“Everything leads back to home” – Once We Lived Here
Review: A story about family, love and manipulation.
Presented by The Blue Room Theatre (Northbridge) and Western Sky Theatre is a story about family, love and the manipulation of memory and truth. Set on a rural Australian Sheep Station called ‘Emoh Ruo’- the main character Amy McPherson (Taryn Ryan) sings about life as a farmer, battler and caretaker to her ill-ridden mother Claire McPherson (Sharon Kiely).
Last night I was invited along to The Blue Room Theatre for the opening night of Once We Lived Here – a musical theatre production directed by Andrew Baker. Never having been to a musical theatre production before I was thrilled at the opportunity to attend. he main theatre was dimly lit surrounded by pieces of corrugated iron, a raised wooden deck, plants, metal table, chairs and a swing - helping to set the Australian outback setting.
Throughout various scenes, the lights turn a shade lighter as the story transitions into a glimpse of past memories – both good and bad. The next act further explores the tension between all three siblings, the truth about Mr McPherson’s death and Claire’s ultimately hard realisation and decision turning Amy’s life upside down.
Once We Lived Here addresses the issues and stigma surrounding mental health that is mirrored between the father and brother in the performance. The Australian identity is also well portrayed through a distinct Australian lingo, stage setting of ‘Emoh Ruo’ and characters costumes of farmer’s shirts, truckie hats and bikinis. The musical repeats these lyrics “Everything leads back to home” throughout both acts instigating the effects of truth, lust and lies no matter what everything leads back to family that is its true sense of home.
Although the story conveys quite serious issues leaving shivers down my body the casts witty lines and audience involvement made for a pleasant night out. What an amazing and talented group of West Australian musical theatre performers! Once We Lived Here is a show not to be missed so be sure to grab your tickets.
The story does convey mild-course themes and references and therefore is only recommended viewing to ages 15+.