Disclaimer: Do not try this at home, whilst ironing, having a cup of tea or mopping. You’ll either end up with a broken leg, or your partner will be left wondering what the hell you are trying to do whilst throwing cups of tea in the air and gyrating a mop. Fortunately, in NORPA’s latest production, Fold: A Domestic Circus, directed by acrobat Darcy Grant, domestic chores, common rituals and relationships are transposed into a highly-skilled and physical theatre performance.
Performers Mieke Lizotte and Lewie West transform everyday objects and domestic chores – namely the dreaded housework – into an acrobatic feast for the eyes. Folding the washing becomes a interwoven sequence of bodies, doubling up as ironing boards; a cup of tea becomes a beautifully choreographed tug of war and mopping the floor is more of an intricate dance than an arduous chore.
However, throughout the beautifully poetic show, we are also taken on a somewhat metaphoric journey of a relationship, one that experiences life and death, birth, lust and sorrow, all emotions we have at some stage experienced, yet perhaps in our busy modern-day lifestyle, have never properly acknowledged.
Lizotte and West are without a doubt a couple of Australia’s finest acrobats and dancers; their fluid bodies and at times you-can’t-be-serious movements left the audience gasping in awe and rapturously applauding throughout the show.
Nimble is an understatement. Strong, incredibly flexible and at times, virtuosic, barely does Lizotte and West justice. Never before have I seen such an explosive display of raw talent, yet it was one that saw them both synchronise perfectly, not only with each other, but also with the abstract soundtrack. In fact the music, composed and performed by Elliot Zoerner and Shenzo Gregorio, elevated the truly unique concept and performance, beautifully complementing the unfolding story and enhancing the performers every movement.
As the show covered a few domesticities most of us dread- attending to paperwork, mopping, folding clothes and sewing, it was both humorous and gratifying to see that even those darned fitted sheets defeated acrobats, who struggled with accomplishing a uniform fold. Although it was all part of the tongue in cheek element of the show, it did leave me feeling somewhat less guilty about the sheet cupboard I have going on at home.
Fold: A Domestic Circus was a glimpse into the profundity of co-habitation and the sharing of a life together. Sadly, minus the incredible acrobatic feats and intricate dance movements that the majority of us wouldn’t even contemplate attempting, the title to the majority of domestic circus’ would be, Fold: I did it last week, now it’s your turn.