Natalie Palamides – Laid

By Elyce Phillips 

A woman lays an eggs every morning and must make an important decision – will she eat the egg to sustain herself or will she raise it as her child? This terrible dilemma lies at the centre of Natalie Palamides’ Laid, a dark and absurd tale that will have you laughing and cringing in equal measure.

Laid takes a big issue that many women face – whether or not they should become a mother – and playfully dissects it through some delightfully messy clowning. It’s hilariously silly and completely chaotic, but running underneath it all are fascinating questions about motherhood. How do you know when you are ready? What if that time never comes? How much of your own life are you willing to sacrifice? Despite these potentially heavy themes, the pace of Laid never lets up, and the absurdity of Palamides’ clowning is always at the forefront.

The structure of Laid is simple yet extremely effective. Each time the show resets for another birth, the tension builds and the audience becomes ever more invested in the fate of the small, fragile egg baby. The pattern becomes familiar and you know what’s coming, but you can’t help but feel a glimmer of hope for each new bub.

Palamides is an incredibly engaging performer. From the moment you enter the venue, your eyes are drawn to her huddling in the corner in her large, plush egg costume, and she holds your attention unrelentingly. Her experience in voice acting is used to great effect, adding a whole other dimension of character to the eggs.

The direction of Dr Brown is clear in Laid. Much of the success of the show is reliant on audience participation. Palamides shows great skill in drawing the best out of the audience, and quickly adapted to whatever was thrown her way. The atmosphere she creates in Laid is phenomenal, making the audience feel connected to both her performance and to the other audience members in the room.

Laid is truly one of the best shows you can catch at MICF this year. Palamides is a masterful comedian, who can take you to some dark, weird places while keeping you laughing all the while. It’s a show that will linger in your mind for weeks, much like the scent of eggs that now lingers in the Rehearsal Room.

*Note – actual eggs are used in the performance and it’s advised you don’t attend if you are allergic.

Natalie Palamides – Laid is on at the Arts Centre Playhouse Rehearsal Room until April 15