Elizabeth Davie – Apex Predator
Beware the Apex Predator, an alter ego discovered by Melbourne-based performer Elizabeth Davie in clowning school.
She looks innocent enough – red clown nose, unassuming teal beanie, big bright eyes. She is always smiling. She is enjoying herself, but don’t tell her what a beautiful smile she has, whatever you do.
This was possibly one of strangest shows I have ever seen.
Davie drew her audience into the darker regions of the mind, where fantasies of hunting the hunters abound, where we playfully clean up the streets, gleefully holding the hearts of disembowelled, predatory men.
This brutal clown with the beautiful smile rips men’s heads off and throws them around, encouraging her audience to enjoy a bit of handballing, bowling, whatever, she loves it. She is always venturing into dark alleys and deserted playgrounds stalking her next victim.
Davie is one brave performer, knowing that what she is offering is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. The audience wasn’t quite sure how to react. Uncomfortable silences from the audience punctuated the performance as well as bewildered outbursts of laughter. Attendees looked around at one another as if to say, “What is going on? What have I signed up for?”
The Apex Predator pleases herself, and in doing so, validates the twisted fantasies of anybody who has ever felt helpless or unfairly vilified.
This show is the fringiest of Fringe and I’m not just talking about this crazed clown’s blood red mane. Apex Predator is completely out there, tricky to categorise. There is mime, clowning, a physical Shakespearean murder scene and lashings of confrontation. Somebody walked out, but he came back. Brave man.
Davie’s newest show cunningly transforms a victim’s fear and rage into an intriguingly terrifying character. It’s better than therapy.
I walked back to my motel room after the show with less trepidation than usual, fantasising about being The Apex Predator.