Theatrical performances can be challenging but perhaps even more so when the events portrayed on stage are part of your living memory – rather than just someone’s else’s “history”. Recalling fondly the halcyon days of La Mama and attending their avant-garde performances, the premise that women in the theatre at that time faced unimaginable challenges (and perhaps still do?) is inconceivable for me.
Yet despite the seemingly progressive approach of both La Mama and The Other Place theatre companies and their promotion of new and experimental works, this performance of The Other Place seeks to explore the huge obstacles that women, in particular Betty Burstall and Buzz Goodbody, faced in attempting to redefine theatre from a women’s perspective. A struggle reminiscent of that portrayed in Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” published some forty years earlier, and a struggle that will take a deadly toll on one of these two influential women.
In this new work, writer Christopher Bryant challenges the audience to reflect on how limiting female creativity not only impacts adversely on the arts but on women themselves.
The all-female identifying cast Ravenna Bouckaert, Kristina Benton, Vivan Nguyen, Erin Pattison, and Susie Sparkes combine forcefully in a captivating on stage performance to expose the audience to the real-life pioneering efforts of Betty Burstall and Buzz Goodbody.
These actors variously characterising Betty and Buzz and their efforts to redefine theatre and drag it into the twentieth century, reveal the very personal consequences of doing so for both women.
The final scene represents a mock TV interview between Betty and Buzz enacted by Kristina and Erin is entrancing. Loved the handbags!
Location: Theatre Works - 14 Acland St, St Kilda Dates: 28 August - 8 September 2019
Times: Tues - Sat; 7:30pm, Sun; 5pm
Duration: 90 Minutes
Prices: $45 Full, $37 Concession, $30 Preview, Student and Under 30s
Bookings: (03) 9534 3388 or online on their website
The Other Place script is also available to purchase through Australian Plays here!