’The Time Is Now’ is equal parts charming, harrowing and just darn honest – ten kids tell it like it is and there’s no where for the adults in the room to run.
Sure, you could just get up and leave the theatre. . . But what would that look like? Well, it’d be an ironic visual representation of the messages these kids are trying to get across in ‘The Time Is Now’ – messages about adults not taking responsibility for, or taking steps to fix, the various ways in which they’re contributing to the devastation seen in the world every day – whether they’re conscious of it or not.
The age range here is between 12 and 18, but the experience range is beyond comprehension. ‘The Time Is Now’ is living proof that the voices and lives of children matter, and in some cases perhaps even have the potential to be louder and more effective than any adult. . . But it then reminds you that as a society, by and large, we aren’t giving them that power. And that’s a great loss.
But in recent times, it seems the world is opening up to the idea of taking what young people say more seriously. The Greta Thunberg narrative is one displaying a surprisingly compassionate side to the older generation – the way in which the world has collectively decided to stop what they’re doing and listen to her is promising for the future.
‘The Time Is Now’ is incredibly important. In each performance, these young people are given the chance to chop, change and add to the Declaration Of Human Rights, stepping forward to state their case, tell audiences of their real-life experiences, and do their bit in changing the world for the better. Also in each performance is a different adult, taken to task and required to respond to the thoughts, ideas and pleas of the cast.
The addition of the participating adult is effective. It brings a central element of the show’s content to the stage after all is said and done. They’re brought into the spotlight, and given a chance to respond. Plus, no two shows will be exactly the same as a result of this.
Issues heard throughout ‘The Time Is Now’ include abuse, racism, global warming, cancer, and bullying. These kids have experienced all of this and more.
The show is a letter to adults everywhere, a letter stating in capital, bold letters, that the ways in which youth see the world can be beneficial to positive change if only they are taken seriously by the people with enough power to make that change happen.
Ari Palani, Aleea Monsour and David Burton, you have created a show with the potential to change minds and shift narratives. ‘The Time Is Now’ is a pioneer, a much-needed platform for youth, and a harbinger of truth.
The cast are Omalkire Akil Ahmed, Huda Akhlaki, Jessica Boyd, Joe Cranitch, Sophia Ferreira da Luz, Diali Kemp, Rachel Kennedy, Zander Pynenburg, Carys Walsh and Fujia Sarah Xu.
’The Time Is Now’ plays La Boite Theatre (Brisbane) until 5 June.