Presented by State Theatre Company of South Australia and Adelaide Festival Centre’s Australian Stories Programme
Reviewed Sat 22nd May 2010
Venue: The Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: Wed 26 May at 6.30pm, Thurs 27-Sat 29 May 8PM
Duration: 50 min
Tickets: Adult $25, Conc. $20, under 30s $20
Bookings: BASS on 131 246 (fee applies) or www.bass.net.au
Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman wrote this play back in 1995, although this is a revised script that takes into account more recent events, in particular the long awaited apology given to indigenous Australians by Kevin Rudd. Rosalba Clemente directs this production with a light touch, allowing the stories to unfold without undue theatricality.
Lisa Flanagan gives a warm and sensitive performance as she tells the stories of major events through the remembrances of friends and family members, reducing them to a very personal level and making them more powerful in the process. She is totally captivating, expressing a vast range of emotions as she recounts the stories that tell some of what it means to be Aboriginal.
This is a gentle approach to enlightening audiences that is extremely effective through its finely balanced combination of simplicity and emotionally charged presentation. Flanagan is a natural storyteller, totally at ease and deeply connected to the stories. They could be her own family that she is talking about.
Morag Cook’s design, a circle of timber floorboards with openings to red earth, and a few simple props, keeps the focus on the storytelling, with David Gadsden’s lighting and video projections highlighting parts of the tales, further enhanced by Stuart Day’s sound plot.
As Flanagan says, “these are my stories, these are my people’s stories, they need to be told” and she tells them so well.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor Glam Adelaide.