Images & text by Kerrie Pacholli and Simon Barnett
A Normal Child, presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy, is a multi-layered and at times darkly comedic play within a play, within a play.
This extraordinary collaborative script has been workshopped over a four year period by the Disability Slapstick Plan, an ensemble of four Melbourne artists with different physical disabilities. along with co creators and Artistic Directors of Ridiculusmus, David Woods andJonathan Haynes.
The finely tuned dynamics and shifting senerios within the play are captivating, hard hitting, confronting and awaken resonating awareness of how our differences set us apart yet join us together at the same time.
A Normal Child is a captivating and epic narrative of vast and imperfect comedic proportions that navigates the intricacies of disability representation in a daring, funny, and complex work where there is a new normal.
Cast member Eva Sifis
“Once upon a time I was a dancer working across Australia and performing cabaret shows in Japan,” said Eva Sifis. “When I sustained a serious Acquired Brain Injury in 1999 due to being hit by a car, that life ended.” After being in a coma, Eva’s new life began with learning to walk and talk again. She also had to relate with the world and most importantly, deal with a new Eva.
Eva applied herself to recovery; physically, mentally and spiritually with great dedication through a very difficult period. “My physical needs were attended to very effectively within the system, however, I experienced a gap when it came to re-joining society.”
Eva’s journey since then wasn’t easy because in 2009, she had to battle advanced Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which was a huge challenge but it didn’t hold her back. It gave her a chance to re-evaluate her life.
Lately Eva’s focus has shifted to that of advocacy and she has taken on a role at Arts Access Victoria coordinating their Scholarship programs. After gaining a training role with Women with Disabilities Victoria, she educates sector workers on the issue of violence against women with disabilities.
Living in St Kilda, Eva enjoys acting in community theatre, “I enjoyed a solo return to the stage at Carlton’s La Mama Theatre. My autobiographical story was developed using movement theatre. ‘Embryonic Zombie Butterfly’ played to packed houses.”
After Eva gained the Ethel Temby Scholarship, she developed “By Accident™” which is a training business. “Multiple tools have been used to assist my progression and, having interviewed many others with an Acquired Brain Injury, their stories contributed to its formation.”
Co-Creators – David Woods, Jonathan Haynes, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans, Trevor Dunn, Eva Sifis, Betty Bobbitt, Jax Jacki Brown
Performed by – Anton Rivette, Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Brian Lipson, David Woods, Jonathan Haynes, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans, Trevor Dunn, Eva Sifis, and Betty Bobbitt
Facilitated by – David Woods and Jonathan Haynes (Ridiculusmus)
Dramaturg – Anton Rivette
Assistant facilitator – Kerith Manderson-Galvin
Sound Design – Marco Cher-Gibard
Lighting Design – Richard Vabre
Set and Costume Design – Matilda Woodroofe
Dresser – Wendy Woo
Production Manager – Kirsty Baird
Producer – Erin Milne, Bureau of Works
Development collaborators – Kate Hood and Loki Rickus
|This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, the Besen Family Foundation and City of Darebin. Developed with the support of the City of Yarra, Malthouse Theatre, Playwriting Australia and Arts Access Victoria.
A sophisticated and uniquely inspiring experience not to be missed.
Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, Main Hall
189 High St, Northcote
Approx 75min, no interval
Concession $28 (Must hold a valid Student or Health Care Card)
Tuesday, 22 October – Saturday, 2 November
No shows Monday and Thursday
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 8pm
Tuesday, 22 October – Preview
Wednesday, 23 October – Opening
Friday, 25 October – Auslan Interpreted Performance
Wednesday, 30 October – Relaxed Performance
Friday, 1 November – Audio Description