Working With Children

Text, Direction, Design & Performance NICOLA GUNN

With this work, I am interested in the idea that reality exists in language and that often we don’t know what we know. We have to name it, we speak it, so we can become conscious of what we know. Or what we don’t know. Often, we present a certain kind of reality as fact.

A group of children are given a book. The book is written by Nicola Gunn. It’s about a woman who works with children who has a secret that she’s incredibly ashamed of. She often says and does things in private that she wouldn’t want made public. The book is a work of fiction. The children’s analysis and critical response to the book will be used as source material for a contemporary performance by Nicola Gunn, an award-winning artist who has run out of her own ideas.

Working With Children looks at the curiosities of artists who make work with children for an adult audience. As a work in progress, I will present an eclectic combination of an imagined talk show interview, excerpts from a fictional novel, and some education theory. It could be a film, it could be an adaptation of an erotic novel, it could be scenes of appalling human degradation, it could have flamboyant or weird costuming, it could have lots of miniature objects that have a latent energetic or sexual potential, it could be a bedtime story. The material gives promise to a funny and sharp portrayal of the moral and ethical minefield of working with children, sexuality and other social taboos.

Co-produced by BIT Teatergarasjen, Performance Space and MTC. Originally commissioned and produced by Melbourne Theatre Company. The first development season was presented in the Lawler Studio in Melbourne in September 2018 and at Liveworks Festival in Sydney in October 2018 with the following credits: Video Design NICK ROUX Sound Design KELLY RYALL Lighting & Spatial Design BOSCO SHAW Costume Design EUGYEENE TEH Script Dramaturg JON HAYNES Choreography SARAH AIKEN Stage Management MEG RICHARDSON.
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