The Midnight Run – Running in the Dark

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Chris Isaacs from The Last Great Hunt tells us about teaming up with PIAF’s Artist-in-Residence Inua Ellams to deliver The Midnight Run to Perth.

When I first heard the words The Midnight Run – the interactive theatre we are now producing with UK artist Inua Ellams – I immediately thought of Science Fiction, more specifically, 1976’s Logan’s Run. I pictured Michael York sprinting down St Georges Terrace in tight black Lycra (grey rectangle across his chest) being chased by people armed with lasers. What will OH&S say about lasers in the city streets? What insurance is needed for such a venture? Is Michael York even available?  

It all began when PIAF approached us to be the Perth artists involved in Inua’s magical experience The Midnight Run. Looking over his online presence – his incredible performance poetry, this wonderful TEDx talk of his – it didn’t take long for us to jump at the opportunity to work with this enigmatic man.

Three weeks later, six of us sit in a room at the PIAF office about to Skype with the man himself. We are about to talk about what The Midnight Run ‘Version Perth would look like – hitting the streets, activating unusual spaces and engaging with people in different ways. The details of how and where such things will happen are still up in the air – maybe I could convince Inua to let this Logan’s Run fantasy of mine to be shoehorned into the experience.

Ellams spoke from his apartment in London. Outside, construction workers interrupted him, a literal ever-changing city orchestrating the soundscape for our meeting. Calm, controlled, alluring and honest, the ten of us squeezed into the frame of his laptop to hear more from the poet, who explained how The Midnight Run was about creating a mobile community for one night.

The next step is for us to explore our city, find locations, start brainstorming activities and workshops for the audience to take part in and bring these ideas back to Ellams.

Already I’m looking at the layout of the city differently – I’m peeking down alleyways, walking a little further than usual, entering buildings I mightn’t have before. Already this private corner of mine feels different. 

By Chris Isaacs from The Last Great Hunt