Dancing with Drip Poles is a semi-autobiographical play about one young woman’s experience with cancer. It follows a day in the life of Isobel Murdoch, a 22 year old on her fourth cycle of chemotherapy, through a surreal journey into the depths of her subconscious. Within the context of the bureaucratic medical system, this piece endeavours to give a voice to a young female character. Isobel is suffering from the fragmentary effects of trauma and could easily be dismissed as hysterical; yet, she dares reveal the depths of her own spirit and mind in such a way that she cannot be ignored. The work is expressionistic, dark and humorous and explores how theatrical form may be used as a platform for healing. The sick are often rendered speechless and isolated - this work signifies a personal reclaiming of the body and mind, and the ability to connect to broader society through the power of storytelling.

Serena graduated from ACTT in 2011 and later gained a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Theatre Studies at UNE. Originally a figure skater and ballet dancer, with a passion for creating physical theatre, she has been mentored by Ira Seidenstein and performed self-devised work such as ‘No Greater Love’ at the Sydney convention centre. She regularly performs with Antoinette Sampson’s Peace Angels. Theatre credits include Helena in Midsummer night’s dream, Stella in Streetcar named desire and Rosaria in A flower of the lips by Valentino Musico. In 2017 Serena worked with Danielle OKeefe and the ‘Toy Choir’, also assisting on the rural ‘Akin’ workshops. She was so inspired that last year she travelled to India with a bag of ukuleles and made a music video with children at The ‘Red Kangaroo Project’ in Varanasi.

DANCING WITH DRIP POLES

DR SAMUEL: Pssst. Isobel.

 

ISOBEL: (Jumps) Oh. Hello. Again.

 

DR SAMUEL: I heard you calling.

 

ISOBEL: Calling? Have I completely lost it? Was I calling? Out loud?

 

DR SAMUEL: Shhh...no... The affirmations you’ve been repeating silently in your head.

 

(pause)

 

ISOBEL: I am worthy of love and affection.

 

DR SAMUEL: Yes you are.