The Man With the Iron Neck is a story of survival. This work tells the story of three young people, two brothers and a cousin, from an Aboriginal community and what happens when they lose one brother. This is not so much a story about suicide, as a story about embracing life – a moving, physical rendering of humour and inevitable poignancy, acknowledging the pull towards self-harm, but exhorting us to pull as hard as we can the other way.
‘The Man With The Iron Neck’ was a performer early last century, whose trick consisted of jumping off bridges with a rope tied like a noose round his neck. He embodies both death and life – the lure of risk-taking and dangerous behaviour and oblivion, and the thwarting of it.
He becomes an emblematic figure for the brother left behind. But, in the end, what he promises is impossible – you can’t have the drama of leaping to your death without dying.
In Man With The Iron Neck we bring together two dynamic and unique forces as Co Directors. Josh Bond brings an integrity to community and a passionate commitment to tell a story close to his heart. He brings the edge of contemporary independent practice, a fearless sense of questioning and a steady hand in working with emerging performers. Gavin brings a wealth of experience with most major theatre companies and festivals, his sparky and innovative hand having delivered the biggest visual and aerial works seen on Australian Stages in the last five years. Both Co Directors also bring a wealth of their own experience as performers.
It’s a stunning combination to bring to life such an evocative, daring and delicate story.
Photos: Brett Boardman