06-17 Dec at The Richmond Theatrette, Church St, Richmond
With & By Kerith Manderson-Galvin
These are queer times, and when haven’t they been? Invisibility, erasure, hollywood stars, child welfare, 500mg’d, memory foam pillows, and an airplane to New York City all take place in the blink of an eye. MKA’s queer-femme theatre maker Kerith Manderson-Galvin, and a dynamic and fiercely talented team of performers of diverse sexualities and genders, follow the calculations of astronomer Olaus Roemer, to find the liminal space/hotel/desert of the real, where even the sand is itself, queer. MKA’s 186,000 takes Roemer’s calculation of the speed of light (in miles per second), and asks what we miss before it gets to us. Not that anyone measures anything in Miles anymore anyway, unless you’re hurtling down a highway in a red corvette in a Sam Shepard film. Memories, stories and mathematics are all on show, and it’s totally unsettling. As academic J. Jack Halberstam, says “To tell a ghost story means being willing to be haunted.”
MKA’s 186,000 is easy to review. Kerith Manderson-Galvin just like MKA as a company have produced a progressive, relevant don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss a bunch of shooting stars work. When witnessing this authentic piece of theatrical mastery you invest into the spirit of the piece which left me in a haze of euphoria I didn’t want to exit from. Strongly performance art by nature 186,000 has verbatim text delivered via performers, soundscape and Youtube which struck more than one personal chord, due to the honesty the verbatim text and imagery delivers. Tapping into the social relevance, climate and voice of the queer community this is theatre that will move mountains in you. It is impossible not to engage with the authentic spirit that floats on the ceiling as it oozes out of Kerith and her stunning ensemble. Normalisation of queer people and culture is quickly on the rise (not fast enough as far as I’m concerned) but watching this valuable production filled me with hope that the once voiceless many are making themselves heard. It made me prouder than I already am to be a part of this rich, beautiful vibrant LGBTQI community.
186,000 is a rich exploration that is dream like in style, production value and scenery. Filled with considered movement and choreography that holds the human condition with vulnerability, joy, and strength of expression that plays out truthfully and gloriously. It is such a personal message which made it feel mine too. This show is FRESH like a frozen box of tic-tacs.
Go, for god’s sake go.