Bold, dynamic and innovative.

It’s always invigorating to catch theatre that is motivated by the real world of that it is born and uses the opportunities it has to talk about issues that matter. Bravely taking on topics such as Islamaphobia, Internet hatred and extremism, The Believers Are But Brothers masterfully uses media and technology to bring the audience together on the physical ground and also in suspend us in the digital clouds.

Javaad Alipoor performed from many places at once using sound and visuals to dynamically present stories and knowledge of men, politics and the Internet. It felt like fifty percent of the show was presented in real space and the other half was presented digitally, resulting in some titillating and complexly multidimensional images.

Technology was put to use in some particularly clever and innovative ways. Patrons were invited to join a massive Whatsapp group chat, where the performers and the audience could be active throughout. Together we commented on the action, shared memes and were bombarded with content. Much like the experience of immersing into the internet, I was often overloaded with information from multiple voices in real space and online. Despite the assumption that this social media promotes isolation, I left feeling united with the audience in a way that I hadn’t before. There was conversation in the ladies room after the show about what we’d all shared and then, walking down Church Street, I received one last message from a patron reading “Great show! Thank you”.

This show allowed bravely open dialogue and magnified Internet hatred so we could together delve into the belly of beasts like Isis and Gamergate. We experienced the easy slip into digital spaces where fury grows into physical violence. It exposed the corners of the web that are easily concealed amongst the content we love. The internet felt like a dense landscape of its own that existed somewhere outside of the earth and operated on its own terms.

It should be said that this show features many violent clips of real terrorist acts and audio clips of gunshots, so audiences going forward should be warned of it’s potentially triggering content. However amongst all of the confrontation is the truth of our world and it was wonderful to be able to discuss it in a new, artistic and empathetic environment. All who can make the show as it travels on to Merrigong theatre in Wollongong are recommended to, for an enlightening experience.

For more information and tickets in Wollongong see: https://merrigong.com.au/

Performed, written and co-directed by Javaad Alipoor

Co-Directed by Kirsty Housley

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