Sydney-based performance collective Post unpack a decade of friendship, collaboration and silly conversations
What happens when you put three people in a room, and they commit to talking to each other for the next ten years? This celebration of friendship, nonsense and women-in-theatre, by Zoë Coombs Marr, Mish Grigor and Natalie Rose – who have been working together for more than a decade as Post.
Over their decade or so of practice, Post have made fun, irreverent and occasionally confronting shows that fuse daggy dancing, ridiculous spectacle, and text based on conversations they’ve had. They don’t play characters in their works, they play themselves – or, versions of themselves. Their works often feel as though they’ve set themselves an impossible challenge, and they’re letting the audience in on their attempt to surmount it (and occasional inevitable failure). In their 2011 show Who’s The Best, for example, they invited the audience to participate in an adjudication of which of them was definitively ‘the best’; in their 2014 Belvoir show Oedipus Schmoedipus, they attempted to re-enact all the death scenes in all the classic plays.
As Coombs Marr told Time Out in 2014, “What we find most interesting is playing with different contexts and genres, and the conventions or rules within those spaces.”
For Ich Nibber Dibber, which premiered at Sydney Festival in January 2017, the three dug deep into their archives: they watched countless hours of footage of their collaborative improvisations from the age of roughly 20 to 30 – and edited the transcript of those conversations into a ‘best of’ that runs for around 75 minutes.
“It’s a script based on all the times we go off topic, or we’re just talking and we’re not doing the task properly,” says Grigor. “It’s being edited so that it feels like one evolving conversation that spreads over 10-12 years. We originally thought that when we looked back on the tapes it would be really important life moments that had been recorded. Actually, a lot of it is just really silly procrastination talk – about needing to go to the toilet, what we ate that day – mindless dribble. It’ll be like watching three idiots who can’t shut up.”
The recordings date back to when Zoe and Mish were 19. “It’s actually very confronting – seeing yourself age across that time,” says Grigor. “And lots of You Am I t-shirts and tracksuit pants.”
When the work premiered at Sydney Festival in 2017, we wrote:
From hours of recordings they stitched together 75 minutes of them off topic, which they perform live: talking about everything from poo (lots of poo), to sex, fingering styles, boyfriends, motherhood, MDMA, Kraftwerk, nihilism, and Australian Idol. It’s hilarious, and full of guilty pleasures for anyone in their ballpark demographic (references to Granny May's, Mitsubishi pills and Keppers are nostalgic delights). But there’s something important here: three women carving out space in the theatre with their work and words and concerns.
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