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Delve into The Cocoon to discover universal love
Overall rating: ★★★★★ Date attended: 13/3/19
U Mad? Productions returns to the Adelaide Fringe with The Cocoon. This time around however, they have made a few revisions from their previous version of the show.
Held in the confined venue of the Adina Treasury Tunnels, The Cocoon features a series of four vignettes that run for approximately fifteen minutes each. As you enter The Cocoon, you are given a map of the locations of the vignettes: the Unrequited, the Diametrics, the Relover, and the Infatuants.
How you explore each vignette is up to you. The order in which you see the vignettes is your choice, and the order that you choose creates a unique experience for everyone.
We began with the Unrequited, a real Disney princess. This vignette tells the tale of a damsel in distress, who melodramatically expresses the pain and tragedy when chasing after a partner. Armed with her knowledge about guys and online queries about finding love, this princess hilariously tells you that Disney love stories are nothing more than a fictitious tale.
We then moved on to the Diametrics, a heterosexual couple that encounter constant pushing and pulling in their relationship. What is most impressive about this vignette is the raw emotion shown between the couple. The Diametrics also question whether men are attracted to women just because of their physiological features, and demonstrate that our bodies are only one facet of love.
Our third vignette, the Relover, features the narrative of a gay male couple and their discovery of one of them being transgender. The term homonormative is thoroughly emphasised by the Relover. What was once considered abnormal or taboo, is now normal. The Relover demonstrates that the souls we fall in love with are the most authentic version of us, and that our bodies are simply the carriers of love.
The last vignette that we viewed, the Infatuants, tells the tale of a lesbian couple. The Infatuants portray the awkwardness of how to approach and speak with one another in their pursuit of love. Evidently, they paint the picture that no matter your gender or sexuality, these are the moments that all relationships encounter.
Each vignette calls upon their audience for cues, reactions, and expressions to their act. These additions to the show allow the audience to experience the vignettes in an up-close and intimate manner. Furthermore, the four vignettes appear to feature diverse, but also similar narratives. They all appear to tell a tale of hope, vulnerability, conflict, and resolution in love and relationships.
Ultimately, The Cocoon shows us that the conflicts, issues, and love in each vignette transcend gender and sexuality. Each vignette challenges our common assumptions of what all kinds of relationships are like.
The overarching message is that no matter what gender, body, skin, or soul we have, love in its core essence can be experienced by all types of humans.
The Cocoon is an impressive theatre experience that will open up your perspectives about love. A must see for all those who are fascinated by love and relationships.