The Wallaby Way by Gemma Wilcox
Remaining shows: August 21 – 23, 25 – 27 at Venue #38: Auditorium at Campus Saint Jean
An interview with Gemma Wilcox.
Describe your show in one sentence.
A wild, magical, and labyrinthine new play by 20-Time “Best-of-Fest” and physical theatre extraordinaire, Gemma Wilcox (London, U.K.), that will touch and inspire you long after the curtain closes.
Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description of your show?
A raw and wild labyrinthine exploration of untangling lineage, unearthing bones, weaving pathways, following threads…and wallabies… Multi Award-Winning, British, physical-theatre extraordinaire Gemma Wilcox returns for her 6th Edmonton Fringe Festival with a magical and mesmerizing Canada Premiere!
ABOUT THE SHOW:
The Wallaby Way is a passionate, intimate, and emotionally-charged show that takes the audience on Wilcox’s most recent journey to a remote, rugged island off the coast of Tasmania, Australia.
Along the way, it explores her last relationship, her maternal lineage, and what fleeing the North American distractions resulted for her. All this culminates in one of Wilcox’s riskiest performances and is an exciting quantum leap from her usual performance style of a bare stage and 20 characters.
This time Wilcox delves into a more personal, revealing and vulnerable delivery with the guiding force support of a mysterious marsupial, magical puppets, a mesmerizing mask, a labyrinth, and an enormous amount of red yarn, as she ventures through thick and thin to find clarity, closure, and peace with the tragedy that has clouded her mind and life.
This show was inspired by a trip to an island off the coast of Tasmania, Australia. What drove you to take that trip?
My last long term relationship had just ended, my maternal grandmother was dying, and I was experiencing major distraction in my life. In the back of my mind I had this increasingly loud whisper that I needed to get as far away from distraction as possible, slow down, be alone, deal with some feelings of loneliness, and write a new play about it all. I needed to get off “the grid” so to speak…and I knew some people who had an artist residency program on this remote, wild little island off the coast of Tasmania, so went out there for 5 weeks on a kind of soul-searching, creative retreat.
You call The Wallaby Way one of your riskiest performances – what makes this show risky for you to perform?
People are more used to seeing me play 20+ characters on a bare and sparse stage, doing a certain style of multi-character acting. In this show I have mask work, puppetry, projection, a set and a wallaby costume, so that is new and different and has me performing on an “edge” of sorts. But the “risky” aspect comes more from me personally sharing much more vulnerable, intimate and somewhat shocking autobiographical material from my life. It is a more raw, revealing and intimate show in general.
Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?
I smuggled in through customs a real life wallaby skull from the island I was on in Tasmania, Australia. The skull makes an appearance in the show 🙂
Here are some audience reviews:
★★★★★ “Incredibly moving and intimate” – S
★★★★★ “Very inspiring and entertaining!” – J.M
★★★★★ “Intimate, honest, tender, moving. Don’t miss it friends!!” -DD
★★★★★ “Soul-work writ large: (all of us) would do very well to take in this stunning performance. Highly recommended” – R.W
★★★★★ “Mesmerizing: brilliance embodied…Her exquisite storytelling weaves together many different modalities…creating a rich, multi layered tapestry. Truly mesmerizing” – J.C
The 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 17 – 27. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca .