Rural Australians for Refugees put on a show

FULL VOICE: The cast of Galah rehearse the one-act play ahead of performances at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
FULL VOICE: The cast of Galah rehearse the one-act play ahead of performances at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

A Ballarat playwright will bring his award-winning performance to the city for a one-off show in support of refugees.

John Bolger first wrote Galah more than a decade ago, but after the script spent time locked away in a draw, he has finally dusted it off for the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Now the satirical production will be on show at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute from 8-9.30pm on August 5.

Although the performance itself is not related to asylum seekers, the cash raised from the event will go to Rural Australians for Refugees Ballarat.

Involved in the performance are the three NSW actors, Mr Bolger who also stars and directs, and a technician and musician, who are both from Ballarat.

Mr Bolger said Galah explores the experiences people have and what they learn from them.

“It explores the notion of people’s learning,” he said.

“We go through experiences and how much do we learn from them?

“Some people learn but some people do not – it is about people and their relationships.”

The three NSW-based performers and Mr Bolger first discussed the play when looking for the ideal performance to take to the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Once Galah was selected, it took another six months to workshop with the cast and crew and cut it back to an hour for the festival.

Since then it has also one awards at the Macedon One Act Play Festival, including best play, best director, best actor and best supporting actor.

Mr Bolger said there had initially been a lot of material to work with.

“We had to fashion it down a bit, which took more than six months,” he said.

“But we hung in there and stuck at it and got something everyone is very happy with.”

Mr Bolger’s wife, Wendy, who is Rural Australians for Refugees member said changes to VISA laws would place more asylum seekers in need of support.

“Fundraisers like this are getting more important because the government’s safe haven enterprise visa means there are going to be more and more asylum seekers and refugees being brought into regional areas,” she said.

“The play itself has nothing to do with the refugees, but it is an opportunity to get a larger public audience to come have an evening out, and at the same time, the money goes to supporting refugees in the Ballarat area.

“Hopefully there will be some conversation at the end of the evening regarding what refugee support is involved with in Ballarat.”