Binge Fringe Magazine

REVIEW: Uplift, Dave Neita, EdFringe 2022 ★★★★☆

Now more than ever, we need to be rid of the Ism’s. Dave Neita’s Uplift is a passionate, forgiving and inspiring spoken word performance on the struggles of the Windrush generation. Approached from a place of what we can do, rather than focusing on what has been done, and for Neita, it all started with a Helium Canister. This performance piece was interactive, educational, entertaining, thought provoking and most importantly, it allows you to walk away inspired to do better, to be better and to want better for our beautiful species that are just trying to survive individually, and connect as a collective. 

We begin in a classroom, with Neita as our professor allowing his teachings of the Windrush generation to pierce through our hearts. Being from Australia, my knowledge of this topic was elemental, and Neita did such a brilliant job of gently educating all that stood before him, filling any important gaps. He would refreshingly switch from Professor to Poet, providing us with emotive expression and the itch to learn more. 

And so let me bring you back to the unexpected helium canister and the brilliance of it’s comparison to the Windrush generation. A cultural perception shaken by a found object. This hefty canister found in the trash as if it didn’t once bring life and light to what was a flimsy and limp situation. Now kicked to the curb after it was used for its skills, stripped of it’s most important and useful traits, features and then dismally discarded. 

Neita took this beautiful metaphor and decided it was time for hope. With the foundation of Gold spray paint – because even beneath the rubble, we can always find gold should we be brave enough to look for it – He shook the can, while he movingly spoke of the need to be shaken up. Shake up benefits, shake up opportunity, the economy, and in particular ourselves, we must be shaken up in order to grow. From this emerged a sanguine gold helium canister, with a star at its base, reminding all those who suffered how important they are, backed with a red and green heart to remind us all that with heart, through love, we can always find a way forward, that there is always room for forgiveness and kindness. 

Neita highlights that even in the darkest of places, there is gold to be found. Even in these beautiful and special communities that have been marginalised and demobilised, there is gold. It is every single persons role to walk into every room and every space with the air of curiosity, continually questioning ourselves, challenging ourselves and finding ways to lift them up. Now more than ever, we need to be rid of the Ism’s. There is no room for racism, no room for fascism, no room for sexism. Paint the world gold, lead with your heart and remind every star of this world that there is room for everyone and there is always, always space for love. 

The performance of this piece is a memorable one indeed, Dave Neita launches in with sentiment and fervour that lasts throughout the piece. It is felt in your chest, in your mind and in your stomach. Prepare for deep inhales, holding back tears and to walk out with the urge to make life a little exceptional. 

Prepare your soul, find a way to let love in and immerse yourself in the idea of spreading it. Take a comfort buddy if you have one, you’ll need a hand to hold. Thought provoking, inspiring and conclusively hopeful.

Recommended DrinkTia Maria, In celebration of the Caribbean culture and a toast, better yet, a vow, to always walk into a space and ask ourselves – How can I lift people up?

Catch Uplift, until August 13th at 17:00 at TheSpace on the Mile, Space 1. Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

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Sarah Kher-Bek

Sarah is a lover of the arts from Australia, excited to experience all fringe has to offer and immerse herself in the culture of this unique expression voice, heart and character. She enjoys involving herself in every kind of performance, reserving a special place in her heart for spoken word, expression through movement, coming of age and all things gender and exploration.

Festivals: EdFringe (2022), Prague Fringe (2023), Melbourne Fringe (2023)
Pronouns: She/Her