Supported by Arts OutWest, Kangaroo is a gothic tale about regional and personal isolation, taking a fundamentally Australian outlook on people and their diverse experiences in life. Written by Miranda Gott, Kangaroo tells the story of three strangers, whose fates are intricately entwined through the events of a single fateful night. The characters of this play are funny, vibrant, engaging but also damaged as they are reflective of the diverse experiences of life outside of metropolitan Australia.
The one act play is a script formed by three monologues, woven together to create a compelling singular commentary on life in regional Australia. These monologues subtly reveal each character’s part in the death of Kane Heckford, and the ignorance to each other’s role in the act or subsequent cover up.
Exploring the underlying themes of mental health, familial abuse and our communities’ failure to deal with violence, Kangaroo takes audiences on an emotional journey culminating in a satisfying, compelling and confronting theatrical experience prompting reflection on revenge, loneliness, violence and rural Australia.
Project Director for Kangaroo, Bec Russell, commented that “the project has provided the arts community an opportunity to do professional work in their own backyard. The response of the audiences was also extremely positive, but emotional when confronting the difficult themes touched on in the play. It opened up conversations about familial abuse and mental health, things which are hard topics, but when placed in an artistic context like this, it’s a step outside and it allows the reflection to happen a little easier and those conversations be had.”
Bec also believes that without the support provided through the Regional Arts Fund at various stages of this project, “we wouldn’t have been able to take it to its limits, to have professional performers come on board and have a professional company which provides a different type of production. It allowed us to take Kangaroo to its full potential.”
“Regional stories are important to tell so we can more fully understand what it is to be Australian. This is not possible without the long-term investment in the process to develop these voices.”
Kylie Shead, Creative Producer for Local Stages Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, commented that Kangaroo “proves we can make great work in Regional Australia. Kangaroo had a reading at Artstate Bathurst in 2019 which generated a lot of interest. A lot of people who went to the reading were really interested in it and would have likely come to see the show if they had the opportunity.”
“Seeing a show like Kangaroo come to production is what it’s all about and what we ultimately aim for. It’s such a high level of production that has been developed over time, both the writing and production skills. It’s really important that regional people realise that they can make theatre regionally and don’t need to go to major centres to create work of this calibre.”
Kangaroo was originally developed during a residency program in which Miranda Gott was a successful applicant. The play premiered in Bathurst and Cowra however the season at the Q Theatre was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19.
You can now listen to Kangaroo as a free audio experience until September 13, which can be streamed here.