Based on Australian historical events, The Visitors is set on the shores of Gadigal land in January 1788. The play explores the perspective of the Aboriginal elders before the arrival of the First Fleet.
Muruwari Australian playwright, Jane Harrison who had previously written Stolen and Rainbow’s End, adds a modern twist to her new play, The Visitors. Harrison had previously explored in her plays, the struggles facing generations of Aboriginal women and children in being accepted into white Australian society. However, unlike her other plays, Harrison had demonstrated an interesting representation of Aboriginal history, told from the perspectives of the elders. The elders are portrayed as educated lawmakers, dressed in suits, rather than in the traditional indigenous outfits that you would expect.
The play primarily revolves around a comedic dialogue between seven Aboriginal elders as they meet to decide whether the strangers should be welcomed or encouraged to leave. It is an important play, a play that acknowledges that there needs to be a greater representation of Indigenous Australian voices in Australian fiction in order to understand the possible ways to move forward.
This is a must-see in 2020!
January 22- 26. Bay 20, Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh. $39-$45+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.moogahlin.org
By Kirsta Cheung.