This is a beautiful piece of Sydney history brought to the stage. Sadly i wasn’t able to see the first part of this book adaption, but even though I missed the context of it, it was still absolutely riveting. On a largely bare stage with doors life in Surry Hills in the 50ies unfolds in a heartwarming bright way even though it is a life in the slums we are seeing. A life that, if you were a woman or a gay man, didn’t count much. A life that was riddled with filth, desperation, but also love and good will. A time where the community came together to prevent their homes to be eradicated to build factories, but in the end, death. Guy Simon is the main protagonist in the second part – still partly an outcast, but a new father, whose wife dies during childbirth. He takes us on a beautifully played road of loss and tragedy, until a storyteller, a wise man, gives him the help he so desperately needs … look at the stars… and hope emerges.
Not that I was able to look or see much. There was something in the air that night that made my eyes water. Might have been Guy’s talent. (It definitely was!) He sat on the stage, more or less right in front of me, when he had his breakdown, mourning the loss of his wife, and I joined him, ugly crying the whole time. At the stage door I confronted him ” you made me cry! Twice!” and he fistpumped himself (rightfully so) “yesssss! Work done right!” while I looked a mess. Yup, he’s awesome like that 😁
Also buy the book. The harp in the south by Ruth Park. It’s a history lesson you’ll enjoy. Even if it makes you cry….