The Milk Crate Theatre Company is a great Sydney based organisation which strives to build the confidence, skills and social connections of homeless and severely disadvantaged people through theatre workshops and performances.
I went across to Petersham Town Hall to see Milk Crate’s latest production simply entitled NATURAL ORDER. This proved to be a ‘full on’, immersive experience as we were moved around to different locations around the hall, as the cast performed in front of us as well as watching them on pre- taped segments screened on monitors set up in the hall.
There was no mistaking the world of this play. It’s the Department of Human Services, in the case of the play the Department was simply called Davo- Human services for humans.
The cast played, very well, both ‘sides’; some were restless, disgruntled people in the waiting room tackling forms, whilst others played prissy, officious staff.
At one point, in a clever twist, we, the audience, went in to another room, to be processed as people looking for work/accomodation.
There was a comic taped scene featuring a promotional Government advert depicting a very modern Government office with super slick and smiley staff.
The performances were impressive and deeply felt. The cast comprised Aslam Abdud-Samad, Shane Bell, Peter Birbas, Lisa Griffiths, Alicia Gonzalez, Matthias Nudl, Ruth Oslington, Darlene Proberts and Lucy Watson. Film actors comprised Owen Gill, Flor Garcia, Eugina Langley, Katrina Morris, Georgina Wood, Desmond Edwards, Sandra Hickey, Yen Mekon and Steve Simao.
This was the second production which I have seen recently that has memorably captured the plight of the homeless, the other one being Emilio Estevez’s poignant film The Public, currently screening in cinemas.
Recommended, NATURAL ORDER is playing as part of Homelessness week. The remaining performances for NATURAL ORDER at Petersham Town Hall are Tuesday 6th August at 3pm, Wednesday 7th August at 3pm, Thursday 8th August at 6.30 with the performance Auslan interpreted, Friday 9th August at 6.3pm with the performance audio described, with the final performance being on Saturday 10th August at 6.30pm,