Conceived on the boat of an asylum seeker, Fish Child hovers above the Woomera Immigration Detention Centre in the Australian desert, reluctant to be born.
Her mother becomes enmeshed in an increasingly deadly struggle with a prison guard, bargaining for her child's future. The grim and surprising outcome forms a dark prism through which the brutal realities confronting those who arrive unbidden in Australia's waters are refracted.
SLOW FALLING BIRD explores the warping social and mental conditions on both sides of the wire, and asks what kind of new life, and new society, can be born into such barren surroundings. By turns bleak and darkly comical, it veers between the harsh realism of the prison camp and the hallucinatory excesses of the Karaoke Bar in the desert.
It takes place against the wider background of a world with tightly patrolled borders and an increase of 'non-citizens' without civil rights. It is a journey to the desert: both a literal place and a contemporary desert of the mind.
Winner of 2004 Monash Student Association Playwriting Prize.
Winner of San Francisco State University Rella Lossy Playwriting Award.
- Neo-realism, heightened drama
- 90 minutes
- 4 female, 5 male
- 16 to 18, 18+
- young adult, adult
- Australian Script Centre