Monday, 24 September 2018

Fearless, funny and far more than child’s play

Fearless, funny and far more than child’s play
02 Sep

By Nicola Gunn
MTC, Southbank Theatre
Until September 29

Making experimental performance with children has become a fascination, one might almost say a fad, in contemporary theatre. The trend has piqued the interest of Nicola Gunn – awarded a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship last week for being one of our most fearless, funny and original performance artists – who uses it as a springboard for her latest show.

In reality, of course, there is no springboard. Nicola Gunn has always been willing to take a leap in the dark, and that is precisely how Working With Children starts.

Inspired: Performance artist Nicola Gunn.

Inspired: Performance artist Nicola Gunn.

Photo: Eddie Jim

Entering without fanfare in a shiny black body suit, Gunn slathers every inch of it, vigorously, with lubricant. Once satisfied with her degree of slipperiness, she throws a bucket of water on the floor. Then, the lights go out, and she launches herself across the stage in a series of monster bumslides.

Such a prologue might well have you asking what’s “appropriate content” for adults, but it also invokes the experience, common to children, of a singular devotion to play that can only exist when the rules are still up for grabs.



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