Photo – Renee Nowytarger

The empire of empathy is under siege from by the book bureaucracy and a federal government official who has been emotionally battered, bruised and baffled by a delinquent spouse and an equally delinquent son in Ruth Fingret’s Asylum.

Craig is caught between the devil in the detail of his job and the deep blues of his domestic life. Craig is an immigration officer who is determined to dot the i and cross the t when it comes to interrogation of asylum seekers.

A perfect storm is brewing as he takes a new case, Hajir, a Lebanese refugee on the exact same day as his ex-wife, Vikki, shows up and his son, Jason, is arrested for armed robbery. Craig is seemingly surrounded by victims and he’s feeling increasingly like he’s the villain.

These parallel stories intersect, overlap, collide as Craig deals with the rigidity of rules and strict policy process and his own determined belief in the rule of law. The needle of his moral compass is determinedly set due north while all around it sags south. 

Chris Miller is solidly stolid and strong as the discarded spouse, frustrated father and letter of the law official, a stoicism stymied by a concealed care and concern that can’t help itself.  

Eli Saad is wonderfully impassioned as Hajir, seeking a protection visa but perilously close to being ineligible due to a lie. It’s an honest, no heroics, please, performance.

Dianne Weller as Vikki and Levi Kenway as Jason have their work cut out for them as mentally fragile pair, harnessing histrionics of the bi polar mum and the ADHD son.

Emma Burns as the arresting cop acquits herself with distinction, her empathy emblematic, a still presence in the maelstrom of emotion. 

Olga Tamara directs the to and fro of the parallelisms on a set that is a triptych of Commonwealth Government office, family home and police station with sympathetic lighting by Mehran Mortezaei.

Asylum is a poignant exploration of perceptions of home and safety and the ironies that it implies.

Event details

Ruth Fingret presents
by Ruth Fingret

Director Olga Tamara

Venue: Hellenic Art Theatre | Building 36, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville NSW
Dates: 2 – 12 May 2024
Tickets: $45 – $41.50


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