Coloured Aliens is a short insight into the interracial relationship between two main characters, Mai Nguyen a struggling female Vietnamese-Australian playwrite and Kevin, her white, western boyfriend, a security guard who grew up in the rough areas of Melbourne.
Each role is ironically played by a western woman (Mai) – Melbourne-based performer Annie Lumsden, and Kevin, by Asia-Australian John Marc Desengano, a quirky twist which works to lighten some of the heavy content of the piece.
The chemistry between the two characters was easy, warm and believable.
Mai, the main character was narcissistic, self-absorbed, irritating and difficult to like – the kind of character that has a chip on their shoulder, who holds onto the sins of forefathers past and thus cripples themselves with blinkers, unable to embrace the positive around them. This, thankfully was balanced with Kevin’s sweeter, more simplistic nature.
Though the intelligent insights, cleverly disguised as witty banter between two lovers were aimed to re-educate western audience members, we felt a little uncomfortable and guilty, for no reason which made the experience a little wearing.
Created by established writer / producer Chi Vu, Colored Aliens is meant to be a lighthearted look at casual and reverse racism in Australian society, but as an entertainment piece, perhaps went just a little too far, unbalancing the to the to-and fro perceptions, making the audience shift uncomfortably in their seats.
Needless to say, this subject matter definitely hit nerves, and made the audience think about how the protagonist felt, through her own eyes.
An interesting, intelligent piece, executed with passion by two brilliant actors, not exactly funny, but well written, thought provoking filled, with metaphors and the odd pho pun.
Where: La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
When: Wed 6.30pm | Thu, Fri, Sat 7.30pm | Sun 4pm – 6-16 April 2017
More information / tickets: Check out the La Mama website.