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Artist in Focus – Flick

Meet Flick (they/them) who participated in our Youth Co-Design Workshops.

A person with light brown curly hair and a woman with dark hair sit at a table, seeming to listen intently to someone speaking out of frame.

Flick and Tansy Gorman in development (2021). Photograph by Marni Mount.

What kind of art do you make?

I make theatre/live performance. I am primarily a writer but it’s heavily devised with a creatives and performers in the room. I also work as a production dramaturg and script consultant occasionally, and lend a dramaturgical eye as a producer when the show calls for it.

I like to make works that embed an access practise into the making and staging process, it’s all filtered through my own way of enjoying and understanding live art and audio/visual storytelling. It’s inherently political, often outrageous and bright, and never without risk.

How long have you been making art?

In one way or another, my whole life. In terms of the theatrical space I find myself in now? I’ve tried other things on and off but always end up back here. I moved to Naarm and started a Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) at the VCA in 2021 and that kickstarted my reintegration into full time theatre most recently – although attending acting school interstate in both 2015 and 2018 were the gateways into that.

What kind of art have you made in the past?

I used to be really interested in text and its aural storytelling mode. I worked in radio for a while, enthralled by the liveness and personable way it can engage in cultural conversation. I ended up finding it a bad fit for how I wanted to communicate and connect with people, so moved to acting and script writing. That was a much more traditional version of ‘making’, but I was getting all the young angst out of my system which was definitely for the best. I had mostly been exposed to male British and American playwrights, and was trying to tell my stories through those forms which wasn’t really working. Being exposed to more diverse artmakers and performances allowed me to have a revelation about how a more expansive group of elements and modes made much more sense to me, and I started experimenting.

A few years ago I made my first full length work that was staged; SLUTNIK™. It went on at Midsumma in 2022, then Melbourne Fringe 8 months later, and it’s final season was at Adelaide Fringe 2023. It’s a rambunctious and sensorially dense show about lesbian space cannibals. In a political sense, it’s talking about different female bodies and their relation to the medical system, it’s talking about queerness and fertility, about illness and utility – what happens when we ‘lack’ it. But also it was a brightly executed excuse to celebrate lesbians, to dance, to laugh, and let out a scream.

SLUTNIK™ promo: Five female and nonbinary dressed in cobalt blue and silver activewear pose as a unit, standing in their spaceship ready for liftoff.

SLUTNIK™ at Melbourne Fringe 2022. Photography by Chelsea Neate

What art are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on a few shows as a producer, looking to distinguish what works and artists most specifically I want to work with. That in itself is a process – what am I saying with what I produce? What story am I telling with what I say yes and no to.

As a writer, I’m gearing up to stage the sequel of SLUTNIK™… SLUTNIK™ 2: Planet of the Incels. It’s the same sensibility, and I’m still working with the dream duo director Tansy Gorman and script dramaturg Enya Daly, but this time we shoot forward over a century in the future of this fictional world and visit an alternative universe. It’s sci fi in its plot, and Vegas cowboy/70s Bowie in aesthetic. That’s in mid September at Theatre Works in St Kilda and I’m thrilled to use that space again for this show after premiering its predecessor in Midsumma two years ago.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to the SLUTNIK™ universe expansion which represents a radical shift in what storytelling means to me as I embrace the power of story-worlds across mediums. I had always intended SLUTNIK™ to be a 5-part series, staged across the next 5-10 years. Now we’ve brought on the brilliant Zack Lewin as our franchise Dramaturg as we move to establish SLUTNIK™ as an in-depth universe that lives outside of the core theatre shows; including online and digital elements and embracing fandom as a storytelling strategy. As I develop my practice I find myself embracing imaginary worlds as a form of activism; imagining a better place thereby prompting the real world to start adopting these alternative qualities.

Do you have any comments or thoughts about your AAV program?

The co-design program was a great way to connect with other disabled young people and find community together. It can be isolating when you’re in normative spaces and you’re not always forthright about needs or who you are (old habit die hard), but being amongst excellence was a great reminder that we bring an exciting and necessary divergence to the arts – in both form and content.

SLUTNIK™ at Melbourne Fringe: A blonde robot named MOTHERBOARD stands in front of two shirtless bodies (we cannot see their faces), MOTHERBOARD is confused and holding a ray gun.

Promo image for SLUTNIK™ 2: Planet of the Incels. Photo courtesy of Theatre Works.

Learn more about AAV’s programs for young Deaf and Disabled people here.

Don’t miss SLUTNIK™ 2: Planet of the Incels from Friday, 8 September.

Find more of Flick’s work on their website. Follow Flick on Instagram @flickflickcity.

Artist in focus Performing Arts Workshop