NORPA walks on wildside
IF YOU have ever struggled through a yoga class and, instead of worshipping your inner self, ended up contorted and shamed by the demons in your brain, you will relate to the opening scene of Wildskin.
NORPA's homegrown production takes you into the mindset of Eva. In the midst of an existential crisis she decides to "go bush” in search of her authentic self.
So begins a rollicking ride parodying the hipster road-trip ideology that life is "about the journey, not the destination”.
Hilarious pastiches bring her mental state into dramatic relief. A typical Australian campsite scene turns into an homage to The Little Shop of Horrors as sleeping bags belt out Blondie's 1978 classic One Way Or Another and, a typical ocker pub, complete with bar room brawl, sums up her final state of abandonment as it morphs into an internal doof party.
Pushed beyond her limits, Eva's venture into nature takes the audience through a series of epiphanies and clever monologues. Hattie Dalton's writing has a laugh at depression as Eva pulls herself together with a cowgirl whip-cracking sequence before she surrenders back into more risk-taking. A woman's choice to be promiscuous is juxtaposed by fears of facing off with the likes of Ivan Milat.
The vastness of the bush is wonderfully evoked by NORPA's lighting and staging, and Julian Louis' direction means the audience is never left hanging. Eva devolves into the animal within her wildskin towards the end of the show, at which point there is no where to go, but forward.
The strength of the production lies in the writing and choreography, and the moments of sheer black humour hit every mark.
Wildskin is a highly creative piece, which speaks to the issues of our modern day mental health and leaves you happy, having been thoroughly entertained.