Show in Development | Tales From Liminas: The Winner’s Wand | @ ACE 2023

Tales from Liminas is a series of works spanning multiple artforms (literature, theatre, film) that explores the imaginative underworld of Australia, as Dreamed by Wiradjuri/Irish puppet artist Bria McCarthy. The tales are brief glimpses into the vibrant and magical ecosystems of the island of Liminas, where the spirits of nature are loud and mischievous.

This show, ‘Tales from Liminas: The Winner’s Wand’ is a shadow puppet show with live music that tells the story of a frog that finds a magic wand. It explores relationships of power between species, asking the question ‘Who can hold a star the longest? Who can hold all this power?’. The work is aimed for ages 5+, but is fun for adult audiences too.

While in residency at ACE Parramatta, the creative team created the first 15 minutes of the show and tested it before an audience.

‘A Game For Flies’ 2019

A Game For Flies is intrinsically bound to the earth. I dreamed it up while on retreat with ATYP at the Bundanon Trust on the Shoalhaven River for their National Studio. There I would sit beside the river and be blessed by the fresh air and the sunlight. The hills were littered with wombats and kangaroos and the isolation of this place, as well as the creativity that I was engaged in made me feel quite viscerally attentive to the natural magic that buzzed around me. What I wrote was engaged with deep ecology, exploring the binaries that we use to separate ourselves from other carbon matters, other bodied beings. 

When the workload of the modern world asks us to be immersed in that literate, objective, and logically driven place in our books and on our screens, it is easy to find our senses dulled. In the face of climate change we respond with graphs, equations and systematic treatment, making the losses feel distant or like a sad story that ends when we turn the tv off. When we avoid opening a window, the air becomes stale and tension rises. We fight amongst ourselves. In this story there are two characters living in that suspended, placeless place and festering in the sanitization. Their intervention with spirits from the river outside their window forces them to renegotiate the ways that things have been defined on paper.   

If everything is understandable, categorized and programmable, magic ceases to exist, because it’s just the noise of birds enacting their biological urges, or just stimulation in our brains from the sound of pattering raindrops that makes us feel pleasure. The aim of this piece of theatre is to find some of the magic that is discoverable in our bodies and defiant of logic or reason. It begins the process of remembering what’s worth saving. 

A Game For Flies explores opening up, being reintroduced to what our bodies know and being amongst the unknowable.  
Bria McCarthy

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