Sky­lab fol­lows a true story about a NASA space sta­tion crash­ing near Esper­ance.

Melville Times - - Front Page -

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, scat­ter­ing de­bris across the Nullar­bor and east­ern Gold­fields and 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 loss of iden­tity 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.

“Ev­ery­one can take some­thing away from this play: there are bits and pieces in there which get you, you feel in the heart,” Rind 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’.”

A love of Bol­ly­wood film led Rind to the stage. After a year at WAAPA she went to NIDA, where she re­cently grad­u­ated.

The mul­ti­lin­gual ris­ing star – be­gin­ning as an ed­u­ca­tional of­fi­cer and shar­ing her pas­sion for acting, singing and danc­ing with chil­dren in her com­mu­nity – still dreams of one day be­com­ing a Bol­ly­wood star­let

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d485024

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

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