Away with the birds
written and performed byHarry Laing
directed byJohn Bolton
A man walks onstage and starts assembling a strange and intricate piece of equipment. He describes the difficulties of living in a drip forest and having to cope with politicians doing nothing (much) about the environment. He reveals he used to be a psychologist but got struck off for imitating his clients. He just can’t get other birds out of his head. He becomes a tawny frogmouth, a very old frogmouth who reminisces about life in the depression. When nobody was depressed. And everybody got by on nothing. He continues to assemble more drip-forest equipment and suddenly it’s all working..and a Currawong is prancing round the stage. Wild-eyed and paranoid, convinced his enemies (greenies, ethical investors, people in planes) are out to get him. Finally a bowerbird reveals, poetically his love of blue objects.
Away with the birds is as much about humans as birds. It’s also energetic, politico-satirical and a lot of fun. the show taks a look at Global Warming and water problems but without preaching. Harry laing’s language is rich and engaging. Harry’s sense of fun, his energy, John Bolton’s sensitive direction and Malcolm Hansford’s wonderful Drip-O-Rama set all make this show well worth seeing.
Duration: 55 minutes, fee $1,000 (plus travel)