Regent One Cinema, Arcade Lane (off Grenfell Street)
Reviewed Sunday February 21st 2010 (See Fringe guide for dates, times, etc.)
Presented by Vitalstatistix Theatre Company.
Bookings: Fringetix & Venuetix outlets.
The only serious problem with this production is that it has only two performances. The first one was packed and I gather that the booking were already very heavy for the second one. Hopefully a few more can be added before the Fringe ends as this is well worth seeing.
Directed and Facilitated by Eliza Lovell this is a unique take on the migration of Africans to Australia. It opens with a short burst of drumming then leads to the entire ensemble of five men and five women singing in that captivating call and response style.
We then see a series of scenes of daily life that go from hardship to violence and oppression, yet show an enduring family love and great strength to survive against great odds. Then, for the fortunate ones, there is the journey to Australia and a new life, showing us the attempts to find a place in an alien society where racial prejudice and stereotypical responses to newcomers still exists.
The performance concluded with the whole ensemble singing and dancing and venturing into the audience to invite everybody to join with them, an invitation that was readily accepted.
There is a joy of life and an enormous willingness to share their stories and their culture in this performance and it is interesting that the audience was almost entirely European Australians. If you missed it, keep an eye out for any extra performances that might be added. This was definitely a winner this Fringe.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, GLAM Adelaide Arts Editor.