The show l attended was a performed stage read in honour and memory of the recent passing of Elder Uncle Jack Charles (1943-2022).
Brodie Murray is an award-winning Wamba Wamba playwright and performer. He began working on The Whisper earlier this year whilst visiting his father’s family in regional NSW. It was the inspiring story told by his real Nan that paved the way for his new play; it was back in the 1940’s when she travelled by horse and cart in the late of night with her family to avoid legal police abduction. The show is directed by Maryanne Sam, who is the founding member of Ilbijerri Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company in Melbourne.
Murray and his family would have heard the story many, many times, a story that resonates with all indigenous people across Australia, and anyone else that can relate to the atrocities of The Stolen Generation (conducted between 1905- 1967, whereby mixed-race children were removed from their families upon request by the government).
The Whisper is an intuitive theatrical interpretation of a story handed down by family Elders. Nan Rose (Auntie Nellie Flagg) lives on the outskirts of a small country town with her two grandsons, Riley (Benjamin Fei) and Jack (Jaeden Williams). Jack falls for the local white girl and all hell breaks loose when the authorities discover she has fallen pregnant.
Nan Rose and the reluctant two boys evacuate in the dead of night, leaving behind the cow, the chooks, and her piece of land. She makes haste to avoid losing her grandchildren, the same way she lost her children. They head to the bush where they can lay low, a time to go back to the old ways, like their ancestors, hunt and gather and stay together. A time when secrets are revealed, and truths are told, before heading across the border to meet up with Pop Ray (Greg Fryer) and other relatives.