Brothers Wreck

Directed by Leah Purcell, this is a play about an indigenous family in Darwin written by indigenous playwright Jada Alberts starring an all indigenous cast. But it could be about any family anywhere. At its heart it is the story of how a senseless tragedy affects a family, the guilt and denial they suffer and how their love for each other strengthens the family. Opening with the the tropical heat of Darwin pervading the fibro & louvred window house, Adele (Rarriwuy Hick) wakes to the awful sight of family member Joe having hung himself the night before. Adele’s cousin Ruben (Hunter Page-Lochard), was with Joe but too drunk to notice what was about to happen nor to take any action. Jarrod (Bjorn Stewart) Adele’s boyfriend, cuts Joe down from the laundry ceiling where he has hung himself with Ruben’s fishing net. This senseless death hits Ruben hard and he drinks and smokes heavily, fuelled by his sadness at having done nothing to stop this death and potentially provided the method of death. To add to the misery the family is suffering, Adele’s mum (Ruben’s Aunt) is dying. Aunty Petra (Lisa Flanagan) drives up from Alice Springs to see her sister – and to try and help Ruben, now on parole and refusing to see his Aunty in hospital, who has looked after him sister his mother Lou died when he was a child. Ruben is required to see a counsellor, David (Cramer Cain), as part of his parole conditions but he finds it a waste of time. Ironically David’s experience of having one of his school students die by hanging, and his own feelings of helplessness at this tragedy, gives him a great understanding of Ruben’s guilt and pain. The performances are superb and the writing is as if you are listening in on this family’s conversations – although there are a few moments where the playwright is speaking rather than the character. Belvoir Street Theatre

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