Examining the motives behind what makes us seek out constant perfection, Ascent, the new production by Citizen Theatre, aims to question what the final purpose is behind the seeking of ideals.
Working with such techniques like optical illusions, movement and light, and the unique combination of original vocal and musical elements, Ascent is an innovative music theatre production that takes audiences on the journey of one woman improving herself to death.
“Female bodies are compartmentalised in our visual culture," explains Writer/Director Jayde Kirchert. “We're so accustomed to legs without heads, stomachs without eyes, feet without knees, smells without pores. We're accustomed to objectifying the parts of the female body and assessing them for their aesthetic value. With Ascent we look at this process and explore the possibilities for revealing the intelligence of the body, in each of its parts, even its smells. The world we’re creating is wacky and wonderful. It’s like no other musical theatre work," says Jayde.
Ascent is a bold feminist piece that tries to understand the expectations of the female form. Undergoing a series of physical transformations in a quest to feel forever fresh and relevant, the piece is an examination of what it is to be a woman, and the lengths some people will go to to achieve 'perfection'.
Part of the Fringe Festival, Ascent also dismantles ideas about what 'music theatre' is. Created by Melbourne-based Citizen Theatre, this production company is committed to presenting social causes and issues in unexpected settings and works with a feminist, access conscious approach.
Showing for three nights only, be sure to catch Ascent at Theatre Works before the end of this month!
Written by Angela Perez
Ascent by Citizen Theatre is an intriguing mixture of self-reflection and internal dialogue created into a play. Beginning with a protagonist that admits to being a 'worrier' not a 'warrior' - her eternal seeking to feel 'fresh' and to mask her own body smell or perfect herself (read: change the way she is), sets her on a slippery slope to more and more insecurities, to where even she admits she doesn't know who she is.
Filled with all the humorous 'chit chat' beauty advice that society is filled with and the relentless focus on beauty, the play has got a charming interlude of hands and arms and faces, which point out the singular focus we have on specific parts of our bodies. Ultimately however this play point out the false sense of power that beauty seems to offer women and highlights how the continual loss of self identity (or self-esteem) can lead to an endless process of losing oneself. Entertaining and thought-provoking this an innovative play that is an echo chamber of the unrealistic beauty standards that remain today.
Location: Theatre Works (14 Acland Street, St Kilda)
Dates: 28 - 30 September
Time: 7pm each night
Tickets: Citizen Theatre Website