Down to Earth - A Sense of Togetherness
My favourite time in history is the 19th century - the time when the industrial revolution made great progress but at a terrible cost to humans, many of whom lived in abject poverty and squalor. It’s hard to image the many months spent on a ship to get here coming to a land totally foreign and desperately trying to make a living in this dry often unforgiving country. Many didn’t survive. Yet communities were created which is the heart and soul of all of us. We all need a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging.
The style of Down to Earth is promenade theatre. It deliberately appeals to ages 10 and up and in doing so, much of the play is light hearted. The aim is to give the audience a glimpse into our past, to reach them through a journey of revelations, fun and many surprises. But the idea is to give a sense of community because ultimately that is what helped people survive. So we make rope together, we help each other deal with the evil creature, Black Anny. We’re given good honest tasks to help the farm survive and we sing together, drink together. Down to Earth is not a drama like my boys prison play Point of No Return (check out our upcoming tour dates here), but it is still about bringing people together in a rustic rural setting that is very different from our modern lives.
The farm at Werribee Park has been restored and is a historically little known under-utilised setting - the old homestead, Bellinger’s cottage, the implement shed, the old stables, the blacksmith’s hut and the men’s hut where the old bell is rung to signify the time for gathering to eat and socialise. We take our audiences into all these wonderfully rustic settings through our characters, Joe and Esther. I love performing at the old farm - the smells of the animals, dirt, old wood, the gentle wind whistling through the trees. Yet something is following us so we bunch up to be safe. Where’s our group protector? We will be needing one soon!
...Looking forward to doing it all again. February 9th.