Review 3: We Live Here 2022 at Metro Arts

Review 3: We Live Here 2022 at Metro Arts

3 November, 2022

By Catherine Lawrence
Creative Futures Photography

We Live Here returns, for a very short run, at Metro Arts’ New Benner Theatre. Cancel plans, tell everyone you know, and buy tickets while you can.

We Live Here is a 2017 Metro Arts commission: a collaboration between Flipside Circus (Queensland’s largest youth arts organisation) and Hummingbird House (one of only three hospices for children in Australia—and the only facility providing respite and end of life care for Queensland children). An inspired combination of the work of young performers with stories about the short lives of Hummingbird House guests and their families—and a reminder of the importance of creating memories and celebrating family time.

I have been fortunate to see We Live Here in three different venues: the former home of Metro Arts (2018), at QPAC (Brisbane Festival, 2019), and now at the ‘new’ Metro Arts (2022). Each time I have been amazed, astounded, moved, and entertained.

The majority of the original performers/co-creators—Amy Stuart, Indra Garvey, Luke Whitefield, Skip Walker-Milne, and Mia Hughes—are still with the show, demonstrating the skill and versatility of the Flipside Circus performance troupe (Hughes’ role is now performed by the talented Isla Fletcher, adding a new dimension to the work). Robert Kronk (Artistic Director/CEO) describes Flipside Circus as an organisation ‘dedicated to pushing youth arts and circus arts practice,’ and We Live Here is a great demonstration of that determination paying off. The performers continue to improve, and substituting a new artist is almost seamless…all of which enhances the experience for those of us who have seen We Live Here in different spaces. And of course ensures the ‘wow’ factor for those new to the show.

We Live Here is an impressive theatrical work: inspiring, funny, moving, thought-provoking, and occasionally sad. The show is also a fantastic demonstration of the circus skills of a highly talented group of young performers: amazing loose rope work, lyrical mastery of the Chinese Pole, impressive strength and lifts, flexible and flowing acrobatics, great tumbling, and some fabulous hula hooping. The show is also a reminder of the strength and determination of the staff, children and parents who together ‘live’ at Hummingbird House. Which means that every time I see We Live Here I am dazzled by the performances, moved by the lived experience of time-limited children and their amazing families, and inspired by the work of the Hummingbird House team.

It is easy to see why We Live Here was recognised in the 2018 Matilda Awards (Best Circus/Physical theatre, and Best Director: Director/creators Natano Fa’anana and Bridget Boyle , with Robert Kronk as Writer/Creator). The 2022 Metro Arts opening night performance was celebrated with well-deserved standing ovation. See We Live Here while you can, and make your own mind up.

Verdict:  Unmissable.


Images credit Creative Futures Photography