• Written by Angelina Hurley, PhD candidate, Griffith University
The play is a window into the living room of an Indigenous family. Image by Stephen Henry Stephen Henry/Brisbane Festival

From Darkness, directed by Isaac Drandic, La Boite Theatre

From Darkness is the story about the aftermath of sorry business – Aboriginal rituals that are observed during a period of mourning. It looks at how, on the first anniversary of a loved one’s death, a family is coping with their loss.

Since losing his brother Vinnie to suicide, 17-year-old Preston (Benjin Maza) has been having dreams. He is regularly visited by Vinnie’s spirit who embraces his journey through sorrow and encourages him to move on.

Playwright Steven Oliver may be best known by some for his work on the ABC series Black Comedy, but in Brisbane he is known for his 20-year career in comedic performance, acting, stand up, writing – and his outbursts of ad-libbed singing. Referred to here as walking slapstick (though he prefers “walking clapstick”), he is well known to us.

To know Oliver as an artist is to know spontaneity, as the row of migaloos (white fellas) in the front row of the reviewed performance found out when the first bout of not-so-subtle giggling came out of the darkness from Oliver himself.

It is great to see and hear this happy engagement from creators themselves. In this case the delight flowed easily into the audience. From the introductory dialogue, the audience were hooked in.

The stage was adorned with a cast of both emerging and renowned Indigenous talent. Directed by Isaac Drandic, From Darkness provides audiences with an honest voice and an Indigenous perspective in this space. We see, via our own collective understanding and experience in death and loss, how a variety of emotions and reactions play out in tragic circumstances.

On the anniversary of his brother’s death, 17-year-old Preston, is visited by spirits while he sleeps. Stephen Henry/Brisbane Festival

Preston has nightmares, beautifully represented by a blue psychedelic short film sequence that is projected on the screen at the back of the stage. We see his internal pain and struggle play out physically.

Nanna Lou (Roxanne McDonald) is fierce, demanding answers at the same time as she lays blame.

The sorrow felt by Eric (Colin Smith) is too much to bare and so is hidden and buried deep beneath denial.

Abigail (Lisa Maza) is so devastated that she screams she would rather “feel pain, than guilt”, then turns to the temporary and external comfort of drinking.

Akira (Ebony McGuire) not only suffers the loss of a brother, but also the loss of the love and support from the family around her.

And still, despite his pain, Preston is a tower of strength who calmly and maturely keeps it together for everyone around him.

Players and creators of From Darkness.

From Darkness is a window directly into the lounge room of us as Indigenous peoples. Who we are and how we live is presented here as being as valid as the experience of anyone else.

Don’t we all miss people in different ways? Don’t we all love, laugh, and fight?

There is some swearing in the show and this might be confrontational for some audience members, but it is not enough to make you shy away from the production. It’s use is in context and appropriate because of the harsh reality of the situation the family are in.

As my mother sat next to me laughing out loud along with the rest of the audience at the interaction between mother Abigail and daughter Akira and their fight over a mobile phone, I was glad to see scenarios of conflict were met with both laughter and sadness by all.

A script full of Oliver’s trademark rolling commentary and black jokes eased the harsh and all-too-common reality of sorry business for me.

The cherry on the cake was watching an exiting audience wiping away tears to the backing track of Let’s Stay Together by Al Green. Nice touch, brother Steven.

From Darkness is at La Boite Theatre for Brisbane Festival until September 28

Angelina Hurley does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Authors: Angelina Hurley, PhD candidate, Griffith University

Read more http://theconversation.com/from-darkness-review-family-loss-and-sorry-business-that-invokes-laughter-and-tears-123353

A Guide to Buy Home Appliances on Budget

A new home comes up with the need for new appliances, but where should one begin? Check our list that lets you find what you need first. Congratulations on getting your new dream home! If this is you...

News Company - avatar News Company

How to Create A Legal Will Online

A will is an essential legal document that clearly states the desires of someone after the person passes away. With a will, you can successfully choose the beneficiaries of your properties and e...

News Company - avatar News Company

Roborock Launches Long Lasting Cordless Stick Vacuum

Leading technology and robotics company Roborock has launched the first cordless vacuum cleaner in the world to use a Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery. Roborock’s H6 uses a lightweight battery w...

Belinda Luby - avatar Belinda Luby

Why It’s A Good Idea to Plan for Your NDIS Meeting

For those wanting to find the supports they need for their disability, the NDIS is an excellent way to receive a tailored plan to help you manage your circumstances in the best way possible. Whe...

News Company - avatar News Company

Why writing down your thoughts is beneficial

In times of sadness, you often wish to write down everything coming in your mind. You think about different things to get out of sadness, like calling your beloved ones or going out. These ideas...

Paresh Patil - avatar Paresh Patil

Digital currency and online trading

First of all, digital currency refers to a currency that is traded as electronic data that does not have banknotes or coins. When it comes to data, you might wonder if you can send Bitcoin as if yo...

Thomas Carey - avatar Thomas Carey

AVOID THESE COMMON MISTAKES WHEN SENDING MONEY ONLINE

What if people saved just a few dollars on each of the thousands of money transactions people make every year? With the ongoing globalisation and widely available internet connection we tend to con...

News Company - avatar News Company

Discount Drug Stores introduce drive thru services for customers

With COVID-19 presenting more challenges than ever for customers needing to access pharmaceutical services, Discount Drug Stores has expanded its drive-thru option at select stores to provide a flex...

Red Havas - avatar Red Havas

Fun beginner hobbies (that need no skill)

When I was in my very early teens, I was convinced I was put on this planet to become the next Bruce Lee. After begging my parents for lessons, I eventually joined no less than four different ma...

Jennifer Martinez - avatar Jennifer Martinez

Viw Magazine

Taking A Look Into The World Of Single Dating

No-one dreams of being alone one day, there isn’t a little girl or boy hoping to never meet someone and living their lives with no-one to share it with. We all want that person we can run to, count on in tough times, and be the first one we t...

News Company - avatar News Company

Free Educational Apps for Students

Before improved technology, smartphones were viewed as bad habits in the lives of the students. No parent nor teachers wished their students to access phones because their education would be severely affected. However, with time, mobile app dev...

Elizabeth Horrell - avatar Elizabeth Horrell

Financial Frustration - 5 Things To Consider Before Touching Your Super After The COVID-19 Crash

Though your main focus throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has likely been the health and welfare of your friends, family, and the community at large, you’ve probably also noticed that your super account has taken a hit. Additionally, the govern...

News Company - avatar News Company



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion