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Review: Mother of Compost at Blue Room Theatre

Review by Hannah Fredriksson

Performance is one of the greatest mediums for communicating important messages about the state of the world and inspiring change. Writer and performer Noémie Huttner-Koros has used this medium to create a unique solo production that highlights a number of ecological messages in an intimate and memorable way.

The show is billed to begin at 6, and in typical productions the audience would be seated and ready to watch the show at this time, however in this interactive production the performance starts while the guests are still waiting in the bar. At this time Noémie starts bringing people into the auditorium in small groups. As they are ushered through, she meets everyone by name and introduces herself. She gives everyone a small role to play in bringing the production to life, be it sweeping fallen leaves into piles, or decorating hanging fabric with a spray bottle filled with brown liquid. By the time everyone filters through and the stage is ready, the show has it’s second, ‘formal’ beginning.

Noémie makes it clear from the very beginning of the show that we are all family, in fact, the audience members are all her mothers, and at the same time, she is ours. In this production, motherhood is a way of communicating the role of a nurturer, and it is everyone’s role to nurture each other and the earth and then be nurtured in return. With no beginning and no end, everything is interconnected and dependent on each other.

The performance touches on themes of global warming, sustainability and non-binary representation throughout the animal kingdom. Noémie takes the audience along on a metaphoric journey through mating, conception and birth of compost, sharing the wonder of how something dead can provide life to something new and useful.

Utilising audiovisual projection, music and sound effects, the dynamic shifts through a range of emotions including climactic highs and sobering lows. With the fabric hangings punctuating the projection, it is sometimes difficult to make out what is being shown. The audio recordings also sound a little muffled and it is slightly difficult to discern what is being said at times. The lighting is also used to dramatic effect, highlighting moments of significance.

Performer Noémie Huttner-Koros and director Andrew Sutherland have created an inspiring production that educates the audience about the current state of the world and our responsibility to it and to each other. You enter the theatre with a group of strangers and you leave with a family and a personal mission to do better.

Image Supplied


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