Running on Empty. "Sweet Road" by Debra Oswald. State Theatre South Australia and Playbox [review]
Bramwell, Murray Ross
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Life, as everyone from your aromatherapist to your personal trainer will tell you, is a journey. We are all out there, pounding away on the four lane black top. That is, when we are not cruising the information superhighway or moping about the road not taken. In popular culture the open vista has beckoned everyone from Jack Kerouac to Toad of Toad Hall, Hopper and Fonda to Thelma and Louise. In every second Australian film for the past twenty five years someone has cranked up the HJ and headed off through the bulldust. They have travelled with estranged parents, psychopaths, country singers and wind-jammering transvestites. Mel Gibson tried it three times, Harvey Keitel less successfully once. Motoring the wide brown land- essential, of course, if you want to get from A to B, let alone Perth or Darwin- has become one of the well-worn tropes of Australian narrative. Which brings us to Debra Oswald’s "Sweet Road", a gridlock of stories of flight and arrival, of lives stalled and then, strike me lucky, set in motion again by the RAA of fate and the jumper leads of destiny.