World Premiere Season
Presented by Arts House and Force Majeure
Produced by Force Majeure and co-commissioned by Carriageworks and the City of Melbourne through Arts House
Wednesday 30 August – Saturday 2 September 2023
Panel Discussion with Force Majeure
Thu 31 August, 6pm
FREE Ticketed event. BOOK HERE
Fri 1 September, 7pm – 7.30pm for 8pm performance
Fri 1 September, 8pm
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.
Suitable for ages 15+
idk contains adult themes including consent and sexuality.
Haze, loud music, flashing lights, strobe lighting, abrupt lighting changes, low lighting, and lights that change colour and intensity.
For the detailed Access Guide, please click here.
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
Do you know your own boundaries?
The new work from Force Majeure is a playful, tender and provocative examination of how we navigate consent in everyday interactions across our lifetimes.
Questioning where our boundaries begin and end, idk delves into the unsure and unspoken of human connection through a series of vignettes utilising movement, audio, text, and video, in a way that is mesmerising, moving and surprising.
What do our bodies remember and hold? What does it look and feel like to negotiate consent? How do we reconcile desire and shame, fear and fantasy, self and others, yes no maybe and I don’t know?
idk invites audiences to discover the edges of their own boundaries, and provokes a new way to continue the conversation about what consent means to each of us.
‘★★★★ funny, sexy and frankly weird’ – The Sydney Morning Herald
‘★★★★ A beguiling show’ – ArtsHub
Consent in Conversation
Hosted by Force Majeure’s Amy Morcom with panellists Margaret Harvey, Amy Cater, Danielle Micich and Josh Price, this will be an honest and progressive dialogue around consent and the body in this free pre-show panel discussion, presented alongside idk.
This discussion will investigate new ways for all of us to have consent conversations, drawing upon the panellists’ experiences navigating personal boundaries and consent in the arts industry.
Inspired by Director Danielle Micich’s work as an Intimacy Director for stage and screen, idk is a performance work blending movement and narrative that examines the private and public territories of the body throughout our lifetimes and the nuances of navigating multiple dimensions of consent.
Tickets: Free. Bookings essential – click here to book.
Date: Thu 31 Aug, 6pm
Run time: 60 mins
About the artists
DANIELLE MICICH | Director
Danielle is a highly awarded choreographer, director, intimacy director and performer of dance theatre and is currently Artistic Director of Force Majeure. She makes new work for festivals, theatre productions, opera and film, alongside site-specific and community work. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts and relocating to Perth as a company dancer for 2 Dance Plus, she was appointed Artistic Director of STEPS Youth Dance Company. Her independent work extends nationally and internationally, working with companies such as Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Night Train Productions, Steamworks Arts Productions, Dwhani Dance Company (India), Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Pinchgut Opera and Monkey Baa Theatre. As an intimacy director she has worked across live performance, film and television, with her credits including BUMP (Roadshow/Stan), SET PIECE (Performing Lines) Titus Andonicus (Bell Shakespeare) and Berlin Syndrome (Cate Shortland/ Aquarius Films). She is currently Artistic Director of Force Majeure based at Carriageworks in Sydney. Danielle’s ambition is to contribute to making new Australian work through storytelling that reaches audiences by exploring themes and issues relevant to contemporary culture; reflecting, embracing and challenging community attitudes and ideals.
ANNA TREGLOAN | Set & Costume Designer
Anna Tregloan is a multi-award winning designer of costumes and staging who collaborates with major cultural institutions and an array of smaller and independent companies, galleries and artists. She creates beautiful, innovative and intriguing environments to explore complex ideas and has an extensive history in contemporary performance, dance, physical theatre, opera, live-art, exhibition design, participatory events and immersive installations. She recently presented BELEIF SYSTEM, an immersive sound installation and the creative archive THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT. Amongst other recent projects she designed the concepts and installations for both ACMI, Melbourne’s WONDERLAND and GODDESS; designed the immersive exhibitions, SWARM and PERFECTION, for Science Gallery Melbourne; designed OSCAR AND LUCINDA for Sydney Chamber Opera & Bell Shakespeare’s Australia-wide touring productions of MACBETH and HAMLET. And worked with Timorese, Javanese and Papuan artists to conceive and design THE PLANET for AsiaTOPA. Previously she worked extensively with Malthouse Theatre, Ranters Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company amongst many others.
