I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Perfectionism in a world of leotards, sequins and spray tan
Do you know your pointe from your poise? Morgan Dooley-Axup stars in Consistency is Key: A Story of Redemption on now at The Butterfly Club until Saturday 31 August. Book your tickets here.
Morgan Dooley-Axup in 'Consistency is Key: A Story of Redemption'
It's a tragic and common story. A young girl forced into a physical tradition handed down through the matriarchal line; callisthenics or 'cali' for the initiated. The 'sport' which teaches women to balance, point toes and be graceful.
Morgan aspires to be the number one 'Miss Graceful Girl', after a series of seconds. Her former Manager Amanda left her, and she has not recovered. So after a seven-year hiatus, Morgan returns to what she has always known 'callisthenics' determined to be the number one beauty queen before she turns 35.
Despite suffering anorexia, bulimia, horrific spray tans, sequins, and the cult of 'cali' Morgan goes back. It's the structure she knows and the elitism she desires - even though it's unlikely she will ever win - she's from a matriarch of 'cali' losers.
This is a cute show, and some of the moves Morgan pulls on the tiny Butterfly Club theatre stage definitely keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
It's a bittersweet story, with some beautiful songs which improve as the story develops and Morgan enters catharsis and the realisation that's there is much more to life than callisthenics.
There's audience participation and a magnificent redemption moment which counteracts the drama of the tragically sad cultish world of this ballet-jazz-physical culture-gymnastics combination that has children and teenagers purging in toilet bowls across Australia.