04 May - 17 June
In a nutshell
Remaining a vital masterwork 20 years after it was penned by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman, The 7 Stages of Grieving is a wise and powerful play about the grief of Aboriginal people and the hope of reconciliation. In this one-everywoman show, Chenoa Deemal (Queensland Theatre's Mother Courage and Her Children, St. Mary's in Exile) spins poignant stories of different people from different mobs – tear-streaked tales of tragedy go hand-in-hand with jubilant celebrations of simple survival.
Funny, devastatingly sad, politically relevant and culturally profound as it traverses the phases of Aboriginal history, The 7 Stages of Grieving is an invitation to face hard truths, to join hands and grieve. It shares true and personal stories that need to keep being told. And perhaps most importantly, it opens a dialogue about the issues that separate and unite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
“Watching that hit such an emotional chord, it stayed with me for years. Seeing a visual representation of a beautiful and established culture suddenly wiped clear with the stroke of a hand was emotionally jarring and brought to my attention how powerful theatre can be.” Chenoa Deemal
4-5 May | Brisbane: QUT Gardens Theatre
10 May | Healesville: The Memo
12 May | Geelong: Geelong Performing Arts Centre
NEW SOUTH WALES
16 – 20 May | Sydney: Sydney Opera House
23 – 27 May | Wollongong: Illawarra Performing Arts Centre
30 May – 3 June | Newcastle: Newcastle Civic Theatre
7 – 10 June | Parramatta: Riverside Theatre
13 – 14 June | Wyong: The Art House
16 – 17 June | Penrith: Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
… from any perspective this is a vital, throbbing piece of theatre in anybody’s cultural terms, and Chenoa Deemal’s performance is deadly; The text is flawless, the actor close to perfection, but what brings this play into the 21st century after 20 years, and redeems it from being just a period piece, is the direction and the staging.
Ten seconds into Jason Klarwein’s magnificent new production of The 7 Stages of Grieving, and you’re hooked by the sense of history; Humble, decent and engaging, Deemal is the personification of the play’s inclusive message: that what drives superficial anger is, in reality, an enduring sense of grief.
Director: Jason Klarwein
Designer: Jessica Ross
Lighting Designer: Daniel Anderson
Sound Designer: Justin Harrison
Cast: Chenoa Deemal
Contains low level coarse language, flashing lights, a complete black-out and fog effects