My Name Is Jimi @ Queensland Theatre Review

  • Written by  Elodie Boal
  • Thursday, 27 July 2017 14:00
Published in Arts News  
Inviting us on an expedition of identity, Queensland Theatre’s ‘My Name is Jimi’ ignited audiences with its cultural recognition.

Highlighting the legends of the Wadagadum tribe on Mabuiag Island, the enormously entertaining show embarked families on a journey across the Torres Strait.

Filled with music, dancing, comedy and story-telling, the evening draws you in from the get-go as there’s plenty on offer for young and old.

Writer and lead actor, Jimi Bani, is extremely charismatic as he teaches patrons about his upbringing, traditions and precious totems.

It’s definitely a family affair as four generations take to the stage at one time – Jimi’s grandmother, mother, son and brothers assist in recreating the stories of Mabuiag Island and Bani’s childhood memories.

It’s captivating to watch them perform in their traditional dress and the passion for their history is evident.

Director Jason Klarwein has done a remarkable job in this co-collaboration and a lot of effort has been put into the finer details.

Action moves effortlessly from one side of the stage to another and the technological re-imagining of these tales makes key messages unforgettable.

‘My Name is Jimi’ is story-telling is at its finest.

The small scale diorama’s of a replicated island was truly breathtaking and the way actors moved pieces to create visual imagery along with readings was entrancing. The play was perfectly timed – a true nod to the dedication of the cast and crew surrounding this show.

Jimi Bani broke the fourth wall on many occasions, but it was a test to ensure the audience followed along with the multilingual components and themes of the show. No voyager was left behind on this adventure of identity, self-discovery and the fight to preserve language and culture.

One of the biggest things to take away from this production, as told by Bani himself, is that ‘life without culture is life without actual life’.

‘My Name is Jimi’ will have you wanting to explore your own individuality, so you yourself can leave a legacy for the next generation.

‘My Name is Jimi’ plays at Queensland Theatre until 13 August 2017.

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