Space for laugh­ter

Midland Reporter - - News - Sara Fitz­patrick

Based on the in­cred­i­ble true story of a NASA space sta­tion crash­ing in WA, Sky­lab is an indige­nous scifi com­edy like no other.

IT is not very of­ten you hear of a con­tem­po­rary indige­nous sci-fi com­edy com­ing to the stage.

So when one ar­rives – such as Sky­lab – you sit up and take no­tice.

Based on a true story, the play fol­lows the 1979 in­ci­dent which saw a NASA space sta­tion crash near Esper­ance and scat­ter de­bris across the Nullar­bor and eastern Gold­fields, caus­ing a world­wide sen­sa­tion.

We see its im­pact on the com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly the Gre­war fam­ily, af­ter a huge piece lands on their prop­erty.

But Perth ac­tor Laila Bano Rind, who plays mother Jem, said it was more than a sim­ple retelling of events.

“There’s a lot go­ing on in the play: it’s not just about Sky­lab fall­ing for no rea­son – for us, it was sent here for a rea­son,” she said.

“The mes­sage is: ‘What has hap­pened in the past to us – Indige­nous Aus­tralians – in terms of things like the Stolen Gen­er­a­tion and iden­tity loss shouldn’t have such a big im­pact on us in the present. It won’t go away, but how can you move on for­ward?

“It’s a pain­ful mes­sage: how many peo­ple ac­cept and how many peo­ple live in the past?”

Black Swan col­lab­o­rated with Yirra Yaakin The­atre Com­pany for the first time with Sky­lab. Rind said she was thrilled to be part of an im­por­tant and off-the-wall work.

“Ev­ery­one can take some­thing away from this play. There are bits and pieces in there which get you; you feel in the heart,” she said.

“Like how back in the days the idea was that Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple were an­i­mals – that idea of: ‘Let’s just chuck a big bomb in Aus­tralia be­cause there are only Abo­rig­i­nals and kan­ga­roos there’.

“These are some of facts that Melodie Reynold­sDiarra (scriptwriter) has writ­ten into the play, not to make it racist but more for hu­mour.”

A love of Bol­ly­wood film led Rind to the stage.

Af­ter a year at WAAPA, the mul­ti­lin­gual ris­ing star en­tered NIDA in Syd­ney, where she grad­u­ated.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d485024

Kyle J Mor­ri­son, Alan Lit­tle, Laila Bano Rind and Gary Cooper.

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