Imagine watching a film where you can change the end.
The hero’s trying his best but he doesn’t know what to say or do to win the ending he deserves.
Been Through Enough is the breakout stage show from Milton› rooted Happy You . . .!! Theatre Company which premiered in Dunedin last Thursday, featuring the revolutionary ‘‘Forum Theatre’’ technique .
Many of us shy away from ‘‘audience participation’’, but host/ director Ruth Carraway quickly had around 50 audience members warmed up, tuned in and ready to become ‘‘spect›actors’’.
We watched the short sharp scenes unfold: Chris on parole, determined to be a real father to his kids and a reliable grafter for his employer — as his ex lets the team down, and family and the system abandon him to his tragic fate.
But we watched again, a second chance, with the power to call out ‘‘freeze!’’ and replace Chris onstage in those crucial moments where lives change without us ever knowing it.
There was pressure to perform, but not from the show’s creators — a dozen eager volunteers stepped in, begging family, bargaining with the boss, unlocking the system’s resources and shunning dangerous acquaintances.
Chris was a proud man, desperate to do the right thing, but he was alone until he had us, and the combined wisdom of our happenstance community brought a brighter future for a father and his family.
Praise was hearty at the end of the show, mixed with gratitude for the performers’ confident, sincere portrayal of sensitive, personal experience and the enthusiasm of a uniquely uplifting experience.
Been Through Enough has only the nights of June 3›4 remaining at Te Whare o Rukutia, 20 Princes St, Dunedin — two last chances for veteran theatre›goers and would› be social commentators to see something very different, and literally get involved.