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Melbourne Fringe 2017

One of the Good Ones

Cope ST Collective

Genre: Sci-fi, Theatre

Venue: Mechanics Institute, 270 Sydney Road, Brunswick


Low Down

One of the Good Ones by all Indigenous independent group Cope ST collective is a sci-fi comedy decolonising space.


In a galaxy far, far away Blackfellas have taken their fight for sovereignty to the outer edge of the universe. Under the leadership of handsome space warrior Barry, the black rebels war with the fierce Causaxon Army who are after the precious mineral wealth which the Blackfella’s home planet is endowed with. But Barry is caught driving a spaceship without a license and thrown into space jail and needs saving.

And so begins the journey, courtesy of Boomerang Time Travel, of these two intrepid travellers as they embark on their self-endorsed hero mission. The janitor (Bjorn Stewart) and failed military clone (Colin Kinchela) set off, rather ill-equipped, with the aid of the non-plussed, rapper-aspiring flight computer (voiced by Mathew Cooper) aboard the Blackstar Space Ship.

Their journey however is interrupted with the appearance of a time travelling stowaway (Kate Beckett) who has travelled from the future, also in search of Barry but not for the altruistic reasons of the hapless duo. They are at a loss as to how to deal with this butt-kicking warrior who manipulates them in pursuit of her agenda; the outcome of which lands all three in a perilous situation. They will need to find a way to overcome their differences to save themselves and their world.

This raucously funny play is a contemporary look into environmental and social issues and addresses institutionalised racism head-on tactfully, honestly and without apology. In the end, Elder Aunty from the home planet, like a futuristic Wizard of Oz, reminds all three that the future ultimately is in their hands in their own attitudes and actions. There’s a lesson in her message for all of us in the here and now.

Stewart and Kinchela are both hilarious in showcasing the ineptitude and fortitude of their characters.  Their physical pace is electric and lightning-paced at times. Seeing them do the Barry salute is so contagious that if they did it one more time, I was going to join in!  Beckett as the antagonist matches their energy with her bravado as a woman on a mission. She owns being this awesome intergalactic time travelling warrior. Kodie Bedford is delightful in portraying the bit characters including Elder Aunty, the Boomerang Time Travel flight attendant and a Causaxon judge.

​​I loved One of the Good Ones. An Indigenous Australian sci-fi comedy romp. The concept and execution are both fantastic. Don’t miss this opportunity to see it!