Through the Cracks: Artists Paying The Price For Creative Cities

Blog by Zoe Street

Too Rude are a collaborative duo comprised of theatre-maker, director and musician Emma McManus and site-specific performance artist Maria White. The two pals began collaborating on a trip to New York where they created their first work together which Emma describes as “a silly show about pizza, Christmas and ice skating”. The work was performed as part of the Earlwood Farm Climate Change Christmas Variety Hour, a night of experimental lectures, song, dance, mime and durational performance by local NSW artists that questioned the sustainability of Christmas tradition (much to the horror of some local publications). And so amidst media name-calling, hilarity and feminist bravado, ‘Too Rude’ were born.

Crack Theatre Festival 2016 sees the power-duo continue their critique of capitalism, presenting their new work Never Trust a Creative City, a work that explores the uncomfortable role artists play in gentrification. Maria and Emma looked to their own experiences as artists as inspiration for this work;

“We feel that as artists we help to make our cities (Canberra and Sydney) a more vibrant and interesting place to be. Therefore artists are implicated in gentrification by making the city a more desirable place to live, which benefits developers and property owners. Meanwhile artists and other long term residents are getting priced out. We want to have a conversation about this”.

The Too Rude duo are all about combining their interest in the intersection between art and politics with their self professed “love for really dumb things on the internet” to create a performance work that blends the forms of television, theatre and comedy. In Never Trust a Creative City, Too Rude will be finding a voice for their fresh collaboration whilst trying their hand at their own comedy for the first time, an experience they are both itching to have. Their plans for Crack Theatre Festival audiences is to “wet themselves because we are so funny, and then consider their own implicit nature within the capitalist system as they are mopping themselves up”.


What they are about: feminism, critical thinking, spectacle, lols, anger and breakfast burritos.

A tiny taster of what’s to come: Surprises/ Uncomfortable questions/ Sparkles

Emma McManus and Maria White are our Setting the Stages artists from ACT. Catch their performance
Never Trust a Creative City on Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 7:15pm at Pivot Dance Studio .