Coodanup composer Joshua Haines devises original score for Freeze by Songbird Theatre Company

ARTISTS: Freeze follows a grandfather/granddaughter duo who travel to the North Pole on an ice fishing expedition. Photos: John Congear.
ARTISTS: Freeze follows a grandfather/granddaughter duo who travel to the North Pole on an ice fishing expedition. Photos: John Congear.

Mandurah composer Joshua Haines has spent the last few months devising an original soundtrack for a new one act play which will be staged by Songbird Theatre Company at the Perth Fringe Festival from February 1-6.

The show, Freeze, follows a grandfather/granddaughter duo who travel to the North Pole on an ice fishing expedition, and covers themes such as dementia, generational division and climate change.

Songbird Theatre Company co-founder Matthew Arnold said being a part of a new theatre company and staging a show which tackles such large topics made it important to find a composer who would capture the story through music in the perfect way.

"Myself and my partners Max Gipson and Sam Ireland have been working together in theatre for a long time now, and we've been best mates for even longer. Sometimes it feels like we think with one brain," Mr Arnold said.

"We had this idea of starting our own theatre company and after years of creating and performing theatre together we decided it was time.

"We want to use Songbird Theatre Company to incite positive social change. We want our theatre to have meaning, to have a purpose, and to truly leave our audience with something to think about."

Having worked with Mr Haines on theatrical projects on a number of occasions, Mr Arnold said he was the "first choice" for composer.

"I have always been blown away by the quality of Josh's compositions and how much time and effort he puts into his work. When we decided to use original music for Freeze, Josh was the obvious choice."

THOUGHTFUL: Matthew Arnold says knowing composer Joshua Haines's thoughtfulness and attention to detail with composition made him the first choice for his show. Photo: Songbird Theatre Company.

THOUGHTFUL: Matthew Arnold says knowing composer Joshua Haines's thoughtfulness and attention to detail with composition made him the first choice for his show. Photo: Songbird Theatre Company.

Mr Haines, a Coodanup local, has worked on a number of professional projects and has studied under global theatre legends - and has familiarised himself with telling stories through song.

"I was particularly picky with the music and haven't made his job easy by any means," Mr Arnold laughed.

"The music beautifully supports the script and brings life to the scenes. Audiences can expect to hear several distinct tracks in Freeze that are all specifically tailored to the dialogue underneath."

Freeze will perform at Fringe venue Girls School and will include a relaxed performance on February 5, designed to create an inclusive and safe environment for those with disabilities and sensory sensitivities.

This show will have lowered sound levels, lowered lighting levels and intensity, an open-door policy which will allow audience members to come and go as they please, and will be held in a wheelchair accessible venue.

Mr Arnold said he first heard of a relaxed performance last year while working on Zealous Productions' performance of the Addams Family, and now couldn't believe they weren't a common practice.

"It is very important to us at Songbird to be holding this relaxed performance and we hope other, larger companies can also take these steps to promote inclusivity and welcome all patrons to the theatre."

Tickets for Freeze can be purchased via fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/freeze-fw2022.

Freeze performances:

  • February 1 - 9-10pm, Biology @ Girls School
  • February 2 - 9-10pm, Biology @ Girls School
  • February 3 - 9-10pm, Biology @ Girls School
  • February 4 - 9-10pm, Biology @ Girls School
  • February 5 - Relaxed Performance, 4.20-5.20pm, Home Economics @ Girls School
  • February 5 - 9-10pm Biology @ Girls School
  • February 6 - 9-10pm Biology @ Girls School