Review By Marita Miles
If you had two minutes to say anything, what would you say? The Time is Now examines the feelings and experiences of a group of young people navigating the world and all its intricacies. It discusses issues which are at the forefront of the younger generation’s minds and does not hesitate to slap you in the face with their truth. La Boite is known for producing outstanding original pieces of Australian theatre and this was no exception.
Walking around outside the Roundhouse Theatre both before and after the show is always a joy. The fairy lights and billboards advertising the upcoming seasons make you feel warm and fuzzy. The opening night excitement reverberated throughout the dispersed crowd as friends, colleagues and family members enjoyed jubilant chatter over a complimentary beverage and some (truly delicious) pizza.
As the audience filtered into the theatre to get settled in, the cast had already taken the stage. They were wandering around, drawing and writing in chalk, sharing laughs, and waving at their friends and family. Immediately, you knew this was going to be a very personal show where everyone is both welcomed and welcoming.
Developed in collaboration with trailblazing arts organisation All The Queen’s Men and co-created by Ari Palani, Aleea Monsour and David Burton, the show is centred around the advocation for a new version of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document, signed 30 years ago, was written without consult of any children. The Time is Now wants to change that.
The cast of ten teenagers, aged 12-18, were phenomenal. It was announced at the start of the performance that the piece was created using the words, feelings, and ideas of the children performing it. It was clear from the get-go that these guys were smart, driven, passionate and determined to be heard.
Each scene allows one child to take the podium and present their argument for a new decree. These short speeches were emotion driven and powerful. The passion radiating from the stage was felt throughout the entire theatre.
The 70-minute show was fast paced and flowed smoothly. Some of the scenes with heavier content were intercut with some light-hearted moments. Watching the cast genuinely play musical chairs was hilarious and a highlight.
As someone who is around the same age as those presenting this piece of theatre, everything that was shared and discussed hit a personal spot. The emotions portrayed by the performers resonated deeply with my own feelings. However, the show is not only written for a teenage audience. The Time is Now called on adults to really listen to what was being said, be responsible and act. This was reflected with the presence of the Greens member for Maiwar, Michael Berkman, who introduced the show and shared his response to it afterwards.
Finally, I must once more congratulate the cast. A huge well done to Omalkire Akil Ahmed, Huda Akhlaki, Jessica Boyd, Joe Cranitch, Sophia Ferreira da Luz, Diali Kemp, Rachel Kennedy, Zander Pynenburg, Carys Walsh and Fujia Sarah Xu for their work. Thank you for letting us into your hearts.