21 February 2018
Christ Church, St Kilda
to 23 February
If you had to leave your home, what would you take with you?
The members of SPARC Theatre asked this of themselves and their audiences as they reimagined the Ancient Greek comedy The Birds.
The Greek Mythological Boat Show is a reflection of their own experiences and those of their families, many who came to Melbourne from Greece in the 1950s and 60s. What did they bring with them? What parts of their culture, beliefs, hopes and fears do their children and grandchildren still keep.
SPARC Theatre is a company of diverse performers supported by the Port Phillip council. Many members experience barriers to social and cultural participation, including long-term psychiatric disability and/or acquired brain impairment.
This story started by imagining what would happen if St Kilda were destroyed by Timmy, a bore of a bully fuelled by toxic masculinity, and they had to leave their homes. With birds, songs, personal memories and imagined stories, this new epic tale felt at home in Christ Church in St Kilda – even more so as the church's stained glass and ornate everything were decorated to feel like a family backyard with clotheslines and everyone being welcomed with a Greek biscuit and a cup of tea. Everyone's stories are as important and meaningful as those made into plays or celebrated in stained glass.
Sure, Harry Potter was brilliant, but it didn't come near to the joy of being part of an experience where SPARC members got to tell their stories to family, friends and strangers.
And, like some of the members, I'd also take my pets and extra water.