Celebrating the centenary of the publication of this classic feminist writing, A Room of One's Own, Director Peta Hanrhan has revisited this essay, ably adapting it to incorporate and address some of the emerging 21 st century issues. Different from other interpretations of Woolf’s work, Hanrahan’s innovative approach now includes men in the discussion. She aims to “move forward with contemporary feminist ideals, and within that idea is to offer a different way of fighting”.
Whilst Woolf’s essay explores the perennial issue of gender disparity, the play focuses specifically on the issues of women’s lack of leisure time, privacy, and financial independence. These literary re-enactments allow Hanrhan to bring to life four newly named characters transformed seamlessly on stage by Anthea Davis, Marissa O’Reilly, Anna Kennedy and Jackson Trickett.
In her adaption, Hanrahan re-badges characters as The Questioner, The Diplomat and the Sceptic, representing Woolf’s original protagonists - Mary Beton, Judith Shakespeare, and Mary Carmichael, with the male character The World previously Mr. A - an imagined male author). This re-naming serves to deliver on Hanrahan’s intention to widen and revitalise the discourse on gender disparity in all its forms.
The intimate atmosphere of Forty-Five Downstairs as the venue and the presentation “in the round” adds to this sense of inclusiveness – the audience being very much a part of the show.
Sentient Theatre is a collective of contemporary theatre practitioners formed with the goal of bringing important humanitarian narratives to the stage. Their latest production of A Room of One’s Own with it’s refreshing and forward-looking approach to Woolf’s seminal work on feminist issues, will surely be more relevant to the issues of the day and as a result have great appeal for the modern audience.
See a one of a kind production of a 'Room's of One's Own':
Dates: 17 - 28 July, 2019
Time: Tues - Sat 7:30pm, Sun 5pm
Location: Fortyfivedownstairs - 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne