Gallery show gets walls talking

Actors contemplate the walls. Photo: NPG.

TURNING an old cliché into action, the National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a theatrical venture. “The Walls That Talk” will be asking the question: “What would the gallery’s walls say if they could talk?”

Former artistic director of the Canberra Youth Theatre, Katie Cawthorne, is now working at the Anchor Theatre Company in Melbourne and has taken time out of rehearsal for a new Theatreworks show, returning here to direct the project with a team of talented Canberra actors.

Katie Cawthorne.

“’The Walls That Talk’ will use live sound design and highly physical movement taking place around the visitor,” she says.

“We encourage new visitors, or repeat visitors to the gallery to come and experience the space like they never have before.”

Portrait Gallery program coordinator Emily Casey says the gallery wanted to take the visitor’s experience to the next level and bring to the forefront reflection, contemplation and emotion.

“For most of us, we walk in to a gallery, stand in front of a piece of art, read about it and conjure up our own ideas about the work,” she says.

“But with the help of director Katie Cawthorne and her…cast, a third-dimension to the gallery experience is added.”

 “The Walls That Talk”, National Portrait Gallery, 4pm, 4.30pm and 5pm, Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14. The performances will be followed by an extended gallery viewing until 6pm. Bookings essential to portrait.gov.au

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Helen Musa
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