An innovative arts project in the Riverina of New South Wales is starting important conversations in the community.

Story By Ricky French

Vic McEwan waits patiently at Narrandera train station in the Riverina of New South Wales. But he’s not waiting for a train; he’s waiting for a crowd. A grey-haired man gets out of his ute and walks towards Vic. “What’s happening here?” he asks. “We’re putting on a play,” Vic says. “You drive in and park your car, and the play is performed in front of the platforms and broadcast over the radio. Like a drive-in.” “Oh,” the man says. “I don’t know about that. I think I’d rather just bring a chair and watch it outside, right here.” He gets back in his ute and drives off. Vic grins ruefully, “You can’t win ’em all.”
Vic is an artist, curator and now artistic director of the Cad Factory, which for the past four years has been bringing contemporary art, theatre and music to the Riverina. It’s opening day in Narrandera for a play Vic has commissioned, called In the Heart of Our Past. The playwright, Kieran Carroll, observes the exchange between the man in the ute and Vic, and says, “That’s the Cad Factory touch [the drive-in concept]. There always has to be at least one unusual element.”

This Story is from Issue #99

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2015