Goodby, Lindita

Goodbye, Lindita is an evocative exploration of death and grief. How can one come to terms with the loss of a person who has been an intrinsic part of his or her life, loved and now gone? Are there words which adequately express grief and loss? Must everyday life function in a time of mourning? Words may be superfluous, inadequate or even facile in the face of grief. What is left?

The play, by the Albanian theatre-maker, Mario Banushi, is the second part of a trilogy. The first part, RAGADA, dealt with his mother trying to give birth to him. As no theatre was prepared to show it it was performed in a room in his home, and its resounding success opened doors. Goodbye, Lindita was inspired by the memory of his stepmother’s death and his father who died three days later. It is about how to say good bye to a loved one. 

Set in a simple room the furniture serves as a bed, a bath, a coffin and a bier. The family move about attending to the everyday tasks which must still be completed. The body is washed and clothed in a long white dress with a red shawl and finally placed on a bier, surrounded by flowers, before the final burial. 

Music ranges from a requiem to folk music. People come and go, and the large picture of a black Madonna watches over all. Shadows cast strange images on the walls, and we enter the unknown, the mystery of death; where is the spirit of the person now, no longer in her body? Do the spirits of others who have died, and who were loved, communicate? What is beyond life?

These questions are expressed through symbolism, dance, music, light and shade, mundane and extraordinary, casting an arc of profundity over life, death and reunion. This is remarkable theatre which belongs in an arts festival, leading audiences to see beyond the conventional to the potential.

Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre

28 Feb-3 March

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