Playful approach to life’s mysteries

28 September 2022

From alien dance-offs to robot wars, Erin Hutchinson finds Creation Creation has great answers to million-dollar questions.

Creation Creation, Windmill Theatre ·
Heath Ledger Theatre, 27 September 2022 ·

A playful piece of documentary theatre, Creation Creation brings some of life’s great mysteries to the Heath Ledger Theatre stage as part of Awesome Festival.

A man wearing a white suit holds a puppet figure made out of bright objects and depicting an old man with a walking stick
In ‘Creation Creation’ questions about death and the afterlife are addressed with tenderness. Photo: Thomas Mc Cammon

From 35 hours of audio interviews with over 50 people between the ages of 8 and 102, Windmill Theatre have created a tight 50-minute physical exploration of the most burning questions. And whether the answers are truthful, specific, scientific or imaginative, Creation Creation encourages a creative approach to our curiosity.

Making the most of a deceptively simple white cardboard cut-out set, co-creators and performers Fleur Elise Noble and Jonathon Oxlade prance around the stage in white hazmat suits acting out the visual to the trimmed down audio script put together by Roslyn Oades. They bring splashes of colour to the space using animation, puppetry and fun props to help articulate the storytelling. It’s all carefully choreographed and beautifully expressive, and the audience of littlies (and biggies) lap it up.

Noble and Oxlade are clearly a comfortable collaborative pair, and under the guidance of co-creator/director Rosemary Myers, have some incredibly humorous as well as moving moments.

“How did it all begin?” opens the show, and creation stories from around the world are brought to life, moving on to Oxlade’s laughter-inducing physical interpretation of a baby being born to the very scientific explanation of how babies are made. Questions about death and the afterlife are raised and addressed with tenderness, along with the purpose of our existence.

Like the children I overheard walking out afterwards, I had my favourite bits: the possibility of aliens who only communicate through dance and futuristic robot wars. The sudden appearance of a black hole earned a wonderfully loud response from the young ones present. Not sure if it was “Holy Jeez” or “Holy Cheese” from one vocal boy but either was appropriate for the way Noble and Oxlade entered space. There will certainly be a whole bunch of people researching spaghettification after this!

The lighting design by Chris Petridis is a delightful use of colour. The projected footage of AUSLAN interpretation by Dan Cleasby is well integrated, including a cute little moment where Cleasby registers the impossibility of translating during a “blackhole”.

We are left with the question of humanity’s role and our future on this earth, and as two young performers enter the space to tidy up the adult’s mess and join in a final experiment the show sends a clear message: children are our future. Their imaginations, their care, their curiosity. We need to be looking after our world so they can continue to ask these big questions.

Awesome Arts Festival is the perfect platform for this piece and it would be great to give this show the audience it deserves. Take your kids and yourself along – I bet you’ll walk out wanting to do some experiments of your own. That, or an alien dance-off.

Creation Creation continues at Awesome Festival until 1 October 2022.

Picture top: Fleur Elise Noble and Jonathan Oxlade tackle the big questions in ‘Creation Creation’. Photo: Thomas McCammon

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Author —
Erin Hutchinson

Erin Hutchinson is an actor, singer, theatre maker and teacher who is passionate about local arts. Whilst she wishes she could still be a ninja on the monkey bars, she’s content to enjoy a turn on the swings… easier to still hold a glass of wine.

Past Articles

  • Lyrical litter bring new purr-spective

    WAAPA’s graduating class shine in a poetic production of Cats, even if the feline stories don’t quite thread together, writes Erin Hutchinson. 

  • Don’t dream it – see it!

    The cast is incredible, the designs divine and the joys are endless. Erin Hutchinson urges you all to celebrate Rocky Horror’s big birthday and do the time warp again.

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