The Mermaid at Sydney Festival
About The Mermaid
In the ocean, the mermaid is free. But on land, she cannot swim or breathe, and is vulnerable to the toxins human industry creates. It’s not the mermaid that’s disabled, but the environment that makes her so.
A physical theatre artist for 15 years before she developed a cluster of rare genetic disorders, Hanna Cormick cannot breathe normal air or safely be among people.
In her intimate show The Mermaid, Cormick risks everything to get her message across. The possibility that she may suffer severe allergic reactions, seizures and other medical events during the performances is very real and part of the work.
Her medical devices (wheelchair, braces, respirator mask and oxygen tank) are recontextualised in the image of a mermaid, and Cormick’s body becomes a stage and canvas. Her fragility is a reminder of our own; her body personifies the damage we do to our planet.
Weaving together real-life personal narrative, essay-style analysis and poetic imagery, The Mermaid is an act of radical visibility: a meditation on rare disease and a rebellion against the limitations it sets.
20mins (no interval)
Warning: This performance contains allergens coconut oil and beeswax. Patrons with airborne sensitivities are advised to take caution. May contain medical events that are distressing to some viewers. Standing tickets only, this performance is outside