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Burning Doors

words by ben stephens

Lend me your thespian mind for only but a moment.

In the world we live in today, it’s all too easy to use the medium of film as a method of escapism from the world you live. Has it not become more common to use the medium to leave where you are, to be transported to a place that seems exponentially better than where you are at currently. It seems if it were left to the likes of Hollywood marketers all we would see is a better world, more obtainable by the things we use and buy.

There are the odd one or two films that come through, that really challenge the mind. That make you wince at the screen and even some cause the need to walk out of the cinema.

Though we can grow a little used to the idealistic way of storytelling, and anything more than what we want to see, we shut it off.

It was while researching Burning Doors, the new Belarus Theatre piece that lands in Melbourne this week, where I began to ponder that perhaps theatre, with the use of physicality and real life emotion, can create feelings like no other performance.

Burning Doors tells the tale of Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina. The stories of being named as an enemy of the state because they used the right to expressionism and the tales that came from their incarnation in the Russian prison system.

This is in no way a light-hearted piece. You’ll leave feeling a little fragile like the world isn’t as beautiful as you may think it is. Thankfully, nothing a 90-minute yoga session can’t set straight.

Disregard that attempt to make this not the deepest piece of writing you’ve read today; This piece of theatre is here to remind you of the medium and the power it can wield while challenging ideas of expressionism, oppression and human survival.

Burning Doors is on at Arts Centre Melbourne from November 29 to December 3. Book tickets HERE

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