Ever considered that losing your baggage could be a good thing?
In one ambiguous question lies a test – what use is it to hang on to the things you’re hanging on to?
You didn’t come here to be questioned so here’s the answer. Peta Morris’s brand-new show, ‘Baggage Limit’, is your show too, and Adelaide Fringe just copped the world premiere (9 March) at Bakehouse Theatre.
From a theatrical demonstration of Peta’s trip down the birth canal, to her grandmother’s advice that “margarine is the work of the devil” and meeting her two alter egos Wayne and Sharon: be prepared to see yourself and be confronted by parts of your own story. Be prepared to consider the legacy you’re imparting to all impressionable eyes witnessing your packing or unravelling.
This is a bold work, as exposing as the vulva costume of the opening *cough – no don’t cough* scene.
Alter Ego Number 1 (as he’d likely prefer to be appointed) is Wayne, the ruthless omnipresent stirrer and anxiety advocate who visits all of us. Not that he has to visit, since he’s everywhere.
“You conjure me to life,” he tells Peta, or anyone who’ll listen – as though we’re all capable of being in control of our own feelings.
What an idea.
Imagination is a strong theme here – as though our internal cockpit can override the predispositions written in our stories thus far. Imagine if your imagination could reshape your existence rather than just manipulate others or construct an escape.
We’re witnessing an important, potent piece of expression. The suit being worn is vividly apt.
A song ensues, as Peta squashes Wayne back into his box for the time being.
“Check your head! Listen to what comes out of your mouth, love is what it should be all about.”
Sharon, the other alter ego, emerges like a fragrant lotus flower and the mood of the room is altered. She lets us know that she’s also omnipresent, and equally as available as Wayne, just less obnoxious in vying for Peta’s attention.
Sharon also acknowledges that her goodness is often used as an excuse for maliciousness, saying “some see me as the divine decoy for deplorable behaviour”. Still, she represents a force for good, no matter how subject to perversion she’s been, and identifies the potential for healing.
“Let it go. . . ‘Cause life is so much better as a musical. . .”
I didn’t come to this show to be so personally questioned, so recognised, so heard: but I am all of those things.
I guess I’ll continue to unpack, before my next flight. Thank you, Peta.
'Baggage Limit' plays Mainstage at Bakehouse Theatre until 14 March.