Fears and anxieties are according to research and media reports on the increase in our society, and the discussion of “where does emotional/verbal/physical abuse really start” reaches new hights. It leaves us with a lot of questions of how to actually deal with other people sensibly enough. The piece explores which struggles we face in common, daily routines and how easy we switch from being a victim to become the abuser, how often we actually encounter such situations in our lives and how we change the roles frequently, often unintentionally.

Every day, every minute, every second something can trigger a feeling that we have. We live in a busy world, often unaware of the greater emotion that is linked to memories, stuck in our subconscious mind. Mostly we simply don’t have the time to reflect on the underlying cause for our behaviour and actions.

Fear | Shame | Stigma | Loneliness | Loss | Ties | Hope – A performance that digs deep into the human psyche

Meet four protagonists, female and male, in a common office space, in the middle of a city. Do you dare to be their close audience, the voyeur, the witness, the ally? See behind the curtain of their existence and go beyond their professional image, revealing their inner new struggles.

Known for their expressively driven and postdramatic style EXISTENCE THEATRE continue to cast a critical eye on gender and socio-cultural issues that are kept hidden away below the surface of our constructed society.

Their most recent production gets staged inside an unusual environment, which reinforces the question: How well do we know the people around us, and to begin with, how well do we know ourselves?

FIRST THINGS FIRST is a performance piece, written by elisabeth m eitelberger & written and directed by bello benischauer

performed by: Elisabeth Eitelberger, Jemma Fleming, Ross Hamilton, Helah Milroy

Duration: approx. 60 min – no interval.

12./13./19./20./26./27. JULY 2019, each starting 7pm, UDLA, Level 1A, 3-5 Josephson Street, Fremantle,WA, 6160 Tickets on sale here

After each performance audience members are invited to meet cast and crew to exchange experiences about the work. Ticket price includes a bowl of soup and a drink.

UDLA’s HQ is located in Walyalup (Fremantle) – on the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

Please note:

  • Latecomers will not be admitted.
  • Mobile phones and electronic devices are to be turned off during the performance.
  • Filming or photographing is not permitted without the consent of the promoter.
  • No complimentary tickets or free passes can be used for this performance.
  • Please note that this venue has no wheelchair access!
  • Contains references to trauma.
  • Recommended ages 15+

MORE ABOUT THE CONCEPT BEHIND THE WORK: Four people in couples try to sort out their lives but have one thing in common, they share the dream of a journey to escape the conflicts of reality. Different scenes give insight into some of their daily, more or less dramatically unfolding encounters. Two different kinds of relationships seem surreal at times, their worlds touch only briefly at one point. Aggression, suppressed feelings, victimisation and dominating the other besides feeling small and unloved are all part of their explorations, which could either escalate or just drag on, leading nowhere.

There are gender issues and traumatic experiences, which stay unclear of nature but obviously impact their present actions. There are backflashs of awkward situations at the doctor’s, the therapist’s, the police station, at working different jobs. Everything told and shown outlines ‘something that happened’ and more than one metaphor unfolds. ‘First things first’ plays with one’s individual imaginations and how interpreting perceptions are informed. Personal experiences and the Media contribute to what choices we make, how we act.

With their newest production ‘Existence Theatre’ once again reflect on urgent socio-cultural issues in present-day society and asks questions about how ignorant or aware we are about our human existence. Although ‘First things first’ has an open ending, it is clear that voicing our concerns and confronting us directly with issues that bother us is something that needs to be played out in real time. This way we can move forward and become ourselves in society – to live, to experience, to dance.

ART IN PROCESS | Existence Theatre Production 2019


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