Programme Notes

Smith Street (Between Heaven and Hell) explores the lives and politics of local 'high' and 'low' life who intermingle in a space between heaven and hell — where naturalism moves to fantasy, prose to poetry, dialogue to song, and the distinctions between law makers and law breakers are destabilised.

When John Kinsella approached me late in 2000 regarding the production of a play he was writing — based around events in Perth concerning Smith Street, kerb-crawling clients, prostitutes, and political game-playing — he expressed the wish that it be first performed by students at the Dolphin Theatre at UWA in recognition of the long involvement in theatre production and performance by staff and students at this university. The play was written in collaboration with Tracy Ryan and its poetical nuances display the verbal gymnastics and strong visuality of the dialogue. I was given carte blanche to add material and direct it for performance without authorial intervention. It was clearly recognised by both John and Tracy that a script can only be a potential in terms of staging. I am grateful to them for the opportunity to present this work in performance, and to the efforts put into it by all concerned — especially the students of both cast and crew who have worked on this project with such enthusiasm — against study and work commitments that often made sustained rehearsal impossible.

Steve Chinna

Contents | Mudlark No. 19