A fraught love story, with global issues and political themes told through the prism of personal stories. It carries a message that we are to learn from the lessons of the past and look to the future, and no matter our difference we should treat one another through dignity and respect.
The Fishmans are Jewish, and the Ka’adans are Muslim, and there are many things that separate them but the play is about what they have in common.
Each of the families have arrived in Sydney from Jordan, through different reasons and ways; The Fishmans, overshadowed by the Holocaust and the fighting in Israel and the Ka’adans, severely impacted by the Nakba. The talk is ‘dinner table racism’, when you’re among family and friends, unguarded, confident about expressing opinions because you assume everyone believes the same things that you do.
The two families sit at opposite ends of a large dinner table, but at some point the chairs all get mixed up and they sit amongst one another. They are eating and the table is laden with wonderful things.
“The Laden Table started as a passion project and came out of community collaboration, six women in the writing team engaging with local Jewish and Muslim Palestinian families .The actors have been involved in the development of the piece. With 12 in the cast, all culturally diverse, many of them have geographical and cultural links into the area,” explained the play’s director, Suzanne Millar.
There is a novel ending to The Laden Table, where “the audience comes and joins us on stage to eat the food. We have to kick them out an hour later, people have conversations with us instead of in the car on the way home,” added Millar.
Until Mar 25, various performance times. Kings Cross Theatre, Level 2, Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross. $25-$35. Tickets & Info: www.bakehousetheatrecompany.com.au
By Mel Somerville.