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First language breathes new life into Bard
First language breathes new life into Bard

Kylie Farmer will swell with pride tonight as she and her fellow actors perform Shakespeare's sonnets in the mother tongue of the Perth region.

Farmer and the Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company performed six sonnets in Noongar at the historic Globe theatre in London last year. It was the first time Aboriginal actors had performed on the Globe stage and the first time Shakespeare's work had been translated into Noongar.

Yirra Yaakin will usher in the Perth International Arts Festival at dusk at Matilda Bay in the free Beginnings opening event, also featuring Archie Roach and a Noongar choir.

Audiences can then walk across the road to the University of WA to watch the free LUMINOUSnight centenary celebrations.

"It great that the Festival opening is going to be on that riverbank because that location is particularly strong and powerful for different reasons," Farmer said.

Hackett Drive will be closed along the Crawley foreshore ahead of the 6pm event. A free Transperth shuttle bus will run from the Wellington Street bus station.