Taxi is a truly intimate theatre experience, conceived and directed by Susie Dee and written by Patricia Cornelius about the lives of taxi drivers.
An audience of three sits in the back of a taxi. Two different taxi rides, each containing a linked set of narratives explore racism, fear, poverty, loneliness, desperation and exhaustion from work. Who is the victim? Who is the perpetrator? And how does being enclosed in a moving car impact on that dynamic?
Life is in short grabs in Taxi. The grabs are sometimes sweet, sometimes mean, melancholic and delightful. They reflect the experience of taxi drivers and passengers alike. The stories are particular and universal and adaptable to any city anywhere. Only parts of stories are told and the rest is to be guessed at or left to haunt. The drivers are privy to malicious intent, to profound sorrow, to pouring from the heart. The taxi itself becomes the confessional to secrets that have never before been expressed. A driver picks up countless passengers who give glimpses into an edgy, unpredictable and lonely world. The driver is witness, victim, complicit and constantly facing predicaments.
“Sometimes the journey is nothing short of amazing,” says Bruce, a Melbourne taxi driver.
All this is experienced from the back seat of a taxi. Constantly on the move and seemingly on ad hoc journeys the routes are finely plotted and timed. The incidents, the hailing of cabs, the appearance of passengers have a sense of the improvised and the accidental but are shaped and theatrical at the same time. But of course a sudden downpour, an eruption of road rage, and the randomness of traffic and people in the streets give the experience of immediacy and excitement.
The journey finishes in an enclosed garage where the audience view an 8 minute film, like a drive-in cinema. This film/documentary was made by Tamsin Sharp, Singing Bowl Media.
Big West Festival
“It’s a rare piece of theatre which changes your view of the world, even temporarily, and it’s a credit to Cornelius, Dee and their team that Taxi does just that” Richard Watts, Arts Hub