The rural life can be a lonely one, but back in the 1960s one Northern Rivers farmer brought the world into his living room via his ham radio. The farmers call sign was Electric Lenin and his comrades shared with him a passionate ideal; that communism was the answer to the worlds problems.
Electric Lenin is the name of NORPAs latest production, inspired by this farmers life and exploring themes of forgiveness and regret. Written by local writer Janis Balodis, Electric Lenin uses an ambitious mix of text, live and recorded music, performance and digital imagery.
Composer Barry Conyngham, also a Lismore resident, has created the score for the production and four musicians on stage add even further depth to the layers of imagery.
In theatre you are always trying to grab peoples imagination and push boundaries, said director Patrick Nolan of the innovate mixture of mediums at work. And the great thing about theatre is that you can use all the different media from projected video images to one person singing alone on stage.
Patrick describes Electric Lenin as a tender and touching story with beautiful music and extraordinary design from Kathryn Sproul, who brings the stage of Lismore City Hall to life as an old Queenslander.
Its a story about forgiveness and a man who feels he has wronged his wife, said Patrick. Samuel was so consumed by his communist ideals, but when his wife dies the guilt comes home to rest. On this one night he looks back over his life and wonders if he has lived it as good as he could have.
Samuel is played by baritone Jason Barry-Smith while mezzo soprano Gaye MacFarlane performs the part of his departed wife, Anna.
Electric Lenin is being performed at Lismore City Hall from Wednesday to Friday, November 22-24, at 8pm. Tickets are $30/25/15. For bookings phone 6621 5600 or visit www.norpa.org.au.
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