Do You Know Me presented by Epiphany Productions for Guerrilla Fest 2020 is based on interviews with homeless people in Perth, but was originally developed in 2018 during Melbourne Fringe when the playwright interviewed homeless people on Melbourne’s streets. Do You Know Me is written by Tiffany Barton (with dramaturgy by Phil Thomson and assistance from the cast), also directed by Phil Thomson.
This site-specific, promenade performance takes the audience through the streets of Northbridge, where we are invited to listen to stories that reveal the circumstances that led to homelessness. The stories are told by Perth actors Ian Bolgia, Summer Williams, Declan Brown, CJ Hampspon and Natalie Louise, though the play is deliberately performed to unnerve the audience – are we listening to actors or real homeless people? Sometimes the stories are told in a linear way, as a traditional monologue and sometimes the stories are disjointed, chaotic and never fully realised. Though this is the point. We don’t always hear the whole story because it’s too painful to tell, or sudden mental health symptoms such as paranoia or confusion hijack the re-telling.
In addition to exploring clinical mental health issues as being associated with homelessness, there are strong inferences that abusive circumstances, such as the ongoing displacement and persecution of Aboriginal people is a major contributing factor to the depression that leads to a spiralling trajectory into homelessness. Indeed, the various circumstances reveal a diverse demographic and raise vital questions that are powerful and insightful.
All profits from the season will be donated to the Perth Homeless Support Group.
Do You Know Me is showing until 2nd February leaving from Yagan Square at 6.30pm and ending at the Brass Monkey in Northbridge.