As child during the conflict that shattered former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Oleg Pupovac lived in a tiny village of about 650, where his grandmother, 92 still lives. The 31-year old moved to Australia on his own at 19, after having lived all over the world and picking up various languages. He stays in touch with family, sometimes listening to songs recorded on voice mail, which forms part of the perspective of his latest work – Me and My Mother, Singing – playing at Blood Moon Theatre.
Though the 60-minute piece references the war, he says it is not a war story. It is semi-autobiographical and reflecting his international upbringing, using what he terms “slices of life.”
“It’s about nothing and everything,” says Pupovac. “It’s not entirely about the war,” adding, “It’s not even a linear story. It’s a mixture of story-telling, poetry, painting, performance and a quite a bit of my mother, singing.”
“I wanted slices of memory compiled to make the psychology” of a person with experiences like his more fathomable. “I find it interesting how a situation like mine is often interpreted back to me by others,” because, “after all, [they] saw it on the BBC.”
All proceeds of Me and My Mother, Singing are going to Big Brothers, Big Sisters Australia, a choice Pupovac made after careful research. “I’m a great believer in small connections, paying it forward and having a wider impact. A lot of people my age [in former Yugoslavia] don’t have fathers.”
Until Aug 30. Blood Moon Theatre, 24 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross. $20-$30+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.thetwopeas.com
By Olga Azar.