Thursday, July 25, 2024


Milk Crate Theatre
Director: Margot Politis
Roslyn Packer Theatre
September 13 – 17, 2022

As Dust has a short performance run, grab the opportunity, and see this latest work created and performed by Milk Crate Theatre’s community of collaborative artists and performers. Examining human relationship, regret and familial guilt Dust draws on, but imaginatively relocates, the isolation recently experienced by society.

The set designed by Margot Politis ingeniously offers us a deconstructed but evocative version of an outback country motel through a collage of suspended drapes and panels. Isolated by time and place, the handful of characters gathered in the motel, are further isolated by a massive dust storm – splendidly created by the sound and lightning team (Liam O’Keefe, Prema Yin) – and, as their stories emerge, we learn they are also trapped by the past.

The city which looms large in each story, acts almost as a character in the unfolding drama. Jeddi (Lana Filies), a convincingly passionate and contentious teenager, and an unwilling trainee assistant to her over-worked, over-anxious mother, Elixir (Kamini Singh), longs to visit the city where “real life” happens. Elixir nervously – suggesting therein lies a secret – but resolutely opposes Jeddi’s plans to experience the big smoke firsthand.

She calls on long-time resident, Willian (an endearing Matthias Nudl), to join her in persuading Jeddi to settle into the way of life her mother envisages. The gentle William, who prefers reading to confrontation, doesn’t support Jeddi but his hesitant manner suggests he has personal reasons to be distrustful of the glittering urbs.

Visiting the motel at the time, a girlhood friend of Elixir’s, Kirra (a warm Darlene Proberts), who has made a life and career for herself in the city, brings disruption with her. Elixir is not pleased to see Kirra believing that she betrayed both her and Kirra’s mother by going the city and resents what she correctly divines as Kirra’s support of Jeddi’s desire to shape her own destiny. Tension between the two women escalates when Kirra unintentionally reveals Elixir’s well-kept secret to her daughter.

The unexplained presence of Two Bob (the irrepressible Desmond Edwards), who appears with the storm, brings chaos and destructiveness into the lives of this group bound by their past to personal fear and regret. Comically aggressive, Two Bob gleefully overturns habitual untruths and provokes even the most resigned to protest. He has a message as the ensemble is released into fuller, more expansive lives.

Milk Crate is a leader in the practice of using art to help underprivileged people regain confidence and their sense of self, and actively participate in society, and Dust is a lovely example of what can be achieved through the power of performance.



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