Review: COOKED by Digi Youth Arts and The Good Room

The production runs until the 28th of May

By: May. 27, 2022

Review: COOKED by Digi Youth Arts and The Good Room Presented by Digi Youth Arts and the Good Room, Cooked was a tapestry of stories of resilience, empowerment and mourning.

Presented as a series of vignettes in response to answers from a survey completed anonymously by Australians in 2019, this new work draws on a variety of art forms including verbatim theatre, spoken word, rap, dance and physical theatre to convey the message of the injustice forced upon the Indigenous people of this land.

Starting with a satirical bush ballad retelling of Captain Cook's invasion of Australia followed by the actors reading aloud a series of survey responses, the play quickly set sail into waters that many Australians often neglect or only slightly dip their toes into it. The actors also literally reenacted Cook's voyage in a gorgeous physical theatre piece in which one actor was Cook standing a wooden shipping crate and the other four ensemble members were oars. The actors then subverted the scene by transforming Captain Cook into a drunk Australian party goer on Australia Day who had had too much of his fill and ended up collapsing from illness on stage.

Some memorable scenes were when Ethan Enoch started wrapping about the trauma and hurt felt by multiple generations of Indigenous people, when the cast members stripped off their clothing to their undergarments and threw it their clothes at the statue of Captain Cook as well as the dance party at the end of the show in which the ensemble parodied the lyrics of 'Everybody (Backstreet's Back), Oops I Did It Again and other hit songs with the lyrics changed to reflect popular Indigenous rights slogans.

Cooked is a powerful new work the aims to dismantle the status quo and destroy hundreds of years of oppression by having young First Nations people speak up and speak loud. Always was and always will be.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

This review was co-written with Harry Fritsch.