Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Christopher M. Ryan, Fast Cars & Tractor Engines [performance], Urban Theatre Projects & Roslyn Oades, Bankstown Town Hall Theatre, 10-14 October 2006. Christopher Ryan was the artistic consultant. Producation information is available here. Download here a Quicktime copy of the performance.



Research background

This production used the strategies of 'Non-fiction' theatre as a means of exploring cultural diversity in the Bankstown area of Southwest Sydney. Produced by Bankstown Youth Development Services – a community arts based cultural development organisation at the Bankstown Arts Centre, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Urban Theatre Projects, and directed by Roslyn Oades, the work utilised eight individual 'oral histories'.

Research contribution

Ryan’s role was dramaturg, and he was a key member of the creative team working to translate 'history' into an effective theatrical medium, as well as utilising a unique approach to the delivery of 'story' and 'performance'. More than verbatim theatre, this production saw the actors wearing headsets and directly channelling the original words of the interviewees, precisely mapping individual speech patterns including, breath, vocal tics, and accents. The performers performed against race and gender, generating unpredictable representations and unsettling stereotypes.

Research significance

Funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, this production was initially presented at Bankstown RSL in 2005. It was remounted in 2006 and then toured NSW regional areas with Performing Lines Ltd, funded by the Australia Council. It was positively reviewed in RealTime here, and in the Sydney Morning Herald here.