Member

28 Feb

Member, written and performed by Ben Noble, is a powerful indictment of gay hate crimes.

If you’re privileged and naive, like me, it can sometimes be hard to imagine they actually occur. What motivates them? Of course, it should be no surprise: our inability to allow same sex marriage is indicative of a deep seated homophobia. Assaults and deaths happen, in shocking numbers. This production focuses on the epidemic of violence that occurred in Sydney in the 70’s through to the 90’s, in which up to 80 people were murdered. The show’s impact is to draw attention to this awful and ongoing failing in our society.

ben-noble-photo-credit-deryk-mcalpin

Photo by Deryk McAlpin

Noble’s performance is compelling and passionate. He presents a range of characters, but the focus is on Corey, father to a man who now lies hospital, a victim of a bashing. As the story unfolds, it’s revealed that Corey himself has been a perpetrator of violence, and continues to struggle with his confusion and guilt.

That the sins of the fathers will be visited on the sons might seem a dramatic convenience, but it is sociologically truthful. The society we live in is one of our own creation. If we are cold and uncaring, cowardly and violent, what world do we think we will make for ourselves?

Member has its origin in a multi-playwright project, and this still sometimes shows in its complexity. But the kernel of the piece is incredibly moving. A lost child falls in with the wrong crowd and commits a terrible evil. He seeks guidance from the one adult he trusts…… and gets nothing. It is the way things are, he’s told, as inarguable as the movement of the sea.

But we know it’s not. This piece is a timely reminder that equality is something we make, and that we must.

Paul Gilchrist

 

Member by Ben Noble

Blood Moon Theatre til March 4

Info and tix here

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