'Mara KORPER' Theatre Review


Credit: Stu Brown

The COVID era was characterised by vacant theatres for audiences and empty bank accounts for creatives and what was considered acceptable or tasteful in the Pre-COVID era is now being challenged with many new productions emerging fuelled by this catalyst to view the world differently.


In the production of Mara KORPER, writer/director Jayde Kirchert strives to do just that – to challenge previously held concepts of extremism, corruption, gender, and body image, creating a futuristic world where “gender is obsolete, and the flesh must remain whole”.


Supported on stage by an exceptional cast including Jordan Barr, Emily Carr, Kayla Hamill, Asha Khamis, Erin McIntosh, Freya Pragt, Ursula Searle, and Shamita Siva, Mara KORPER uses the latest sound technology and is staged in a non-traditional way, seating audiences in the round in private Perspex boxes – a feature of the Theatreworks venue. The performers also wear movement-activating MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)rings to create some of the soundscape to deliver a sound performance like a larger group of musicians.


The production is described as a “sci-fi spectacle”. But is it sci-fi? Is the world created on stage blurred by a feminist perspective and more closely aligned with our reality than we think? Has COVID changed forever the way we view the world? Even in this futuristic and seemingly (all-female?)perfect world of “harmoniosity” our characters face all the challenges that women still face in the 2020’s characterised by hard work, reproduction, and obedience – to name but a few. They experience envy and jealousy, grief and loss, fear and anxiety, friendship and maybe even love. And although the supreme being is “Mother” – there is no family in this futuristic world.


Credit: Stu Brown

The production is described as a “sci-fi spectacle”. But is it sci-fi? Is the world created on stage blurred by a feminist perspective and more closely aligned with our reality than we think? Has COVID changed forever the way we view the world? Even in this futuristic and seemingly (all-female?)perfect world of “harmoniosity” our characters face all the challenges that women still face in the 2020’s characterised by hard work, reproduction, and obedience – to name but a few. They experience envy and jealousy, grief and loss, fear and anxiety, friendship and maybe even love.


And although the supreme being is “Mother” – there is no family in this futuristic world.

In terms of a theatrical experience for the audience, I found the performance Mara KORPER, with a duration of some 170 minutes, hard going and eagerly awaited the interval with the numerous short segments seeming somewhat repetitious. However, in terms of the thematic, Mara KORPER may not be a performance that we enjoy but one that forces the audience to think about the present in the context of what we hope the world to look like in the future.


Rating: 7/10


DETAILS

Venue: Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda

Times: 7.30pm shows Tues-Sat, 5pm show Sunday

Dates:12th-22nd May 2021

Duration: 170 minutes (with interval)

Prices:

Small Booth (2-3 Patrons) I Full Price $137.50 I Concession / Unwaged $92.50

Large Booth (4-6 Patrons) I Full Price $272.50 I Concession / Unwaged $182.50

Theatre Works Website

www.marakorper.com | www.citizentheatre.com.au |

Special Notes:

WARNINGS (12+):Smoke Machine, Haze Machine, Loud Noises

Open Captions available on Tuesday 18 May show