“8/10 “ a refreshing and emotionally tense night at the theatre” Nicholas Pickard, Sydney”
Six years ago, we watched as nine young Australian’s were hauled across the Balinese landscape and onto our television screens. They had heroin strapped to their bodies and looked scared as hell.
“Make a point of seeing Bondi Dreaming, it exemplifies the transformative power of theatre, the reason why a play isn’t something that’s seen or heard, but experienced’
In the following weeks, feelings of sorrow, anger and disbelief bubbled in our minds and the press. It happened only a short time after Schapelle Corby had become a household name after being caught with a boogie board bag of marijuana. How could the Bali Nine have ignored the warning signs? What drove them to do it? How were they feeling now and what would they would go through as their cases and jail time progressed? Fuelled by these questions Sam Atwell wrote a play to explore them.
“This is a raw and involving piece of theatre. Played in a simple and effective sandbox, the acting is fierce and focused. 7/10 Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald”
In 2008 the play, Bondi Dreaming, was produced independently by Nick Bolton and Sam Atwell at Newtown Theatre and was received to critical acclaim, wonderful audience feedback and good houses.
“this play taught my son more than any ‘flyer’, or ‘TV commercial’, or the ‘parental sit-down’ of the futility of drug trafficking. It spoke to him in his own language”
Unbeknown to us, The Arts Council of NSW run the Best of Independent Theatre program,in which theatre owners and critics meet at the end of the year, and ask a shortlist of ten indies to pitch their show. Three plays are awarded a grant and in-kind servcies, and have the play put on again. We were delighted to win, and performed the play for a second time at The Seymour Centre in 2009.
“Bondi Dreaming is one of the best shows I have seen in years, Sam Atwells’s haunting script… dreams harden into reality….. the relationship between the three men is surprisingly tender, highly nuanced and often confronting
Gareth Beal, ArtsHub”
In 2011, Bondi Dreaming has featured in the National Play Festival.
And in November 2011, the play will close the inaugural season by the Tamarama Rock Surfers at the Bondi Pavilion Theatre.
The play’s three characters are fictional but represent the Bali Nine and other Australians facing similar fates in foreign jails. At twenty-one years old with money troubles and the naivety of youth they choose a quick fix option of trying to traffic drugs out of Asia. They are caught and sentenced to death. The play takes place in their last days as they prepare for their fate. As a means of escape and also a way to come to terms with their guilt the men re-enact their past and what might have been their future.
In 2011, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were dealt a devastating blow when they lost their final appeals for their lives. Now, more than ever, we have a duty to humanise their plight and solidify them as real people, not statistics or scapegoats for a war on drugs.