Arts and Culture

Adelaide Fringe review: EGG

Posted on: Tue 22 Mar 2022

A stunning solo work of dance and physical theatre, Erin Fowler’s EGG gives pulsating new life in a hilarious journey of existential questioning around fertility, childbearing and ultimately, the human condition. 

Following a 2021 sell-out season, the popular performance returned live in February for this year’s Fringe. The original version – filmed in March 2021 – however, is also available for home viewing as part of the Black Box Live suite.

EGG was initially created in response to Covid-19 which saw Fowler’s plans of travelling abroad and meeting new people drastically halted. Fowler, then 32 and single, is told by a Facebook advert that her eggs are ‘dying off’ and suddenly finds herself in confusion, an all-consuming conflict, jammed between biology’s watch and society’s misplaced expectations.

The performance is animated and beautifully expressive. Fowler is immediately captivating and compelling as she works the stage to its full potential.

We’re taken to the start – back to 1987 – with a conception dance. This is both beautiful and mesmerising, unfolding in a brilliant display of fluorescent and ultraviolet lighting (Tom Kitney). Plunged from the fallopian tubes, the audience tour through key snapshots of Fowler’s life from girlhood to womanhood – resonate of cycles that seem somewhat inherently connected throughout.

Set to a cool 1980’s soundtrack, the high energy and laugh-out-loud humour quickly casts a quirky tone over an often-confronting topic. Each scene, evidently informed by Fowler’s extensive background in performing arts, offers a refreshing blend of dance, physical performance, intimate storytelling and, at times, an oversized egg costume, teamed with a cracking attitude.  

The performance is multi-layered and exquisitely executed under the direction of Hew Pharham. From her initial narrative, Fowler imagines the audience through the ‘what ifs’ of motherhood, propelled by fears of a rapidly decreasing timeline. EGG lends itself well to a format of different intersecting scenes. Brilliant interplay between layering clocks, clipped annunciations of a critical Siri and her own perfectly articulated reactions and facial expressions, are incredibly impressive.

The work at times, also uses clever symbolism, twisting and turning in an abstract dreamscape and at one point hosting a unique segment of a prancing egg in a poncho. Intrigued? You should be.

These swift and diverse changes highlight Fowler’s extensive skillset and stage adaptability. She even offers a historical glimpse into the generational linage of her family, demonstrating an instant contrast between their way of life and her own.

The quirks of EGG are somewhat endearing. Amidst the full force of the comical, there are points of heartfelt emotion and a sense of perpetual motion that resonates with something well beyond the stage.

While this is a very sunny side up version, Fowler highlights topical questions about life, creation and notions of purpose. She shines a light on the intense conflict around fertility and motherhood often faced by many women at some stage, particularly as they navigate the expanding and somewhat demanding terrain of the modern world.

While I viewed the original online version, I would also love to see EGG’s live, updated production.

Fowler is a brilliant, local performer whose undeniable talent so easily orchestrates the stage and engages her audience. If there is ever the possibility to see her work, I would indeed embrace the opportunity to do so. EGG is an easy five stars.

Produced by Emma Wotzke

audio pending

Photo credit: Chris Herzfeld Camlight Productions

Festival City

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