In the black-walled confines of the intimate Blue Room Theatre sound clips fill the air – white people (some famous, some everyday folks) talking about ‘the black problem.’ A figure stands silent, providing a vigil against the tirade of horrendously racist and misinterpreted thinking. This is Ian Michael, solo performer and co-writer of Hart – he tells the stories and thoughts of four Noongar men, tackling the sad but true tales of Stolen Generation Aboriginal people.
This play is not for the faint-hearted. Let’s be clear – it is beyond sad, the sorrow of these men seeps into your bones, as it should. The stories and words come from four men but they are intertwined and jumbled – similar to the story of the Stolen Generation. There are common threads and vast differences. There are humorous anecdotes and a cheeky spirit that runs through all of the threads. There are heart-wrenching tales of separation, loss and deep pain.
Michael is a phenomenal performer. The audience hangs on his every word. His delivery is humorous and filled with pathos – his very mannerisms and quiet, regretful tone brings the audience to tears, and rightly so. Hart isn’t about making you cry or laugh – it’s about making you feel. It’s giving a voice to a generation and race that have been silenced and still are today. It highlights the way we were and how we haven’t really changed that much.
As a reviewer, I have seen many shows, but Hart was the first time I experienced, and was part of, a standing ovation. It was well deserved – brilliantly written, flawlessly performed, and wonderfully touching, Hart is the show everyone needs to see.
When: 24th May – 11th June 2016 (8:30pm)
Where: The Blue Room Theatre (Perth)
Tickets: $18 – $28
Info: Duration 50 minutes| Auslan interpretation 9th June| Q&A after show on 1st June
About Laura Money
Is an avid theatre goer, reader, art gallery guide and museum enthusiast. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, from the deep and meaningful to the whimsical and kitsch. As lover of all things in the world of humanities, she is very proud of the vibrant art scene in Perth. It truly is an exciting place to be!
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