THOUGHT-PROVOKING: It All Begins With Love uses the direct experiences of victims and perpetrators through verbatim theatre to highlight the impacts on local communities.
THOUGHT-PROVOKING: It All Begins With Love uses the direct experiences of victims and perpetrators through verbatim theatre to highlight the impacts on local communities. PAUL BEUTEL

Powerful play promotes change

THE direct experiences of victims and perpetrators will be the focus of the latest play to be performed in CQ next week, titled It All Begins With Love.

It's the culmination of a three-year project by Bundaberg-based arts group Creative Regions, with the result being a powerful play based on real Queensland stories of domestic violence and survival.

They hope it will prompt difficult discussions when it hits the stage in Rockhampton and Yeppoon on October 29 and 30 as part of a state-wide tour.

Creative producer Rod Ainsworth interviewed a dozen people for the piece, including some male perpetrators.

The interviews form the basis of a half-hour performance, which Ainsworth hoped would lift the lid on domestic violence in small towns.

"The resolutions for the characters reflect those of the interviewees," Mr Ainsworth said.

"All women interviewed had managed to leave the relationship and most have a story of hope."

The play is designed to reflect the 'light at the end of the tunnel' - especially given that it is hoped the play will be used in education and counselling situations as a conversation-starter. However, it was important to reflect the tinge of darkness that is ever-present for victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a national crisis and also an issue particularly difficult to address in regional areas where a lack of understanding and concerns about anonymity can make victims reluctant to seek help. In the Capricornia area alone, there were 756 domestic violence incidents per 100,000 people from 2013 to 2014.

"It has been an eye-opening experience for everyone involved," Mr Ainsworth added.

"We have had people come up to us after the play with incredible feedback. One woman approached me in the car park to tell me her personal story of domestic violence, while others have asked the typically wrong question, "Why don't the women leave?"

 

IF YOU GO

Rockhampton Show:

Thursday, October 29, at the Walter Reid Cultural Centre Auditorium from 7.30pm.

Yeppoon Show:

Yeppoon Town Hall on Friday, October 30, from 7.30pm.

This show is recommended for ages 15 and over. Tickets (adults $10 and concession $5) from Keppel Coast Arts Council. Book on 4913 3857.



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