The allure of Brechtian theatre, as I understand it, is that it is epic theatre that seeks to transmit rational and egalitarian messages rather than to dazzle audiences with high-fallutin illusion. Its the stripped back humanness of the story that makes it connect so profoundly.
A play currently being staged at the Carlton Courthouse by the Fusion Theatre, a company of performers of ‘different abilities’ from Dandenong, is one of the best recent examples I’ve have seen.
The play opens with a beautifully constructed set of city buildings, with the residents of Somewhere City moving amongst them like memes. They each possess a distinct identity, but they move through this landscape alone.
Through the clever use of sound and digital projection, we grasp that they are carrying out their daily journeys through this city, physically together but spiritually isolated.
Some of them reach out to each other via classified advertisements in city newspapers, but these attempts to break the shackles of alienation prove ultimately fruitless.
Then the residents of Somewhere City start disappearing.
Just like real life, especially for people of difference, silence and isolation ultimately leads to a shrinking away from the light of human connectivity and nourishment.
Its a poignant reminder that we all need love and connection in order to survive, and the moving finale in which all the cast members caste aside their meme status and greet the audience with a simple, personal greeting moves us to a place of deeper recognition.
Vital and life-affirming theatre.
Only two more shows – today and tomorrow – booking details here