Coffee, madness, literary references, begging and everything in between

La Mama Faraday Street, Carlton Ocotber 4 – 15, 2017

Wed 6:00 pm; Thurs – Sat 7:30 pm; Sun 4:00 pm

running time: 80 minutes


West Footscray, its becoming gentrified, townhouses eclipse the junky dens and drive immigrants elsewhere, until you pity them just like Bob Dylan. But in Simms supermarket, reality exists in a time-warp, where the 'mad ones'. Jack Kerouac's Beloveds, sip strong coffee, made uncomfortably by the bookish punk, whose first love is a copy of Catcher in the Rye. Nothing happens in this play, except coffee, madness, literary references and begging (50 cent pieces only).

About the Performance

The piece ‘ Serving Coffee at Sims’ follows a day in the life of a bookish punk barista who lives with the voices of the western suburbs. Including a chorus of checkout chicks, we peak inside the world of Sims supermarket through the lens of philosophy and literature. Four actors play up to 20 characters in this mind-bending experiment in social commentary.   

Artistic Concept

‘I wanted to say something on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves.’

Writer/director Dr Scott Welsh has a long history of articulating the voices of the oppressed. In ‘Serving Coffee at Sims’, the checkout chicks are philosophers, the coffee barista is a literary critic and the outcast customers are poets. This is a new take on life in the western suburbs that maintains the remnants of a proud working class history that is almost dead to new generations.

‘We are shedding light on the inequities and injustice of the contemporary Australian class system that might seem invisible because, sure, we have a welfare system but do those at the bottom feel empowered? What about the immigrants, the poor people, the people with disabilities? We look after them but do we listen to them? In this play, people who are usually silenced speak out, loud and clear.’

It is dangerous to those in power and with wealth because we are suggesting that you can be a checkout chick and a philosopher simultaneously. What is terrifying for the establishment is what this philosopher checkout chick might say.

‘I really do think that not much happens in this play but what it says will shake the foundations of our very society and disrupt our assumptions about fairness and how we live. I hope it will make people listen to those who speak very meekly, the quiet, oppressed ones on our street corners, in our cafes and welfare offices.’

Cast and team

DIRECTed by: Dr. Scott Welsh


performers: emma cox, sean paisely, anne gesup and cherian jacob

stage manager and Lighting: richard mclean

photography: richard mclean, cherian jacob

sound: richard mclean

producer: Cherian Jacob


La Mama 2017

Click here for the gallery

Victoria University 2018