Created in response to Federal Arts Minister George Brandis's ambush of Federal arts funding, "All Your Worth" was everything you want from a night at the theatre: witty, accessible, spontaneous, passionate, confronting, quick and dirty, intelligent and beautiful.
Ensemble and solo dance piece punctuated an evening in which the audience was confronted head-on with many of the absurdities, contradictions and impossibilities of Brandis's policy of personal patronage for "excellent" work.
The work demonstrated, with concrete and vivid immediacy, how indeterminate, subjective, unmeasurable and fluid the concept of "excellence" is.
Always astute, and frequently funny, the show also was at times disturbing, when the show placed the dancers in the position of commodities. They danced for our amusement, and our payment, at our command, and were judged for their efforts by our random and entirely subjective pleasure.
The work laid bare the often grotesque nature of the performer/patron relationship, with the artist reduced to little better than the undignified status a performing circus animal.
The natural home for this work is the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra. It's debut performance in the more humble setting of the Mount Stuart Community Hall provided the best night of theatre I've had this year.
Robert Jarman for The Mercury