An intimate exploration of immigration and identity, Kasama Kita unfolds as a drama of family, immigration and the inescapable ties of both. Written by Jordan Shea and fluidly directed by Erin Taylor, this is a heartfelt tribute to the experiences of Filipinos who came to Australia for opportunities and discovered more than they expected. Nancy, her brother Antero and their friend Cory arrive in 1970s Sydney as trainee nurses. Each discovers the strength of their moral compass: duty to self or family? And does that compass have a place in this new land of roller-skates and late-night carousing?
The minimal set design, music and lighting do much to enhance the production. Quick scenes blend together seamlessly, with clever scene changes that can add a spice of humour as well, and reveal much, such as a suitcase transforming into a hospital bed, taxi and back into a plain old suitcase.
Monica Sayers as Nancy is the authority of the three immigrants, nearly unwavering in her aim to excel. Kenneth Moraleda as her brother Antero offers campy and rueful comedy and Teresa Tate Britten (Cory) is unhesitating in her leap for a new life. The supporting cast playing various roles are Jude Gibson as a dour Matron and jolly barkeep, and Kip Chapman as a stoner and government lackey.
These three young hopefuls 45 years later, aging, successful, getting along, dying, are shown in the latter part of Kasama Kita. It’s about family, but also a reflection on the immigrant experience, from the past and into the present, and what family means in a new land.
Until Dec 7. Belvoir, 18 & 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $25+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.belvoir.com.au
Reviewed by Olga Azar