It is most annoying when you take a wrong turn, which is what we did on our way to see the La Boite Indie and the Nest Ensemble’s presentation of Home by Margi Brown Ash.
The wrong turn made us late enough to miss the beginning of the show. Not only do I hate to miss the beginning of any show, I had to hope there wasn’t a late-arrival lock-out time.
Fortunately there wasn’t with Home. I tried to remain as quiet and as inconspicuous as possible and really hoped my arrival would go unnoticed, but it didn’t when Ash let me and the rest of the audience know when she said in an add-lib moment that she would fill me in later on what I had missed.
There is no doubt that Home is a very welcoming piece of theatre, as Ash invited everyone into her world, her life, her home, and what it means to belong. The usual divide between performer and audience members didn’t exist in this show. Everyone played a part in Ash’s 60 years of life as she skillfully included audience members to play roles of some of the people she’s encountered throughout.
Some of the characters included her younger self at varying ages, family members, friends, and people who played important roles in her life. Timelines were blurred too, with past and present events intermingling—though it never at any time came across as being confusing.
Home has been co-devised with writer/performer Ash, director Leah Mercer, and composer/performer Travis Ash. It’s an upbeat show with Ash giving an outstanding performance and Travis providing wonderful contrast with comments on world-defining events and social issues mainly covering the last four decades of the 20th century.
Everyone was invited to the Devonshire Tea after the show where I found myself chatting with a young drama student who told me he had been in Australia for four years. He was saying how he had spent the time denying his culture, but after seeing the show today it made him realise how much he loved his culture and he would now celebrate and embrace it.
I could relate well with how he felt as I have spent most of my life hating particular physical features about myself. It has been through my association with the theatre community that I have come to celebrate and embrace those physical features.
I went to see Home as an audience member and ended up belonging to a larger family in which their/our home is the theatre. Ash said it best when said the power of the theatre changes lives. Home is a great piece of theatre that has that life-changing power.