Cutting edge theatre from Norpa

What does it say about a society when a football team can engage in a group sex session with a young woman and the incident can be explained away with an apology on TV?

What does it say about our culture that one in three women aged over 18 have experienced physical violence since they were 15?

According to Norpa artistic director Julian Louis it says a lot and it makes complex and interesting fodder for cutting edge, confronting theatre.

Julian said the team at Norpa has gone out on a limb this year, with the first show for 2010 a thought-provoking theatre piece by Version 1.0 called This Kind Of Ruckus.

Version 1.0 brought Deeply Offensive and Utterly Untrue to Lismore last year, and in This Kind Of Ruckus the theatre company tackles issues of power, control, gender and violence.

“It keeps issues like that in a public forum… it’s not leaving them within the walls of homes and in welfare centres,” Julian said. “We love our sport, but are we brave enough to face up to the undercurrent of violence against women that can be ignored or even applauded in the name of hero-worship?

“It’s placing those issues front and centre and making us think about the world and the society we live in.”

Julian said he believes local audiences will appreciate the calibre of the show.

“I take big risks bringing shows like this to Lismore – it would be a lot easier and less work bringing Menopause the Musical or Elvis Presley to town. I don’t want to dis them but this is not escapism entertainment – this is engaging and having a dialogue with the audience about things that are current in our culture,” he said. “I think we have a really switched on audience socially and politically here in the Northern Rivers so I’m trying to appeal to those minds. It’s a hard road for us to take, but we feel it’s worth it because this is the most exciting work being made in theatre at the moment. It’s crackingly intelligent theatre.”

This Kind Of Ruckus is being performed next Friday, March 12, at 8pm at Lismore City Hall. For tickets, visit www.norpa.org.au or phone 1300 066 772.


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