Although Canberra’s wintery night lured us towards hot chocolate and early night, we managed to locate our thermal vests, leggings and socks, and set out across the deserted streets. We were surprised to find the car park of the Canberra theatre full. After much deliberation as to whether we should park in a permit zone, we found ourselves welcomed by a gathering of people inside the Canberra theatre foyer.
The set of Ngapartji, Ngapartji was simple yet effective – perhaps you could say it was reminiscent of an Australian countryside – it gave the impression of vast openness.
The Big hArt’s production Ngapartji, Ngapartji speaks the stories of the Central Desert Spinifex people, with a particular focus on the intimate stories of Trevor Jamison and his family.
A seasoned performer and born to entertain, Trevor Jamieson immediately managed to connect the audience, weaving his charisma and charm into an engaging and heart-rending personal tale of his families’ interactions with white people, culture and language throughout the ages.
The interaction with the audience gave the opportunity to be uniquely transported into the fabric of the story, immersing ourselves in the joy, sadness, grief and humor of Trevor’s stories. Ngapartjji, Ngapartji brought together two seemingly different cultures and connected them together by highlighting the importance of family, culture and humour. Giggles erupted as we were taught ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ in the Pitjanjatjara language.
The minimal use lighting complemented the play, and the soundscape added to the intimacy of the story.
With only another two nights playing at The Canberra Theatre Playhouse, Ngapartji, Ngapartji is definitely worth braving Canberra’s cold winter for a warming and powerful experience – that will leave you wishing the night was not over.
Vivienne and Samuel Schoubye