Meyne Wyatt’s debut drama City of Gold proved to be a powerful experience for the Year 12 Literature and English students who attended the Perth Festival performance at the Heath Ledger Theatre on Sunday 20 March.
Wyatt is a Wongutha-Yamatji actor and writer. His script is tight and closely interrogates the issue of racism in Australia. It is equal parts provocative and heart-wrenching and at the centre of the drama is a family struggling to navigate the difficult path to hold onto country, community and each other in the face of adversity and prejudice. Amidst heightened tension and conflict, there is humour as well as moments of tenderness and poignancy. In Act 2 Wyatt’s monologue is raw emotion made palpable by a voice calling for an end to racial inequality: “Be crazy, take a risk, be different, offend your family. Call them out. Silence is violence. Complacency is complicity.”
Year 12 students commented on the experience:
‘Confronting experience for the audience – definitely worth it.’ – Francesco
‘Amazing soundscape builds tension’ – Francesco
‘A provocative piece which has reshaped my views on Australian society’ – Harry
‘A truly immersive experience’ – Myles
Ms Ann Franich