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'Elegy' at Gasworks Arts Park - Review

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I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
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'And for a moment it seems they'll have everything'
Transport Theatre England, Bradley Secker, Elegy, Midsumma, gay human rights, refugees, asylum seekers, midsumma festival melbourne, gasworks arts park, theatre
Midsumma turns up the heat on human rights - photo by Bradley Secker
Last night I was privileged to attend the opening night of 'Elegy' at the official opening of the Midsumma Festival 2016 program at Gasworks Arts Park.
midsumma, elegy, gasworks arts park, theatre, melbourne, albert park, lab kelpie, Douglas Rintoul, Australian Premiere, Midsumma Festival, Nick Simpson-Deeks, Russell Goldsmith, John Kachoyan, gay human rights
Official Launch of Midsumma Festival at Gasworks Arts Park
Devised by Douglas Rintoul, 'Elegy' is a play that turns up the heat on international human rights and protections for gay male refugees fleeing from their homes ravaged by war. "Elegy" is a memorial to gay men that are violated by extreme homophobia in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Despite homosexuality existing in these societies for hundreds of years, the barbaric routine torture and murder of gay men and their families by local military police continues.
Transport Theatre England, Bradley Secker, Elegy, Midsumma, gay human rights, refugees, asylum seekers, midsumma festival melbourne, gasworks arts park, theatre
Exert from 'Elegy' photographic exhibition by Bradley Secker
Rintoul devised 'Elegy' in 2011 whilst working in England after reading an online essay by photojournalist Bradley Secker. The essay revealed a series of interviews Secker conducted with gay male Iraqi refugees whilst in Syria. Rintoul extracted the essence of the stories and created a poetic epitaph to commemorate those martyred in the plight to embrace their human right to freedom. The narrative is reflective of the style of Persian poetry penned by Rumi and other Sufi mystics. The irony is that countries like Iraq, Iran, and Syria have a history of homosexual culture documented in love poems.
Elegy, Lab Kelpie, Gasworks Arts Park, Douglas Rintoul, John Kachoyan, Nick Simpson-Deeks, Russell Goldsmith, Midsumma Festival, Melbourne, theatre, gay human rights
Nick Simpson-Deeks performs 'Elegy'
The play is directed by John Kachoyan which includes an impressive 55 minute solo performance by Nick Simpson-Deeks. The play details the relationship of two young lovers who are separated by war and experience a targeted homophobic campaign of torture by the military. It's a tragic story, far too common, and not reported in the mainstream news.
Transport Theatre England, Bradley Secker, Elegy, Midsumma, gay human rights, refugees, asylum seekers, midsumma festival melbourne, gasworks arts park, theatre
Refugees revealing scars of torture - photos by Bradley Secker
'Elegy' is accompanied by an exhibition of Secker's photographs, where young men agreed to expose their scars received in torture and operations to extract organs in exchange for a 'safe passage' to freedom. Tragically many never made it out alive.
Elegy, Lab Kelpie, Gasworks Arts Park, Douglas Rintoul, John Kachoyan, Nick Simpson-Deeks, Russell Goldsmith, Midsumma Festival, Melbourne, theatre, gay human rights
'Elegy' on now until 6 February
"Elegy" is a true memorial to gay men globally that live with extreme homophobia, and is a play not to be missed. Showing now until 6 February and proudly presented by Gasworks Arts Park and Lab Kelpie.
Elegy, Lab Kelpie, Gasworks Arts Park, Douglas Rintoul, John Kachoyan, Nick Simpson-Deeks, Russell Goldsmith, Midsumma Festival, Melbourne, theatre, gay human rights
'Elegy' on now until 6 February as part of Midsumma Festival at Gasworks Arts Park
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Why? Because you're human too
When: Now until 6 February 2016
Phone: 0386064200
Where: 21 Graham Street, Albert Park Vic 3206
Cost: $18 - $25
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