Actor’s response to ‘The Arrival’

Shalini Peiris as Roshini in 'The Arrival'. Photo: Barry Lewis

“Having been part of the first workshop stage last year, it was extra special for me to come back to Roshini and The Arrival. Coming in at week 3 of rehearsals to a new company of circus artists, a new actor to play alongside, a new script and a new set design was quite a welcome! From the very first rehearsal, I could see the mammoth amount of work and detailed effort that Kristine and Sita have dedicated in building on the momentum of that initial workshop week and moving this developmental process forward.

It was such a joy and privilege to work with the company and creative team– I spent most of the time in awe at the amount of talent in the room. For not having known each other for that long, we quickly became a very strong and solid ensemble. It was lovely to see how the circus artists gradually became more confident and grounded in their abilities as actors– it added another layer of detail and depth to their physical performance which was really beautiful to watch. It never ever felt like Okezie and I as the actors were working by ourselves on stage. Some of the most beautiful moments of the piece were found in those collaborations between circus and drama, the circus performer and the actor. The Ship scene has always been one of my favourites and is a perfect example of how richly you can create a world on stage with artists of different disciplines.

The key to this production is the depth of detail. Nothing was overlooked – the moving musical compositions, the beautiful projected images that accompanied the play, the striking yet simple set design, the harrowing sound effects and effective lighting all played such a key part in heightening the work on stage.

It really was such a privilege to be part of this process. Shaun Tan created something very special with The Arrival and the incredible feedback that we’ve had from our audiences, many of whom were moved to tears by what they saw just confirms that. The story holds such a strong resonance for not only those with an immigrant history, but for anyone who’s been brave enough to search for greater things in life.”

Shalini Peiris – Actor in ‘The Arrival’

Photo: Barry Lewis

“When I was asked to take part in Tamasha’s and Circus Space’s fusion of theatre and circus I jumped at the chance. The concept seemed very unique to me and I was fascinated as to how it would work. I am happy to report that it didn’t disappoint, certainly from my (as a performer’s) point of view and I’ve been told from an audience’s point of view as well.

I was hugely impressed by the skill level, in their various disciplines of the 2nd year students at Circus Space. But what impressed me most was that as rehearsals progressed, the students were able to find a focus in the performing (of their skills) and acting that for me brought a different dimension to what we traditionally think circus to be; they really took me (whenever I could watch) on their individual journey and consequently gave real depth to the work we were trying to produce.

Kristine Landon-Smith created something quite filmic and beautiful, something difficult to comprehend during rehearsal; until I saw the set, costume, lighting and sound in full. It really does have the ‘wow’ factor.

Kristine and Sita Brahmachari (writer), along with the circus artists and performers, have brought to life Sean Tan’s amazing images in a non conventional way that, in my opinion, works beautifully.

I believe that the only fair thing would be for the piece to grow a little bit more to a full blown production and be in a wonderful space that is deserving of it. Bring on 2012. Whether I’m involved or not I’ll certainly be buying a ticket, it will be phenomenal.”

Okezie Morro – Obi  in ‘The Arrival’)

'The Arrival' - Photo: Barry Lewis

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