The Mack, Sam Watson’s first foray into writing for the theatre, is positioned by him as a story of Aboriginal culture, as well as the path one man must tread to become a social and spiritual leader. Director Ian Brown also conceives it as a political piece, a play “about struggle and survival” as he puts it in the program, which ultimately finds a very poignant, positive ending to a recognisable tale.
The Mack as a picture of the life and politics of the Aboriginal people today, combines naturalistic portrayal of family with comic relief from the Tourette’s Syndrome suffering Goorie’s tendency to speak his mind, and the rich, resonant visual representation of the spiritual world which sits in parallel with the families inner Brisbane lives. While it was at times difficult to delineate transitions and relationships in the earlier naturalistic scenes, the comic relief at tenser moments was well-received by the opening night audience, and the sound-and-movement images of the spiritual world toward the end were dense and eery, and were probably the most compelling layer of The Mack for me. Sam Conway as Peacey gave solid, grounded focus to the work, Rhonda Purcell as Birdie was energised and engaging, and while Simon Hapea took time to take the power of the Moogi Man character, his performance as the comic Goorie proved a favourite with the audience. With the rest of the cast, they helped bring that audience into the sense of community and shared story Watson has set out to create with The Mack.
Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts presents
by Sam Watson
Venue: Performance Space | Judith Wright Centre
Dates: Wed 14 - Sat 31 Mar
Times: Tue - Sat @ 7.30pm; Matinees: Sat 17, 24 & 31 Mar @ 2.00pm
Tickets: Full Price Web $24.50, Phone & Door $26.50; Conc. Web $19.50, Phone & door $21.50
Bookings: Monday to Friday 12 noon - 4pm. 07 3872 9000 or www.judithwrightcentre.com