Part of this year’s Corroboree season and also linked in with the Bangarra 25th anniversary birthday celebrations this wonderful, huge hearted production explodes onto the Bangarra studio stage. The show was first performed a decade ago and was last seen in a fleeting season at Belvoir in 2009.
Directed by his brother Stephen , PAGE 8 is an intimate, very revealing, autobiographical coming of age tale, which is about how David, the eighth child in a family of twelve grew up in a housing commission estate in Queensland.
This intimate self portrait , performed by David himself, has a captivating, witty, illuminating script co-written by Louis Nowra and incorporates storytelling,1970’s home movies, singing , dancing and a now legendary drag routine.
The show opens with David as a young boy receiving an old movie camera as a Christmas present, which he went on to use and made plenty of home movies.
He became ‘Australia’s answer to Michael Jackson’ at only thirteen . As ‘Little Davey Page’ he appeared on many television programs including Countdown and The Paul Hogan Show, and his singles made it into the Australian Top 10. Then his voice broke.
David then embarked on a dark journey of self discovery in his teenage years, dealing with, among other things, coping with racism, family crisis, career directions and coming out as gay. As a teenager, he showed his talents as an award winning composer.
David has been involved in his brother Stephens’ dance company Bangarra as well as the Sydney 2000 Olympics , the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and various movie and stage projects. He recently completed a very successful national tour of Black Diggers.
Page can best be described as an extraordinarily vibrant and versatile performer. Muscular, tattooed and sinuous, he is a striking , magnetic performer contrasting glorious creamy movements with stark dramatic ones.
During PAGE 8 he brings to life an incredible array of characters, especially his much loved family:- his parents, siblings , Aunty Tess and Uncle George. Also brought to life are a motley group of characters including bosses, teachers and agents.
David is hilarious as as his younger self on television. He is ravishing as Frank N Furter from The Rocky Horror Show and dazzles as legendary soul singer, Aretha Franklin. He tells some very funny anecdotes against himself but can also subtly change the mood and be quite intense, serious and poignant.
Robert Cousins’ set design includes a rackety old kitchen full of assorted props.There is a glitzy stage area including a huge double-door wardrobe, the doors of which cleverly act as a projection screen. There are many costume changes- plenty of high heels and platform shoes. The stage lighting is a treat.
PAGE 8 is an extraordinary theatrical tour de force, – an extremely revealing , emotional solo performance from the heart of Bangarra and the Page clan.
Running time is two hours without interval.
PAGE 8 plays the Bangarra Studios until Sunday 14th December.