Photography c. Robert Catto
BREAD & BUTTER
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY MELITA ROWSTON
When Maryam can’t sleep she bakes bread. In her small Marrickville kitchen she kneads sourdough – it’s the only balm that can soothe her.
For Maryam, bread has been a positive constant in her life. As a child in Kabul she made naan with her mother while in Australia, becoming a trainee at an artisan bakery was her entrée into safety and security.
Bread is a beautiful alchemy of flour, water and salt that when baked, can feed friends and strangers alike. It connects Maryam to her faith, this country and her sense of self.
Yet, as US forces leave Afghanistan and Australia deems Kabul ‘safe’ for Hazara Asylum Seekers to return, Maryam’s anxiety escalates.
After all she has endured as a woman on her own, will she be sent back to that dangerous place she can no longer call home?
Photography c. Ian Barry
“Rowston has Maryam, who Draisma fleshes out so realistically, share her story and, at the end, her bread, a quasi-religious offering that embodies the notion espoused at the beginning and, again, later: ‘in Islam, if you have something, you share it’. It’s a powerful, cogent, timely reminder we’re all worked and risen from the same stuff. Even if, like so many loaves, we’re shaped, textured, patterned and coloured in diverse ways…. There’s commitment and energy here that’s too often lacking in the wider theatre world. Rowston, Draisma, Gaul, Mawer, both Browns, Barr, Ah Kin, Conroy and lastly, but by no means ‘leastly’, Dimitriadis, deserve ovation. These names represent some of our strongest writers, actors and directors. They should be household.”
Syke on Stage, 6 Feb, 2015
Bread and Butter was commissioned by Apocalyspe Theatre Company in 2015 to be part of their ASYLUM series.
Writer/Director: Melita Rowston
Music composition/performance: Ben Pierpoint – Piano, Angus Ryan - Cello
Maryam: Josipa Draisma
3-15 February, 2015
The Old 505 Theatre, 342 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills.