Sunday, August 25, 2019

Grapes of Wrath in the Pacific

On Friday I attended a performance of The Grapes of Wrath at the New Theatre, Sydney. This play is adapted by Frank Galati from John Steinbeck’s novel. As someone in the row behind me kept loudly telling their companion: this play is relentlessly depressing. 

This is a relatively straightforward adaption of the book, about  tenant farmers driven from the US Midwest by drought and economic depression. The promised land of California, proved not to be paradise with labor contractors conspiring with authorities to exploit itinerant workers.

While well directed, acted and with imaginative set design, I wondered how relevant this story of exploitation in the USA was to Australia today.  Then I recalled an Australian politician saying that pacific islanders should not complain about being driven from their land by rising sea levels, as they could always get work picking fruit in Australia.

No comments: