Asylum play (GNW 19/10/09: monologue)

There’s a deadly civil war in Sri Lanka, so what do we send over? Food? No. Medical supplies? No. We send them street theatre.

And if you’ve ever seen any street theatre, you’ll know exactly why it deters people.

Of course, it’s not the street theatre’s message that keeps them away – more the quality of the acting.

But these people are in a war zone! The acting’s going to have to be pretty bloody awful to be worse than that.

Unfortunately, compared to being blown to pieces in a war, a play about crowded boats still seems pretty appealing, no matter how dodgy the acting.

The government’s finally decided on a strategy to stem the flow of boat-people: theatre! Rudd’s a great fan of the arts, which is why his solution to so many things is to “put on a show!”

The play is said to be so moving, people are flooding in from all over.

Tickets for the play are in such high demand that to watch it you have to wait for several months, in a high-security offshore facility.

I tried to get a ticket to see the play, but people kept jumping the queue.

Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi have been mounting street theatre in Sri Lanka to warn people that their efforts to escape to Australia will be in vain. And if you do make it, that you’ll have to deal with more street theatre. / Although street theatre can have the effect of sending people screaming for a boat out of there.

We’re trying our best to deter Sri Lankans from coming. The trouble is, we keep beating up Indians by mistake.

The actors will play the role of people smugglers, and will use their acting skills to tell the locals that the journey to Australia is full of danger, disaster, and mime.

With 250 thousand people displaced in the Sri Lankan civil war, we’d rather spend millions of dollars on employing an advertising company to trick refugees into not coming to Australia, than spend the same amount on food, medical supplies, or aid – you know, the stuff that might actually give them an actual reason to not want to leave in the first place.

Although, with 250 thousand people already displaced by warfare, sending them street theatre is really just kicking them while they’re down. / rubbing salt into the wounds.

Posters, street banners and church-distributed literature is also being used to encourage the average Sri Lankan that Australia really really sucks.

Unfortunately the street theatre, poster and banner campaign hasn’t deterred people. In fact our tourism board ought to try the “Australia doesn’t want you” campaign. / “Australia – you’ll never make it!” campaign.

Actors play people smugglers, and teach the audience the perils of an attempted escape to Australia by sticking them on a leaky boat and crossing the Indian Ocean.

Of course, the very best actors are the ones that actually smuggle people to Australia, just to really get into the role.

The plotline is fairly simple: the people smugglers ask for some volunteers from the audience, who they then lock up offshore for several months.

Using street actors will hopefully work better than using jugglers and mimes. (Although if they really want to scare people into not coming over, maybe they should use clowns.)

And if street theatre doesn’t scare ‘em, nothing will.

And if that doesn’t keep them away, they’re going to show them Australia The Movie. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

The Sri Lankan actors are grateful for the chance to play people-smugglers. It’s a real chance to break out of their day jobs as people-smugglers.

It’s not going to work. The autocue is a dead giveaway.

Although, frankly, if being locked up in detention centre or being crammed into a leaking boat aren’t deterrents enough, I’m not sure street-theatre’s going to cut it.

The People Smugglers – starring Joe Hockey as Christmas Island!

It’s a royal frigate of the Australian navy! Where? Behind you! Where? Behind you!

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