Light shines through the dark with theatre maker Ainslee Palmer

Light shines through the dark with theatre maker Ainslee Palmer

Gold Coast local Ainslee Palmer explores the legacy of innocence being taken away in her debut solo work, Ready or Not.

Ainslee Palmer is an actor, theatre maker, producer and movement director with a passion for play and artistic curiosity.

Bringing her newest project, Ready or Not, to the stage at HOTA from Wed 10 - Fri 12 Apr, Ainslee delves into the notion that light can shine through into the darkest of places. We sat down with Ainslee to chat about what audiences can expect, the experience of working with a multi-award-winning performer, and the journey of crafting her debut solo work.

Tell us about Ready or Not - what it's about?

Ready or Not is about of the legacy of innocence being taken away. In a nutshell, it's a semi-autobiographical theatrical retelling of my story of surviving trauma through the lens of five different characters. When I say it like that it sounds dark, but the show itself is quite playful, quirky and surprising.

What can audiences expect when they come to see Ready or Not?

Audiences can expect to be taken into a bit of a fever dream where they'll be reminded of childhood party games, taken into heightened and stylised worlds, and invited to open the conversation about subjects we normally avoid. I really want people to walk away knowing whatever their story is, they're never ‘too much’, and there's always room to share our stories with others.

Image credit: Ellamay Fitzgerald

Image credit: Ellamay Fitzgerald

Image credit: Ellamay Fitzgerald

Image credit: Ellamay Fitzgerald

Image credit: Ellamay Fitzgerald

Image credit: Ellamay Fitzgerald

You worked with multi award-winning performer/director/designer Leah Shelton on this work. How did she and the team contribute to the work?

Leah has been involved in the process of development from mid-2023. She's worked with me as a performance mentor, guiding me into the world of creating a one-person show from her own experience creating shows like the multiple Matilda Award winning work, Batshit

Collaboration has been a major part of this project. To tell this story as authentically as possible, it was important to me to have powerful, feminine collaborators who could push me to tell this story as best I can. Both Leah and Lisa Smith (Director), have been integral in the room to help realise the characters and build the world of the play.

The work has taken various forms as it’s been developed over the past few years, with help from Generate GC and HOTA. Can you tell us about how the work has evolved?

When I set out to create the work, I wanted to create a giant game of hide and seek that spans the entire Gold Coast. Now, it’s a one-woman show! So, it has evolved significantly. Through research and development support from Generate GC, I was able to discover that the story that I feel is missing in the world was mine and as a theatre maker, it felt like the perfect opportunity to branch into this world.

While you’re a seasoned performer and collaborator, this is your first solo work as a creator and performer. What advice would you offer other artists embarking on making solo work for the first time?

Trust the process. I know that sounds cliché, and everyone says it, but it’s really true! 

Take the time (and breaks) from the work. Find a creative team who shares your vision and who make you feel safe to experiment, play and even fail, but who believes in you and can support you to succeed. Have a good therapist. And always ask for help!! 

Image credit: Ellamay Fitzgerald

#Are you ready?

You don't want to miss this highly physical, funny, and deeply personal fever dream of birthday parties, horse races and Stepford wives. Join us for Ready or Not from Wed 10 - Fri 12 Apr.

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