People of Colours theatre melt
Photo: Masimba Sasa.
Entertainment, Opinion

Review: People of Colours goes way beyond the usual themes

Innovative new theatre piece People of Colours was a sell-out hit at this year’s Melt Festival in Brisbane.

I was lucky enough to attend Thursday’s opening night of the show that ran across the weekend, featuring a “shockingly queer” cast and crew in a unique, funny, and complex exploration of individual realities that goes beyond the usual themes of trauma faced by marginalised people.

Produced by Naavikaran and Grace Edward, the show follows four messed-up queer folks in a run-down share house who throw a house party instead of preparing for the next day’s property inspection.

The characters, portrayed by local queer performers of colour, range from a reluctant hospitality worker to an unreliable narrator who claims to be tight with everyone from celebrities to the unseen spirits inhibiting the house.

The diversity of the actors’ and characters’ backgrounds and identities was clear without the need to lecture the audience.

The show was developed through a community-driven process of storytelling that aimed to promote the notion of Black, Indigenous, and Brown solidarity and joy.

“We focused on creating a work that did not rely on trauma as experienced by people of colour,” said the creators. 

“There was no set script or agenda for People of Colours, and the entire work was created in collaboration with each other.”

By turns funny and heartbreaking, with plenty of musical numbers and occasional fourth-wall breaks, People of Colours is “a constant work in progress” that will “never capture the multitude of experiences” of people of colour across the world, the creators said.

They said they would like to see the show developed as a franchise around Australia and beyond to continue telling stories that continue to thrive within the walls of households.

People of Colours involves familiar concepts such as share houses, community, and chosen family that exist all over the world.

The cast and crew are certainly all talented individuals, from acting and singing to script and set development, and will be worth watching as they continue to create work in the future.

Jesse was a guest of the Melt Festival for this story.

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