Miss Julie: review

Belvoir St Theatre, August 28

Brendan Cowell and Taylor Ferguson. Photo: Ellis Parrinder

Brendan Cowell and Taylor Ferguson. Photo: Ellis Parrinder

Known for his contemporary rewrites of classical plays, Simon Stone’s radical 2011 adaptation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck was devastatingly good and has enjoyed considerable success in Europe.

His adaptation of Miss Julie, which is billed as being “by Simon Stone after August Strindberg”, is less persuasive – though powerfully performed.

Written in 1888, Strindberg’s drama about class and sexual power – examined through the story of the daughter of a Swedish count sleeping with one of his servants – was deemed so shocking it was banned in Sweden for years.

Updating the action to present-day Sydney, Stone retains the key elements of Strindberg’s plot but where the original play unfolded over one claustrophobic act, Stone adds an interval and sets the second act ­in a motel.

He has also changed the original ending, which had Miss Julie taking the “honourable” way out (Strindberg’s word in his foreword) and leaving the stage with a razor given her by Jean to commit suicide.

Miss Julie’s father is now a high-profile politician in the running to become Prime Minister. Jean (Brendan Cowell) is his chauffeur and security guard with a gun on his hip. As in the original, Jean’s fiancée Christine (Blazey Best) is the housekeeper and cook.

Though class certainly exists in Australia – no matter how much we might like to deny it – it doesn’t trap people in the same way that it did in Strindberg’s day. And though rich people employ servants, the situation doesn’t resonate with the same widespread recognition.

So, in order to up the ante Stone has made Miss Julie 16 instead of 25, while Jean who was 30 in the original is here closer to 40.

After being discovered in a car with a boy and drugs, Julie has been grounded. Her absent father has charged Jean and Christine with looking after her. On this particular night, Jean has had to physically drag her out of a party. Now here she is in skimpy baby doll PJs (costumes by Tess Schofield) insisting he stay with her while she eats pizza.

Directed by Leticia Caceres, this Belvoir production is impressively staged. Set designer Robert Cousins creates a gleaming white, minimalist kitchen for the first act where Christine stands beneath a portrait of Julie cooking a risotto as the audience enters the auditorium, while second act takes place in a non-descript motel.

The sharp, strident chords of music by The Sweats that open and close the play help establish an unsettling mood.

The age difference between Jean and Julie certainly brings a different edge to the play. Watching him allow her to seduce him and then plan to use her as a way to a better life does feel shockingly grubby – wince-makingly so when 20-year old Taylor Ferguson (who looks convincingly younger) takes retainers out of her mouth before she kisses him.

The central problem of the adaptation is that it never feels believable that the Jean of Stone’s version would work for such a family. Cowell gives a very convincing portrayal of a gruff, lumbering, mono-tonal, Aussie bloke desperate to join “the secret club” as he puts it. But you can more readily imagine him working for a heavyweight in the Cross than for a leading politician.

Surely a wealthy businessman turned politician would employ someone more personable? And would he really leave such a thuggish man to look after his daughter?

Strindberg’s Jean was the son of a labourer but has “educated himself towards becoming a gentleman” and “has a sense of beauty” (Strindberg’s foreword again). He also has some charisma. Cowell’s Jean is such a charmless character it’s hard to believe Julie would fall for him – even as a means of escape or to get back at her father.

As for him being a former sommelier in London, it beggars belief. Cowell even pronounces the word wrong – which rings true for the character, but not for someone who really has worked as one.

Though the second act verges on soap opera, the production is powerfully performed. Cowell is a visceral, dangerous presence, while Best gives a fine performance as the mature, practical, pragmatic Christine who is prepared to stand by her man.

Ferguson makes a remarkable stage debut as the troubled Julie: a poor little rich girl, on the verge of womanhood, fast discovering her sexual power. Imperious one minute, throwing a childish tantrum the next, she captures the depth of the character’s loneliness and her sense of abandonment in a brave performance.

But where Strindberg’s Miss Julie willfully degrades herself, “trying to behave like the common people” as Jean puts it when she attends the servants’ party and insists he dance with her in front of everyone, here you feel Julie is so young and lost she just needs someone to love her and doesn’t quite realise what she is unleashing.

Ferguson’s raw, exposed emotion at the end certainly left me feeling churned up but the adaptation itself doesn’t totally convince.

There is plenty to be examined around the idea of class and ambition in contemporary Sydney but transposing Strindberg’s play from 19th century Sweden isn’t the most effective way of addressing it, while making Julie 16 subtly changes what Strindberg was saying about strong women who use sex for power.

Miss Julie runs at Belvoir St Theatre until October 8

An edited version of this review appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on September 1

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Brendan Cowell: interview

Brendan Cowell. Photo: Gary Heery

Brendan Cowell. Photo: Gary Heery

Brendan Cowell has spent much of this year living in London, where exciting opportunities are beginning to open up for him as a writer.

Cowell wrote two episodes of The Slap, the acclaimed ABC drama series based on Christos Tsiolkas’s novel, which was nominated for both a BAFTA and an Emmy Award.

“Being nominated for the BAFTA and the Emmy really helps me over there,” says Cowell. “I’ve walked into a lot of rooms, I’ve got a great agent and I can kind of go and see anyone in TV. That was definitely a great door-opener, writing for (The Slap).

“I’ve got a few balls in the air in London now, which is really exciting and that’s where I’m putting a lot of my attention,” adds Cowell, revealing that he is “in development on a show for Channel Four” – a network he says he has “always wanted to work with.”

In June, his 2001 play Happy New, about two brothers whose abusive mother kept them in a chicken coop, had a well-received season in the West End, which has also helped raise his profile in London.

