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The Mermaid single work   drama  
Issue Details: First known date: 2020... 2020 The Mermaid
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In the ocean, the mermaid is free. But on land, she cannot swim or breathe, and is vulnerable to the toxins human industry creates. It’s not the mermaid that’s disabled, but the environment that makes her so.

'A physical theatre artist for 15 years before she developed a cluster of rare genetic disorders, Hanna Cormick cannot breathe normal air or safely be among people.

'In ​her intimate show The Mermaid​, Cormick risks everything to get her message across. The possibility that she may suffer severe allergic reactions, seizures and other medical events during the performances is very real and part of the work.

'Her medical devices (wheelchair, braces, respirator mask and oxygen tank) are recontextualised in the image of a mermaid, and Cormick’s body becomes a stage and canvas. Her fragility is a reminder of our own; her body personifies the damage we do to our planet.

'Weaving together real-life personal narrative, essay-style analysis and poetic imagery, The Mermaid is an act of radical visibility: a meditation on rare disease and a rebellion against the limitations it sets.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.


  • Performances of this show on 17 and 19 January 2020 were cancelled due to the ongoing bushfire crisis.

Affiliation Notes

  • Writing Disability in Australia

    Type of disability Genetic disorders (multiple).
    Type of character Primary (autobiographical work).
    Point of view First person.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 28 Jan 2020 15:44:23