Personal by Jodee Mundy is an acute insight into some of the strains and joys of being a ‘CODA’ – a hearing child born to a deaf adult / parents / into a deaf family.
As a short but intense 60 minutes of theatre, it frames, elucidates and distills this experience on a very personal, yet totally relatable to level, for a mixed audience of deaf and hearing. This rewarding, compelling work brings deaf and hearing a little closer together both literally and through its delicate and sharp insights - crisply and clearly presented.
Personal feels like an especially liberating opportunity for creator/performer Jodee Mundy to communicate her experience through both her spoken language, English, and signed language, Auslan. With her beautiful physicality as a trained mime artist, her pleasingly modulated voice and command of Auslan, she delights her audience. Throughout the work what is signed is spoken as well, or interpreted through subtext. Mundy’s experience - so very expressively communicated - often with cheeky witty nuances, is accessible to all.
Personal is the sum of a number of aspects of Mundy’s experience, integrated with the help of Director Merophie Carr into a lovely expressive unified, finely tuned and fascinating whole. Nothing is extraneous and everything has been beautifully linked and crafted together by massively skilled performance makers.
The design of movable open boxes by Jen Hector offers numerous opportunities for modifying and changing the performance space in a smooth and direct manner. Rhian Hinkley is a master of video. His work of recording and projecting anecdotes and conversations adds a stunning immediate dimension to the whole. Sound (Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey) in the form of a kind of static or ‘white noise’ is initially directed in a very specific way to areas of the audience and later sound is integrated in numerous ways.
Doubtless the input and work of Jo Dunbar as Movement Consultant, Fiona Sandra Long as Script Consultant and Gavin Rose-Mundy as Auslan Translation Consultant is just as vital to the ultimate result though not necessarily as obvious to the viewer.
Ms. Mundy, who has an agreeable and disarming ‘stage presence’, talks to us, plays with us, moves boxes, interacts with projections and generally commands the space. Everything is linked and on a number of occasions projections even converse with each other in an unanticipated manner. Most tellingly we are given a glimpse of how Ms. Mundy must have experienced very unusual boundaries, or lack thereof, by virtue of living in two often-separate worlds through her childhood and adolescence.
Congratulations to all involved - this is a must see!
Photographer: Bryony Jackson
Director – Merophie Carr
Design – Jen Hector
Sound – Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey
Video – Rhian Hinkley
Movement Consultant – Jo Dunbar
Script Consultant – Sandra Fiona Long
Auslan Translation Consultant – Gavin Rose-Mundy
Personal will have its Sydney debut as part of Sydney Opera House’s premiere season of UnWrapped: a curated series of Australian best contemporary performance, May 9 to 13, 2018. https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/unwrapped
Personal will also tour to regional Victoria and NSW.
31 May Hamilton VIC
5 Jun Wodonga VIC
8 – 9 Jun Parramatta NSW
12 Jun Warrnambool VIC
14 Jun Horsham VIC
26 Jun Traralgon VIC