Hart (5 stars)

In the black-walled confines of the intimate Blue Room Theatre sound clips fill the air – white people (some famous, some everyday folks) talking about ‘the black problem.’ A figure stands silent, providing a vigil against the tirade of horrendously racist and misinterpreted thinking. This is Ian Michael, solo performer and co-writer of Hart – he tells the stories and thoughts of four Noongar men, tackling the sad but true tales of Stolen Generation Aboriginal people.

This play is not for the faint-hearted. Let’s be clear – it is beyond sad, the sorrow of these men seeps into your bones, as it should. The stories and words come from four men but they are intertwined and jumbled – similar to the story of the Stolen Generation. There are common threads and vast differences. There are humorous anecdotes and a cheeky spirit that runs through all of the threads. There are heart-wrenching tales of separation, loss and deep pain.

Michael is a phenomenal performer. The audience hangs on his every word. His delivery is humorous and filled with pathos – his very mannerisms and quiet, regretful tone brings the audience to tears, and rightly so. Hart isn’t about making you cry or laugh – it’s about making you feel. It’s giving a voice to a generation and race that have been silenced and still are today. It highlights the way we were and how we haven’t really changed that much.

As a reviewer, I have seen many shows, but Hart was the first time I experienced, and was part of, a standing ovation. It was well deserved – brilliantly written, flawlessly performed, and wonderfully touching, Hart is the show everyone needs to see.

When: 24th May – 11th June 2016 (8:30pm)

Where: The Blue Room Theatre (Perth)

Tickets: $18 – $28

Info: Duration 50 minutes| Auslan interpretation 9th June| Q&A after show on 1st June

Link: http://blueroom.org.au/events/hart/