PHOTOGRAPHY, music and theatre come together this July to highlight stories rarely seen, shedding light on a destructive and demoralising way of life.
Presented by Life on Hold Productions at the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts, The Other Side takes audiences through a photographic exhibition, matched with carefully selected music, before culminating in a play about Kate.
Kate is a troubled woman who has suffered a great tragedy and is portrayed during different stages of her life by three actors.
Directed by Siobhán O’Gara, the play shows how Kate arrived at her tragedy, her experience of living it and how the event affected her years later.
“It describes the life and trials of one homeless woman, who represents a whole class in our society that is often ignored, forgotten or overlooked,” O’Gara said.
“Her life is not beautiful but it’s everywhere around us – but do we see it?
“The play gives voice to the hopelessness, despair and loneliness.
“With three talented actors playing the different stages of the same character, the challenge is to establish and maintain the credibility of that character through all points of her life.
“It’s also important to avoid sensationalising the issue of homelessness and to present the story in a way that elicits sympathy and understanding for the character – and of the condition.”
O’Gara has a wealth of theatrical experience behind her, founding the Brisbane Irish Theatre Players in 1990, working with the Canberra Irish Community Theatre in the mid-90s and the Old Mill Theatre from 1998 as a director, stage manager and lighting and sound operator.
Since moving west, she has also co-directed After Dinner and Beyond Therapy at Playlovers, stage-managed Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and A Laughing Matter at the Dolphin Theatre and directed The Mozart Faction at Melville Theatre.
In 2007 and 2012, O’Gara received best director nominations for Necessary Targets and Parramatta Girls at the annual Finley Awards.
“I love plays and scripts that speak to the human condition and are steeped in social reality,” she said.
“Homelessness is a growing issue in our society and does not discriminate between professionals, the educated or dispossessed and is a leveller in an uncaring world.”
Sarah Christiner, the driving force behind Life on Hold Productions, plays one of the Kates.
“The Other Side was inspired by The House of Eternal Return by Meow Wolf in Santa Fe,” she said.
“It’s a performance and art space secreted away in a house that’s a maze, full of mystery and magic, showcasing visual and performing artists.
“We’re aiming for something similar by bringing various aspects of the arts together to tell stories in a way that most of us will never otherwise see them.
“All aspects of this event, whether it’s music, performance or photography, share a thematic motif, to expose audiences to a perspective of life they wouldn’t experience unless they lived it themselves.”
The Other Side plays at 7.30pm July 13, 19 and 26 and 6pm and 8pm July 20 and 27. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book at www.trybooking.com/BCRNK. Photos on display will be available for sale.
The Victoria Park Centre for the Arts is 12 Kent Street, East Victoria Park.
other1: Sarah Christiner plays Kate in her late teens through to her late 20s in The Other Side.
other2: In The Other Side, Meredith Hunter plays Kate in her 30s to 40s, struggling with parenthood and maintaining a marriage while also battling her inner demons.
other3: Kate in her 50s and 60s is played by Jane Sherwood, a product of events that occurred to the previous two versions.
other4: The Other Side focuses on the troubled Kate, played by three actors during different stages of her life: Sarah Christiner, left, Meredith Hunter and Jane Sherwood.