Docklands as a hostile landscape
30 Mar 2017
A unique play has been performed on a moving bus in Docklands because of our perceived similarities to the lawless American wild west.
The play Passenger revolved around a conversation overheard by other passengers on the bus between a woman and a male corporate employee about a corporation’s unethical actions. It likened lawless corporate bosses to Western cowboys.
The play, presented by Arts Centre Melbourne and Footscray Community Arts Centre, ran from March 23-26.
According to the co-director and producer Jessica Wilson, Docklands was chosen as the location for the play because of its commercial environment.
“We find that Docklands is a very market-driven place, being the headquarters of so many big companies,” Ms Wilson said. “Docklands is built by decision-makers rather than the community.”
“Docklands is just like a film set because it’s so clean and sometimes very stark,” she said.
“People tend to interpret the world based on what they are hearing. Through the filmic music and the conversation on the bus, the audience would interpret Docklands as a hostile commercial environment.”
“It can be quite alienating when people visit Docklands and it is not as accommodating as some other places,” Ms Wilson said. “So we brought people to see the place through new eyes.”
However, Ms Wilson stressed that there was still positivity about Docklands.
“There are heaps of organic changes happening in Docklands. There are more restaurants, activities and people living in Docklands,” she said. “Docklands is becoming less stark and more interesting.”
The unique style of the play could get the audience more engaged in the performance, Ms Wilson said.
“By putting the audience on the bus, they became part of the play and it’s a very different experience from watching a play on stage,” she said.
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