With the recent change in government, Australian eyes and ears are finely tuned to the security of our borders and those who wish to dwell in our sunburnt country. For or against, we’ve all got our two cents to share on whether our doors should be kept ajar. If you’re young enough to not have a thorough understanding about the White Australia policy, whip out that smart phone and tell Siri to look it up for you. It’ll open your eyes.
And that’s what Performance 4a are here to do with Stories Then and Now. It’s a fascinating, heart warming exploration into the lives these individuals have experienced, the journeys they have taken in their home countries, the people they have met, and how their voyage led them to Australia.
There was nothing flash at all about the stage or the room – just a pull down screen and a microphone – but that’s all we needed. The words and emotions of the 5 incredible performers painted a picture more vivid and entertaining than any set piece could achieve.
Ien Ang (Java/Netherlands), Jenevieve Chang (China), Michael C. S. Park (Korea), Willa Zheng (China) and the brilliant Paul van Reyk (Sri Lanka) brought out all of those dusty skeletons from deep within the closet, to share with us the difficulties faced in uprooting all that you love and know to seek a better life, far across the globe. The personal family photographs were a wonderful visual accompaniment to the performers’ stories.
Isn’t that what Australia is all about? Comradery, and taking the hand of our fellow man and woman to share the natural beauty of our wonderful nation?
The performance could easily have extended beyond the 80 minutes, and each performer was adept at keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, entertained, and laughing and crying at the right moments. Just another shining exemplar of the superb and fresh talent thanks to OzAsia.
Cheers and chookas to these marvelous lads and ladies!
Reviewed by Nathan Giaccio
Venue: Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 22 September 2013
Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes