This Really Is Too Much

Gracefool Collective’s This Really Is Too Much blends dance, spoken word and physical comedy in a devised expressionistic theatre piece; revealing the absurd realities of life from the female perspective as a product of modern consumerist, hyper-sexualised society. Jolted into action, four women begin seated on four chairs facing the audience, they combine text spoken in unison with sharp ensemble movements before launching into a raucous, visceral and unexpected enterprise. With no idea as to where this show will go next, the audience is exposed to soliloquies from a variety of archetypal female characters who inspire their listeners to think differently.

Thought-provoking ideas and imagery from a highly skilled company.

The physical comedy is used by the group effectively in the returning advert sequence. At the cue of the elevator music all girls chaotically streak down to bikinis and grab their props to form the attractive picture of the clean, water-drinking, salad-eating, moisturising woman. A reminder that these players are all under the control of the music to please the audience.

The physical sequences are seamless, and slick choreography forms striking image after striking image with simple yet effective lighting to focus attention. Through the absurdist speeches, the audience are made to question what these women really want to say. Bursting with political insinuation, the beauty pageant character returns throughout the show, her struggle with projecting what she’s expected to be while desperately needing to express herself in defiance. The image of her running in circles, trotting about desperately in her stiletto heels lingers in the spectator’s memory long after the show.

Through an amalgamation of multiple theatrical mediums, This Really Is Too Much thinks far outside the box. Order followed by anarchy in both the text, choreography and the stage itself creating a highly stimulating production. However, without storyline or structure it is difficult to follow. Thought-provoking ideas and imagery from a highly skilled company, I look forward to seeing more of their work. 

Reviews by Isabella Javor

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The Blurb

Raucous, provocative and laugh-out-loud funny, this genre-busting performance reveals the downright absurd realities of life as a three-dimensional, high definition, water-drinking, salad-eating wo-man in modern society. 'Gleefully compelling' (ExeuntMagazine.com), slickly choreographed and dripping with feminist charm and anarchic wit. Gracefool combine dancing with dark comedy to delve into a world of farcical stereotypes and preposterous power struggles, wrestling with gender, identity and social convention. An outlandish and wildly entertaining medley of absurd political speeches, talent contests and box ticking. Part of the Underbelly Untapped season.

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