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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 5, 2020

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Under My Eye: Circus Meets Philosophy

Under My Eye: Circus Meets Philosophy
Julia Bates

Under My Eye is an existential-crisis-inducing piece of circus theatre packed into a very entertaining 60 minutes.

It’s difficult to know what to expect from the one-woman show from GUSH theatre and circus ensemble’s Bianca Mackail. The intimate setting of the Brisbane Powerhouse’s Store Studio creates a dynamic where it feels as though it is not only Mackail performing under our eyes, but the audience remaining under her eye. With this strong connection between performer and audience, the piece exists in a state of constant fluctuation between moments of incredible tension and humour.



That is not to say that the show lacks in the circus department. Those anticipating acrobatics will not be disappointed — Mackail’s performance features everything from cartwheels and back bends to hula hoops and aerial acrobatics. The physicality of the performance plays a key role in Under My Eye, and is fully realised when Mackail asks, “how can we connect with our body when our identity is understood through thought?”



In terms of narrative Under My Eye is, to quote Mackail, quite “art house”. The primary prop is a large box on wheels with a conveniently located peep hole that enables Mackail to place the audience under her watch. As Mackail emerges from and returns to the privacy of the box throughout the show, she faces the audience as two separate characters — a wild, horned version of herself and her neat and tidy performer persona.



With the help of a soundtrack featuring Enya, Mackail explores the relationship between these two personas who coexist within her. The show resolves with the reminder that we are, in fact, all going to die. Mackail delivers this truth to her audience as an antidote to the constraints of identity that we impose on ourselves because of our hyper-awareness of how others perceive us. This empowering moment celebrates exercising our freedom as individuals rather than staying put in our box.

Under My Eye is wild, uplifting and highly entertaining. Experience it for yourself until December 1 as part of Wonderland Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse.

What: Under My Eye
Where: Brisbane Powerhouse’s Store Studio, 119 Lamington St, New Farm
When: Until 1 December 2019
Cost: Tickets from $27
More Info: Visit the Brisbane Powerhouse’s website here.

Images supplied.