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Barbaric Truth

When Filipino teacher, Cef, finds himself embroiled in Rodrigo Durterte’s infamous war on drugs, the ramifications reach far beyond the Philippines. His cousin Lana, a lawyer raised in Sydney with little connection to her cultural heritage, is initially reluctant to become involved in his plight. But when her desperate aunt begs her for help she finds herself involved in the fight to save Cef’s life. Her mission to find justice in a system with no legal checks and balances, forces her to confront her family history and contemplate her own identity as part of Australia’s Filipino diaspora.

This ambitious drama examines the diaspora experience and the painful consequences of denying our histories and heritage.

Written by: Jordan Shea
Direction: Courtney Stewart
Dramaturgy: Polly Rowe
Cast: Kenneth Moraleda, Alice Kahveong, Peter Kowitz, Lena Cruz and Brent Hill

Sydney Theatre Company Rough Drafts are Supported by the Gierghenson Foundation

Performed Sept 8, 2017

Writer’s note:

It was a major coup for me to have this personal and little epic presented and workshopped at Sydney Theatre Company, less than a year after finishing drama school. It connected me with Kenneth Moraleda, who would become a long term collaborator. Great minds in the room as well, with the likes of Courtney Stewart steering a very ambitious work. It was exhausting, physically and emotionally, and I put too much hope into it. I’m glad it happened, but it definitely made me wary of a writer’s autonomy and voice - how much it needs protection and advocacy.

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