Review By Adam Stepfner
Our Blood Runs In The Street is a verbatim, physical theatre piece about hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people in Australia. Presented by Chopt Logic, Red Line Productions and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, this is a powerful work sharing stories of those who lost their lives to these heinous crimes. Directed by Shane Anthony and featuring Andrew Fraser, Cassie Hamilton, David Helman, Eddie Orton, Sam Plummer, Ross Walker and Tim Walker.
The work was composed and devised by the company, based on real accounts, stories and transcripts related to hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people in the 70's leading up to the 2000's. The work is immensely powerful, with stories so horrifying it's almost hard to believe that these events actually happened. The company forces you to think and question as they expose the truth about parts of our nation's cultural identity.
Shane Anthony's direction perfectly blends physical theatre and hard-hitting verbatim, creating something that is pleasing visually and artistically, while still providing a thought provoking and intense portrait of hate crime culture. He works his actors perfectly as they harmoniously create insane visuals and movement sequences on stage, an impressive feat with 7 actors and an incredibly small space. As the story concludes he reminds us that these stories are real, by having actors post pictures on the back wall while listing the victims who lost their lives. It's a shocking reminder that this happened to real people, which I think can sometimes be forgotten when a verbatim piece is portrayed on stage, especially in a stylistic form like this. The cast is impressive, whether during a crazy movement sequence, a solo account of a victim or an ensemble moment the cast refuses to miss a beat. This piece packs a punch, and the cast does it well without compromising the sadness that comes with events like this.
Lighting by Richard Whitehouse enhanced the piece at all times, using shades of blue, pink and purple, really hardly any moment happened in full white light, which was perfect for the style of this piece. Veronique Benett's set and costume were simple but worked well
for the piece. Creating a stage within a stage, using simple set pieces such as chairs and tables, and a ladder which the actors used to climb and hang off, was a great choice for the show and space. Costumes were simple, suggestive and effective, not drawing away from the story. Sound by Nate Edmonson during movement sequences was a fantastic addition to the show.
Our Blood Runs In The Street is such an important work, and really must be seen by everyone in Sydney, which I know i've said before but seriously, go and see it. It really does hit you hard, but is so pleasing, with flawless work from the entire ensemble and creative team. This is a commentary on not only the LGBTQ+ community, but the Australian cultural identity, and how normalised this behaviour was and probably still is. Work as important as this really can't be missed, and it's just so fantastic that you'll have to witness it for yourself. Playing at The Old Fitz until March 21st.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.