THE SHOW GOES ON
The gutting of La Mama by fire did little to quell the spirit of the venue, and in the past year shows have continued to be staged at sibling theatre La Mama Courthouse and other nearby venues. Here are some of the current and upcoming works that showcase what La Mama makes possible.
THEM: Samah Sabawi’s Tales of the City by the Sea was an award-winning play that premiered simultaneously at La Mama and Palestine’s Al Rowwad’s in 2014, and has since played around the world. Them is a new work charting the fortunes of five young people in a city at war, trying to decide whether remaining or fleeing on a boat is the better option.
WHEN THE LIGHT LEAVES: Rory Godbold’s play takes a hard look at one of the hardest and most topical issues today, and its treatment of assisted dying has earned it the praise of staunch advocate Andrew Denton.
LA MAMA POETICA: Since almost its inception, La Mama’s theatre program has been complemented by evenings dedicated to other artforms such as the La Mama Musica series. La Mama Poetica (June 4) is another example, giving the spotlight to emerging and established poets.
EXPLORATIONS: The real essence of La Mama might be found in the annual La Mama’s Explorations series, which has been taking place since 1980. It’s a mini-festival of works right at the bleeding edge, sometimes pulled together with a few days’ notice and on the smell of sawdust alone. The shows are staged for only a few performances and while they may be rough, they’re sometimes bold enough to offer a glimpse of what tomorrow’s theatre might look like.