Watery graves and a marathon 24-hour performance are among the Dark Mofo-approved works set to descend on Port Adelaide with Vitalstatistix’s 2019 program.
With its Climate Century festival currently underway, the multidisciplinary arts organisation has reasserted its knack for tackling dark, challenging themes with wit and invention. February’s We All Know What’s Happening continues the tradition, kicking off 2019 by peering past the palm trees and cyclone fences of Australia’s troubled relationship with our close neighbour Nauru. With a cast of seven children and a colourful, handmade-school-musical style, the all ages work from Samara Hersch and Lara Thoms promises to be an affecting and unconventional dive into colonial legacies, detention and complicity.
In March comes Nat Randall’s critically acclaimed, 24-hour marathon performance piece The Second Woman. Already announced last month as part of the Adelaide Festival program, this unique piece of endurance theatre sees Randall perform the same short scene over and over, with each reset the role of her male counterpart performed by a different man plucked from the South Australian community. With no prior rehearsal between each pairing, the piece produces a string of unique, but often quite similar, outcomes that have hypnotised audiences at Dark Mofo and NextWave for hours at time. If that isn’t immersive enough, Vitalstatistix is currently recruiting male participants.
Year after year a highlight of Vitalstatistix’s programming is its embrace of its Port Adelaide setting in new and interesting ways. Come December it will take to the water once more with Waterborne, an audio narrated boat ride that guides audiences through the physical, and decompositional journey of the human body when it meets a body of water. Previously mounted at Finland’s Anti Festival, Estuary Biennial in London and Dark Mofo, the piece’s South Australian incarnation will be created in partnership with the South Australian Museum to reflect the unique local environment Port River.
The full slate of performances and workshops is set to be revealed in December, with Vitalstatistix’s annual Adhocracy program – a rare chance to experience inventive new productions still in development – set to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
Vitalstatistix 2019 program highlights
We All Know What’s Happening
The Second Woman