From The Rubble: Perth Theatre Company

Since moving to Australia I have been very moved how people react to the conflict happening outside of the Western world. Some people are angry and want change and do anything they can, some people are hideously apathetic and some people really want to tell the stories of the people and change the perception of people through that medium. From the Rubble, inspired by the work of journalist Sophie McNeill, is hoping to do the later.

from the rubble

From the Rubble tells the stories of children, families and women who are affected by war and large-scale conflict, and how they deal with the situations they are in and their efforts to try to maintain a feeling of hope.

From The Rubble is an original piece from Perth Theatre Company, directed and developed by Melissa Cantwell and it explores stories told by Sophie McNeill about the lives of people living in war-torn countries, using light, sound and paper.

It is without a doubt a moving piece, I sat and felt tears running down my face at many times throughout the performance. The subject matter, combined with the lighting and sound was phenomenal. They’re drive for innovation and contemporary outcomes was demonstrated very well. At one point we were shown a paper women finding her dead husband in the rubble. It was soft and stunning to watch.

In theory, From the Rubble is an engaging, moving show and 95% of it was. But it was lacking the roundedness that Perth Theatre Company’s work from the last two years has had. I was looking for more interaction between footage from Sophie and storyline. I also missed the linear path of the storyline. Without it, I felt it was missing some structure.

Mikala Westall stole the show. Her movement and focus was breathtaking and Melissa’s direction of the on stage interactions really bought the performance together. Mei Saraswati’s voice is show stopping. The use of her voice to focus parts of the performance was perfect; the juxtaposition of using vocals to set a scene telling the story of people who don’t have a voice to exercise was quite poetic.

From The Rubble is on at PICA from the 16th of March through to the 28th.
More info can be found here.

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