Results are in for WA’s favourite shows of 2019

The results of our annual industry poll are in! We went out to artists, administrators and presenters across WA, and the below respondents let us know what their favourite shows were and who they are watching out for in 2020.



WA’s favourite show – Fully Sikh


In a hotly contested competition, the winner of WA’s favourite show is…Fully Sikh by Perth’s born-and-bred spoken-word artist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, which had its Australian premiere at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia in October this year. Co-produced by Barking Gecko and Black Swan State Theatre Company, this charismatic and generous new work about growing up Sikh in Australia was brought to life on stage by Sukhjit herself and multi-talented musician Pavan Kumar Hari, bringing a breath of fresh air to the WA’s theatre scene.

WA’s favourite show, Fully Sikh by Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa

I loved the frank, warm generosity of Sukhjit’s performance. The respect paid to ritual. The sense of being invited in (to a family dinner, to the daily practice of tying a turban, to the experience of being a teenager again). The cheeky fun and the reminder of how powerful simple story-telling can be.

Colourful, timely and so many new faces in the audience.

Warm, generous, universal and excellent theatre making.

Sukhjit’s personal poetic and very real story of growing up in the suburbs of Perth translated into funny and relatable experience from which we learned a lot. Composer & musician Pavan Kumar Hari onstage throughout was a find – the next Iain Grandage?

Special mention goes to productions Lé Nør by The Last Great Hunt, Black Is The New White by Black Swan State Theatre Company and Swan Lake/Loch na hEala by Michael Keegan-Dolan.

Artist/Company to watch


This year we’ve had a vast number of nominations for Artist/Company to watch out for in 2020 with all five shortlisted deserving equal recognition and applause. Congratulations to Zachary Sheridan, Michelle Aitken, Jess Nyanda Moyle, Scott Mcardle and WA Youth Theatre Company for being so in vogue!

Scott Mcardle

Scott Mcardle – he is an ambitious creative with many hats and every thing he touches lights up. He is certainly setting a brisk pace for the theatre-makers of Perth.

Zach Sheridan – great up and coming writer and all-round nice guy

Jess Nyanda Moyle (Squid Vicious) and Michelle Aitken (Hey! Precious) – both are fierce, funny, intelligent makers who mounted their first full production seasons in 2019. I hope to see a lot more from both of them.

WAYTCO: James Berlyn is breathing incredible creativity and heart into this exceptionally important company…

Hot Topics


At Performing Lines, we are all about sparking urgent conversations, so we wanted to know what discussions we need to have in WA in 2020. Check out the pressing topics industry peeps are fiercely keen to tackle:




“When are governments going to take the value and impact of arts & culture seriously, recognize our very large contribution to the economy and begin acknowledging that contribution by increasing funding?”

“Why there isn’t enough, what we can do about it, where to next, how we can support the independent sector to keep going in these tough times?”



“We need to get past talking though and into action, as well as Australia’s appalling record in dealing with the ongoing global migrant and the refugee crisis.”



“How to move from ‘diverse representation’ to a true multiplicity in voices?”

“Offer opportunities for aspiring artists who do not come from the ‘recognized’ pathways, ensure intercultural sensitivity in work, opportunities for the creation of multi-disciplinary work and more audience diversity.”



“I really think we need to address the ecosystems of Perth and the access for small-to-mid-tier actors\dancers\designers\producers and how they can jump further up the food chain. Keeping people in Perth to move from emerging to mid-tier to established artists, is only going to benefit everyone.”

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Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.