Never Ending Night, Melbourne Fringe FestivalDirector: Renee PalmerPlaying: 7pm, 9pm until September 29. Tonight sold out.Duration: 60 minutesPrice: $35; concession $30Venue: Collingwood Underground Car Park, 44 Hamsworth StRating: ★★★½
By AMANDA JOO
Never Ending Night poses the very interesting question: What kind of human would you be if you faced an influx of strangers to your place?
Say the Earth faced an apocalyptic future where humans could no longer live above ground.
While survivors shelter in an underground bunker, mysterious people come in and want to stay. The survivors have to decide: Do they embrace the newcomers or kick them out?
This London-based play landed in the right city to talk about people moving in, saying yes to them, and saying no. It resonates with our everyday lives as Melbournians encountering a growing migration and refugee crisis.
One of the survivors says the newcomers could bring a virus from outside, and some worry about scarce food and energy. Others say the survivors should share the shelter with newcomers, as human beings.
These are the concerns we hear in any protest at the State Library and Federation Square.
Playgoer Mark Bevan, from the UK, said he could relate to the central message of the show.
“What popped up in my mind was the Syria refugee crisis, which does affect Europe,” he said.
Another strong point of the play is the way the audience is positioned. It was presented in an underground carpark, not a traditional theatre stage with seats ready for audience.
There is neither good lighting nor a stage area for the performers.
Scenes are staged around the carpark, with the audience free to move around, seeing different stories presented by different characters.
Playgoer Ryan Thomas said he liked the concept of “being immersed”, even though it was a bit hard to follow the storyline.
“It was distracting to focus on one particular aspect of it,” he said. “But it added realism, and gives the opportunity to realise there are more things happening than you can really focus on one time.”
Wandering around the carpark, following a variety of stories and characters, is a great experience. It makes you ask yourself the question, what kind of humanity do you possess?