Created and Performed by Jen McArthur
at Gryphon, Wellington
From 25 Feb 2012 to 27 Feb 2012
The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland
From 26 Feb 2013 to 28 Feb 2013
Reviewed by: Caoilinn Hughes; Norelle Scott;
Cheeky, “ridiculous” and “delightful”, Echolalia is a solo clown theatre performance, the like of which is very rarely seen in NZ.
Jen McArthur is a Wellingtonian trained at the NZ School of Dance, Circomedia circus school in Bristol and by Lecoq clown teacher Giovanni Fusetti. She joined the international Kallo Collective after meeting fellow New Zealander Thom Monckton at a clown workshop. The Collective has developed a unique sense of theatre style and physical comedy drawing from the masters, Chaplin and Keaton, and adding a contemporary twist.
Tickled by the social “weirdness” of autistic children while working with them on a holiday programme, Jen McArthur created a character for the stage who doesn't register social niceties. “ I became interested in the strength of the human spirit to overcome obstacles, no matter how eccentric the obstacle, or how eccentric the methods used to overcome them.” Jen McArthur. Echolalia uses the forms of clown, physical theatre and dance to present Echo - a young woman preparing for a much needed job interview. This challenge is intensified by the front door, behind which the pressure of social situations awaits.
Touching, surprising, playful, McArthur spellbinds the audience, in this highly recognisable portrayal of a person doing battle with their fears. “McArthur's tender performance as Echo is both delightful and heart breaking.” Salient.
Premiered in July last year at BATS, McArthur has since reworked the script with the assistance of Jo Randerson. “(Her) work is an important vein of comic, poetic clown that needs to get stronger in NZ for our theatre industry to grow.”
Don't miss this opportunity to experience a tested work steeped in a New Zealand sense of humour, from an internationally experienced performer/ creator. “I shall not reveal the conclusion, but by all means my applause was rapturous.” Salient
Auckland Fringe 2013 runs from 15 February to 10 March 2013. For more Auckland Fringe information go to www.aucklandfringe.co.nz
26th - 28th February, 5.30pm Duration: 40 minutes
Venue: The Basement Theatre, Lower Grays Ave Auckland CBD
$15 Adult/ $12 child over 6 or Groups of 6+/ $10 Fringe Artists
Bookings iTICKET - www.iticket.co.nz or 09 361 1000