MIDWAY TO NOWHERE
The George Martin Players
Written By: George Djukic
Directed By: Martin Coghlan and George Djukic
"Midway to Nowhere" presents a chapter of Australia's immigration history long overdue in the telling. Set in the winter of 1952 in a migrant camp in northern Victoria, it is based on events at the most famous of such camps at Bonegilla near Albury-Wodonga.
The migrants are held in the camp as part of the standard process of registration and employment placement. But unexpectedly, a recession has set in, forcing the migrants to wait in limbo while employment is deferred. Anxiety and frustration set in. Discontent reaches crisis level, with some Italian migrants setting fire to some of the buildings in the camp, which triggers an armed intervention by the army who arrive with tanks and machineguns.
All the migrants are scarred by their experiences of the war. Disempowered and trapped in a no-man's-land, they wage a struggle on many fronts: against the past; the authorities; the new country; each other; and themselves, a struggle in turns sad, funny, painful and angry. By the end of the play, each character has a clearer idea of the road ahead. For some, it will be a dark journey.
As a testimony to the suffering and fortitude of those migrants who were forced to make Australia their new home, "Midway to Nowhere" finally gives them a long-awaited voice, affording insights into the experience of being an immigrant, a refugee and an outsider.
More generally, the play brings out the eternal relevance of the past for the present. In particular, as the number of refugees and asylum seekers continues to increase in today’s global village, where geopolitical decisions in one country have ramifications for countries on the other side of the world, "Midway to Nowhere" highlights the need for compassion for and understanding of these victims of international forces beyond their control and understanding. In offering a perspective corrective of the myths and fears encouraged by mainstream media and politicians, it is timely and especially relevant to contemporary Australian society.
Approx. Running Time: 2h 35 mins
Suitable for ages: 15 and over
Wed 31 July 8 pm
Thurs 1 Aug 8 pm
Fri 2 Aug 8 pm
Sat 3 Aug 2 pm
Sat 3 Aug 8 pm
145 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
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