DAMIEN COOPER | Lighting Designer
Damien is a lighting designer working in theatre, opera and dance. He has designed over 300 shows. Damien’s career highlights include Neil Armfield’s production of THE RING CYCLE for Opera Australia, EXIT THE KING on Broadway starring Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon, Graeme Murphy’s SWAN LAKE for the Australian Ballet which was presented in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, KEATING! THE MUSICAL, Australia’s most successful subsidised theatre show ever, and Australian Dance Theatre’s BIRDBRAIN which played over 60 venues around the world. Damien has won three Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Lighting Design and four Green Room awards for Best Lighting Design. He won the Australian Production Designers Guild inaugural Award for Lighting Design for his work on Opera Australia’s DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, and the Showreelfinder Award for Live Performance Lighting Design for THE GLASS MENAGERIE at Belvoir.
ANGUS McGRATH | Sound Designer
Angus McGrath is an artist, performer and writer based in Sydney, on unceded Gadigal Land. To him, these streams all make up a single creative practice. His work is focused on musical subcultures, the limits of meaning, and the cinematic. He also makes electronic music under the name California Girls, and his 2020 album Beat Boy was nominated for an FBi Radio SMAC Award for Record of the Year.
TESSA LEONG | Production Dramaturg
Tessa is the Artistic Director of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance. As well as conducting a successful career as a theatre director, Tessa has held significant positions across the arts sector. Tessa was the Inaugural Associate Artistic Director at Griffin Theatre Company where she directed the world premieres of Merlynn Tong’s Golden Blood and Kendall Feaver’s Wherever She Wanders. At Theatre Network Australia, Tessa held the position of Manager, Artist and Sector Development where she championed independent artists and was part of the Artistic and Programming team as Associate Artist at Belvoir.
Tessa is also a founding member of independent Adelaide-based theatre company isthisyours?. She has worked with many companies nationally and internationally as director, dramaturg, researcher and assistant director, including Country Arts SA, Drop Bear Theatre, Force Majeure, Ontroerend Goed, PYT Fairfield, Restless Dance, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, and Vitalstatistix. She was a Griffin Studio Artist in 2014, as well as a recipient of the Seminaire en Avignon artist program at the renowned Avignon Festival.
GABRIEL COMERFORD | Performer
Gabriel Comerford is an Australian-Malaysian artist with over 10 years professional experience. He is a founding member of MakeShift Dance Collective and is currently based in lutruwita/Tasmania working with Tasdance, Stompin and MakeShift in a range of differing capacities. He thrives off working across disciplines and is constantly seeking to challenge and extend himself. Gabriel has worked and performed with a diverse range of companies and choreographers both Nationally and Internationally. Whilst his practice is rooted in dance, his experiences have allowed him to learn from and incorporate elements of physical theatre, object theatre, puppetry, visual arts, site-specific, Suzuki method, integrated practice, installation and du- rational performance. His interest lies in collaboration and the creative process; sifting through first impressions to expose the core of the theme or concepts at hand. He has an inquisitive mind, a powerful physicality and a captivating stage presence. Gabriel is a passionate performer, choreographer, educator and mentor who believes deeply in the power of dance to create connection, transformation and healing.
ADRIANE DAFF | Performer
Adriane Daff is an actor, theatre-maker, writer and Core Artist of The Last Great Hunt. Some notable theatre credits include ‘Lé Nør [the rain]’ which was nominated for two Helpmann awards (Best New Australian work and Best Design) and ‘The Irresistible’, which was also nominated for a 2018 Helpmann award for Best New Play. ‘The Irresistible’ had seasons at Dark Mofo (2019) and the Sydney Opera House (2019), ‘Lé Nør [the rain]’ recently played at The Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts at Monash University in Melbourne. Adriane studied in Perth at WAAPA as well as New York City (Ward Meisner Studio) and Paris (Ecole Philippe Gaulier). Last year Adriane acted as dramaturg on Force Majeure’s show with Eliza Scott ‘Eugene’, and she is currently in development with ‘Regards, Janet’ an exciting collaboration between The Last Great Hunt and Force Majeure.
