"Good With Maps is one of those rare and beautiful productions I dream about, where a fine writer has handed a text to a fine director who calls forth a great performance from a fine actor who inspires creatives around her to produce their best for the show. Noëlle Janaczewska’s script is fat with inspirational thought and her essay/monologue experimenting is developing into its own modern expression. The language here is intricate and finely woven, operating very much in the way modern, digital-age thought is collated and expressed. Still, the language retains its rich poetic beauty. She has the perfect director in Kate Gaul who embodies the character and the writer in her abyssal grasp of the complex text, turning her skilled hand to the nuanced and underexplored feminine depths of narrative and voice. Kate Gaul has the perfect subject to mould in Jane Phegan whose immersion is unparalleled as she presents to us that most unknown creature, the female explorer/philosopher/anthropologist.
Rounding out this great triumvirate are Alice Morgan’s beautiful designs including her murmuration of small tin foil boats, Louise Mason’s subtle lighting that seems to come up from beneath the narrative rather than impose god-like over it, and Nate Edmondson’s sound that springs into the production with alacrity and verve from a certain time and space.
Good With Maps is an exquisite production, knotty, agrarian and ideologically blasphemous. It’s not easy – this is not a visit to the theatre to “chillax” – but it is untamed and necessary, lyrical and intense. I found myself hanging off every word and surprised when it reached its end." Lisa Thatcher - (this review is really worth reading in full!!)
“…every element in this production is in step and working together to create this fascinating and ultimately heartbreaking piece of theatre.” Ben Neutze, Daily Review - https://dailyreview.com.au/good-maps-review-kings-cross-theatre/51901/
“ It’s a robustly intellectual essay softened and moderated at the heart by the emotion of our final travelling. The linking of the two themes towards the end of the piece is almost throwaway, a breathtaking simplicity which belies the complexity and reach of the work.” Judith Greenaway, Sydney Arts Guide -
Nick Marchand - former Artistic director of Griffin Theatre – has said Good With Maps is '...one of the most innovative and intriguing combinations of performance/presentation I have witnessed...”
GOOD WITH MAPS
When the world map was full of gaps, the Amazon topped the list of places unknown to western explorers.
In 2020 are there any ‘unknowns’ left? On a trip to the Amazon, the writer ponders this + other questions as she struggles to deal with her father’s journey through Parkinson’s disease towards what is perhaps our last great unknown—death. Sometimes sad + confronting this performance essay also funny + thoughtful + celebrates the power of reading and literature to transport us to places both real + imagined.
Good With Maps was written with a New Work grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council.
Good With Maps premiered as part of the INVISIBLE CIRCUS season at KXT in November, 2016.
Good With Maps played at Belvoir and Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and toured regional NSW late 2018.
WINNER: Best Score or Sound Design (Nate Edmondson) Sydney Theatre Critics Awards
NOMINATION: Best Director (Kate Gaul) Sydney Theatre Critics Awards