Giants to tell the Anzac story in Perth:
- More than one million people expected to see the performance
The Giants - an 11-metre tall Deep Sea Diver and a six-metre tall Little Girl - will walk the streets of Perth over three days next February to commemorate the Anzac Centenary.
As part of the Perth International Arts Festival, French street theatre company, Royal de Luxe, will use The Giants to tell the true story of the little girl in Albany’s Breaksea Lighthouse who was the last human contact for many young troops departing for Gallipoli in 1914.
Premier Colin Barnett said he was thrilled the State Government was able to support this extraordinary Perth Festival project.
“It has been nearly 100 years since the Australian Imperial Force sailed from Albany to Gallipoli to join World War I. A number of events have been planned in 2015 to commemorate this moment in history and The Giants will be one of them.
“Some may not know the significant role that Fay Howe - the little girl in the Albany lighthouse - played for the troops moored off Albany’s coast.
“She signalled to the departing fleet in morse code, becoming the last human contact the young soldiers would ever have with Australia. Weeks later, postcards began arriving from the Middle East addressed to ‘The little girl on Breaksea Island’, from the men who had hung on to that final memory of home.
“Hopefully now this story will forever be remembered as The Giants bring this tale to life.
“Royal de Luxe has developed a very special performance, unique to WA, that will reflect the true Anzac spirit, a story of reunion and community. It will have wide appeal for people of all generations and backgrounds.
“The Giants will bring this extraordinary tale to life in the most inspiring and moving way, and I commend the Perth International Arts Festival for their vision in developing this program.”
From February 13 to 15 next year, the giant Deep Sea Diver and Little Girl will roam the streets around Langley Park and the city, portraying an uncle and niece reunited 100 years after the landing at Gallipoli.
Tourism Minister Liza Harvey said this event was an Australian exclusive which would attract thousands of visitors to Perth and inject millions of dollars into the State’s economy.
“The Giants performances have been enjoyed by millions of people around the world, drawing enormous crowds at each event in cities such as Berlin, London, Santiago, Antwerp and Liverpool. Perth’s event will be no different,” Mrs Harvey said.
“Spectacular and innovative events such as this really put Perth on the map as a vibrant destination and add to its many attractions for visitors from within the State, from overseas and interstate.”
Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said Royal de Luxe was the world’s leading curator of major outdoor performances.
“The fact that Royal de Luxe has chosen this State as a destination to perform is testament to the strength of our arts and cultural sector and Perth’s standing as a vibrant international city,”
Mr Day said.
Royal de Luxe is expected to bring more than 100 experienced performers and musicians to Western Australia for the performance.
- State Government investment of $2million through Lotterywest, the Department of Culture and the Arts and Tourism WA
- In late October 1914, 36 ships from the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force - the ANZACs - gathered in King George Sound
- They left on November 1 headed for Egypt, the Dardanelles and Gallipoli passing Breaksea Island Lighthouse, occupied by its keeper Mr Howe and his teenage daughter Fay. She signalled to the departing fleet in morse code, becoming the last human contact the young soldiers would ever have with Australia. Weeks later, postcards began arriving from the Middle East addressed to ‘The little girl on Breaksea Island’, from the men who had hung on to that final memory of home
- On November 1, 2014 to mark the centenary of the first convoy's departure, the National Anzac Centre on Mt Adelaide in Albany will open
- Other events to commemorate the centenary including a re-enactment of the troops’ march down York Street. A commemorative convoy will gather in the sound, as they did in 1914 and will also re-enact the departure
- While Albany was the point of departure for most Australian and New Zealand troops, the vast majority of Western Australian troops departed from Fremantle the day before on October 31, 1914. A commemorative train journey and memorial service will mark the centenary of the first Western Australian troops’ departure from WA for World War I
- Perth International Arts Festival is developing an Anzac education program for all Western Australian students as part of the event
- More information about the event at http://www.perthfestival.com.au