The Mathematics Of Longing: A Life-Affirming Adventure In Brisbane

Published in Arts  
'The Mathematics Of Longing' 'The Mathematics Of Longing'

'The Mathematics Of Longing' is a whimsical love story, bringing mathematics and science into humanity and exploring our existence.


A collaboration with The Farm and The Uncertainty Principle at La Boite in Brisbane, the show communicates this through theatre and dance.

Here, The Farm's Kate Harman (a Co-Creator and Performer in the show) tells us more about the production.

Kate Harman
Kate Harman

Break down what this show is all about for us.

Don’t be turned off by the word Mathematics, the show is really about human connection and the depth of human emotion and capacity. It reframes mathematics as a way for us to look at our human condition and to question our existence and the unseen forces that effect our everyday lives. It redefines the sublime in our everyday existence. To see ourselves greater than our physical bodies.

You're a Co-Creator and Performer. What has been your involvement in the production?
For this production we really have a dream team. We have brought together performers and creatives from La Boite and our company The Farm. Then of course there's the fabulous writing of Suzie Miller which with be matched by the emotional potency of our sound design by Ben Ely, who most of your readers will know from his work with Regurgitator, and our set is one big artwork by the visual artist Ross Manning who turns everyday objects into fascinating meditations. We will be working in quite a unique way. Based on our working method at The Farm where all artists bring their expertise but are not confined to it. We see the show as the Director and we will be making the work collaboratively as an ensemble.

This is a world premiere! Any plans for the show to go further than La Boite at this stage?
At the moment we have our eyes on the premiere dates but as with all great works (and that is really what we are hoping it will be) you do wish that they have a life beyond. It is always such a pleasure to share the work and its themes with as many audiences as possible.

What do you think works well in terms of bringing science into theatre?
To be honest I’ve never been much of a science or maths person, I’ve always been much more interested in our humanity. But what this work has really shown me is that at the core they are one and the same which to me is totally unexpected.

Mathematics Longing

It seems like quite a complex work. What audiences will relate to the themes and ideas in 'The Mathematics Of Longing’?
Anyone that questions their place in the world. The big Whys. Also anyone who loves theatre and dance and would love to see how these two forms and these two companies will intersect. I hope that might be just about everybody.

What has the production and preparation process been like, getting ready to present the show?
Before rehearsals we did a five day research sinking into a deeper understanding of the text and themes as well as getting the actors comfortable with moving and the dancers comfortable with talking.

Any particular highlights/memories for you in terms of rehearsals?
To be honest it’s just so rewarding being in the room with all the creatives and I’m so grateful for La Boite bringing us together. I’ve also really enjoyed stretching my brain power and getting ok with lots of questions and a lot less answers. Oh and string theory, we had a lot of fun with balls of wool and a German Death Metal soundtrack.

Where did the inspiration for a show like this arise?
The heart of the work is really the writer, Suzie Miller. As a young woman she went on to study math with the view that it was a perfect and absolute thing. However once she got there she was introduced to what is known as the imaginary numbers that unlock a whole other world of the most beautiful equations, the sublime. But for Suzie she was attracted to maths because of its absolute certainty, not another leap of faith. It began an investigation into how maths and our desire to understand our lives intersect.

In a perfect world, tell us what an audience member who is completely satisfied with the show is leaving the theatre feeling and thinking.
They are re-examining their own lives, moved and challenged by what they’ve seen. They are carrying an emotional resonance from the show and will go to sleep and have some very rich dreams.

'The Mathematics Of Longing' plays La Boite Theatre from 2-23 June.

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