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TEA AND EMPATHY

MoR
MoR

MOR
BLUE ROOM THEATRE
21 MAY

Dureshawar Khan’s one woman play, MoR, now playing at the Blue Room Theatre, is an exploration of the space between the multiple selves that migrants often inhabit as they try to weave together disparate lives, times and places within a single mortal shell.  Focusing on motherhood and the strong women in her life, Khan may be the sole actor in her play, but the performance space is inhabited by the generations of women that made her who she is today. 

MoR is a beautifully realised and intimate entrée into the life of a migrant woman. 

The distance between Khan and her subject matter in MoR is so miniscule that her performance feels more like an intimate parlour chat than a play or any other work of fiction.  So compelling is Khan’s artifice that I felt myself wanting to engage her in conversation, to ask questions, migrant to migrant.  Are you happy here in Australia?  Will it ever feel properly like home?  What is the one thing that you most regret having to leave behind?  These are just some of the questions that third culture kids (first described in David Pollock’s book of the same name), those of us who have travel in our history and exist everywhere and nowhere, yearn to have answered.

As Khan made tea and steeped her audience in the culture of her birth home in Pakistan, she wove stories of magic, science and yearning.  As she peeled back the layers of her journey from Pakistan to Australia, Khan gave us glimpses of the dissonance of different existences stretched across time, place and the catalytic eruptions of growing up to become one’s adult self in a place entirely different to the one in which you started out.  Along the way, Khan gives her audience sharply, often humorously, observed crystals of wisdom on everything from eschewing the sciences to take up a career in the arts (run away!), Australia’s immigration policy, and our treatment of refugees.

An hour in Khan’s company whizzes by in what feels like an instant and leaves you thirsting for a cup of tea and a chat. MoR is a beautifully realised and intimate entrée into the life of a migrant woman.  It is as complex as the science that informs the dialogue and the intricate stage setting in which Khan weaves her magic.  But it’s also as simple and beautiful as a conversation with a friend, albeit one you may not have met before.

MoR runs from 21 May to 5 June at the Blue Room Theatre.  Tickets are available here.

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