They call him ‘a real fix it’ – someone who helps, builds, mends and fixes… But there is one thing this caretaker cannot seem to figure out – how to keep hold of his family’s fading memories. Starting out as a comedy The Caretaker evolves as a heartwarming theatrical experience that explores complex notions of memory, and what it means when someone can no longer remember what they once held dear.
Created by esteemed physical performer Allen Laverty (Melbourne Playback Theatre, April’s Fool, Uncle Gus, The Clown from Snowy River), The Caretaker interweaves humour, physical comedy, improvisation and storytelling. Inspired by the performer’s personal family story, in this work he asks: How do we care for our families as they age? What happens if we can’t simply get out the tools to fix things?
For a work about memory, using La Mama theatre as a venue is the perfect match. In fact The Caretaker takes inspiration from this eclectic historical building at the heart of Melbourne’s Independent Theatre community.
“I’ve always loved La Mama, it’s a fantastic old structure, rich with memories,” says Laverty. “I became inspired to respond to the site, to the building’s nooks and crannies, its curious architecture and those walls that hold so much history and so many stories.”
Collaborator Tamara Kirby brings a strong sense of the visual to the production. As a theatre maker and esteemed visual artist from Queensland, Tamara’s practice utilizes a strong sense of special design and memory.
Melbourne based theatre-maker Paula van Beek contributes to the performance realization through dramaturgy and a playful lighting design that rounds off the creative team. A poignant, humorous and visually inventive work that you won’t want to miss.
La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
Season: 13 – 17 December 2017
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: Allen Laverty features in The Caretaker – photo by Sarah Walker