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The Astronaut


THE ASTRONAUT is a new solo physical theatre work, an intimate tale of the choices we make in life and the seemingly impossible act of letting go.

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The Astronaut is a new solo physical theatre work created and performed by WA based artist Samantha Chester.

Enter the wreckage of Gwen, who for twenty-something years has not ventured outside. She is a shut-in. Driven indoors by her grief and fear of human contact she has surrounded herself with the things that provide her comfort – Elvis Presley songs and her collection of jigsaw puzzles. She is obsessed with the 1969 moon landing and watches it over and over again as a signpost of hope and possibility. Gwen is stuck in time, chased by the ghosts of her past until an inevitable calling arrives where she has to decide to stay or go.

The Astronaut, part inspired by Chester’s childhood, is an account of the heart, a delicate exploration of one woman’s journey back to earth and back to herself.

This premiere Australian work is an exciting new collaboration between Samantha Chester and director Frances Barbe who are both passionate about new work, invention and processes for creation through the body. To support the world of The Astronaut the creative team will feature the composition of acclaimed Sydney artist Ekrem Mulayim and will have a strong AV component to support the magic realism of the work by lighting and vision designer Matthew Osborne. The project will also be supporting emerging designer Isabel O’Neill whom has just recently graduated from WAAPA.

The form of the Astronaut is influenced by Samuel Beckett, Barbe’s expertise as a Butoh practitioner/performer and Chester’s devising history in theatre. It will premiere at the Blue Room Theatre Perth as part of their development season in June.

This is without a doubt a passion project, one that is being made on a shoestring. The funds raised through this campaign will go directly toward paying the invited artists to realise the full creative capacity of the work. We are very excited about this project and hope you have been inspired by some of the ideas in the work. Any donation, large or small will be gratefully received.

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