LOCO                  

Home  Credits

"Royals set for a tour in new supertrain, the AXT ... a royal rural railroad rort."

Sidetrack
Theatre's production
of LOCO at
Chullora Railway Workshops

Loco tells the story of a day in the lives of a group of railway workers at the State Rail Authority's Chullora Workshops, south west of Sydney. The action follows their daily routine, working on a new locomotive, which is being specially prepared as a "rush job" for an approaching royal tour. George, the foreman, pushes the workers to get the job done and they respond with good-humoured ribbing and antics.
One worker, Abdu, announces that his wife has given birth to their first child and hands around cigars. Kenny, the apprentice, brags about his new girlfriend, who thinks he drives a BMW and works for a flashy advertising agency.
Practical jokes, home spun advice to fellow workers, and discussions about the way things used to be on the railways, all combine to create a picture of people in their working "home". The matters on the workers' minds provide the play with its tension and pace.
Loco is not a celebration of workers' experiences in the traditional industrial workplace.

It is not trying to record for posterity the place such work has held in our culture for the past 200 years. Rather it was a process of combining the talents of workers from industry and the arts, to examine and reveal the experience of industrial work - how it affects people, how they incorporate it into their lives, and therefore what role it plays in our society.
Projects like Loco continue the tradition of the culture of working life, in expressing the experiences and hopes of workers. Blue collar and white collar workers alike are feeling the effects of electronic technology in their workplaces. If working people are to be given any say in shaping the future of our society, an essential factor will be to understand how our lives are being manipulated by decisions about the future nature of work and the workplace.