S-27: A Provocative Play Exploring Human Behaviour Premieres In WA

  • Written by  Cooper Flick
  • Wednesday, 03 July 2019 16:52
Published in Arts  
'S-27' 'S-27' Image © Joseph Dennis

In the not-so-distant future, 'S-27' depicts a world of extremes, exploring how far people go and who they will betray to save themselves.


The story follows May, a photographer who must document dissenters who have rebelled against the Organisation, an authoritarian regime. Each scene tests where her loyalties lie... With her fellow human beings, the people she once loved, or the Organisation? And what if you were next?

Presented by Teresa Izzard's Feet First Collective, the immersive English play will take audiences on a journey through the rooms and winding halls of the iconic Fremantle Arts Centre.

“I think essentially Sarah Grochala, who wrote the play, created a kind of fable-like play that reminds us that these atrocities don't just happen somewhere else. Essentially it's a provocative play, like a call to reflect what happens when we allow extremist things to happen in front of our eyes and do nothing, and what could happen,” Teresa who is directing Feet First's second big production, says.

“It [Feet First Collective] started off as me really wanting to be able to initiate projects as a producer and a director that I felt were really important right here right now. Brave ideas that are a bit risky that you can't necessarily do if you only have three or four weeks to rehearse, interesting spaces and incorporating immersive elements and bringing together early career and more experienced artists for professional development and cross pollination, those are the three prongs that we focus on at Feet First.”

Inspired by prison records and interviews from Cambodia’s notorious S-21 prison, the play focuses on immersing the audience in the story and creating a connection between their reality and the one that is unfolding on the stage in front of them.

“What we are wanting to do is be more evocative and provocative than definitive. We don't want to be specific and tell people what to think, we want to get people to start asking questions about what our world is, what kind of choices we are making as a human race and as Australians and looking to the future and looking to what kind of world we want. The idea is to heighten the audience experience so that it's not just a sit and watch play, they are very much a part of it.”

The debut performance in WA comes as our world starts to experience the effects of climate change first hand. Debates continue to spark but one thing that continues to play on the minds of the people is inevitability.

“I believe I saw New South Wales has just said there is a climate change emergency, so it's not specifically a play about climate change but it is about what happens when human beings sit in ignorance and don't do anything, or when extremist politics is allowed to run rife.

“I think it's really just reminding us that we may think that this a comfortable first world country but when you look around, we've got issues.”

'S-27' plays Fremantle Arts Centre as part of 10 Nights In Port, on 12-14 and 16-21 July.

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