Woman with a Tomahawk is an intriguing work that blends theatre and performance art to guide the audience through the many moments that impact our lives.
Within very intimate surroundings, the audience is slowly, carefully, taken through specific moments in many different peoples lives, all intersecting in seemingly unknown ways but all sharing the same explosion of change.
Ruth Katerelos writing is remarkably gentle, given much of the subject matter, but this is not a detriment to the work. Katerelos respectfully dives deep into trauma and the effect that it has through the ripples of time, mind and body, and gives the audience much to meditate over.
Nisha Marie Joseph, Ruth Katerelos and Alana Louise are utterly compelling to watch within the space, with every element of the work held firmly in their bodies. Each performer brings a unique presence and energy to the space, all while keeping in perfect sync with each other and gracefully conveying even the darkest parts of the story.
Sarah Vickery’s direction is focused, nuanced and wonderfully suited to the non-linear narrative structure of the work. Vickery shifts the world within the story to the performer’s bodies – innovatively allowing exploration and meticulous movements to parallel the dialogue and enriches the ways that trauma is shown to impact a body.
Vickery and Naavikaran design elements work in great symbiosis with the text and performers. Each lighting state, sound design and costume choice give another intriguing layer for the audience to breathe in and mull over.
Woman with a Tomahawk burns slow but bright, offering a treat for the senses and giving a wealth of manna to lovers of non-traditional theatre.
Woman with a Tomahawk
La Mama HQ, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
Performance: Wednesday 7 June 2023
Season continues to 18 June 2023
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au
Image: Woman with a Tomahawk – courtesy of La Mama
Review: Gavin Roach