Perth International Arts

June 22, 2018
Perth International Arts

Hundreds of people sit in front of a large stage lit in red and orange with a large image of an Aboriginal man.Tens of thousands of people converged on Langley Park for what organisers described as a "massive, theatrical, outdoor spectacular" to open this year's Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF).

The free opening performance for PIAF, called Home, saw Langley Park transformed on Saturday night in an event involving more than 500 performers and a 60-metre long stage, with a cinematic backdrop displaying five three-storey houses.

A PIAF spokeswoman described the event as a great success and said there was "barely a dry eye in the crowd".

PIAF director Wendy Martin said Home looked at WA's incredible Indigenous history, white settlement and what had happened since then, and also offered a shared vision for the future.

Meanwhile Ms Martin said festival ticket sales had already reached more than 80 per cent of the box office target.

She said one of the themes running through the festival's shows this year was empathy, and highlighted an installation at Stirling Gardens called A Mile in My Shoes as an example.

Ms Martin said the installation allowed people the opportunity to literally walk a mile in the shoes of more than 40 West Australians.

"We are inviting audiences to come into this shoe shop, to select a pair of shoes, to take a set of headphones and walk a mile through the beautiful park here and listen to the stories of the lives of others, " she said.

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Ms Martin was confident the festival offered something for everybody, including people on a tight budget.

"We have many, many shows on offer this year for $36. We have a program, Tix For $36, and the idea behind those tickets is to encourage people to approach the festival with a sense of adventure, " she said.

The Perth International Arts Festival runs until March 6.

Topics: arts-and-entertainment, carnivals-and-festivals, community-and-multicultural-festivals, perth-6000

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