Like many performers, The Farm’s Kate Harman has been patiently waiting to have the opportunity to perform live again.
And now that restrictions have eased – Harman is all revved up to return to the stage in The Farm’s ‘Throttle’ – a drive-in experience like no other that is part scary movie, part live dance performance and part immersive soundscape that is showing at this year’s Brisbane Festival.
“It’s good, it’s exciting! It’s been a bit touch and go over the last few weeks but we are excited to do it,” Harman says. She's a dancer and core creative of the Gold Coast-based performance collective, The Farm. “It’s a great COVID-safe show. You watch it from your car – so there’s all that distancing in place and the show is really fun. We are excited to give it to people, because I think we are all craving something fun and an event to go out to, and this show feels like an event because you’re driving on to the showgrounds, you’re parking your car, you’re tuning your radio in. . . The way you enter the show is so unique and that will just feel really nice especially now because we haven’t been able to do much.”
As a dancer herself, Harman admits that the art form of dance isn’t necessarily accessible to all – but clarifies that 'Throttle' with its horror themes and use of stunts is not like any other dance production and even the art form's biggest sceptics will be entertained.
Image © Art-Work Agency
“We like horror themes. We really like to mix this sort of B-grade super accessible entertainment with contemporary dance, which I think a lot of people and in particular people who have never danced before would think – ‘why would I see dance? I’m not interested and I don’t get it’.
“Dance is sort of projected as though you need to be in the know [that] it’s sort of 'high art', but we like to mix this high-brow art with super low-brow. We have a core of five and we are all from regional places and we want to make really good quality artwork that is also super accessible for our family that are labourers.”
‘Throttle’ not only offers a different experience for patrons but also for seasoned performers like Harman herself. “This show is such an interesting one to perform in because I drive the car a lot and I had never thought I’d be driving a car in a show. I grew up wanting to be a dancer thinking that you only dance in theatres and then you’re behind the wheel in a car and you feel like the boss.”
Image © Art-Work Agency
“It’s very different to our past work – the stage is giant and how you perform is different. It’s weird because we have this glass between you and the audience and the audience can feel so removed from you – so how do we create a close-up when they’re so far away, and there’s challenges like that.”
Harman lists the likes of Stephen King and David Lynch as the inspiration behind ‘Throttle’ and while Harman can’t guarantee as much gore as a Netflix film – she guarantees the combination of stunts, sound effects and dance will give you chills. “We want everyone to just get taken away – this is escapism work. We want people to experience something. The experience is watching it very close. Have fun, have a squeal, jump and have a good night.”
‘Throttle’ is on at Brisbane Showgrounds from 23-26 September.