A TROOP of radical performers are bringing magical realism to Perth this May.
The future-focussed and unique approach to the arts will be on full display as Crash Theatre Company shares its newest show, Sisterhood of The Travelling Lighter.
Crash had its genesis in a Notre Dame University common room in 2018 when young theatre makers Ana Ferreira Manhoso and Courtney McManu established the Performing Arts Alumni Society.
Ferreira Manhoso said the group was established as an “outlet for us and our friends to participate in theatre” but has since morphed into a fully-fledged company that has travelled nationally and plans to go international by 2024.
But for now their roots is firmly back at home for Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter.
Crash is fully committed to telling stories of “resiliency, risk and resourcefulness”, says Ferreira Manhoso.
Crash not only strives to entertain but also to generate a close-knit community of people who share a common interest in performing the innovative form of theatre dubbed magical realism.
While the style is better understood overseas where it’s more common, Ferreira Manhoso said a simple way of describing it is: “A convention of fictional story telling in which the real world is presented with an undercurrent of fantasy.”
She said the Book of Pi and Metamorphosis were forms of magical realism using “big stakes interpretations of social issues”, whereas Crash applied it to everyday events, “sort of like making a spectacle of the ordinary”.
The production team at Crash are predominately LGBTQI+, and while Ferreira Manhoso says the play is likely to resonate with that community “we aren’t exclusive to this target audience”.
The stories and experiences Crash explore are relatable and nostalgic for all young adults, she says, as they focus on underrepresented groups and how to follow a path most do not take.
Crash’s newest show Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter will run at The Blue Room Theatre in Perth from May 16 – June 3.
The imaginative story telling is performed through a distinctly female, queer lens and sheds light on the messiness and vulnerability of friendships between young women.
It follows a group of four high school girls who decide to smoke a joint on the day of their graduation to relieve jitters but end up travelling though time to relive some of their most memorable moments together.
The play encourages the audience to question the essence of individuality within a group.
It also explores how leaving high school alters friendships and the challenges of personal development when being a part of a collective.
by BRIDIE GARLICK
Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter
Crash Theatre Company
May 16 – June 3
Blue Room Theatre
James Street, Perth