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Stolen - review
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3.5 stars

Under a yarn-bombed tree, with its trunk and branches wrapped in a sunny mix of woollen colours, five indigenous children are acting out their ambitions. Ruby, Jimmy, Shirley, Sandy and Ann hilariously tumble over one another as they try on the aspirational skins of fireman, circus performer, movie star, bus driver, farmer. But a game-show buzzer sounds at each career suggestion, and these kids, played by adults, call out in unison: “Nah.”

The music box-like tinkling of the old Vegemite jingle – “helps put a rose in every cheek” – is rich in irony, not iron. These kids aren’t being built up for their potential; they’re mostly being primed for servitude.

Jessica Marais is feeling grounded, for the first time in ages. The Love Child star has lived in several Australian cities over the past four years. Before that, she flirted with international stardom.

Marais is unpacking boxes in Sydney, now her "proper base", emphasising how important it is that her daughter, Scout, who turned four the day after her mum won a Silver Logie for best actress, has an Australian identity. She has stopped running towards what she calls "the myth of perfection", and realises how happy she is working in the local television industry.

Fifty essays and dispatches on
what it means to be gay today.

On sale at Amazon and iTunes.

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