Review – Doku Rai – You, Dead Man, I Don’t Believe You
A feverish descent into East Timor’s heart of darkness, Doku Rai is an unsettling mixture of traditional myth, discordant grunge rock and black comedy.
Telling the tale of a jealous brother who places a curse on his sibling, the play is a collaboration between the Black Lung Theatre and Whaling Firm from Melbourne, and East Timor’s Liurai Fo’er and Galaxy.
The themes they explore are as diverse as the performers themselves, including an examination of the very role of storytelling itself – a mere plaything or commodity to the western characters, but a vital coping mechanism for the East Timorese as they try to deal with their difficult circumstances.
At times shambolic and off-kilter, the show nevertheless delivers moments of flinch-inducing brutality, deranged humour and visual delight (the first reveal of a flickeringly-lit canoe-cum-bathtub is quite a sight).
If you have any interest at all in Australia’s closest neighbor, well worth a look.