A multi billion dollar industry, the production and trade of rice is a lucrative business, the cereal grain a staple food consumed all over the world, particularly within the Asian and African continents. Delving into the inner workings of a global corporation dealing with the business of rice, writer Michele Lee, the Actors Touring Company and Orange Tree Theatre present Rice, an observation of the complex ecosystem behind cultivating the grain.
Primarily situated in the white pristine offices of global corporation Golden Fields based out in Australia, Rice dynamically encapsulates the conversations had that help push the company ever closer to achieving new ground. Zainab Hasan’s ambitious Nisha, Golden Field’s CEO driven by innovation and Sarah Lamb’s resilient Yvette, a cleaner constantly putting everyone else before herself, are a power couple to be reckoned with. The duo overcoming their own personal differences to realise the company’s full potential, a once icy reception, now a warm, prospective collaboration and interesting observation of power dynamics.
Lee’s script intricately explores Yvette’s Chinese and Nisha’s Indian cultural heritage, Yvette a migrant working to achieve better for herself and her family, Nisha, of the Indian diaspora looking to become the first Indian CEO of a major Australian company, her aim of breaking barriers in full force. The cast take on the roles of various characters, from fellow team and board members to Indian government personnel, to family and partners. Lee’s compact script allowing for this fast paced, impactful world to play out. We see how decisions made ripple and affect those immediately related to the business and beyond, Matthew Xia‘s direction energetic. We witness this complex ecosystem, which is a fascinating world to experience. Hyemi Shin‘s sleek set design drawing the eye to the venue’s centre, set in the round we look in on this stylish, angular, minimalistic space. Compartments revealed when needed, the set sliding into place like a trendy furniture piece. The office an island surrounded by a moat-like space. A thought provoking piece drawing attention to the business element of rice production.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Rice is currently showing until Saturday 13th November 2021 at the Orange Tree Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…