Eggistentialism – Sydney Fringe (Theatre)
2018 Sydney Fringe Festival
505 Theatre Newtown
Burdened by the oppressive cultural relationship Irish lawmakers have with the female body, the marvelous Joanne Ryan has made a road map of a show that walks us through the complex decision making an Irish female struggles with in her approach to reproduction. With a delicate and caring finesse, she posits global events against Irish attempts to control the female body and its terrifying ability to reproduce. We (the audience) get a strong sense of the importance of choice and the carefully navigated journey a woman takes when dealing with these complex questions.
However, beneath this political journey, is the very personal account of Joanne Ryan and her relationship to her own body. Gone is the tired “direct” connection between eros and childbirth that erotic writers such as DH Lawrence evoked in the name of freedom for female sexuality and reproduction. Instead, Joanne Ryan gives one the impression of an erotic revolt against bigoted sexual norms as the starting point for a far greater urge for freedom. Because her statements are couched in literature (theatre) they become “naturally” subversive and imply this desire for freedom is an execution of creative power existent as a norm-exploding force. The female erotic experience does not end with intercourse but potentially includes pregnancy and childbirth with the associated physical transformations. For Joanne Ryan, libido is linked to the body’s story, her own birth and her aging. It is also closely linked to the mind, and then paths are opened between flesh and spirit. These are areas usually dismissed by the limited male-centric view of eroticism and sexuality. Eventually, libido is seen as an expression of a radical or even anarchic urge for change.
Eggistentialism is an Irish import at this years Sydney Fringe Festival and part of the Archie Rose pop up hub currently at the 505 Theatre in Newtown. It’s a lovely little piece of theatre that tells its tale with heartwarming acceptance and an arms wide open desire to connect to the audience. It is accessible, intelligent, warm and subversive all together, celebrating its unique Irish voice, while making easy cross-cultural connections.