The Farm

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About the Show

Two blokes in an office. One older, one younger, each body pushed to its limits. A cross between The Office and an Australian style cage-fight, this game of comical one-upmanship builds to a moment of impact where everything is suspended. A flash of bared teeth, the desperation of needing to prove yourself versus the need to hold on to what you've got.

Cockfight explores the power play between men, the frailty of the ageing body and questions culture's desperate desire for achievement.

Skilfully enacting a full-throttle mash-up of extreme physical risk-taking, graceful movement and slow-mo fight sequences, this darkly humorous and surprisingly tender piece of dance theatre by The Farm, sees long-time collaborators Joshua Thomson and Gavin Webber reassess who is in charge.

Without each other these two performers have nothing left to fight for.

“[Cockfight] is physical theatre at its most extreme: bodies slam into walls and office furniture, and perilous interlocking rolls, tackles and lunges fling performers through space.”

Cockfight is a work for two performers (Gavin Webber and Joshua Thomson) developed by The Farm in partnership with guest artist Julian Louis. Powerful and dangerous physical performance, Cockfight is woven around the lives of two men from different generations, trapped in an office. Existing side by side, sharing space, resources, time, responsibility, they justify their existence in relation to each other. Their conflict is under the skin and mixed with a fierce co-dependency underpinning their physical action. These two men need each other to survive, their battle is in the air they breathe and the walls that close them in.

At the heart of Cockfight is a very real relationship between Joshua Thomson (33 years old) and Gavin Webber (50 years old). Thomson joined Webber at Dancenorth in 2005 and they have continued to work together ever since. Their relationship has altered over the years and their shared physical history is evident in the trust and danger of the vocabulary. There is a constant interplay between theatrical fiction and the reality of the two performers and their different physical states.

Dance is a young man’s game. What happens when someone higher up the food chain gets weak and is ready to be taken down?

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Originally commissioned by NORPA and supported by DanceNorth, Townsville; the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Cairns (COCA); Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts, and toured by Performing Lines. The Farm is supported by the Gold Coast City Council. UK tour is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and presented by Dance Touring Partnership. Photos by Darcy Grant and Kate Holmes

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