Buckle yourself in for the ride of your life – Retro Futurismus: New World is coming to Fortyfivedownstairs this July. It’s an all girl explosion featuring the talents of Anni and Maude Davey, Anna Lumb, Gabi Barton and Teresa Blake in a blend of the performance art genre from burlesque to circus to cabaret – it’s got it all!
Internationally acclaimed as the flame-haired Pocket Rocket of incendiary circus, Anna Lumb, describes the show as a colossal future-focused vaudeville featuring zero gravity circus acts, siren songs, boutique burlesque, and breathtaking performance art.
“Without giving too much away Anni and Maude are working on a humorous Cockroach act about the extinction of the human species, ” says Lumb. “It’s weird and wonderful as is Teresa Blake’s body performance art which is an interesting take on the idea of a post human planet. I’m particularly excited about some powerful new ensemble images which bookmark the show.”
Lumb is a Melbourne based performer, actor and theatre maker specialising in circus and physical comedy and was excited about being involved with the Davey twins’ concept.
“Anni and Maude approached Gabi and myself with the idea of making variety show that didn’t deal with sex as it’s primary content and we said “great!” We wanted it to be political, edgy, massively entertaining and contemporary in its outlook.”
An exciting addition is that part of the show’s format is fluid and changes every week with the addition of special guests.
Performers are also highly self motivated and normally work separately in the months leading up to the show and then do a few power rehearsals before opening week. “It always feels too short,” says Lumb.
Lumb’s unique style has taken her to circus, music and theatre festivals and salons around the world. Lumb outlines career highlights: “When I was 7 months pregnant I performed a feminist art rap in a spotty Yayoi Kasuma inspired costume and that felt incredible and surreal and the audience really responded to it. Performing for vast, heaving and appreciative audiences in Sao Paulo and Europe is always electrifying but working alongside incredible women in a future focused variety show definitely counts as a highlight.”
Lumb has had a fascination with performing artists since she was very young. “I remember touring plays coming to our school and being incredibly in awe of the performers bouncing around in costume and character,” she says. “I thought they were magical, hyper real, heroes. When I started out I idolized variety stars and strong female performers like Azaria Universe, The Town Bikes, The Wau Wau Sisters, Maude Davey, Moira Finucane and Yumi Umiumiare. I draw a lot of inspiration from pop culture icons and visual artists such as Yayoi Kasuma, David Bowie, Leigh Bowery, Yoko Ono, Vali Exxport, Anohni, Tilda Swinton, Grace Jones, Cindy Sherman, MIA. I could go on…”
Lumb’s list of achievements are striking and impressive however her future wish list looks something like this: “Tour Retro Futurismus, further study photography, design and acting and get a Masters degree in theatre, take my solo show overseas, learn to cook, get my flexibility back, read, draw and paint more, study film and film making, direct an opus, write more.”
For now, she is a co- collaborator and a star performer in a future thinking variety show with very few limits. An exciting prospect for Lumb, whose limits are indeed very clearly limitless.
Retro Futurismus: New World
July 6 – 31