SUE JACKSON Therapist | Writer | Photographer | Activist

An avid blogger for the last fifteen years, I believe in the power of the word to change the world. I have participated in, and reported on, a range of protests during this period, including the successful East-West Link campaign and, more recently, our wonderful, home-grown Extinction Rebellion (XR). If you believe, like I do, that it is time for ordinary people to rise up in defence of the planet, I encourage you to explore this blog, share it with your networks, and – of course – take action.

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Where's the Train?" Trains Not Tolls Troupe at Doncaster Mall

Getting the message out there

This morning a group of Public Transport enthusiasts met briefly under the Fitzroy grandstand for our final (only) full dress rehearsal, before heading out in convoy to wow shoppers at the Doncaster mall. We chose Victorian costumes to make the point that a train to Doncaster was first promised in the 1870s. And we are still waiting.

Queuing for the train?

Under the able tutelage of Roderick Poole we had learned strategies to attract attention in a busy mall. We queued in a variety of spots, mingled, walked about decorously as befits Victorian ladies and gentlemen, rode up and down the escalators and read our newspapers. Our aim was to intrigue onlookers and hopefully make them more aware of the need for Doncaster rail and other public transport options. We didn't talk directly with viewers ourselves, but instead directed queries to our main support person, Anne Mullins, who I also have to thank for the great pictures in this post. I couldn't take them myself because I was one of the performers and the camera didn't fit down my bra.

I loved my dress

We all looked fabulous and of course it was the costumes that attracted so much attention. I was bowled over by how ingenious everyone was in acessorizing, one of the men (I think it was Roderick) even locating in an op shop Victorian spectacles, whose prescription suited him fine.  And of course we also have to thank the famous Rose Chong, of Gertrude Street, who generously outfitted us all as her contribution to the East-West Link protest.

Rose and Bella - thank you so much!

While I think of it, there were others to thank, especially Douglas, who organised us all, and Andrew who made the marvellous newspapers, which were a crucial way to get our message across, especially as it is illegal to hand out flyers in a mall.
It was great to see how many people stopped what they were doing to watch us. And several commented that in such a busy noisy atmosphere the sheer silence of our performance made a big impact.

Enjoying the performance

Some of the heartening things Anne reported were that people really appreciated what we were doing and many expressed great enthusiasm for Doncaster rail. I just hope news of our bewildered search for the train in the Doncaster mall gets out there, and those who haven't given the situation much thought to date start thinking.
This was my first experience of street (or rather, mall) theatre and I must say I enjoyed it a lot. And it was such fun dressing up!


Blogger Luke C Jackson said...

What a fantastic concept! Good on you gor being a part of it.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

Thanks, Luke. I must confess - it gave me quite a buzz.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

Thanks, Luke. I must confess - it gave me quite a buzz.

12:52 AM  
Blogger Jill Koppel said...

Once again, burning the midnight candle to post quickly and effectively, Sue. Great that you acknowledged Rose's generous contribution. It was fun, wasn't it?

1:36 PM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

I had a really fun time. Doing something useful and light-hearted with a bunch of like-minded people is such a buzz.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Jane Perry said...

Sounds like it was effective in piquing people's curiosity, Sue. Whoever dreamt it up was very clever. Glad you had fun too.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

Street (or mall) theatre is an interesting experience. I never thought I could participate, but after the initial shyness, it wasn't hard at all. But I've concluded that whatever their reputation for female fragility, Victorian ladies must have been as strong as oxen to cope with all that heavy, constricting clothing.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats. Sue, on being part of such a clever & interesting way of making one's strong objections to lack of action in this matter. How lovely everyone looked, gorgeous outfits, and what about those newspapers, wonderful. I wished I had been there to get the feel of it all. Pat Perry

2:18 AM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

I wished you'd been there too, woman of style that you are!

4:20 AM  
Blogger Georgia Firth said...

Don't you look great in green!
Looks like you guys attracted a crowd and got the message out there- fantastic job! Go Sue!

1:36 AM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

I think that is a real compliment coming from one of my primary clothing consultants! I'll never wear anything but green from now on.

11:49 AM  

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