This is where we live | Paperbark Theatre Company

This is where we live | Paperbark Theatre CompanyLyrical yet not polemical.

Such is Vivienne Walshe’s award winning Australian play This is where we live.

The stream-of-consciousness style writing offers the audience a glimpse into an outback town where two unlikely teenagers are drawn together to combat institutions, perception, family and expectation. And do so through the most private reflections, contemplations; and ultimately confessions.

Yet this is not an unfamiliar narrative. Chloe (Shaelee Rooke) is a young woman teetering on a precipice – the veneer of bravado she unapologetically brandishes is her armour; yet when that is dismantled by Chris (Oliver de Rohan) the gentle, shy son of the schoolteacher neither are sure of how to respond to the issues that have been buried deep in the underworld of their experiences.

Both Rooke and de Rohan are accomplished actors giving committed performances that for the most part successfully brought to life Walshe’s carefully crafted vignettes. At times Rooke’s portrayal of Chloe verged on the melodramatic, the over-emphasis on the onomatopoeia disruptive and exaggerated accent unnecessary. However in contrast, de Rohan’s far more restrained yet equally powerful performance found its complement and together they showcased a gamut of not often displayed emotion, power dynamics and systems of control.

With only two chairs as props (two others seemed merely to have been placed for sitting purposes) the staging was mostly effective yet again often exaggerated actions rendered it almost cartoonish affecting the poetry of the work.

More than just a love story about Orpheus leading his Eurydice out of the small backwater town that is hell for them both this is a brave work that pushes the limits of what we expect when the familiar dissolves – and the unknown is within our reach. Effortlessly weaving Australian colloquialisms, uniquely local imagery and unlikely soul mates this is a beautifully crafted example of contemporary Australian playwriting.


Paperbark Theatre Company presents
This is Where We Live
by Vivienne Walshe

Venue: Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17) ​
Dates: Aug 9 – 10, 2014

Part of the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Most read reviews

SHIT | Drill Hall Theatre Company

Employing a minimal cast and set, garnering maximum momentum from the first words uttered, SHIT is cutting-edge theatre – succinct, provocative, evocative, packing a punch from the moment the three actors set foot upon the stage.

Cluedo! The Interactive Game | Brisbane Immersive Ensemble

The infamy of Cluedo has returned from it's board-game glory, finding a new home tucked away in the labyrinth of Baedecker in Fortitude Valley.

Made To Measure

There’s a lot to chew on in Made To Measure, Alana Valentine’s three-handed examination of finger pointing and tongue lashing regarding body shape and fat shaming.

Dreamland | NORPA

Connection to community is displayed in all its glory, with tears, laughter and a band that satisfies on every level.

American Psycho – The Musical | BB Arts & Two Doors Productions

This intense, hilarious, and unsettling romp satirically literalises the madness of the ‘80s capitalist fever-dream that birthed the nightmare of the increasingly iniquitous world we are now living in.

Most read news

Liz Jones announced as recipient of 2019 Sue Nattrass Award

Live Performance Australia is pleased to announce Liz Jones AO as the recipient of this year’s Sue Nattrass Award.

Nakkiah Lui announced as the 2018 STC Patrick White Playwrights Fellow

Sydney Theatre Company announced last night that Nakkiah Lui is the 2018 STC Patrick White Playwrights Fellow.

Hamilton to premiere in Sydney 2021

Hamilton will make its Australian premiere at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in a new production beginning March 2021.

Sign up for our newsletter

* indicates required