Actor and musician Joel Jackson to debut new show The Moth at Albany Town Hall this Saturday

Headshot of Kasey Gratton
Kasey GrattonAlbany Advertiser
Joel Jackson.
Camera IconJoel Jackson. Credit: Rebecca Hitch

Albany-born actor and musician Joel Jackson will return to his hometown to debut a one-man show at Albany Town Hall this Saturday.

Jackson’s show The Moth is the first original solo show he has performed, with the idea for it coming to him during COVID-19 lockdown when he found himself with some spare time.

“Normally you’re just so busy in a creative life running around and making everything happen, you don’t have time to sit and follow your secret passions, and writing has always been a massive secret passion for me,” he said.

The show is a “mix of stories and poems, and songs and limericks, and jokes and impressions,” taking inspiration from pivotal conversations between Jackson and his father and grandparents, stories shared around the campfire and “some of the rat-pack stuff that happens in Vegas”.

“It’s a solid kind of ode to living on the road, and the stories and the songs that you hear or that come to you while you’re following those pathways,” Jackson said.

It’s a fitting subject, considering the Logie and AACTA winner has just travelled across the Nullarbor to WA in a van from his base in Sydney.

Speaking to Inspire from Norseman, on the final leg of his journey, Jackson said he was looking forward to spending a few days in Albany catching up with family — and hopefully catching a few waves at Muttonbird beach.

He said The Moth would have a distinctly local flavour that an Albany audience should appreciate.

“There are a lot of moments that people will recognise, or a lot of similarities they might see in their own life, which is really special to be doing it in Albany for the very first time,” he said.

Named after the flying insect that is attracted to lights, Jackson said the show reflected the “idea of flying blindly towards the brightest light in your life”.

The Albany Town Hall audience will sit surrounding a central stage, allowing for an intimate performance.

“The way that we’ve shaped the performance is that the audience is sitting around the stage, and there are only a couple of lights and we’re all just collectively huddling under this storytelling spot, just to listen and to be seen, and be heard, and share some stories,” he said.

The debut performance will form part of Jackson’s development of The Moth into “a fully-fledged theatre show”.

He will next take it to Esperance on August 27, before the show is refined into Moth, a residency at Fremantle Theatre Company from September 15 to November 5, that will feature three additional actors.

“This show is the proving ground, which is going to be really, really exciting,” Jackson said.

The Moth is on at the Albany Town Hall this Saturday, with doors opening from 7.15pm and support from musician Kris Nelson, as part of the two-day Live @ The Town Hall event.

For tickets, visit bit.ly/3HF5yul.

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