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UNFOLD - Inside the Arts in Victoria: Rawcus
Tuesday, 05 July 2011

UNFOLD - Inside the Arts in Victoria - is a series of mini-documentaries exploring the work of eight Victorian artists. New videos released fortnightly from June 2011. Visit arts.vic.gov.au/​unfold to sign up for updates and more info.

View this video with closed captions on YouTube.


Rawcus is a theatre company of performers with and without disabilities.

It is a really diverse group of people from people with intellectual disabilities, some with physical disabilities, some with acquired brain injury and psych disabilities.

We have been going for ten years now, and the work that we make is highly visual and movement-based.

Every rehearsal feels different.

In every rehearsal, there's a different energy in the room.

How we make our work together is very task-oriented, and I'll get the performers to respond in different ways.

Really, a rehearsal is, like, for me, like, looking for little pockets of energy to bubble up from questions that I ask, and then it's to follow that energy and see what comes of that.

It is clear when someone is really engaged because they will get up and do a piece of work and you will just...

The room will feel different and everyone knows that something really special has happened in that moment.

Someone once described our work as a series of moving images, and I really loved that description of our work.

We capture these moments in time and we place them together and they are kind of carefully curated so that, really, only at the end do you get a sense of a story or...

It is about the accumulation of those images that is the form of the show.

She is a really fantastic director and she is really lovely.

Rawcus is my family.

I am so excited on Saturdays, coming to Rawcus and performing.


I think because we have been working together for such a long time, we know each other really well and there is just a shorthand that we all have and a humour that we all share as well.

But also, you know, support each other.

But the support comes from all the performers to each other, so it is not a matter of the people without disabilities supporting the people with disabilities - it is not like that at all.

It is across the company - different people support each other in different ways, and we all really value that creative relationship that we have together.

The thing I love about working with Rawcus is the unexpected, either unexpected responses or an unexpected way of interpreting what you have asked or an unexpected rehearsal where some sort of energy comes out of nowhere that you have not been anticipating, and I love that about the work and I think there is always space for a little bit of anarchy.

I guess as an artist, that is what you want.

You want to be surrounded by people that take you off guard and that make you think about things in a different way.

'Cause I get to work with artists who do that for me and with me all the time and I am often having to double-take and think about things or come at things from another way, which is really lucky as an artist.

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