Wyatt's City of Gold creates exquisitely haunting images that demand us to listen
City of Gold is the new Australian work that needs to be heard. It's raw, thought-provoking work that has the harshest of conflicts at its heart...the stain of racism in our contemporary world. And, Meyne Wyatt's new work demands us, as not only a nation but as individuals, to wake up.
I was worried that I wouldn't be able to see this show as I was overseas for most of its run. However thankfully, I managed to grab a ticket to its closing night and I wish that I could see it again, and again, and again.
A co-production between Griffin Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre, City of Gold's political commentary on the injustice that surrounds Indigenous Australians was seamlessly interwoven with the characters dialogues so that it didn't feel like it we were being spoon fed information, but rather asked to listen to the character's reality and listen we did.
Wyatt's work is written from a place of experience: the grief for the loss of his Dad, his love and memories of his hometown of Kalgoorlie and his experience in the acting industry. So, it's no wonder that his performance felt so authentic, and not just his performance, but the entire cast brought such fire and soul to their character. Maitland Schnaars was outstanding in his role as Breythe's father, whose performance was so honest that you felt every word he was saying and every movement he made. The cast had such a strong dynamic and connection to one another that you could feel it from your seat.
Director Isaac Drandic framed the narrative perfectly, jumping between moments of light and dark but also managing to reside in the grey. These moments were skillfully illuminated by Jason Glenwright's lighting design, creating exquisitely haunting images that replay in my head on a loop. The set design by Simona Consentini and Simone Tesorieri had so much detail, complexity and depth to it, just like the characters that walked in and out of the slamming screen door of their picturesque iron-roofed house.
There was nothing to fault with the text. Dramaturgically, I found the jumping back and forth between the past and the present quite innovative. It added to the flow of the story rather than detract, which is often the case with sharp transitions between flashbacks. The lens of comedy was a powerful choice by Wyatt, whose manipulation of clever word play and moments of humour made us question whether or not we should be laughing at all.
This work should be a part of our cultural zeitgeist as Australians. The script should be taught in schools and the work should be performed in communities that may not have the resources or the access to see this work on a big stage. Everyone needs to have access to this show.
Bravo to the cast, company and creatives of City of Gold. You did it and you should all be so proud of this pearl of a work that you've created.
Rating: 5 Stars