SHOW STATUS: In Development

CATEGORY: Get Together

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Producer Name: Sally Richardson

Synopsis ( max 1500): Catch! will be a work for young audiences created by MAXIMA Circus. It is exploring the intersection of puppetry with circus and physical theatre practices while engaging with issues and emotions faced by very young children. It will be a non-verbal, ground based, highly physical work where objects and apparatus take on a personality all of their own, with playful interaction and hands-on engagement with our audience.

MAXIMA are exploring the transformation of familiar objects, apparatus and human bodies. In Catch! we are playing with all kinds of balls (Fit balls, ping-pongs, footballs, basketballs, tennis…etc), other forms of circular objects (wheels, rings, quoits, hoops, bikes & trikes) in addition to working with boxes and paper bags! 

The structure and dynamic of ball play explores the relationships between the characters. Their personality reflected in their engagement with individual ‘balls’ and in their interactions with each other. Balls and ball play represent a form of non-verbal dialogue in the work; the bouncing, throwing, rolling, tossing, catching, juggling, operating as a shifting metaphor indicating relationships, mood and energy. The performers also embody the qualities of the balls, in addition to the throwing and catching of each other. Think of having a ball, keeping your eye on the ball, dropping the ball, play ball, the balls in your court and so on…
Learning to throw and catch is one of the first games we are taught to play and ‘get right’. Catching is rewarded, and dropping the ball…is not. We want to explore this early engagement with competition, physical ‘success’ and failure, where in a sports-mad culture such as Australia you can feel like you have failed before you have even begun…
And then there is the tricky journey of learning to ride…a bike…! 
This work will also play with the multiple possibilities of boxes and paper bags and the idea of ‘hiding’ who we are from each other. Being boxed in or ‘bagged’…and when we are ‘revealed’ how might the way I look change the way you think about me? It about not wanting to ‘face up’ to things…and how sometimes we just want to shut the world out…or each other…

We believe this project is an inventive and adventurous exploration and experimentation with the combining of these art forms. We want to explore through theatre how we can support early childhood development and younger audience’s engagement with performance in inventive and fresh ways. How we can learn, understand and deal with difference, our varying abilities, and be open to discovering new ways of seeing ourselves and each other. 
Initial research and concept development will have been undertaken by writer/director Sally Richardson at MPAC with a focus on physical and choreographic exploration, working and experimenting with props, objects and sound.
At the end of the fortnight we will have taken significant steps in the creative process with a roadmap for production delivery; this will include: early drafts of design elements, sound score, and a framework of the narrative arc/ experience of the audience’s journey. 

In a bold new step for new work development in WA we are seeking regional co-commissioning partners.

Review Quotes (max 3 quotes): …a perfect fit for families, young children, and punters new to Circuses....THE WEST AUSTRALIAN impressive circus-based ensemble piece, acts are infused with light touches of drama, occupying a kind of dream world…the closest comparison for Fearless would be the work of Phillip Genty…(Jonathan Marshall, Realtime)

Sally Richardson, with a talented team of artists, has choreographed light, sound, object and body into a journey through a timeless place. A place that could be post WW1 Europe, or post 9/11, or just post monsters beneath the bed. An astounding and emotional journey that demanded courage by the creators, and generosity from the performers. Thankyou Circus Maxima for having the courage to be in this world. (Jo Smith Circus WA)