Barking Gecko

Not-to-be-missed theatre happening in the first half of 2022

Last Updated: 09 Feb 2022
Abigail Macleod

A number of world-class theatre productions are hitting Perth stages with an array of intriguing, emotional, and thought-provoking shows sure to enthral and excite. From productions tackling important topics such as Yirra Yaakin's Panawathi Girl and Black Swan State Theatre Compay's City of Gold, to reinvigorated classics like Fame the Musical, there will never be a dull moment on stage.

Panawathi Girl

Yirra Yaakin’s Panawathi Girl, written by David Milroy and featuring a cast of home-grown WA talent, heads to His Majesty’s Theatre from February 8 – 13.

The year is 1969, and Australia is undergoing a metamorphosis – Australian Indigenous people have been granted the right to their own citizenship and to vote; however, not everybody has caught up to speed. Panawathi Girl is an all-singing, all-dancing production that will encourage the audience to consider if times have truly changed at all. With a Kombi van full of hippies, flustered politicians, and a band of cowboys, the production is set to become the next ‘big Black musical’.

Yirra Yaakin is one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal performing arts organisations producing award-winning, world-class theatre that is exciting, entertaining, educational and authentic. The company inspires audiences by creating, presenting and celebrating First Nations’ theatre, performance, and stories.

Tickets can be purchased here.

The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker

From the duo that brought us hit productions HOUSE and Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories, The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker is a 1980’s inspired adventure for the young and the young-at-heart. Re-discover your sense of childhood wonder at the Heath Ledger Theatre from April 6 – April 9.

After a visit from an officer from ‘The Bureau’, Wilbur Whittaker surrenders the special shoebox in which he stored all of his childhood ‘wonderings’, but without them, he begins to disappear – and must journey to the farthest reaches of the galaxy before he finds himself un-wondered forever.

Barking Gecko prides itself on creating the finest theatre for the youngest souls. They are Western Australia's locally cherished, nationally significant company that creates theatre for children and families whilst also providing year-round Creative Learning programs delivered in classrooms and communities throughout the state.

Tickets can be purchased here.

City of Gold

Black Swan State Theatre presents a production that invites the audience to consider the face of racism and injustice in Australia. See City of Gold from March 4 – March 26 at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia in Perth.

Tired of being barricaded into the box of not being just an actor, but always being the ‘Indigenous actor’, Breythe resents each time he must step into the spotlight just to make a pay check, cashing in on his Indigenous identity. When a messenger bird arrives to bear the news that his father has passed away, a difficult decision must be made – to travel back to a torn family filled with grief – and face the criticism for his own actions.

Founded in 1991, Black Swan has presented more than 190 theatre productions, 50 national tours and collaborations, 40 world premieres, 5 international tours and collaborations, and showcase the incredible talents found in Western Australia. The company is praised for its world premiere productions and highly distinctive reinterpretations of international theatre classics – all of which are infused with the unique culture of Western Australia.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Fame the Musical

From the streets of New York all the way to Perth’s Crown Theatre, Fame the Musical shimmies onto stages from April 16. The much-loved production brings music, dance, and drama, all wrapped up in Lycra and tied with a side of 80’s nostalgia.

A story of hardship and heartbreak, triumph and perseverance, Fame follows the final class of the New York School of Performing Arts as they embark on their journey to find their way in the world of the famous. Gritty and captivating, the musical delves into the struggles of young performers in the 1980’s, tackling racism, addiction, and the pressure of being in the spotlight. With spectacular choreography and catchy musical numbers, Fame is sure to be a hit for young and old alike.

From the talented HAMA Productions, who brought us Legally Blonde : The Musical and The Wizard of Oz, catch Fame the Musical from April 16 – April 24.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Mack and Mabel

WAAPA, alongside Edith Cowan University proudly present Mack and Mabel. Jerry Herman, award-winning theatre director, takes the tumultuous real-life relationship between Hollywood silent movie director Mack Sennett and his star Mabel Normand and transforms the story into a classic musical studded with brilliant songs such as Time Heals Everything, I Won’t Send Roses, Wherever He Ain’t and Look What Happened to Mabel.

With 40 triple-threat musical theatre performers, a 30-piece live orchestra, and all backed up by over 60 Production and Design students, Mack and Mabel is the biggest show in Perth in 2022. Don’t miss this fabulous companion piece to this year’s smash-hit, Crazy For You!

Tickets can be purchased here.

Potted Potter

If it’s wonderful, wacky wizardry you’re looking for, then look no further than Potted Potter at the Heath Ledger Theatre in Perth’s State Theatre Centre. Running from April 20 – April 24, the show guarantees laughter and hysterics as it returns for its third season.

Condensing all seven of the wildly popular Harry Potter novels into one seventy-minute experience, Potted Potter promises a performance “perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed)”. From quidditch to potions class, Hagrid to Hufflepuff, Potted Potter is a performance for Potter afficionados and newcomers alike.

Tickets can be purchased here.

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