A performance today at the Davies Street tunnel under the railway explores the happiness of the experience of people coming to Australia, rather than the hardships they’ve endured.
(min cost $8)
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Five performers – Ali Ramin Bakhtiarvandi, Nyanchar Deng, Sadiki Mukasa, Syed Naseer Hashimi, Muhammad Raza Hassaini and Kath Morton – will be sharing moments of light in their lives, says Rose Turtle Ertler, who is the director and creator of Light At The End.
“You hear stories from refugees about their journeys, what life was like in their homelands; but I didn’t want to dwell on that, even though I knew they would come up as by-products. I wanted to focus on tiny little peaks, on heightened moments of light, of relief, of joy.”
Ms Ertler says the tunnel is a natural venue for the stories being told.
“I wanted to find a dark memorable venue. I wanted it to be about light in a dark space, because there is darkness, and we always talk about that; but I wanted to talk about the light. Someone suggested the tunnel, which was perfect. It’s conceptually perfect, but also physically, because the light at the end of it plays a really big part in the show, it’s the only light that we use.”
And while the tunnel isn’t effective as an acoustic performance space, Ms Erkler says that’s made up for by its filmic quality.
“The space doesn’t work acoustically, the audience will all wear headphones. The soundtrack is made up of short stories and anecdotes from the performers, and they’ve chosen a favourite piece of music, just to add some mood to the stories.”
The stories told are the performer’s moments of joy: a Congolese family being told they could leave the camp they were in; an Iranian man meeting his Australian ‘angels’ who befriended him after his detention on Christmas Island and in Melbourne.
Light at the End runs for 40 minutes. Tickets are $10, and can booked through trybooking or at the venue. There will be two performances on Saturday, at 11am and 12pm in the Davies Street pedestrian tunnel, as part of Cultural Diversity Week. Light At The End is supported by Regional Arts Victoria and RAR, rural Autralians for Refugees.
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