MERLYNN TONG | Performer & Text Dramaturg
Merlynn Tong is an actor and playwright. Some of her recent performances include The Poison of Polygamy (La Boite Theatre & Sydney Theatre Company), Golden Blood (Griffin Theatre Company & Melbourne Theatre Company), Enlightenment (Elbow Room), White Pearl (Sydney Theatre Company & National Theatre of Parramatta), Nautilus (Disney) and Top of the Lake: China Girl (BBC & Sundance Films). Some of her playwriting credits include Golden Blood (Griffin Theatre Company & Melbourne Theatre Company), Antigone (Queensland Theatre & Mercury Theatre Colchester) and Blue Bones (Playlab Theatre). She has had writing residencies/ commissions with Melbourne Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre and Queensland Theatre. Her one-woman-show Blue Bones (Playlab Theatre), which she also performed in, won 6 Matilda Awards. Her work Golden Blood (Griffin Theatre Company & Melbourne Theatre Company) has been short-listed for Victorian Premier Literary Award, NSW Premier's Literary Award, as well as Sydney Theatre Award (Best New Australian Work).
JOSH PRICE | Understudy
Josh graduated from VCA in Acting in 2008 and quickly established himself in Melbourne theatre regularly performing for MTC, Malthouse and Chunky Move. Since moving to Sydney he has performed in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (Red Line/Old Fitz), LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (Darlinghurst) THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Belvoir), TITUS ANDRONICUS (Bell Shakespeare) and GOING DOWN (STC/Malthouse). During 2020 Josh was part of Belvoir’s Artists at Work program. Other theatre includes THE VIOLENT OUTBURST THAT DREW ME TO YOU (MTC), COMPLEXITY OF BELONGING (MTC/Chunky Move), AN IDEAL HUSBAND (MTC), LOOKING GLASS (Fortyfive Downstairs), ANTIGONE (Malthouse). THE GOOD PERSON OF SZECHUAN (Malthouse/National Theatre of China), M+M (Melbourne Festival), THE HISTRIONIC (Malthouse/STC) and ELEKTRA (Fraught Outfit/The Dog Theatre. Musical Theatre: BLUE ANGEL (Big Hart), MARGARET FULTON QUEEN OF THE DESERT (Theatreworks) and THE LOVE BIRDS (Melbourne Festival). TV: LATECOMERS (SBS), AFTER THE VERDICT (Nine Network), MOLLY (Seven Network) AUSTRALIA ON TRIAL (ABC), UNDERBELLY : INFILTRATION (Nine Network) and CITY HOMICIDE (Seven Network). Feature Films: YOU CAN SAY VAGINA and JOHN DOE: VIGILANTE.
I have conversations around consent on a daily basis. In my work as a director of movement and intimacy, I am constantly working with performers whose characters have physical relationships to one another. I work in a vulnerable space where emotional and psychological safety is as important to physical safety. And it starts with the self; understanding your own boundaries before opening up and holding a new relationship with another.
Our tendency to have a blanket response for the infinite number of consent situations we encounter makes learning and responding from an empowered place difficult. Our experiences and habits deeply imprint our bodies, shape our behaviour and create pathways that become problematic. If you find a way to move through this, then you create more options in life and having options available to us is how we find new healthy boundaries.
This work is relevant to all of us. It applies to all sorts of things you may, or may not have, consented to throughout your lifetime. Things that happen to you, or things you encounter, that generate an impulse of response in the body. If we put our impulses under a microscope we would find that we are navigating miniature intimate scenes all the time, some of which we never share with anyone.
In creating idk, I encourage audiences to connect to their own bodies to explore their impulses and responses, and to think about their relationship to thought, action and connection. I hope you’ll consider embodying the experience afterwards by rolling around on the floor with your loved one when you get home. You might just start to create your own new pathway.
– Danielle Micich
Set & Costume Designer: Anna Tregloan
Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper
Sound Designer: Angus McGrath
Production Dramaturg: Tessa Leong
Text Dramaturg: Merlynn Tong
Performers: Gabriel Comerford, Adriane Daff, Merlynn Tong
Understudy: Josh Price
Production Manager: Damion Holling
Stage Manager: Tanya Leach
Production Electrician and Programmer: Jasmine Rizk
Sound/AV Consultant and Technician: Phil Downing
Sound Support: Kingsley Reeve
Costume Maker: Christine Mutton
Collaborating Contributors: Nelson Earl, Josh Price, Eliza Scott, Carly Sheppard, Catherine Văn-Davies, Chris Burgess
Force Majeure is supported by The Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW. idk is produced by Force Majeure and co-commissioned by Carriageworks and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Image Credit: Ashley de Prazer
Image Description: Performer Merlynn Tong is laying down against a dark background with her legs curled up, her arms splayed to either side, and her eyes closed. There is some dark, multi-coloured fabric wrapped around her neck. There is a pixelated effect over the lower half of her body, obscuring the image.