Sunday morning ~ theatre notes

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday morning

And I'm still standing! Quelle amazing! I can't match The Boyd's 30 shows - I have very definite limits before everything begins to break down - but I saw a fair proportion of MIAF 2008 all the same, and blogged my fingers raw. The last of my reviews (the exquisite That Night Follows Day) will go up tomorrow, when it appears in the Australian. And I'll do a wrap-up in a couple of days, when the dust has settled. I've had many interesting conversations over the past fortnight that have sparked a fair bit of sober thought, and I feel compelled to share it with you all.

I finished my festival on a blast with last night's performance of The Black Arm Band's Hidden Republic - a brilliant concert from beginning to end, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra powering up incredible performances from some of our most spine-tingling Indigenous singers, from Ruby Hunter and Lou Bennett to Archie Roach and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, in a joyously literal celebration of racial harmony.

It was more than just a concert. It was, as a friend said afterwards, a ritual: a summoning of hope and possibility, a mourning and expiation, a gift of huge spiritual generosity, a Damn Good Time. The evening was punctuated with readings from Oodgeroo Noonuccal's poem Song of Hope. Kutcha Edwards got up and listed his 17 dead relatives, each a stone he kissed and threw with a clang into a bin, and then sang: Is it only a dream? Tell me it's not just a dream... Let's make it more than a dream. For those two hours, it was more than a dream. And this morning, it seems frankly gutless not to hope.

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