Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre and Tutti Arts
Reviewed 7 November 2018
Be a guest at one of the largest wedding receptions of the year as Say No More immerses the audience in the humorous, moving and sometimes tragic plights of a variety of women from different countries who have bravely chosen to share their stories.
This is a wedding reception like no other with a multitude of dolled up brides surrounding the audience in an array of white wedding dresses, long veils and traditional or religious dress. As the lead performers begin to tell their diverse stories while switching between English, Malay and Indonesian speech and song, a twisted and chilling reality becomes apparent. These actors touch on a multitude of societal subjects that relate personally to their own life experiences as women, whether it be the barriers of disabilities, domestic violence, difficult parental relationships or the unrealistic and dehumanising expectations of society or religion.
Say No More brings together 26 female artists (some with disabilities and some without) from Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia to share the truths about what it’s truly like to be a woman in what can still be too often a man’s world, as well as debunking myths and exposing what can be horrific realities. The small setting provides an intimate audience relationship with the women who share their personal stories, all while completely owning their experiences and the way in which they choose to share them.
The cleverly organised set truly immerses the audience in the journeys of these women as they are literally placed in the middle of the theatre with individual stages placed on each side of the room. Within the historic walls and stained-glass windows of the Adelaide Town Hall the set is lit up with fairy-lights and decorations, enhancing the experience of the nuptial setting.
A commendation must be made to all of the talented performers for their bravery in confronting many topics that are regularly thrust aside and for presenting their own struggles to a room of foreign faces. There is so much heart, soul and passion in their purposeful actions, engaging the audience with their conviction and giving the show an authenticity that’s difficult to match.
Malay and Indonesian theatre companies, Perspektif Kommunitas and ACS Stepping Stone, have combined with Tutti Arts, an inclusive, Adelaide-based multi arts hub for artists with a disability. This organisation works across a variety of art forms to promote the professional development of artists with a learning or intellectual disability.
A wholesome and humbling show, Say No More presents the authentic plights that women must survive to get by in a world that puts men first in many ways. This is an often confronting performance that is also hugely entertaining and provides valuable insights into the difficult position of minorities in many societies.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: Meeting Hall, Adelaide Town Hall
Season: 7 – 10 November
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $20 – $30