SOFT N HARD Comes To Q Theatre
Real life husband and wife duo Jo Randerson and Thomas LaHood present a non-stop hour of comic theatre, delving deeply into the difficulties of gender constructs, in Soft N Hard coming to Loft at Q Theatre for five nights Tuesday 20 - Saturday 24 August. Soft N Hard is a complex, challenging and riotously funny exploration of the tensions and imbalances between male and female gender roles in a modern world.
Married for ten years, performers Jo Randerson and Thomas LaHood use their finely-tuned clowning skills and the authentic awkwardness and vulnerability of their own relationship to bring a relatable and indelibly comic touch to the curly questions of gender politics.
Jo was working on a solo performance about how women have to hold themselves to accommodate others, and Thomas was working on a solo performance about how men hardly have to do anything at all. So inevitably, they decided they should explore both sides live on stage. What could possibly go wrong?
Together they have approached the fraught territory of gender posturing with characteristically outrageous humour and courageous self-expression. Soft N Hard is visually extravagant, hugely fun, and completely absurd.
The show erupts onto the stage with a high-impact, visually arresting opening sequence, followed by a relentless and largely non-verbal clown performance of traditional domestic, cinematic (and toxic) gender tropes, and finally dissolves completely into a fast-paced, meta-theatrical dialogue between the performers that gets into the nitty-gritty of modern ideas like mansplaining and emotional labour.
In the preposterous world of Soft N Hard, the curtains are so beautiful you can get lost in them, taking a shower is so deep you need a wetsuit, and the view in the mirror is simply breath-taking.
Jo Randerson and Thomas LaHood are the creative team behind Barbarian Productions (known for a radically progressive approach to theatre) and together they run their independent theatre business, help manage the Vogelmorn Community centre, create their art, and raise their two children. Their lives are inextricably intertwined.
Described by their eldest son as a play about "Two monsters who turn into people and then have a lot of fights" this show keeps audiences guessing - it's wild, loose, comedy that twists the knife. Radical fun and anarchic, it breaks down held beliefs, lets audiences loosen up and see things from a different perspective. All work created by Barbarian aims to look at the underlying social issues people are grappling with daily and this show is not po-faced, but is fun, courageous and brave - more than just entertainment.
Soft N Hard is a transformative show created and performed by Jo Randerson and Thomas LaHood; directed by Isobel Mackinnon; produced by Barbarian Productions Ltd with design by Owen McCarthy and Poppy Serano and sound design by Waylon Edwards.
Soft N Hard will also be performed as part of the Toi W?hine Festival in Hamilton on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 September.
Created with support from Creative New Zealand.
Barbarian is proud to belong to the Sustainable Business Network, and is a Living Wage Accredited employer.