Seeking a role on the stage of life

by Robina Bamforth

Pictured: Sahra Davoudi (Photographer: Darren Gill), 2019

For anyone who has ever trodden the boards, or ever dreamed of doing so, facing an audition can be a daunting experience with either an exciting or devastating effect depending on the outcome. But what if the outcome of the audition threatened more than just your ego?

In the production of The Audition, this premise is explored by talented group of creatives that includes both emerging and established writers by comparing the challenge of a theatrical audition with the experience of seeking asylum. Both actors and asylum seekers alike face an uncertain future but for the asylum seeker the outcome is far more dire.

Under the careful stewardship and meticulous direction, Irine Vela musters this eclectic writers’ group who, through a series of interconnected vignettes, reveal the wave of emotion experienced by refugees who take part in a real-life audition for role of Australian citizens, The multi-layered performances by a gifted troupe including Mary Sitarenus, Milad Norouzi, Peter Paltos and Sahra Davoudi bring to life the many different characters created by the writing team. Of note is Sahra Davoudi’s “Women of Troy” sequence that offers the audience quite a different perspective of our expectations of how refugees should behave. Should she relinquish her self-respect in order to “win” the role?

Pictured: Peter Paltos & Milad Norouzi (Photographer: Darren Gill), 2019

The La Mama Theatre provides an appropriate (and for me a somewhat nostalgic) venue for this show, hosting many innovative productions over the years. Moreover, with Victoria now boasting four cities on the UNESCO Creative Cities listing, it is worth acknowledging the philanthropic support the production has received with funding from Australian Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, the City of Melbourne, Besen Family Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund and the Inner North Charitable Foundation. For me this was money well-spent.

Rating: 4/5


Location: La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton

Dates: 13 – 24 November 2019

Preview: 1pm Wed 13 Nov

Opening: 7.30pm Thu 14 Nov

Times: Thu – Sat; 7.30pm, Sun; 4pm, Wed 20 Nov; 11am and 6.30pm

Prices: $20 – $30

Outer Urban Projects Website