It really was a dark and windy night, and we were lashed by squalls of wind and dense, sleeting rain as we made our way by train from the Land of the East (Edgecliff station) to the Riverside Theatre at Parramatta. To those of you who have not made this journey, let me commend it to you.
Upon leaving Town Hall station our white and middle class train suddenly morphed into a sort of immigrant express. From all over Asia they piled in – from Pakistan. Bangladesh, India. China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
For many of them, exhausted from the day’s work, a seat on the train, as it glided along toward home, would have been a tender mercy.If you want to experience the richness of our multicultural society, catching a train in peak hour is one way to do it.
Another way is to go to the theatre – especially seeing a play like THE AGE OF BONES,
One of the main choices a playwright has to make when writing a play is to choose the setting. Playwright Sandra Thibodeaux has chosen a very imaginative location – the sea between Australia and Indonesia. It is the one Thing the two countries so obviously share.
Her play is founded in fact. Some years ago, some young juvenile Indonesian boys were involved in a people smuggling racket. They were arrested and imprisoned. Here, in Australia, they received scant sympathy.
Ms Thibodeaux asks us to have a different perspective on the issue, and gets us to look through the eyes of an Indonesian family and their 15 year old son who has been involved in people smuggling.
There is a shimmering mystical spirituality to this play. Its harsh, ugly reality is in contrast to the exotic, ever changing seaworld of the Underwater which is so dramatically represented.
There are three cultures in this play: Indonesian, Aboriginal and Modern Australian. All of these cultures, very different but with similar core values, impact on the destiny of the boy.
This is quite a magical play and unlike anything I have seen before. See it if you can.
A Teater Satu/Satu Bulan/Performing Lines Production, directed by Iswadi Pratama and Alex Galeazzi, THE AGE OF BONES is playing the Riverside Theatre, 253 Church St Parramatta between March 22 and March 25.