Dancer Ellen-Hope Thomson and comedic performer Tristan McInnes hold your hand in the latest work from Fonder Physical Theatre, a dreamlike duet titled MOODY, allowing a glimpse into their connection as they navigate love and mental illness
Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Ellen knows very well what it’s like to be called “moody” and Tristan has been by Ellen’s side for 6 years now and has experience acting as a caregiver within their relationship.
MOODY weaves together elements of dance, comedy and physical theatre to present a love story about the couple’s life with bipolar disorder, interrogating the ways we may support the ones we love – on the “good” days and the “bad”.
Combining the skills of local design talents including Rhiannon Petersen & Rhiana Katz, MOODY is surrealist and abstract in its presentation – trying to make tangible the invisible nature of one’s inner landscape.
“Bringing a sense of cutesy nihilism to a cottage-core aesthetic, we want to establish a safe, comfortable space in which to invite some discomfort and do the self-examination required to live with oneself.” – George Ashforth, Director
MOODY is a work that shows what it is like to be at the mercy of one’s mood. While all people experience extreme emotions at times, some of us must cope with regular emotional disruption.
There are many questions that people and their loved ones have to explore when examining a diagnosis:
What self-care and coping strategies will work when implemented alone?
How can we come together with others to get out of these moods?
How do we come to terms with the limitations imposed on our dreams by our mood?
If we can release some stigma for families who live with mental illness or motivate audiences to think about these questions for themselves, then we feel we will have accomplished our task.
We should all be doing this reflection, diagnosis or no; although only 1.3% of Australians are thought to be living with bipolar, without coping strategies and support anyone can be put at risk by emotions they can’t control.
“We aim to leverage the fantastical and alienating nature of theatre to reflect the same in our own internal ways of living, and how that can be brought into alignment with a consistent and fulfilling life.”
– George Ashforth, Director
MOODY will encourage audiences to assess the bounds of their own moods, and relate to these heightened versions of what that mood can look like if you don’t put in the work to improve it.
Session with Extra Care (MHFA Supported Session)
The Moody team are offering extra support for the performance on Tuesday 14 June.
Doors will open 10-15mins early so you can enter at leisure and get cosy in your seat. There will be no lock-out during this performance and a mental health first aider will be present in the bar during and after the show if you need some support or just want to have a vent.
Mental health first aiders are skilled in listening and communicating non-judgmentally and can refer you to further support and treatments available if needed. Read more: What is Mental Health First Aid?
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For support or more info about any of the topics brought up in the the show:
If you are struggling or experiencing a personal crisis, Lifeline‘s caring, non-judgmental and devoted Telephone Crisis Support volunteers are here for you 24/7.
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