Are you ready? Ainslee Palmer’s READY OR NOT at HOTA 10-12 April

WORDS: Rebecca Ross PHOTOGRAPHY Ellamay Fitzgerald

Imagine it’s 1999, Destiny’s Child is pumping, and fairy bread is the #1 party snack…are you ready to play Musical Chairs?

Ainslee Palmer’s one-woman solo theatre work READY OR NOT is debuting at HOTA, Home of the Arts on 10-12 April.

READY OR NOT is a theatrical retelling of the legacy that remains when innocence is taken away.

Photography: Ellamay Fitzgerald

Gold Coast-based artist Ainslee Palmer will debut her work READY OR NOT directed by Lisa Smith at HOTA, from 10-12 April 2024.

In READY OR NOT Ainslee finds her voice in the character of DARLING, a voiceless woman yearning for conversation.

With the support of HOTA, Generate GC and the Regional Arts Development Fund Ainslee has worked with performance mentor Leah Shelton to craft READY OR NOT.

This pilot season is a highly physical, deeply personal fever dream of birthday parties, horse races and Stepfordwives, and an honest and often moving interrogation of what is left behind once ‘closed doors’ are opened.

Whilst the games and sunny dispositions of READY OR NOT play with the audience’s imagination, the real game is in prompting the audience to consider the secrets we keep, the stories we survive, and the light that can still shine through into the darkest of places.

Photography: Ellamay Fitzgerald

Ainslee said: Ready or Not came out of the question “How do we find light in the darkness?” For me, that was through games. I made up a game to escape situations that felt unlivable, and I thought to myself “Surely other people have done that too?”

Through many hours of conversation and replaying games from childhood, I discovered this is how we survived and thrived, and now how we can talk about the hard moments. I hope Ready or Not is an entertaining journey to a deeper conversation around inter-family violence and how we cannot feel ‘too much’ in our story.

Ainslee Palmer is an actor, theatre-maker, producer, and movement director with a passion for play and artistic curiosity. After graduating from the University of Southern Queensland with a Bachelor of Creative Arts majoring in Theatre in 2013, Ainslee moved to New York City where she worked with Tectonic Theatre Project as a teaching artist and performer with various theatre companies. In 2017 Ainslee moved to Brisbane and worked in Arts Health in several aged care facilities around Southeast Queensland, facilitating workshops with people living with dementia. In 2018, Ainslee formed a collaboration with White Rabbit Theatre as a performer, producer and facilitator working with young people and young adults with disabilities, and in 2019 joined the company as Associate Director. Alongside her work as Associate Director and theatre-maker, Ainslee has worked as a producer with Vera Women’s Wellness, Everybody NOW! and Sprung Dance Theatre. Ainslee describes her practice as a feminist based safe, inclusive environment to break rules, give a voice to the voiceless.

Nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast, HOTA, Home of the Arts is an iconic destination where art, entertainment, culture and lifestyle intersect. Committed to fostering and supporting local talent, creativity, innovation and community engagement, HOTA is a catalyst for artistic expression and cultural exploration. With world-class facilities and a diverse range of programming, HOTA is a dynamic hub that enriches the arts and cultural landscape of the region.

HOTA’s Housemates program supports artists to develop new work by providing access to short-term development space, technical support, producing advice and more.

Generate GC supports Gold Coast artists to develop new work within the community and place.

Show details: Ready or Not at HOTA Home of the Arts
Address: 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Show dates: 10 – 12 April 2024
Show website: