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May 26, 2024

Interview with Darcy Grant about ‘Fold: A Domestic Circus’

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Fold A Domestic Circus: Photo by Carniva Cinema

Fold: A Domestic Circus

NORPA – Lismore City Hall  |  Friday 28 & Saturday 29 June  |  7.30pm  |  $20–49

Director and acrobat Darcy Grant is making waves across the globe as a powerful force in contemporary Australian circus and physical theatre. Darcy spoke with The Echo about his new show Fold: A Domestic Circus

What inspired you to create Fold: A Domestic Circus?

We were excited by making everyday objects and settings the vessels for virtuosic movement/dance/circus and wondered what it might tell us about the way that people relate.

How do you develop up a piece like this from concept to articulated idea?

Slowly and with lots of consideration!

The devising process asked lots of personal questions around how we engage and live with others in domestic settings and gave way to lots of object play (mops, sheets, cups, etc) and improvisation. We watched carefully for things that resonated with our our situations and stories, both real and imagined, and grew the piece from these cuttings.

What moments did you want to craft in this performance?

We ultimately wanted a faithful and universal cross-section of moments that spoke of the relationship between two people. Love, irritation, fun, passion, loss, and the thing that is common to us all: housekeeping!

Is there magic in mundanity?

Yes… After making this piece I’ll never look at folding the washing in the same way again.

What do you draw on to inform what you do, especially for a show like Fold?

I’m an avid physical researcher all the time but interestingly it was my home life that was the biggest inspiration for me personally. Relatable scenarios of mundanity, chaos, and wonder appear every day whether you are searching for them or not!

Tell me about the performers you work with – what do you ask of them?

These performers/divisors also happen to be my very close friends. I ask them to find the holes in my thinking and interrogate the content honestly. I believe the secret to great work is shared excitement and investment; ultimately that is what I value most in the performers I work with.

How do you problem-solve in the creation process?

Someone wise once said that ‘if the only tool you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail’. I’m always trying to find new tools that increase the sophistication and quality of my work. Being tight enough to bed down content but loose enough to question it honestly is an endless challenge. Working at NORPA over the last few years has been instrumental in my skill/tool development.

What should we expect from this show that you have created for NORPA?

I’m not a fan of spoilers but I will say that you can experience a touching and physically unparalleled performance by two of my favourite performers.

Fold: A Domestic Circus is on Friday and Saturday 28 & 29 June at NORPA at Lismore City Hall. Tix are $20–49 at norpa.org.au.

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