30 October 2006

Some Faces You Know

MELBOURNE FRINGE 2006
Some Faces You Know
Ozanam House

14 October 2006
Festival Hub

Some Faces You Know is an outdoor puppet show presented in a cold back alley. This is relevant theatre, sharing authentic and moving stories about people we tend to ignore.

The production is presented by residents at Ozanam House, a crisis accommodation service, and participants of Ozanam Community Centre, a drop in centre for homeless and marginalised people.

They have been involved in a Community Cultural Development (CCD) project, supported by funding from the City Of Melbourne and Arts Victoria. CCD is what used to be called community arts, a practice where the creative process is as important as the final product. Working with artists over four months, the Ozanam House community have created a show that lets us share their stories, their hopes and their dreams. Using a combination of statistics and real stories, it successfully challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about the homeless.

The chosen format of shadow, suit and banner puppets allows participation regardless of previous skill and enables stories to be shared without being put under the personal and direct gaze of the audience.

The choice of venue is perfect. This cold dark alley would normally be actively avoided by the Fringe audience, but we are led in to see that is has been transformed into a welcoming and beautiful space. The extreme Melbourne weather continually reminding us that this is not always such a nice place to hang out.

The joy of open access fringe programs is that this type of show is as valued as the most refined professional production. Presenting it as part of the Fringe has brought a new and welcome audience to this style of project. Some Faces You Know is a genuinely creative, engaging and moving work of theatre that deserves to be seen.

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