Waters of Brightness
Chinese Gardens, Darling Harbour (1998)

kantanka Waters of Brightness battle directed by Carlos Gomes more photos

This sellout season incorporated Bun Raku-style puppetry techniques and water battle scenes on the garden's lakes in a re telling of the ghostly tales of Lafcardio Hearn. Waters of Brightness drew inspiration from a Japanese tale, Mimi Nashi Hoichi (The Earless Monk). This is a tale that readily presented multi-layered dramatic potential. Whilst researching the story, the life and interpretation of Lafcardio Hearn seemed to be deeply embedded within the myth. The story of Lafcardo himself served as another thematic layer, and served as a device to link the various streams of writings within the performance. Part of our investigation involved the exploration of story-telling itself, the ownership of stories and the evolution of stories through the process of the telling.

Director Carlos Gomes
Writer Dramaturg Michael Cohen
Composer John Bassett and Sean Peter
Costume Design Carlos Gomes, Amanda Heppell, Troy Armstrong, Choe O Reilly
Performers/Devisors Larisa Chen, Xiao Lan, Michael Cohen, Jeanine Garrier, Bel Macedone, Elliane Anh-Xuan Morel, Chris Murphy, Olivier Sidore, and Christopher John Snow
Assistant Cast Arnaud anquetil, Alexandra Day, Fuji teodosio and Cindy Rodriguez.
Production Manager Sarah Moss
Stage Manager Liam Wallington
Lighting Richard Montgomery
Props Jill Webster and Shigeyuki Ueno
Set Construction Geoffrey Datsun,Brian Brooks and Julian Van Wel
Publicity Marketing Amanda Werner
Photography Brett Cochrane,Andrew Worssana

the experience of wandering through the garden at night is as impressive as the experience of the show…moments of sudden beauty such as the tiny glass coffin we file past as we leave the site, containing an illuminated figure from the story, beautifully sculptured by Shigeyuki Ueno
John McCallum, The Australian


visually, as the audience journeys through the garden it's remarkable, the place, the costumes and design, the atmosphere.
The Sun Herald

Beautiful, almost surreal images unfold, the whole production is quite magical
The Sunday Telegraph

This project was supported by Arts NSW and the Australia Council for the Arts, Darling Harbour Authority and Australia-Japan Foundation