11/06/2019 - 15/06/2019
The Weekend is an emotional ride of laughter and hope, love, loss and a young family’s search for a new beginning.
“Henrietta Baird’s The Weekend is a rollercoaster of a play” – abc.net.au
Lara has only the weekend to track down her partner as she traverses the world of public housing, drug dealing and addiction.
Presented by Moogahlin Performing Arts, The Weekend is by first-time Sydney playwright Henrietta Baird. One woman embodying ten characters across 75 minutes hurtling the audience through the streets and public housing towers of Redfern-Waterloo.
The Weekend made its World Premiere at Sydney Festival 2019. Kia Mau Festival 2019 marks the New Zealand Premiere of this acclaimed solo show.
Moogahlin (Muu-gaarl-in) is a Yuin/Bundjalung word meaning to play, to fool about.
Moogahlin Performing Arts Incorporated was formed in Redfern N.S.W. in November 2007, in honour of the late Kevin Smith’s request, and in memory of the founding members of the Black Theatre.
Moogahlin supports both emerging and established Aboriginal performing artists, nurturing work created, produced and performed by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.
The Random Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.
Theatre , Solo ,
1 hr 15 min
Engages our hearts and minds to the max
Review by John Smythe 13th Jun 2019
The triptych of tall clean mirrors that faces us across the performance space seems to contradict the publicity promise of a “world of public housing, drug dealing and addiction” – especially when they become framed by beads of bright white light. But this, and the dance (Koorie Contemporary, I’m thinking) with which Shakira Clanton commences her solo performance, in a black top and purple tights, all make perfect sense in the end.
Henrietta Baird’s play, The Weekend, is a storytelling monologue delivered in the present tense. As directed by Liza-Mare Syron, a founding member of Moogahlin Performing Arts, the action and character-shifts are minimal yet Clanton’s Lara is always ‘on the move’ in her quest. A phone call from one of her two sons brings her back to Sydney from Cairns, where she has just started a new job, to track down their father, her partner, Simon, who has gone AWOL, leaving the boys hungry and helpless. What’s a mother to do?
Lara’s self-contained yet upbeat positivity, passion and innocence endear her to us, as she navigates the unfamiliar climes of Redfern’s high-rise underbelly, ever fearful that Simon is having affairs. Thus, along with Lara, it is the women we get to know – Roni the dealer, Courtenay the young addict, Roni’s sister Didi – as Baird’s superbly crafted insights into gender roles, status games and different kinds of addiction come to the surface.
Just when we think we have it sussed, and judge accordingly, another dimension is revealed. Who has the bum-bag and what’s in it becomes an increasing source of dramatic tension, especially when the mirror surrounds pulsate with the red-and-blue of police car lights and sirens sound (set design: Kevin O’Brien; lighting design: Karen Norris; sound design Nick Wales and Rhyan Clapham).
Whether endings are ‘happy’ or not is relative to your value system. There is plenty to ponder over how the personal and social circumstances we have witnessed came into being, and what may be in store for mum and the boys in their near and distant futures.
Meanwhile we have had the pleasure of sharing a very human experience that engages our hearts and minds to the max.
Moogahlin (Muu-gaarl-in) is a Yuin/Bundjalung word meaning to play, to fool about. With this play the concept of ‘fooling’ isn’t trivial. The depths of human experience plumbed by the classical clown, or fool, come to mind.
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