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Past Event

William Kentridge Philip Miller Dada Masilo Catherine Meyburgh Peter Galison

Refuse The Hour

A phantasmagoric chamber opera investigating time.

Perth Concert Hall

Tickets $35–$79

  • Dance
  • Music


Tick tock. ‘Can we hold our breath against time?’ Speaking backwards and forwards, to the unsynced ticking of giant metronomes, inimitable South African artist William Kentridge invites you on a journey to the edge of science, theatre and art.

An epic theatrical companion piece to Kentridge’s video installation, The Refusal of Time (2014 PIAF), Refuse the Hour interweaves an astonishing array of visual and sound languages, dance, live music, projections, drama and dynamic scenic design. Kentridge acts as a contemporary storyteller, recounting a tale that begins with the myth of Perseus and ends with Einstein’s visionary findings.

With Kentridge centre stage, the various elements swirl around him: dancer and choreographer Dada Masilo enters into a tight physical interaction with the artist and set, singers and musicians perform Philip Miller’s riveting score, an array of musical machines clatter intermittently into life and Catherine Meyburgh’s video design animates the proceedings.

Entirely original in its conception and presentation, Refuse the Hour is a spectacular multimedia work.

Download the event program here.

Awards & Reviews


‘Remarkable cinematic sequences.’

Cast & Crew / Artists

  William Kentridge
Dancer Dada Masilo
Vocalist Ann Masina 
Vocalist Joanna Dudley 
Actor  Thato Motlhaolwa
Musical conductor, co-orchestration, trumpet and flugel horn Adam Howard
Percussion  Tlale Makhene 
Violin  Waldo Alexander
Trombone  Dan Selsick
Piano Vincenzo Pasquariello
Tuba  Thobeka Thukane 
Creative Team 
Conception and libretto  William Kentridge
Music composition  Philip Miller
Choreography  Dada Masilo
Dramaturgy Peter Galison
Video design  Catherine Meyburgh
  William Kentridge 
Scenic design  Sabine Theunissen 
Movement  Luc de Wit 
Costume design  Greta Goiris
Machine design  Christoff Wolmarans
  Louis Olivier
  Jonas Lundquist
Lighting design  Felice Ross 
Sound design  Gavan Eckhart 
Video orchestration  Kim Gunning 
Music direction  Adam Howard 
Music arrangement and orchestration  Philip Miller
  Adam Howard
Technical Team on Tour
Technical director  Richard Pierre 
Lighting operator  Marine Deballon
Sound engineer  Gavin Eckhart
Video manipulator Kim Gunning


Refuse the Hour was originally co-commissioned by Holland Festival, Festival d'Avignon, RomaEuropa Festival/Teatro di Roma, and Onassis Cultural Center, with additional support provided by Marian Goodman Gallery, Lia Rumma Gallery and Goodman Gallery.

Show Date & Times

Perth Concert Hall 5.00pm*, 7.30pm#

  1. Feb F 12 #
  2. S 13 #
  3. S 14 *




Perth Concert Hall

5 St Georges Terrace, Perth Show in Google Maps ›
08 9321 9900
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