by Scott Alderdice
Photography: Scott Alderdice.

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by Scott Alderdice

On January 13, 2013 the Warrumbungles National Park burned. Fifteen thousand hectares of rugged forest was obliterated in an afternoon. Fortunately for those charged with the management and protection of that mountain range, there were no human casualties. But for the animals there was no escape. The loss of animal life and habitat was devastating.

FIRE is an attempt to give voice to those original dwellers of the forest; those cockatoos, koalas, kangaroos, lizards and emus which we proudly uphold as iconic symbols of our land and our bush heritage. FIRE is an attempt to bring attention to the importance of those animals; they keep the history of this country in their very survival. The play is also about our relationship with fire. It has always been here - a source of light in the dark, warmth in the cold - and a furious terrifying power of destruction when uncontrolled.
With climate change, what happened in the Warrumbungles will become horrifically common.

FIRE is also about belonging: between the dirt and the sky, the night stars and dawn; the sad unanswered history with our first peoples and the future that we are currently building, where do our actions say that we belong? This play is not a factual account. It is inspired by that cataclysmic afternoon in 2013.

Written for an ensemble of between 6 - 30 players, FIRE is an eyes out narrative romp as seen through the eyes of a rambunctious cavalcade of creatures that in their absence, the forest becomes silent.

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