Wolfe Bowart is a theatrical phenomenon: Mime artist, juggler, illusionist, musician, unicyclist, magical realist, playwright, film-maker…the list goes on.
His one-man shows have drawn rave reviews – and a swag of awards – in more than 20 countries.
But when asked to name his favourite place in all the world, he says, “It’s a little island off the coast of Western Australia: Rottnest.”
He loves Rottnest as a place to unwind, ride bicycles, and smell fresh-baked bread at the bakery.
Bowart, from Tucson, Arizona, is making a flying visit to Perth this week to present his new show, Cloud Soup, at the Awesome International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things.
He’s thrilled to be back here for the Festival.
“Awesome is one of the top arts festivals in the world – it has so much heart.”
Cloud Soup weaves together circus, multimedia, comedy and illusion to tell a multi-layered story which appeals equally to adults and children.
On the surface, Cloud Soup is about a man in a laundry shop struggling to deal with all the different people who turn up. On another level, it’s about making room for everyone.
“It’s amazing, engaging, inspiring. It makes you laugh and cry, to think and feel and wonder,” says Awesome’s artistic director, Jenny Simpson.
While the festival is aimed at children, from babies to teenagers, its world-class shows like Bowart’s Cloud Soup, and Tim Watts’s The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Explorer, appeal to all ages.
Watts was inspired to create Alvin Sputnik after diving on the Great Barrier Reef 10 years ago.
“I was blown away by its beauty and that feeling of complete terror and awe, of being so small and staring out into the endless blue abyss. We had gone to see the reef before it died.
“That feeling of guilt and anxiety about the climate, tied up into that feeling of being so small compared to the totality of nature was the seed image and feeling behind Alvin.
“What resulted is a show filled with joy, hope, and heart in the bleakest of settings. And devastatingly, 10 years on, this show is more relevant than ever.”
His one-man show, blending mime and puppetry with technology and multimedia, has had sell-out houses around the world, from New York to Taipei, Dublin, Seoul and Auckland.
The Awesome Festival has a packed week of workshops, performances, book launches and exhibitions, many of them free. Don’t miss the inspiring Super Power Kids Exhibition at the State Library.
Full details at awesomearts.com
Photographs: Tim Fuller, Ammirul Aiman and Michelle Robin Anderson