The Shoe-Horn Sonata

8 May

The Truth will prevail.


Simone Weil (I think it was) put the kibosh on this liberal fantasy. She pointed out that violence can kill the Truth. If no one is left to tell stories, they’ve been effectively silenced.

The Truth does not tell itself. That’s our duty.

John Misto, in his classic play The Shoe-Horn Sonata, shares stories that might otherwise have been forgotten. Based on the testimonies of women who survived internment by the Japanese during WW2, Misto tells a story of suffering, of determination, and of loyalty.

Image (C) Phyllis Wong

Image (C) Phyllis Wong

These are stories that for a long time many people were happy to have silenced. It’s not Japan’s proudest moment, and both the British and Australian authorities were apparently quite reluctant to let the public know how they’d failed to protect their womenfolk.

And so, after the war, there were Australian women who returned to quiet suburban life nursing extraordinary memories.

Misto acknowledges their suffering, and their strength.

Director Ian Zammit’s production is very powerful. Annette Emerton and Diana Jeffrey give deeply moving performances, ably supported by Peter Maple.

In a year when much attention has been given to Australia’s involvement in foreign conflict, this production by Emu Heights Theatre Company – so humane in its vision – is an invaluable addition to the conversation.

And E.H.T.C. has been an invaluable addition to the arts scene in Western Sydney. Our stories have to be told.

Veronica Kaye

The Shoe-Horn Sonata by John Misto

Q Theatre, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre

This production has already closed.

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