Premiering in the eve of the Global Strike for Climate Charge, What Am I Supposed To Do? (WAISTD) is an immersive performance piece challenging the forces behind our (particularly Australia's) apathy around the devastating reality of climate change.
Part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, WAISTD is the latest work by Deep Soulful Sweats. A piece created by Rebecca Jensen and Sarah Aiken and described by Jensen as having the "entire audience move through collage of drama, movement and narrative."
Walking into the theatre the lighting is low, the seating entirely covered in plastic compelling the audience to stand around the top railings. Its immediately apparent this is not to be comfortable, passive evening of entertainment.
The following hour or so has the audience divided up, ushered onto the stage. Broken into groups and then allocated different roles. Direction is in real time.
There are men in meetings deciding how best to profit from nature's beauty. These decisions are challenged by a group of "angry trees", protesting at their wholesale destruction.
Then there are the ordinary people enjoying the outdoors, being by the sea. Selfish in their use, ignorant of their impact on the nature they have come to enjoy. There is colour, there is movement and there is music.
The stage is busy, a lot going on but at times there is so much activity it is not always possible to understand your role in the overall narrative.
There is earnest intent here. Being both participant and audience forces a level of engagement that is physical and immediate, enjoyable and challenging. However it does feel that the nature of the "theatre of performance" is more important than the content of its message.
The massive crowds that filled the streets of Australian cities this Friday passed quite literally demonstrate that there is a loud call for change, not vaguely somewhere down the line but right now!
What Am I Supposed To Do? ...there is your answer?
Arts Centre Melbourne in association with Melbourne Fringe present
What Am I Supposed To Do? (WAISTD)
by Sarah Aiken & Rebecca Jensen / Deep Soulful Sweats
Venue: Fairfax Studio |
Dates: 18 – 22 September 2019