Pecan Summer's ray of sunshine through songTheatre About Town
Deborah Cheetham's Pecan Summer is the perfect anti-venom to the recent viruses we've been exposed to on television.
Forgive me for drawing a long bow but I wouldn't be surprised if, during Kevin Rudd's formal apology to the Stolen Generation, Lara Bingle was busy just "Being" and the cast of The Shire were crashing and cruising the streets and surf of Cronulla.
Sorry Day is where Pecan Summer, the first indigenous opera, ends and sitting in the Heath Ledger Theatre hearing Rudd's speech being played over a symphonic score courtesy of 24 members of the Perth Symphony Orchestra brought many to tears (yes even ugly crying in some parts).
The story, written and composed by Cheetham, portrays an indigenous story in a contemporary setting and the collision of opera and one of Australian's darkest chapters - the Stolen Generation - was jarring in some parts, hilarious in others and poignant and educational in its entirety.
One thing this story highlights is the Aboriginal sense of humour – it's sharp, it's biting, it's dark and it's brilliant.
A highlight is the cameo of clueless 'Real Housewives of Aboriginal Mission X' which is something to behold as a young Alice, "Pecan" as she was known to her family before she was forcibly removed and indoctrinated into the "white way of life".
The fact that a drunk, hipster who shares a striking similarity to Kevin James is shut down by grown up Alice early in the piece adds another comical element.
"I gave birth to a daughter, did you help me with that?" she deadpans as drunk and dumber yells something stereotypical about "handouts".
The humour is what this privileged white girl reviewer can only assume is what helped the various Aboriginal cultures survive the hardship of the 1939 Cummeragunja Mission – where the Pecan Summer story is set.
The opera chronicles the walk-off where 200 Aboriginal men, women and children crossed the Murray River to survive the drought and defy their persecutors.
Pecan Summer is showing at the Heath Ledger Theatre and closes Saturday, September 8.
Get your now from BOCS.