Playwave Creative

REVIEW: Follow Me Home

Follow Me Home
Reviewed by Nicole Pingon

Follow Me Home is a new work by Lewis Treston, created in association with ATYP and the Advocate for Children and Young People. Developed in consultation with over eighty young people who’ve experience homelessness in NSW, the work provides a unique insight into the varied ways homelessness may occur, and its impacts on the lives of young people.

Over seventy-five minutes, we’re taken through a series of vignettes, each sharing the story of young people in different situations. From a friend’s bedroom to a refuge, a cafe to a street corner; Treston allows us to catch glimpses of an imperfect system, and encourages us to see beyond stereotypes of youth homelessness. Behind each story is young person hoping to be heard and understood.

Beneath the trauma and hardship of circumstances, Follow Me Home honours the incredible resilience, hope and fight that flourishes within young people. Rather than each vignette being connected purely by their situation, they were connected through an undeniable strength and humanity throughout.

Under Fraser Corfield’s direction, the four young actors, Laneikka Denne, Jordan Dulieu, Jasper Lee-Lindsay and Sofia Nolan, brought the stories to life with commendable vulnerability and honesty. All four actors showcased their outstanding versatility as performers, while continually shining light on the strength and fight that persists within young people.

Aleisa Jelbart’s economical wooden set was constantly transforming between vignettes, fluidly moving the audience between locations. Some transitions were accompanied by verbatim voiceovers from young people who had experienced homelessness. Directly hearing the voices of young people sharing their stories, was a powerful tool in grounding the reality that while we were inside enjoying the show, others were simply trying to get through the night.

Follow Me Home succeeds in its intention to demystify the complexities of youth homelessness, and urges the audience to question their own role in a culture that often looks beyond those who need someone to listen. ATYP has fostered a space for young voices to be heard, and young performers to showcase the strength, resilience and joy that exists within all young people.

Riverside Theatres
Images: Tracey Schramm
29 - 31 May

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