Review | Laura Money
Theatre is like compost. It’s made up of all that came before it but is ultimately new.
This beautiful sentiment starts the show with a gentle smile and kind homage to theatre making. Self-styled queer troublemaker, Noemie Huttner-Koros alongside director Andrew Sutherland (also a queer troublemaker, fyi) have birthed a show that is as fresh as the compost in it. Mother of Compost tackles climate change and social responsbility through the lens of young artists as they contemplate nature and regeneration, what legacy we will leave on our children, and whether it is, indeed a good idea to birth at all. Equal parts love-letter to and manifesto on ecology, Mother of Compost is ground-breaking theatre that serves to enrich the mind.
Huttner-Koros invites the audience to participate before entering the space – gathering leaves and spraying water in life-giving mists – the collective experience an enduring metaphor proving that theatre-making and gardening are similar community processes. She approaches quite dire and scary prospects as she discusses the precarious future of Earth’s ecology in a way that simultaneously conveys gravity and a deep sense of joy. The sheer delight when discussing the composting process, and reproduction/regeneration absolutely radiates from Huttner-Koros’ entire being. There are major implications here as compost gives way to plastic – a visual reminder that hushes the audience with a hollow gut-punch. Working in a passionate frenzy breaking the fourth wall with composer Lyndon Blue as they produce live sounds that mould around the set almost psychedelically, Huttner-Koros breaks down theatre conventions like compost itself, creating a rich and thought-provoking piece.
Mother of Compost is a pertinent and important work that everyone should see. Drawing on seventies aesthetics and philosophies whose influences are evident in the stunning stage design by Molly Werner and AV/photography by Edwin Sitt, the piece encourages you to approach it holistically before analysing the individual components. Sutherland’s signatures are present in Huttner-Koros’ movement and contemplative stripping bare of the set. It’s a visual expression of starting over, but with so much soil piled up underneath us, can we ever really reset – or have we reached the point of no return? Either way, Noemie Huttner-Koros – your Mother of Compost is here to encourage you through it, together.
You can catch all the composting action at The Blue Room Theatre until 12th February 2022. TICKETS
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The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.