Thursday 23 January 2020

You & I - Midsumma Festival review

Being in love can often feel like you are the only two people in the world. In You & I, real-life couple Jesse Scott and Lachlan McAulay find themselves stuck indoors due to rainy weather interrupting their plans. As they pass the time, the two playfully express the deep affection they share.

There is an undeniable chemistry between Scott and McAulay from the instant they appear on stage. There is a playful and innocent-like way in which they move and respond to each other that leads to an intimacy and trust that is very hard to depict in a performance, particularly in circus. Not only are these performers extremely good at what they do, but the depth at which they know one another allows them to execute some highly impressive acts.

The pair rely mainly on adagio and use their height difference to push how far their bodies can work together and at times, surprise us with regards to the roles they take during those acrobatic moments. Their chair stacking and balancing routine is a noteworthy example of the focus and strength that is required from them but there is a lightness to what they are doing, as if they can accomplish anything when they are united. They display a great balance of concentration and fun throughout their routines and we constantly feel welcomed to share this moment rather than standing on the outside looking in. This is also supported by McAulay's warm and cozy set design of their home.

With no narrative to this show, the emotional journey generally remains the same for the audience except during Scott's solo static trapeze routine. Accompanied by Jamey Johnson's darker cover of "You Are My Sunshine", you are forced to contemplate the reality of one day being separated from your partner and being alone. It's a powerful moment in You & I that otherwise emphasises the utter happiness and joy they are in.

The music is pivotal in grounding the work with the soundtrack ensuring there is enough emotional variety between the acts to keep us engaged. Their dressing up in a number of different costumes to Ben Sollee's "It’s Not Impossible" explores how they are free to be themselves when they are together and be fully accepted no matter how they dress, look or feel.

Walking out of You & I, you either experience a slight satisfaction at knowing that you too have the kind of love that is displayed on stage or a longing for the kind of love that is displayed on stage. The one certainty though is that you walk out completely impressed by what the human body can do, and what Scott and McAulay have created.

Click here for my interview with Jesse Scott.


Venue: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park 

Season: until 25 January | 7:30pm
Tickets: $40 Full | $32 Conc 
Bookings: Midsumma Festival 

Image Credits: Katie Bennett

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