An exploration of humanity

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E.T. won hearts, while Alien terrified the bejeezers out of movie-goers.

US citizens Betty and Barney Hill reported the world’s first alien abduction in 1961 and, since then, there’s been countless movies and stories of close encounters, many of the uncomfortable kind.

The latest hits the stage with the world premiere of Australian playwright Lachlan Philpott’s Alienation at the State Theatre: “We wanted to investigate alien abduction and that experience,” Philpott told the Voice.

His play looks at the “humanity” of people claiming to have been abducted, via three everyday Australians as relationships and beliefs are questioned.

Philpott interviewed a number of people in WA and the eastern states for research.

Absolute faith

Whether the claims are true or not, those interviewed firmly believe, and it’s this absolute faith that Philpott wants to explore, along with the question “are we really alone in the universe?”.

At first a doubter, three-quarters the way through interviewing and writing Philpott found his views began to shift: “There is so much evidence it’s hard to remain sceptical.”

Not all those interviewed had horrible experiences, although all were terrified at first.

“A lot have come to understand what happened [to them]. And like a lot of stages in life you come to terms with it.”

Others claim vastly different experiences or pain and terror, something that could be put down to three different types of aliens, the Greys, Mantis (because they look like a praying mantis) and the Reptiles

“The Mantis are quite nice, the Reptiles are the most unpleasant, the Greys do most of the experimentation and are the most common from people I have spoken to,” Philpott says.

Whether you’re a scoffer, a believer or somewhere in between, Alienation presents the human story of how we adapt to life-changing events.

It’s on at the State Theatre’s Studio Underground in Northbridge, June 28 to July 13.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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