So this will be brief. After seeing THE ROLLING STONE tonight, my advice? Read no more, just get yourself tickets. It will sell out for sure. This production is political theatre that strikes with a charm and intelligence that never lets you look away. Multi-themed and superbly delivered, it is a work which collides matters around sexual orientation, human autonomy, religion and women’s education for one’s immediate contemplation and later disturbs your sleeping with considerations of grief and loss and hatred .
We meet Dembe. He’s 18, it is Uganda and he is a devout Christian worshipping at the altar of his older brother, Joe, who has just been made a pastor. He and his sister Wummie have been left poor after their father’s death but their neighbour, Mama is adopting of the 3 and has Dembe picked out for her daughter Naome. But Dembe knows himself, he feels the presence of God and just as clearly understands that he is homosexual. When he enters a relationship with Sam, an Irish born doctor it is a dangerous time. A paper, ‘Rolling Stone’ is publishing, based purely on hearsay and rumour, the names and photos of local men who are suspected of being gay. And they are being murdered by mobs. Continue reading THE ROLLING STONE: GET TICKETS, DON’T DELAY→
As the wafting smoke from the Welcome to Country drifts through the audience it seems to help me focus. It envelops so that the traffic speeding past seems distant. The smoke is pungent and yet soothing. It heightens my senses and increases my receptivity, yet several times during HOME COUNTRY I find little moments of wondering why I feel … whatever it is I am feeling.
HOME COUNTRY is the latest work from Urban Theatre Projects with Blacktown Arts Centre as part of the Sydney Festival. It is staged in Blacktown; it has three stories in a multi-storey carpark; it has a culturally diverse creative team of, writers, musicians, advisors, designers. But it is the actors who do the job here. They are a wonderful cast.
The first characters we meet are from the story BLACKTOWN ANGELS (Andrea James). Angel (Shakira Clanton) has been guarding the audience for quite a while, perched over us on the edge of one of the car park levels. What a presence this actor has. And then she begins to sing. What a voice! The words are unfamiliar but so beautifully rendered to be as enveloping as that smoke. Continue reading URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS PRESENTS ‘HOME COUNTRY’→
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