After four years of consultation and weeks of rehearsals, Aboriginal theatre company Yirra Yaakin will debut their newest production, Hecate, during next month’s Perth Festival.
Hecate is the queen of witches and is usually omitted from the production of Shakespeare's Macbeth, but this time Hecate will be the main character.
The 90-minute play will be performed only in Noongar language, director Kylie Bracknell said the revival of her traditional language has been the driving force behind this project.
“Ultimately, the end result is going to be a celebration of the work already done, and we’ve used this arts vehicle, so to speak, to increase the speaking community, not just to give language back to individuals but to increase the speaking community we have in Noongar country,” Mrs Bracknell told NITV News.
The ensemble cast is made up of actors with Noongar heritage, Mrs Bracknell directs the rehearsals in Noongar language to expand the cast's comprehension of their traditional language.
“It's not just about understanding the words, it's about the body language and the direction and the phrasing that you use,” she said.
The Noongar nation is the largest Aboriginal language group in Western Australia, it’s estimated that the group has a population of 30,000 people.
The official Noongar native title lodgement, made by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, (SWALSC), covers approximately 200,000 square kilometres, starting from Jurien Bay out to Merriden and down to Albany.
The Perth based theatre company has a stellar 20 plus years history but Yirra Yaakin is yet to have a production in full Noongar language.
“I’m not gonna sell this show, if people don’t realise how much of a historic event or how important it's going to be, if people don’t want to be in the audience for the first-ever all Noongar 90 minute theatre production ever, that’s on them not on me,” Mrs Bracknell said.
Hecate runs from February 6 to 16, audience members will also be treated to a special pre-show gathering, a special community performance is also taking place the night before opening night.
For more information on the production, click here.