WHICH WAY HOME
The past is always with us
Look at those trees. They’re Brigalow trees. We use the leaves for smoking. In winter when the dew settles in, it makes the trees sparkle white, like diamonds in the desert.
Tash and her Dad are going on a road trip. Home to country, where the sky is higher and the world goes on forever.
It’s a long way from the wide streets and big old houses of Tash’s childhood. Two Black faces in a very white suburb. Dad still thinks he’s the king of cool, but he’s an old fella now. It’s time for Tash to take him home.
WHICH WAY HOME draws on writer Katie Beckett’s personal memories of growing up with her single Aboriginal father.
65mins (no interval)
Supported by the Australian Government, through the Australia Council for the Arts, the Besen Family Foundation and Playwriting Australia, through the State Exchange program.
Writer/Performer Katie Beckett
Performer Tony Briggs
Director Rachael Maza
Dramaturge Jane Bodie
Producer Ben Graetz
Set & Costume Designer Emily Barrie
Sound Designer Mark Coles Smith
Lighting Designer Nik Pajanti
Production Manager Carly Heard
Stage Manager Kellie Jayne Chambers
Technical Assistant Nick Glenn
Photography Steven Rhall
Working with Katie Beckett on her first play, WHICH WAY HOME, has been an absolute joy. Katie’s generosity, courage, hard work and talent over the last couple of years has finally paid off. Now in the rehearsal room I have the pleasure of working with both her and the glorious, equally multi-talented Tony Briggs. It’s experiences like this that affirm why I love what I do!
Although this journey started a couple of years ago, WHICH WAY HOME couldn’t be more timely. We open the season just as the country is reeling from an infamous racist cartoon, which perpetuates the negative stereotyping of Aboriginal men as dysfunctional bad fathers and bad role models. A stereotype that our men have too long had to contend with.
This production is the perfect antidote. WHICH WAY HOME depicts an Aboriginal man who is loving, caring, funny and ultimately a very good father. This is a universal human story that transcends race, time and place. Most everyone can relate to having a father or a child.
I’d like to acknowledge the extraordinary creative team: Katie Beckett (Writer and Actor), Jane Bodie (Dramaturge), Emily Barrie (Set and Costume), Mark Coles-Smith (Sound Designer), Nick Pajanti (Lighting), Carly Heard (Production Manager), Kellie-Jayne Chambers (Stage Manager) and my amazing team at ILBIJERRI. Every production is a team effort and each member’s work plays an invaluable part in bringing our stories to the stage.
– Rachael Maza
I would like to thank my family, and in particular my wonderful son Mark Jarrett for his patience and understanding while Mummy goes to work. AND a major thankyou to my wonderful Dad, who is the best dad in the whole world. He has been my Dad, my Mum and my best friend (and also the best baby sitter – he is looking after my son so I could do this). Without him and his wise words and his unconditional love this play would not exist.
– Katie Beckett
ILBIJERRI would like to thank Katie, Tony, Jane and the full creative team for their incredible work over the last two years. We would also like to thank Beau and the team at Darebin Arts for supporting Katie’s debut play, our project funders – Australia Council, Besen Family Foundation, Playwriting Australia and the Ministry for the Arts (ILAP) and our core funders at City of Melbourne and Creative Victoria without whom none of this would be possible.
“The writing is perfectly pitched between humour and pathos and all throughout the dialogue has bite and texture.” ★★★★ – Owen Richardson, The Age, 2016
“The way the characters transform, revealing more and more of themselves up to the final moments is handled beautifully, with smooth transitions into and out of the past. This is not a show of high drama emotions; apart from a few flashes of exasperation or anger, it is a quiet study of two characters that draws you into them and makes you care.” – Michael Brindley, Stage Whispers, 2016
“It takes two powerful actors to hold an audience in the palm of their hands, when all there is on set are two people and a few crates, and this they did.” – Jen Lwin, Weekend Notes, 2016
11 January – 5 February 2017, Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney Festival
24 August – 3 September 2016, Northcote Town Hall