Presented by Daniel Kok & Luke George
Reviewed 23 September 2016
Award winning artists and performers, Daniel Kok of Singapore and Luke George of Australia, have collaborated on this extraordinary work. The title Bunny is a bondage term: the one doing the tying is the rigger; the one being tied is the bunny.
Part dance, part performance art and part bondage lesson, this is not a show one sees every day, and is further testament to the brave and intelligent curation that goes into OzAsia.
Using the Nexus space to its full extent, the piece is performed in the round, on a large mat. Audience seating consists of cushions on the floor and bar stools around the perimeter. This staging added to the sense of this being as much a workshop as a performance.
The show opened with George, who mainly worked as the rigger putting Kok into a suspension tie: where he is bound by rope, and then hung on hooks. Whilst Kok was swinging, George proceeded to tie his own legs together and then quietly ask an audience member to tie his hands. He then suggested that we “keep him swinging” and without further instructions, various audience members took it on themselves to give him a push when he started to slow down. And it was in this vein that the audience participation continued: very gentle, very organic and almost seamless. Through the performance, audience members were tied, asked to lead others around on rope, asked to untie or tie others, or instructed to hit the play button on some music. Often there were three things happening at once, ensuring the suspense (pardon the pun!) never lagged.
This piece explores boundaries: those between audience and performer, between theatre and workshop and between individuals. It deconstructs issues of vulnerability and trust. It puts us out of our comfort zone, and then seems to create a new one. It is beautiful, fascinating, confronting and intense. I found myself totally engrossed in everything that was happening or could happen. Kok and George both owned the stage, and were generous in their sharing of it.
Bunny is a triumph. Like bondage itself, it lends itself to being different things at different times, and it gently pushes boundaries in a way which is safe, sane and consensual. If you have ever been curious about bondage, then I cannot imagine a more beautiful introduction. If you are yearning for theatre which does something more; which has that indefinable something, then look no further.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Rating (out of 5): 5
Season: 23-24 September
Duration: 120 minutes