History has never been kind to 'fallen' women and such a history is examined in She Said Theatre's latest production titled Fallen.
The production, inspired by the history of a home for 'fallen' women founded by famous writer Charles Dickens, is an imaginative new Australian work that examines what happens when the promise of a clean slate is founded on silencing your past.
Set in London in 1848, the play looks at six women who have had promised a fresh start on the other side of the world, Australia. Separated from the outside world they cook, clean, sing and sew, and and practice the art of being female while waiting for their new lives to begin. But as the date of departure draws near, they begin to wonder what the price of reinvention will cost them? And what about the fall yet to come - the unknown fall down the edge of the world to a far-away continent…
“The 'home' in which our play is set is a microcosm of the British empire in the Victorian era,” says Play Director and She Said Theatre Co-Artistic Director, Penny Harpham.
“It was a time of rapid change and industrialisation, technology, expedition, poverty, and expansion. As someone living in Australia, examining this era of British history is vital in examining what we’ve inherited. The women in this play are living in a society that colonised and populated the continent we are living in now, and it stands to reason that the lessons of silence and shame they were indoctrinated with and brought here are the same lessons we have inherited."
'Fallen' official trailer (2017)
Penny is certain the play has some timeless lessons from history that are still relevant now. "Fallen drives into the complexity of what it means to a be a woman living under the roof of the patriarchy in 1840's London, but it speaks as urgently and truthfully to what it means to be a woman living under the roof of the patriarchy in 2018 Melbourne, too.”
Based in Melbourne, She Said Theatre was founded as a direct response to the lack of creative leadership opportunities for women in theatre, with the company aiming to create more active roles for women and other under-represented artists, and to bring to life their skills in acting, directing, writing, production, and design.
Dates: 15- 26 August 2018
Location: fortyfivedownstairs (45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne)
Times: Tuesday- Sat - 7.30pm and Sunday 5pm
Cost: $43 Full, $33 Concession, $38 Groups 6, $25 Preview