Real tales of home, heart and hope
By Myron My
Boxes. When we’re children, we use them to make cubby houses. When we got older, we used them for moving. Sadly, some of us use them as homes when life throws us a curveball. Candlelight Productions in partnership with Servants Community Housing have worked together to bring to life stories relating to the idea of home and what it means for different people.
A lot of time and effort has gone into this show: from the simple yet highly effective set design, to the marketing and packaging of the program guide and the accompanying book which inspired the stories. In 2010, two Scotch College students, Anthony Antoniadis and Jeremy Kong, spent time getting to know the residents of Servants Community Housing and published Anthology: Stories of respect, dignity and hope. These stories help create a greater context in which to appreciate Outside The Box and really expand upon the notion of home and explore how it’s something we all yearn after.
The five actors – Adam Balales, Tarah Carey, Harlene Hercules, Ryan A. Murphy and Aaron Steele – have previously met with these residents and through various forms and styles, relay their stories to us. It takes a certain level of skill and sensitivity to be able to tell these stories with integrity and truth and the whole cast are exemplary in this. There are twenty acts/stories told in Outside The Box and the majority of them are captivating and warrant your attention, however I do feel some of them were a little too abstract to connect with.
Despite some stories working better than others, the actors’ commitment does not waver. I particularly enjoyed Murphy’s characterizations of Eddie and George and also Balale’s story of Jack. The latter was treated beautifully with flashbacks to his younger years, and the short yet poignant story of a soldier returning home was also quite touching.
On the surface, this group-devised performance is quite an enjoyable show but upon reflection it made me appreciate how fortunate and lucky I am to have a home and to not take for granted something as perceivably simple as a roof over my head. Outside the Box is an intense theatrical performance that helps you put your priorities in order.
Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Season: Until 31 August | Thurs-Sat 8:00pm, Sun 5:00pm
Tickets: $30 Full | $25 Conc
Bookings: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au or 8290 7000