Musical Roots
A one woman show by June Mills.   
Brown's Mart Theatre, 11th, 12th, 18th & 19th September 1998.   
Reviewed by Sally-Anne Watson.
       To the beat of Yothu Yindi, Larrakia woman June Mills, gathers her nets and steps, dances, towards the glinting water. Slowly, instinctively, she prepares, and - whoosh!, the net is thrown over the audience. Carefully, slowly, she pulls it in. This is but one thrilling scene from "BLACKOUT', a brilliant play, written, directed and acted by June Mills. 
       The performance alternates between satire and poignancy, hilarity and tragedy, with lots of good fun in between. Here we see June in her full, lovable personality, as the mother of six, contrast blackfella language with bureaucracy- speaking of real Aboriginal life "in a housing commission dwelling with the demands of the Housing Commission Authority, and then the real Larrakia burial ground with the MGM Casino, which has been imposed upon that land.
       Her performance is enhanced by images and videos of local scenes and events, such as Aunty Dulcie's heart-rending account of her family's eviction by the Housing Commission. To a series of portraits of past and  present Larrakia men, women and children, to the rhythm of yidaki (didjeridoo), June erects a burial ground. Fire flames; Larrakia woman dances; her warning: Sacred Site; a chill of awe runs through the audience's spine. 
       There are strong messages in "BLACKOUT'. There is the great beauty of  June's stories, her singing, and of herself - a wonderfully talented woman who is exactly what she is, no gammon. There is the play's mix of tragedy and comedy, which bonds the audience, balanda and blackfella, and leads them to catharsis. For despite the harshness of Territory laws, bureaucracy, despite the pain of past and present, there is laughter, and there is pride, and there are children; and whether or not it is recognised by the "authorities", Larrakia Land is and always will be Larrakia Land. 
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