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Michael Coghlan:

The plight of the migrant is much discussed and much maligned. There are many things in life that are hard to really understand unless experienced firsthand, and migration would be near the top of that list.

In essence, the migrant is condemned to a kind of homelessness. Once you leave your homeland your soul never truly feels at home anymore. Ever! In The Door, an intriguing piece of experimental theatre from Iran, we follow the life of a young woman who emigrates to Australia. She knows Australia is free and beautiful, but she is constantly pulled back to Iran by a sense of loss, by wanting to belong, by family.

Forever looking back; forever agitated, the migrant can occasionally find solace in the smallest of insignificant details if it reminds them of home. But it doesn’t last long before the torment returns – the torment of being kept hostage by a bureaucracy that determines whether or not you can realise your dreams.

The Door’s tale is told by two striking women representing the same story. Their angst is palpable as they stumble between languages trying to communicate how they’re feeling. They pack and unpack symbols of their culture which are strewn across the stage. Acts of mindless repetition reflect the anxiety of relentless uncertainty. Do I stay or do I go? The sign at the back of the stage says it all – a door is both a place to go forward or go back.

The Door is quite beautiful to watch, but like a migrant’s new country, it is also painful and challenging.

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