An exciting and evocative experience that shouldn’t be missed, the Centre for Australasian Theatre based in Far North Queensland and the multi-cultural collective of Darahrouge from West Java have come together to create Cargo Club now playing at Metro Arts for the BrisAsia Festival.
Issued with Global Citizen Passports, a gathering of strangers journeys down the carriageway and into the back of the Sue Benner Theatre on Edward Street in Brisbane. It is reminiscent of a dockside dive or embarking into the cargo-hold of a ship to who knows where; the future, the past, to freedom perhaps? There is a creaking realisation that we are united in our momentary displacement. It’s exhilarating and foreboding all at once. The guests take a place on cushions and crates scattered around the space; there is an absence of theatre-like order.
Movement by boat or ship is the thematic current that carries the stories from one world to another: colonisation, trade, migration. At one point each artist dances with a miniature vessel perhaps representing the exporting or exile of their culture into other lands. Many foreign languages mingle as the unpacking of the collective cargo begins. Weaving between history and hope, the micro stories of the individual dance with cultural baggage; gender repression, genocide, generational conflict and the future burden of globalisation. But we are not doomed, because someone speaks of building a bridge between cultures, between the past and the present, between you and me, and that bridge will be open to us all.
Cargo Club is a rich weaving cabaret of transformative cultural connections – multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary and co-created by a diverse and inspiring group of artists. Cargo Club is on until 18 February – go soon as you’ll want to see it again before it leaves our port.