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Street theatre at HOTA - see the legendary Cocoloco this December

16 Nov 2020

Street theatre at HOTA – see the legendary Cocoloco this December

Throughout three weekends in December we’re presenting the 12 days of Christmas, a series of free live music events in and around the HOTA precinct. During these events you may also find yourself swept up in some colourful street theatre as the legendary Cocoloco will be bringing their quirky brand of performance and humour to the events as Disruptors in Residence.

Cocoloco are husband and wife team Trevor Stuart and Helen Statman. From a world where Alice in Wonderland meets The Shining, Cocoloco are known for raucous, hilarious and ever so slightly bent theatre. This is cabaret performance and street theatre with a twist. Their performances have been described as “the high art of madness to perfection”, as they delve into David Lynch’s notebook and present Salvador Dali-esque, truly bizarre street theatre.

They always aim to amuse but always with an intelligent structure – there will always be a hidden layer of sophistication and their work is always engaging, highly disciplined and memorable.

It’s no secret that we love street theatre at HOTA. We managed to catch up with Helen for chat about what she most loves about street theatre and what we can expect when they’re here:

‘Street theatre is up-close and personal. Some people have never been to the theatre and our kind of work provides an opening for them.  The immediacy relies on quick thinking and improvisation much of the time.

‘It’s challenging as we try to push boundaries artistically so we use comedy to smooth over some things which people may find difficult to swallow. Some of our pieces are scripted but we allow for anything to happen. We’re bringing something to people which was unexpected so if they don’t like it, they can say so or they can walk away or maybe become aggressive… we have to be prepared for anything. Usually they just laugh and applaud,’ she said.

With their trademark humour Cocoloco have a simple aim.

OUR AIM – Cynics will soften and will be seen to be smiling through their once curled lips. Children will enter a state of grace and beg their parents to take them to art galleries and other cultural events. Critics will nod and blog admiringly. Humourless types will giggle. Elderly folk will briefly forget about their arthritis.

Helen continued: ‘We like quirky, eye-catching, wildly funny, difficult but accessible ideas and innovative performance. If this all works, we’re happy. This is work that can turn people’s minds… art that actually changes lives and opinions. To explore ideas and implement them to the best of our abilities in a way which is comprehensible and exciting for an audience. We use every skill available in doing so and it’s a constant learning process for all concerned.’

Cocoloco normally perform the Festival Circuit in Australia from Christmas for about for about four months before returning to London and touring Europe.

‘This Covid year we found ourselves happily stranded here in Queensland unable to get back to London and our usual European tour. All of our work on both continents was postponed. Our cancelled flights have finally been reimbursed but we have decided to stay in Australia until Europe is safer! Who knows, maybe we will end up staying here……!’ Helen said.

Helen and Trevor are looking forward to performing their brand of street theatre at HOTA this December

‘HOTA provides a variety of performance possibilities in many different spaces. We’re really excited about getting back to work with a brief as Disruptors in Residence. It’s as good as another gig we had on a cruise ship which was to “be artistic!” We are really excited to bring some Cocoloco madness to the Gold Coast! We like to surprise people so keep your eyes and ears peeled.’

Cocoloco have brought their anarchic and wildly funny peripatetic performance to theatre festivals throughout the world and we can’t wait to have them here in December.


Disruptors In Residence

Since we became HOTA in early 2018 we have been regularly programming street theatre at HOTA by inviting street theatre and performance artists to join us for a short residency as our Disruptors in Residence. So far audiences have been amused, entertained and delighted by Thomas & Wells, The Huxleys and The Greenhouse Youth Ensemble.

We love that we never quite know what to expect when these amazing artists take over and we hope there will be many more Disruptors to come!