Playwright/Performer: Cliff Cardinal. Native Earth Performing Arts (Canada). Sydney Festival. Australian Exclusive. Director/Dramaturg: Karin Randoja. Seymour Centre. 24-28 January, 2017
Growing up on an indigenous reservation in Canada is not much different, it seems, from growing up on similar reservations in other countries. Cut off and isolated from the mainstream by legislation, distance and lack of opportunity, some adults turn to drink and abuse. Kids ‘huff’ (sniff) gasoline, sneak porn magazines and find a secret place to read them – in this case, an abandoned motel – a place to hide from the realities of a dysfunctional world. But wherever they go the ‘Trickster’ – bad luck, misfortune, adversity – finds them.
Cliff Cardinal blends the realities of tribal beliefs and mysticism with forced segregation and assimilation in this heart-wrenching story of brothers trapped in a barrage of abuse and hardship following the death of their mother. They cling together, trying to sustain each other, but gradually give in to the darkness that creeps after neglect, addiction and despair.