Natalie Palamides: LAID

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
31388_large
Natalie Palamides
Published 17 Aug 2017

One egg is never an oeuf for Natalie Palamides. Dozens of the poor things, smashed to pieces, in service of her art. I suppose that's her interpretation of the old adage about making omelettes. In LAID, she actually makes one on stage, but there's more to this show than just cookery. 

Providing context won't make the show appear any less bonkers, but here goes. Beginning in a mascot-style egg suit, Palamides grunts and squeals her way through a wordless opening scene, as we're treated to some poultry-inspired physical comedy. Soon the 2001: A Space Odyssey-style evolution takes place, as she acts out various stages of egg development. Eventually we're trapped in an endless cycle of growth and rebirth, like a gooey Groundhog Day, with a seemingly limitless supply of eggs stuffed up her gusset and popping out whenever she breaks the last one. 

It's a twisted satire of the motherhood paradigm, as her nameless persona pleads "Do I raise the egg or eat it?", and plumps for the latter rather often. Some of the yolky incarnations make it as far as attending school, but most suffer the same messy fate (the stage floor is like an embryonic Jackson Pollock by the end).

It's more interesting than funny, as she opts to elicit confused gasps rather than laughs. There's something captivatingly weird about it all, though, like a depraved documentary you can't help but keep watching. More than just a hollow empty shell, it's worth cracking open.