I’d like to talk about Mad Max – Fury Road as an inspiration for our show. It’s contemporary, recognizable, and a head turner - all things we wanted when exploring movie references for our story. But a couple years ago when I was coaxed into going to see the movie, it was one of those I expected to forget, thinking it would just be a big, absurd chase through a desert. I was surprised to find that I left the theater chuckling and respecting it, and I’d like to share why. For starters, its female and male heroes are equals - in drive, intensity, physical strength and mental stamina.
We can probably chalk up even more points for Furiosa, who has taken it upon herself to rescue imprisoned women. She and Max are also equals in their misery - dirty, hobbled and emotionally shelled-off, tortured by loss and despair. They are both raw nerves who can trust no one. They battle each other and everyone else until, finally, out of options and facing a hopeless future of more torturous isolation, each must transform in the core of their souls. The risk each must take is an internal one, requiring equal measures of uncertainty and vulnerability. They have to stop going it alone and rely on someone else.
That’s one thing that touches us about Fury Road. We all run into the wall of doom that total self-reliance throws up in front of us. We all struggle with whom to trust. A super hero’s courage is never more tested than when she must admit she’s wrong. Don’t we all face the super hero’s challenge when it comes to that? For Furiosa, admitting she’s wrong means facing the unimaginable – going back to the very place she thought she had left forever. Never mind retracing a parched landscape and facing another death battle to get there. This is one of the most interesting questions Fury Road brings up. It asks us to ponder what is “home”, and the inevitable futility of chasing a place we can finally be happy. Its stark question is that if your home is hell, isn’t that the battle you have to fight? Isn’t real heroism found in facing what is, and bringing your talents, your power, and even your fury to making that better for everyone? The desert blow-up of Fury Road unearths other deep questions about what makes a place home. Is it as much a state of mind as a place? Is it given to us, or do we make it? Max and Furiosa survive, physically and emotionally because they decided to trust each other. Is home really found wherever there are people you can trust?
For we FURY creators, taking the audience on a ride that digs up these questions through awesome new, live music and movement by dancers at the top of the game is the kind of journey we’ve been waiting for. We hope you’ll strap in and come along. Yours, Kate