Laura Davis left Melbourne in 2019 to live in London, but If This Is it isn’t her story about the decimation of our industry, getting stuck in New Zealand – in the woods – and watching her landlord pack up her flat on Zoom.
It’s not even about being potentially cancelled if stupid people decided that the sight of her breast was offensive and corrupting. Or about an artist who continues to explore her own voice and develop new work that surprises in its originality and hurts in its complexity.
Wearing black jeans, a T-shirt and a jacket, Davis appears to understate every thought as she explains why we don’t get to see her show about animals and the unexplainable beauty of coral. It might have something to do with stupid people, but blaming them would be as easy as laughing at the stupidity of an electric pepper grinder.
She sounds awkward and rambling but, every – EVERY – word is vigorously crafted to tell a story that’s as much a deeply personal reflection on a 14-year career as a gut-felt unravelling about women still struggling to be listened to on stages, and in life.
It hurts to laugh when you don’t know if you should laugh because the joke comes from frustration, anger and despair. But this is laughter that takes power away from the darkness, people and constructs that feed despair. So, if this IS it, laugh when it hurts, laugh when it’s awkward and laugh when you wonder if you should give up.
Laura Davis is IT and more.