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The Process at Mechanics Institute Brunswick - Review

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An Unexpected Journey
Given I often take notes at events, thought I'd transplant what I transcribed...from this uh, yellow/orange-smudged napkin:


- - - - - - - - START OF NAPKIN - - - - - - - -

I) Awful! Stale. Half-melted. Tasteless caramel. Plus, dripped on pants! Napkin, napkin, napkin. Oh.

II) Who is that?!! Cackling in second row?!! Either scarf-guy or...(sorry, back to matter @ hand)

III) Acting = wow! Faces - actual expression! & dialogue written as humans speak! Intro = thumbs up!!!!

IV) Main guy. "Rajune", I think. Wow. Eye contact with audience! Cried when he broke down. He cried. Know what? Prefer him over slob in The Terminal.

V) Immigration officer, Kurt Stickler. A'hole. But probably not far off. And lawyer-woman - Oh! Oh! Was in um, Neighbours! Hmm, actually enjoying this.

- - - - - - - - END OF NAPKIN - - - - - - - -


Shedding my tomfoolery (what on earth is going on there? ^^), this was top notch. Not only entertaining, but honest, raw, real. Whilst it easily could've deteriorated into a sermon, it instead rose to great heights. Key reasons "The Process" worked:

STORY

The play follows the tribulations of Rajoo Mahalingham, Sri Lankan asylum seeker, desperately pursuing refugee status. Ruthlessly stymied, by both oppressive legislation and a labyrinthine processes, we're granted insight into hidden machinations. By adhering to this particular theme, whilst stretching out the timeline, the play successfully exposes Australia's oppressive, cruel asylum seeking process.

MORAL

Play's message was clear. Writer's opinion, undeviating. You could feel the passion behind the script. But it wasn't hotheaded. Rather, a clearheaded analysis of this grim, multipronged issue.

WRITING / DIRECTING

Evident, that writer Ian Robinson and director John Gauci know their craft. Not only was the script cohesive, but dialogue on point.

STAGE DESIGN

Rather than continually dressing/re-dressing scenes, the stage was cunningly arranged. Podium, on the right. Processing centre, left. Rajoo's quarters within the detention centre, symbolically tucked away in between.


Jessica Muschamp, Rajendra Moodley, the process
c/o Rajendra Moodley & c/o Creative Commons

ACTING

Rajendra Moodley: Explosive. Desperate, hysterical, erratic - precisely what you'd expect from this disoriented, repressed, and fairly much neglected victim.

Paul Watson: Versatile. He depicted both an immigration officer and ministers of parliament - flawlessly. Comedy soaring, upon caricaturing Abbott. Then Dutton (if my knowledge of ministers serves me).

Jessica Muschamp: Sharp. Taking on soft-natured roles, Jess could've easily faded into the background. She didn't. Even when removed from the spotlight, remaining attuned / in full character - trademark of a professional.


What you'll accrue from this, beyond the entertainment, is empathy for boat-people's plight. This ain't about attempting to persuade, however. More so, exposing; thus intimately connecting to the helplessness endured. Which relates beyond this issue. For instance, who amongst us hasn't felt unheard? Not suggesting being snubbed compares to detainment / abominable conditions. Nevertheless, these painful emotions do resemble each other - I think.

If you're unafraid of stark realities, I recommend seeing this. It had purpose. Plus well-conveyed arguments. Some may opine such exposition is 'on the nose'. But when one has a specific argument to make, direct references are incumbent - aren't they? What I liked most about The Process though, was it didn't provide a resolution. Rather, simply embraced that oft concealed inner anguish. Offering an opportunity to enhance our own self-awareness.


metanoia theatre, brunswick
c/o Metanoia Theatre, Mechanics Institute


- Further information.
- To book tickets (limited season).

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*Chris Carvill was invited as a guest
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Why? Entertainment & enlightenment
When: Wed to Fri: 7.30pm, Sat: 2.30pm & 7pm, Sun: 7pm
Phone: Ph 9387 3376, or Ian Robinson on mob.0407 24 00 24
Where: Mechanics Institute Brunswick, 270 Sydney Road Brunswick
Cost: Full: $30, Concession: $25
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