See You There

In 2011 David Finnigan was approached by Robyn Archer (Artistic Director of C100) to create an arts festival as part of the lead up to the Centenary Celebrations 2013. As a young, Canberra-based artist himself, David willingly accepted and he says that this year proves to be the biggest and most successful You Are Here yet.

The idea of the festival is to profile independent artists, sourcing them both locally and nationally, and giving them various spaces in the CBD to express themselves creatively. It involves 10 days of activity in the heart of Canberra using shops fronts, open public spaces, cafes, and alleyways that whilst having their own everyday dramas, are not normally home to these types of theatrical performances. A key component of the festival is a personal project of David’s, ‘Ice Age’; the third in a trilogy of shows co-developed with Jan Wawrzynczak , who sadly passed away in 2008. David has now found an opportunity to develop and present this final movement involving 23, of the 111 festival events, located within the festival hub at the Fletcher Jones shopfront.

 When asked about the state of theatre in Canberra…

“ There’s an amazing scene in Canberra and always has been. The idea is not to create art activity but to profile what’s already happening – there are heaps of groups already making awesome work. The beauty about making shows that no one knows about, well out of the spotlight, means that Canberran artists are in a unique position where they can feel free to make mistakes.”

Are you getting a chance to perform this year…

David, Canberran writer Jess and performer Hadly have been working on is a three person show titled You Are here v.s. Teen Makeouts held on Friday 15th March at Lonsdale Street Roasters – a performance which he describes as a “huge experiment”. The 3 performers will be presenting pieces about teen popular culture. Such topics will include, and I do need to directly quote here, “as much as I tried to hate it, we all decided that Taylor Swift’s new album was not only good, but fucking great and we’ll definitely be openly admitting and discussing things like that, oh and also how shockingly bad everything about Justin Bieber is.” No need to fret however, as David explained that the show is deliberately entirely trashy.

What about You Are Here 2014…

A lot of these shows will be “colossal fuck ups” this year, and that’s the nature of the festival. When we’re in the midst of it we’ll be asking how can we, in 2014, be making a program for next year that is tighter and has even more energy.”

How are you feeling now, with the festival this month…

As a practitioner himself he is looking forward to being in performance spaces that stripped away the black box of conventional theatre, and finished by saying that “what you as the audience are left with are great stories and kickass performances”.