Humanity is a team sport. We need to be around each other. Being in that audience together, and challenging all sorts of ideas, is how we grow. This is where we have our contemporary ceremony and our ritual.
The first time we presented any Shakespearean text in Noongar language, we performed the sonnets here in Western Australia. We had six sonnets that we adapted and performed, and my grandmother was in the audience. It was the first time in 85 years that she had seen one of her family speak her native tongue fluently. And she just started crying, because she saw something that she thought was completely lost. That moment changed a lot of my ideas about what Shakespeare could do.
After that, I pitched the idea of Hecate, our Noongar Macbeth, to Bell Shakespeare. I just kind of turned up to Bell Shakespeare in Sydney at the Rocks and said “Here is a project, here are some ideas.” Working with Bell Shakespeare on Hecate, I got to learn the intricacies of how, as contemporary artists, we relive our classical cultures. They understand how to break open these stories. I don’t think any other company in the world could have helped us achieve that.
After we created Hecate with the help of Bell Shakespeare, we were able to take our language and our songs, and some of those monologues out to communities that didn’t get to see the full production. By supporting Noongar artists to tell Shakespeare the way that we wanted to, Bell Shakespeare has invested in Noongar language. No other major theatre company could do that.
Shakespeare is for everybody. He reminds us that what we think and feel is valid. Every single Shakespearean character has something to add to the world that we are experiencing. And by allowing ourselves to be guided by that, it opens doors, and changes the way we think. I actually think there is alchemy within that text. So I believe in magic. I believe in Shakespeare’s magic.
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