Showing: December 2008
Director Gorkem Acaroglu
Dramaturg Chi Vu
With performers Luke Fraser, Fanny Hanusin, Kha Tran, Mark Tregonning and Gary Yang
A development, with support from the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Charlie’s stuck in his room. He nearly drowned crossing the Mekong River as a kid. He’s got depression. He’s got chronic fatigue. He’s got PTSD. That’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He’s got a lot of things wrong with him. All he wants to do is sleep. But sometimes our people, the Hmong, have to run, have to walk, crawl. Crawl through the caves, jungles, rivers and mountains of Laos before they get any better.
I wrote this play after I travelled to Laos for the first time, the first child in my family to see where Mum and Dad grew up. In Vang Vieng, I went on a trip inside a cave. At one point we floated in still blackness in a pond under a mountain. I can’t swim. I was calm but petrified. Later we wandered with head torches into a cave that runs for over a kilometre. The guide told me that someone had died in here a few years ago. An adventurous Japanese backpacker who had gone in without a guide and gotten lost in the narrow caves, which honyecomb the further you go. The oxygen becomes more scarce. After that day, I kept imagining Charlie lost and trying to make his way out of a cave.