Prove your humanity

Rice, lentils, fried onion, and of course, the seven spices- put it all together and you’ve got Mjaddara, a Middle Eastern dish that isn’t just vegan, but gluten-free.

But in Jude Soussan’s recent live show, Mjaddara was more than just a healthy meal.

Jude, a third-year Curtin university theatre student, talks about her recent show that played at Hayman Theatre.

“7Spice is a show that is quite personal to me,” Jude says.

“Basically, I have had a really big interest in cooking ever since I was like nine years old, and I’ve always loved it so much… I’ve always just loved cooking for people.”

Jude says she combined her love for cooking and theatre to make 7Spice. Photo: Olivia Ford

Jude wrote, directed, and acted in 7Spice. She says taking on all the roles was hard to do.

“I think the most difficult part was just thinking ‘I wish I could split myself into two and have me on the outside and have me on the inside at the same time.’ Just because of how personal it was at times,” she says.

“It was very difficult, but also very rewarding at the same time.”


The crew working behind the scenes of 7Spice. Photo: Supplied.

In 7Spice, Jude played Susan, a housewife hosting a cooking show from the comfort of her kitchen.

The show had a real stove, kettle and sink on stage so that Jude’s character could prepare Mjaddara in real time in front of a live audience.

Jude says she wanted to do something that engaged all of the audience’s senses and to stretch the limits of theatre.

“It’s not something you see normally, actually cooking on stage in front of an audience,” she says.

“It was kind of like pushing the boundaries a little, which I really liked and enjoyed.”

Among the  instructions for preparing the dish, Susan trails off into monologues about allergies, chronic illnesses and the connection between cooking and unconditional love.

The live show had many life lessons interwoven between cooking tips, including how people with dietary requirements must be met with respect and compassion, not scepticism.


Jude performing 7Spice at Hayman Theatre. Photo: Supplied.

While the show has come to an end, Jude says it’s important for more people to come see student productions on campus, and many don’t even know there is a theatre on campus.

“A lot of people walk through here (Hayman Theatre) from the bus station and don’t even know this is the Hayman Theatre, or they sit around there and just not realise there’s shows going on.”

7Spice Co-director Ella Wakeman agrees, citing many peoples’ surprise when they find out about Hayman Theatre.

“So many people are so shocked when we say there’s a theatre here and that there are shows happening literally every week.”

Ella also says it’s important to support local theatre at Curtin, and while 7Spice has wrapped up its shows, there is still plenty more to see.

“It’s too late to see 7Spice, but definitely come and check out other shows at the Hayman,” she encourages.

“It’s super chill, easy and free. Bring your lunch with you, so you can just sit there and enjoy some art made by local up-and-coming artists.”