Written and directed by Joe Lui
15th of April / 7-9pm
Launching our About Us program is the prodigious adaptation of the Monkey fable, Enlightenment is the story of The Monkey King and The Buddha… reimagined as two young women in Australia. The most important human being ever born, and the most powerful creature ever to exist. Somewhere in our city, they’re about to hook up. Recommended for ages 16+.
ABOUT THE WORK – From the artist
“Enlightenment is one of the early chapters of the one of the Four Great Works of Chinese Literature – The Journey to the West. It is a retelling of the story of the Monkey King (of monkey magic fame) breaking into heaven to steal the peaches of immortality for his monkey kin. In the story he causes havoc in heaven and the Buddha Himself has to be summoned to punish him. This play is a contemporary and queer reading of this story. It deals with questions of the police state, about how privilege and systemic oppression causes behavior that is incredibly easy to demonize, and how sometimes love just ain’t enough. I think it opens conversations about the state of people of colour trying to make their way inside of the colonial society that is Australia. About what it is to assimilate and behave, and what it costs us. I also think it is an irreverent, sexy and possibly blasphemous reading of a Chinese cultural property adapted by someone who grew up being steeped in Chinese culture. It is time that we re-appropriate the ancient stories of our cultures toward our modern concerns, instead of preserving them as a-political niceties. I think Enlightenment opens a good conversation about how and why we can or should reimagine these tales.“
CONTENT NOTES: Contains themes of State Violence. There is at one point a threat of sexual violence made. Contains sexual references and some misogynistic language. These will be contextualised as part of the community discussion afterwards. Recommended for ages 16+.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
WRITER, DIRECTOR and FACILITATOR: Joe Paradise Lui (he/him/y’all) (@joeparadiselui) is a submerging -nay, drowning- artist and undisputed winner of the 2013 Spirit of the Fringe award. He has won no awards since. Joe Lui is a founding member of Renegade Productions. Within its aegis he creates experimental theatre and performance works. Joe Lui is also a freelance director, writer, and a sound and lighting designer. His most recent professional directing work was Unsung Heroes, with Black Swan State Theatre Company. His most recent independent directing work was Beginning at the End (of Capitalism), presented at the Blue Room Theatre. His most recent design work was The Sum of Us by Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company as part of Perth Festival.
Sebastian Critti Shnaars (he/him) as Handsome Brad
Sean Gustaviano (he/him) as Asshole Steve
Olivia Hendrey (they/them) as Tripitaka
Lucy Wong (she/her) as Sid
Donita Cruz (she/her) as Sage