One of our mutantspace members, Jennifer Williams, from Australia, has recently moved to Ireland and has been using our arts skills exchange to create new work and relationships with other artists. Here is her story.
I moved to Bandon, Co. Cork in February of this year. I’m an Australian performer and writer, originally from Newcastle and Sydney. One of the things I was most worried about when moving was losing all my creative contacts back home in Australia. I really wanted to get involved in the arts scene over here and do some performing if I was able. I did a fair amount of research before leaving, joining a few Irish theatre groups on Facebook, emailing those people that I could find contacts for.
Due to a lot of happy coincidences, and a fortunately timed post on Facebook by one of those Irish theatre groups, I ended up at a Theatre Space Open Forum the day after I arrived in Cork. Even better, I ended up sitting next to a mutantspace member who explained the idea of the website to me. I was amazed. I had come over to Ireland with the hope of making some theatre, writing and performing, but I had half expected it not to work out.
I joined up to mutantspace and participated in the Trash Culture Revue in May. I was able to perform on a one hour long live Trash Culture Revue radio show for RTE which was tremendously exciting (and even got me one fan who especially came to see my show in the revue). More importantly though, I met director Yvonne Coughlan, who I have been working with since. Yvonne and I have been working on a couple of projects together, but the most important and exciting one is, No Matter Where You Go, There You Are.
This show is an interactive, interdisciplinary, international theatrical performance. The show is a conversation between myself and Irish performer, Cathie Clinton, who is now based in Australia. I am performing live in Wexford, while Cathie is performing live in Melbourne and we interact with each other through video. It will be performed at Melbourne Fringe Festival for two weeks and the Wexford Fringe Festival for 3 dates. Drawing on our experiences of the expectations and promise of travel, our subsequent lives in our new countries, the piece is intimate and personal.
In an increasingly internationally mobile community, ‘No Matter Where You Go, There You Are,’ is an examination of the reasons we travel and the different experiences that we have when we get where we are going. It is about Ireland and Australia and the connection between the two countries over many decades. It is about forced migration and the bust of the Celtic Tiger, as well as voluntary migration and the booming Australian economy. It is about a search for a home in the world and meaning in our lives, no matter where that search takes us.
The honesty of its creators, the humour and drama entailed and the brave venture into the unknown that this performance represents in every way, will wake you up, shake you up, make you laugh and cry, and challenge you to really look at your own life. This is about building your own future, not just waiting for it to happen, this is about inspiring others, not just searching for inspiration.
We are planning to develop the performance and take it further afield, with an additional performer to Alabama. And this exciting project has all been made possible because of mutantspace! I feel very grateful to that musician at Theatre Forum who told me about the website.
Why not support our show or come to the performances at:
The Melbourne Fringe Festival, Australia: 26th, 28th, 29th, 30th September
Clifden Creative Arts Center, 314 Church St. Richmond, Australia: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th October
The Wexford Fringe Festival, Ireland: 3rd 4th 5th November