(Studied in comparison to The Longest Memory by Fred Daguiar)
A patchwork quilt might best represent this play. One might perceive such an item to be something the poor cobble together out of
whatever is available or as a loving representation of the diversity as part of a greater whole. One of the myths this work seeks to debunk is that the story of Indigenous Australians is singular. ‘The 7 Stages of Grieving’ illustrates the diversity of Indigenous Australians’ stories. Nevertheless, they share a common grief in the disturbance and destruction of both the land and Indigenous Australians’ relationship with it.
When it was first staged, this play was judged by audiences to be too heavy, too emotional; in time we have started to see that witnessing this grief is a necessary first step before healing this country’s wounds. Investigating this text with indigenous artists as well as the comparison to The Longest Memory offer multiple angles from which to penetrate the text and feel its cathartic power.
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