Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Theatre: So Long Suckers (★★★½)

Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and Bunuba Cultural Enterprises
 Script by Peter Docker
with Ian Wilkes, Emmanuel James Brown and Kyle J Morrison

Directed by Kyle J Morrison
Design by India Mehta
Lighting design by Chris Donnelly
Music and sound design by Darren Reutens
Starring Peter Docker, Ian Wilkes and Emmanuel James Brown
Subiaco Arts Centre until June 4

So Long Suckers is a cry from the heart about the destructive power of grog in the Aboriginal community. As its writer, Peter Docker, says, “Grog. Police. Jail” has replaced “guns, germs and steel” as a principal agent of the dispossession of the original owners of the country and a wider, similarly disempowered, population.
The play works around a metaphor with wide and direct historical resonances; that alcohol figuratively “cuts off your head and takes it away” – a fate literally and famously suffered by the characters’ outlaw heroes, the Noongar Yagan, the Bunuba Jandamarra and Ned Kelly.
“Men without heads”, on the booze, in cars, on trains, in parks and on the street, are easy targets for the system of summary arrest and the dreaded bench warrants that endlessly ensnare them.
So Long Suckers is not easy theatre, and its density and aggression occasionally reduces its impact.  There’s no denying, though, that it is an impressive gathering of artistic talent, indigenous and non-indigenous alike, to expose an evil that afflicts communities, families and individuals across a land we are still learning to share.

Read the complete review in The West Australian 

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