Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Interview: Georgia King of THE LONELIEST NUMBER Highlights the Ordinary

Image by Holly Garvey
Image by Holly Garvey

Perth performance company Whiskey & Boots are mixing up a fusion of photography, music and theatre this month at ART ON THE MOVE's gallery space in Fremantle with their new work The Loneliest Number. Producer and performer Georgia King walks us through the ins and outs of the collaboration between herself, performer/musician Mark Storen, musician Tom Garvey and songwriter/performer/photographer Holly Garvey, and fills us in on what we can expect on our 'night out' tucked away in a gallery in Freo.

But first, a little background on the creative team. King, Storen and the Garvey siblings collaborated together previously in 2018 on a work called Bystander, developed and staged in Beverly, WA, based on real-life stories from the community. The multi-talented four-piece enjoyed the experience so much that they came together again with The Loneliest Number. The work consists of original music and eight character vignettes performed by King and Storen in a gallery space filled with photographs taken by Holly Garvey, which were inspired or informed by the vignettes that King has written.

At the start of the evening, the audience are invited to bring their own picnic comestibles and beverages, and mill about the gallery to take in the photography (maybe looking for clues in the images and the didactics that accompany them), while the Garveys and Storen perform original songs written for the piece. "Holly's a great collaborator, she's a real 'yes' person in the room; she has a really unique vocal quality and Tom's really great at shaping the songs and giving them nuance in a qualified musical way," King says.

After about a 30 - 45 minute set, the second part of the evening will begin with King and Storen taking turns at narrating and performing. This storytelling style evolved from and was informed by the gallery setting itself, which is far from your typical theatre space. King says, "It's really interesting to perform in a space that communicates in a different way; there's not a stage area."

They asked themselves, "How can we use the space to inform the work? How can we communicate with the audience in a different way? So we became narrators. For instance, I'll be in the work and Mark will narrate for me, and vice versa. And as we found ourselves working in a gallery space like that, we kind of found ourselves taking on a role like a gallery guide."

BWW Interview: Georgia King of THE LONELIEST NUMBER Highlights the Ordinary
Mark Storen, Image by Holly Garvey

Each of the vignettes invites the audience to witness brief snapshots from everyday lives; for instance we might see someone eating a tin of baked beans or having a cup of coffee. The vignettes are set to a soundtrack of music from classical Romantic composers including Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart. King says, "There's a juxtaposition there, but the music is giving it reverence. Sitting down and eating a tin of baked beans, with this music, it's a powerful moment, giving it meaning, supporting it, making it important."

King says the team at ART ON THE MOVE have been very supportive and open to bringing in a work that falls slightly outside its typical aegis, which is to support touring visual arts exhibitions to rural areas. "They have this new space and they were looking at different ways to support artists. They say 'yes' a lot, which you're not really used to hearing in the arts. And space in Perth is so limited, so it was nice to have an organisation say, 'Here's a space. How can we help you?'"

BWW Interview: Georgia King of THE LONELIEST NUMBER Highlights the Ordinary
Georgia King, Image by Holly Garvey

Loneliness sometimes gets a bad rap, but The Loneliest Number urges us to see that while there may be the inevitable sad connotations, there is also humour and beauty to be found in it. "It is a celebration of ordinary moments with the hope that audiences can see the 'art' in them and take in the beauty of them. It's probably that word that gets bandied about a lot these days, "mindfulness," but really it's about seeing art in your everyday moments, and opening your eyes to a moment of solitude," King says.

So pack a tin of baked beans and head down to Fremantle to spend an evening of music, image and storytelling at ART ON THE MOVE from April 23 - 28. Tickets available at eventbrite.com.au.



Related Articles View More Australia - Perth Stories   Shows

From This Author Cicely Binford