerful piece of theatre that is still as potent and emotional today. With its original cast of founding members, this show’s return to stage is a beautiful reminder of how remarkable The Last Great Hunt truly is and that they are on top of their game. As for the show – it’s stunning and sweet and packs an emotional punch that will leave you thinking about your own little clouds for a long time to come.
Brainchild of Perth theatre makers Arielle Gray, Chris Isaacs, and Tim Watts It’s Dark Outside sees all the fledgling hallmarks of what we know to be distinctly The Last Great Hunt. There’s incredibly detailed puppetry, bodily transformations, inanimate objects coming to life, shadow play, and mixed media interplay. Add in a heart-warming story and a distinct soundtrack and you’ve got an intimate and unique take on aging and dementia. That one hits you like a body shock – as the old man (Gray) in mask form and Watts and Isaacs in puppet form goes on what appears to be a whimsical journey full of Western clichés and a few surprises all the while losing parts of himself in the form of clouds that just float from his head. At first they seem fun, like cute little ideas, until you realise they are parts of him that he desperately struggles to retain. There is so much expression and heart in the old man – from Gray’s slow and deliberate movements, to the gorgeous puppet dancing in a reverie of his own past you are rooting for him all the way.
It’s Dark Outside is a true gem of Australian theatre. Almost entirely non-verbal, it takes you on a journey of discovery, memory, and hope. Let’s hope that The Last Great Hunt continue to remount this piece as it thoroughly deserves to be in the spotlight.
You can catch It’s Dark Outside at the State Theatre of WA until 2nd April 2022. TICKETS
The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.
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