BWW REVIEW: OUR BLOOD RUNS IN THE STREET Is A Powerful And Confronting Piece Of Theatre About NSW's Recent History of Violence Towards The LGBTIQ Community.
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 7:30pm, Old Fitz Theatre
The shocking and horrific details of the violence towards the NSW LGBTIQ community are presented in OUR BLOOD RUNS IN THE STREET, a new piece of powerful verbatim theatre. Created by Director Shane Anthony and his cast of Andrew Fraser, Cassie Hamilton, David Helman, Eddie Orton, Sam Plummer, Ross Walker and Tim Walker, spoken word is blended with contemporary dance that punctuates the power of the text.
OUR BLOOD RUNS IN THE STREET draws on the submissions and hearing transcripts from the NSW Parliamentary inquiry into Gay and Transgender Hate Crimes between 1970 and 2010 that was established on 19th September 2018 with the interim report filed on 26th February 2019. The multi-talented cast present the words of the victims and "family members, witnesses, historians, police officers, journalists, researchers" and even perpetrators to paint a picture of inner city Sydney where LGBTIQ people lived in fear for their lives and had little to no support, particularly from the people empowered to serve and protect. In order to make the work more than just a series of monologues, the stories are layered over contemporary dance that ranges from subtle movement punctuating speech to expressions of the unifying force of music and dance to more powerful expressions of stylized violence and rage.
Set and Costume Designer Veronique Benett has opted to present the work in a representation of a community hall to allow vertical variety with use of the raised stage and a ladder up the side wall along with the flexibility of doorways and minimal furniture of plastic chairs and a timber table on a linoleum floor. The costuming keeps the performers as average people allowing the stories and the movement to be the focus.
The stories can be harrowing and horrendous but hopefully, like the parliamentary inquiry, which has been re-opened by the 57th Parliament and currently accepting submissions, this work may help raise awareness of this awful part of our past help ensure that it is not allowed to happen again. The recent events in the lead up to the Marriage Equality vote proved that there are still pockets of hate and prejudice that manifested itself in the form of fear inducing activities and while the re-opened inquiry isn't changing the years in its scope, hopefully it will have the outcome of recommendations and actions that make a safer society for LGBTIQ people. Hopefully a broader audience than the LGBTIQ community and their supporters see this work to reinforce to those that may not currently accept that other people are different that it is never ok to inflict hate.
Photos: Jasmin Simmons