Vulcana Women's Circus – As If No-One Is Watching Review @ Brisbane Powerhouse

'As If No-One Is Watching'
Elodie is an award-winning actor, director, playwright, and producer who enjoys her time onstage as much as her work behind-the-scenes. When she's not creating theatrical magic, she's reporting about the arts scene with her journalism and publicity prowess. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @el.boal.

Encompassing a range of entertainment, Vulcana Women’s Circus have presented a thought-provoking showcase of talent.

Playing on raw emotion, movement and feeling, ‘As If No-One Is Watching’ invited audiences to take a voyeuristic look into a woman’s mind.

Created by new and emerging artists in a co-collaboration with WaW Dance Collective, the production explored the frustrations and triumphs of many diverse women – aged from 20 to 70 years old. Publicly sharing their secrets, the women vulnerably acted out a range of dances, tricks and techniques to the intrigue of onlookers.

The show itself was part installation and part performance – combining art and dance in a multi-sensory story about courage, sacrifice and truth.

'As If No-One Is Watching’ begun with 18 monologues – delivered silently and repetitively, outside Brisbane Powerhouse’s Stores Studio. Storytelling was assisted via smartphones – where one visited a website that linked unique tales to a performer.

Integrating the use of technology into the show meant patrons could go between stations at their own pace – a clever concept that is reminiscent of museum audio-tours. With headphones on it feels as though you could hear the tickings of the human mind and its inner voices. Headphones off, and the space is completely silent – except for the shuffling of shoes between performers and the energy exhaled by their vigorous movements.

Accompanied by the deep vocal talents of Velvet Pesu, the women regrouped for the performance-half of the evening.

In a presentation of strength and power, the audience witnessed aerial stunts, group dances and a range of circus acts – some women even acted as stepping stones as their fellow performers marched across their backs and were lifted up.

Despite being exposed to their vulnerabilities at the start, the sheer determination and courage of each woman drives the performance home.

‘As If No-One Is Watching’ utilised the inside and outside areas of the Brisbane Powerhouse’s precinct effectively.

During the installation-half, audiences heard stories about body image, rejection, motherhood, life’s mundane tasks, disabilities and the discovery of self-love. Minor site glitches hindered the smoothness of the event and it was a shame time was cut short, so not every woman’s story was heard.

Overall, however, the show celebrated women of all ages. We were reminded of what it takes to be a woman and rejoiced in their expressions, freedoms and wild thoughts.

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