What does it mean to be a whistleblower in this day and age? Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy Of The People has been adapted by Melissa Reeves for the Belvoir stage.
In a town wanting to preference economic stability over social considerations, Katherine Stockman (Kate Mulvany) makes the discovery that the famous town water is toxic. In trying to bring the truth to light, she faces incredible adversity from within her previously supportive community.
“It’s a contemporary look at an Australian country-town that is undergoing a huge moral crisis about its own survival. It’s a microcosm of what we are seeing worldwide at the moment,” says Catherine Davies, who plays Randine.
“We have so much info at our hands that the desire to act is so present that you have to be willfully ignorant to not be aware of social issues that are happening. But we have seen many examples of how whistleblowers are discredited and treated.”
Adapted to feature a female protagonist, the play examines how it is women in particular who are silenced, undermined and discredited in their attempt to reveal the truth.
“It’s interesting to look at what a real threat is and what we do when we’re threatened as a majority,” says Davies. “Sometimes an immediate suffering might mean a greater long-term benefit but we tend to be quite short-sighted in our decision making.”
Until Nov 4. Upstairs Theatre, 18 & 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $37-$77+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.belvoir.com.au
By Emily Shen.