Educational and inspiring, Morna Murphy Martell’s collaboration with actress Ariel Labasan makes this informative and moving one woman show an easy but thought provoking watch. Simply told, Labasan’s enjoyment and commitment to remembering the life of campaigner Yuri Kochiyama is just lovely to see. I am ashamed to say I knew very little about this courageous woman who suffered for being of Japanese descent in the wake of the attacks on Pearl Harbour during WWII, and who used this experience of racism and persecution as the basis to work with Malcolm X right up until his untimely death. Ariel’s easy style and compassion integrates the audience (we are encouraged to sing along with her – ‘We Shall Not, We Shall Not Be Moved’) and she passes photos to the audience to illustrate events in Yuri’s history. She is a warm and confident performer who despite the seriousness of the story, make its telling accessible and relevant. So much so, at the end of the show today (June 15th at 4pm), she dedicated the performance to the victims of the recent Orlando shooting.
What I didn't like
There were moments where there could possibly have been a little more depth and information about certain episodes in Kochiyama’s fascinating life. But hooray for Google and I was inspired to research her having seen the show.
My overall impression
Warm, intriguing and relevant to us all, this is a one woman show about a very important woman.
West Coast premiere. Two English schoolgirls, born 175 years apart, suffer similar horrors travelling to the East. Winner of the major theatre awards in Edinburgh, Adelaide & Prague. *****Sunday Mail *****Adelaide Theatre Guide ***** The Advertiser