04 November, 2011

Toilet Humour for World Toilet Day

Brisbane Arts Theatre helps Engineers Without Borders with special fundraising performance

The Brisbane Arts Theatre’s latest production - How To Be A Man - has its fair share of toilet humour.

But on Saturday 19 November - World Toilet Day - it’s all for a serious cause.

The BAT is teaming up with the South-East Queensland chapter of Engineers Without Borders, to raise awareness and funds of their work providing critical sanitation for some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.

$2 from every ticket sold at How To Be A Man on 19 November will go to EWB, as well as proceeds of a large raffle and casual donations.

“We want people to come out and have a laugh, as our play contains high levels of toilet humour,” says director Natalie Bochenski.

“But it’s a great way to get across the serious message of the world’s sanitation crisis, and do our bit to help.”

“2.6 billion people do not have a designated, sustainable place to poo or wee,” says Rowan Barber, a Brisbane engineer and member of EWB.

“The statistics are unfathomable - every 8 seconds, a child dies from easily preventable, fecal- related illness.

Rowan says even the word “sanitation” fails to convey the gravity of the situation. “People are dying because they live and breathe poo. Children suffer malnutrition, not because of a lack of food but because their food passes through them. Dysentery. Diarrhea. Vomiting. These are the symptoms of the crisis.”

The good news is Engineers Without Borders DOES make a difference. All funds raised from the BAT’s charity performance will support the organisation in projects such as building latrines for floating villages along the Tonle Sap river in Cambodia; or closer to home, a culturally-appropriate amenities block at the Murra Murra indigenous homestead past St George, in South-West Queensland.

Rowan says we’ve become a “flush and forget” society; and it’s a good time to think of the local impacts of our waste.
In 2010/2011, 149,198 ML of poo, wee and wastewater was generated by 1.3 million Brisbane residents and 4,700 tradewaste customers,” says Rowan.

“That works out about 164 Olympic size swimming pools a day.”

How To Be A Man
Charity Performance for World Toilet Day
Saturday 19 November

$2 from each ticket sold will go to Engineers Without Borders

Warning: Production contains explicit content & adult themes

World Toilet Day was founded in 2001 by the World Toilet Organisation, and is celebrated
every year on 19 November. (http://www.worldtoilet.org/wto/index.php/our-works/world-

Many organisations support this day with fundraising/awareness efforts; including Engineers
Without Borders (www.ewb.org.au). This is where the BAT’s charity efforts will go.

"EWB cultivates long-term relationship with communities, both here and overseas, and we
focus on building on the strengths of those communities, so that they are more able to
manage their own future. Most of us here in Australia take things like clean toilets for
granted. We want people everywhere to be able to live their lives free from diseases and
disadvantages that are easily preventable by having appropriate and well-designed sanitation
systems." - Kat Healey (EWB SEQ Chapter President)

The World Health Organisation has a great list of 10 quick facts about sanitation. (http://
www.who.int/features/factfiles/sanitation/facts/en/index.html). One of the most revealing is
that a lack of safe, secure toilets can often disrupt girls’ schooling, particularly as they reach
puberty. Better toilets equals better education!

The Brisbane Arts Theatre has a urinal named after author John Birmingham and playwright
Simon Bedak, after the success of our previous productions He Died With a Felafel in His Hand
(2009) and The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco (2010).

The Brisbane Arts Theatre is an independent community organisation that receives no
ongoing government or corporate sponsorship.

How To Be A Man
Plays Thurs to Sat nights from 8pm
12 November to 17 December
Tickets $31 adults; $25 concession; $20 members
Book online: www.artstheatre.com.au

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