|Kin | Malthouse Theatre|
|Written by Jan Chandler|
|Sunday, 30 September 2007 14:12|
Photo - Jeff Busby
Kin opens with the boys gathering for a jam session. There is general banter and chatter before they pick up their instruments and strut their stuff; and their stuff is good. So good that I at first thought perhaps they were miming to pre-recorded music. The drummer and lead guitarist are outstanding, demonstrating amazing natural talent.
Then the boys discover a smoking, broken down, old car and this becomes the 'stage' for the rest of the performance. Playing with a variety of genres – rap, traditional dance, spoken word and movement - they dance over and around the car, seek refuge within it, gather on it to share stories of past and present - petrol sniffing, learning about culture, domestic violence, racism, and the power of country. I was particularly moved by the rap rendition of the 1962 Aboriginal Charter of Rights, written by Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker):
We need help, not exploitation,
The performance ends with moving and beautifully evocative images of the importance of culture and country.
Stephen and David Page have worked with the natural talents of each of their performers to create a work that is full of energy and full of heart. The performers may be young and relatively inexperienced (they range in age from 10 to 14), however under the guidance of their elders they demonstrate real talent as musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers. The themes and issues may be theirs but they are not limited to young people. Kin offers something for everyone, young and old, Indigenous and non Indigenous, performers and audience. It is as professional and engaging as the best adult theatre and never didactic.
Kin is moving and poetic theatre and the young performers are people to watch in the future. I'd like to list all their names but they know who they are and their performances were truly deadly.
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