Stories of brutal historical gay hate crimes perpetrated in Sydney in the closing decades of the 20th century, and their dismissal by law enforcement of NSW, are slowly trickling into mainstream media. Murders once put aside as muggings, suicides and misadventure are now being revisited via an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into those crimes.
Directed by Shane Anthony with an ensemble cast, the documentary theatre piece Our Blood Runs In The Street and its gathered tales never quite gain the momentum to deliver the impact these stories demand.
The words of Our Blood Runs In The Street have been gathered from police reports, victim statements, interviews with survivors and other sources, assembled to create a picture of the times. The experiences and the terrible circumstances that led to the LGBTQ+ community, already targeted as deviant expendables, forced this community to distrust any avenue of justice.
In the first part of the performance, much energy is devoted to stylised movements that serve to distract from the powerful spoken words, then seem to fade out. The words are strong enough alone and don’t need the jerky motions, although other choreography works better such as in a scene of violence.
This show points to much-awaited change, and had the participation of some people associated with the NSW police. At a recent after-show Q&A it was encouraging to see LGBTQ+ and police on the panel, and people featured in the show in the audience.
It is important to remember and honour those victims; Our Blood Runs In The Street is more of a work of performance activism and for that it can’t be faulted.
Until Mar 21. The Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo. $35-$45+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.redlineproductions.com.au
Reviewed by Olga Azar