Gutsy women to defy stereotypes

EMPOWERING: Deb Batton, Sharon Gruenert and Spenser Inwood will present Casting Off at Naracoorte Town Hall next month.

A TRIO of gutsy circus women will defy their years and cast off conformist stereotypes in a Naracoorte showcase next month.

Casting Off – billed as a fabulously funny, politically profound and heart-warming show – will takeover Naracoorte Town Hall on March 18.

Three generations of intrepid women in their 30s, 40s and 60s will inspire and start conversations on gender politics, age expectations, personal histories, life

advice and the mental load.

“We honour the complexity of being women, the mental load we carry and the unhelpful attitudes we often disguise as coping,” performer Deb Batton said.

“We give voice to our feminist politics, we celebrate how much we can do and we embrace emotional content,” she added.

“In physical terms we set out to catch, support and throw each other.”

As part of the Country Arts SA Shows On The Road program, a community group has been preparing for the show’s arrival.

Country Arts SA Naracoorte presenter group spokesperson Caroline Menzel said the Limestone Ladies CWA were thrilled to help bring the first Country Arts SA Shows on the Road in almost a decade.

“Casting Off is a powerful force of physical and mental strength showcasing three indomitable women,” Ms Menzel said.

“We think the community will love seeing Casting Off, and love a great night out.”

At the heart of the show are three exceptional female performers who play the characters named Slip, Purl and Knit.

Debra Batton (61) toured extensively as an acrobat with Circus Oz, an actor with Magpie Theatre and a dancer with Tracks Dance.

She was artistic director of Legs on the Wall for 10 years.

More recently she was circus director for the pre-school television series Hoopla Doopla, artist in residence at The Women’s Circus, and performance teacher/guest director for the National Institute of Circus Arts.

Sharon Gruenert (44) has flown around and been thrown around for 20 years in the circus.

She was an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco and has performed with many of the iconic contemporary Australian circuses including Circus Oz, Circus Monoxide and Dislocate.

Spenser Inwood (32) trained, performed and toured with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus (FFFC) from the age of eight to become the multi-skilled acrobat and aerialist she is today.

She was assistant director and performer on the FFFC portion of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony 2006.

Casting Off will be held at Naracoorte Town Hall on March 18 from 6.30pm.