Not surprisingly, Cowell will soon be returning to the UK. But he couldn’t resist coming back to Sydney to perform in Belvoir’s production of Miss Julie, newly adapted by Simon Stone from August Strindberg’s 1888 play and directed by Leticia Caceres.

Earlier this year, Cowell took over from Ewen Leslie in Stone’s award-winning adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck when it went to the Vienna and Holland Festivals – an experience he relished.

There has been much debate in recent months about the number of adaptations on Australian stages, with 28-year old auteur director Stone portrayed as the ‘face’ of adaptations.

Some worry that adaptations are being staged at the expense of original work and though the stats don’t bear this out – Alison Croggon analysed the data in an interesting article for ABC Arts Online at www.abc.net.au/arts/blog/Alison-Croggon/playwright-versus-director-130731/default.htm – there is still consternation among some playwrights at the prevalence of the practice.

Chatting during a lunch break after two weeks of rehearsal for Miss Julie, Cowell is generous with his time, prepared to have his say on a range of issues from the adaptations debate to the differences between Australian and British theatre, as well as discussing the various projects he has on the go as an actor, director and writer.

For his part, Cowell has no problem with Stone putting his own contemporary spin on classic plays like The Wild Duck, Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (at Melbourne Theatre Company until September 25) or Miss Julie.

“I think you have to,” he says. “If we were going to do the original it’s really hard to make it work as an actor. They all speak in these long speeches (and) the dreams and the metaphors are very obvious and grandiose. It would be hard to create the tension. And let’s think what class and gender mean now in Sydney. But (Stone) has been incredibly loyal to the structure and I think what Strindberg was really getting at. Strindberg was very angry at that time. Some could say he had deep-seated issues with women of power.

“In the last two weeks Leticia and the cast – because Simon has been in Melbourne doing The Cherry Orchard – have really mined that, especially in the second act. We have really gone into it to find out exactly what Strindberg was furious about and what he was trying to discuss and that’s been really enjoyable.”

Explaining their process, Cowell says that Stone provided a draft adaptation. “We’ve gone in and looked at the original and looked at his (version) and improvised and thrown in a lot of raw material. We’ve videoed it and he’s then come back with (a new version). He’s so clever. He’s managed to encompass everything we found but in his own way so it now has the one voice. So this funny little process is working. None of us have really worked like this but with every production you find the (right) process in the room.”

Later, he says: “we are basically developing a new Australian play as we go along.”

Miss Julie is a claustrophobic exploration of sex, gender, privilege and class. Cowell plays Jean, an ambitious servant who sleeps with his employer’s daughter and then encourages her to commit suicide to escape her predicament when she won’t flee with him and help him realise his dream of running a classy hotel.

In Strindberg’s original, Miss Julie is the daughter of a Swedish count. In Stone’s contemporary adaptation her father is a politician.

“I’m not sure how much I’m meant to give away but, yeah, I’d say he is a kind of (Tony) Abbott-ish figure and you know how many faux pas he had made about women in the past five to ten years,” says Cowell.

“Miss Julie is his daughter, a motherless daughter and a somewhat fatherless daughter, and she’s been put on a media ban because she was caught in a bit of a scandal six months ago in a car with drugs and a boy, which is not going to do him any favours. I’m her father’s driver. I probably fly his helicopter. I’m his right hand man, I’m his bodyguard, and he’s put me and my fiancée in charge of the girl and she’s not allowed out of my sight. So I’m taking her to an after party and watching her and then driving her home.”

For a contemporary Australian adaptation, class isn’t quite the same button-pusher that it was in late 19th century Sweden.

“We do have a class system in Australia but it’s a little more invisible than say in England or in Sweden in the late 19th century,” says Cowell. “I think we’ve had to look at what really is the taboo in this play. So we’ve made Julie just 16 and Jean would be 37 or 38. His fiancée is 39 and wants a baby. So the characters are still very much trapped but by that age thing, which is a big issue in Australia now I think.

“There are lots of women in their late 30s who want to move forward with their life and men their age dating women young enough to be their daughters. And you have women doing the same with much younger men and it can make people very angry. It isn’t Blackbird, it isn’t Lolita, this play, but the age is definitely the main taboo that we are looking at to make it quite potent. It will be interesting to see how men and women react when they come to see it.”

When Stone directed Arthur Miller’s Death of Salesman for Belvoir last year, he changed the ending, cutting the final scene, Requiem. Instead the play ended with Willy gassing himself in his car on stage. When word reached Miller’s estate they were not impressed and insisted that the original ending be reinstated. Stone had no option but to comply but was unrepentant, saying in an interview with The Australian that if the play were not under copyright he would restore his own ending.

Whether he changes the ending of Miss Julie remains to be seen but in a passing reference, Cowell reveals that Stone has considered it.

“The whole play is about entrapment,” says Cowell. “By the end of the play whatever happens – and our ending may or may not be different to the original – these characters remain in their endless cycle of life because of the way they are trapped by society.”

Asked about the heated debate regarding adaptations versus new plays, Cowell is characteristically forthright.

“Simon makes a couple of plays a year in Sydney. He is not Australian Theatre. And you know I think it’s great that he is doing it. Everyone should have their work and their manifesto as to what theatre should be. What Australia needs to learn is how to argue well. We need to relish argument instead of taking things personally. I think that’s why I like being in England and Europe because they can’t wait for someone to disagree with them so they can consider their own view on things whereas we end up saying: ‘f**k you, you’re wrong.’

“Even though we can tweet about xenophobia, I still think the artists and the lefties fail to be able to rigorously argue without making things personal and that was a great opportunity, I think, to discover what Australian theatre is and what it can be but instead it became mud-slinging and that’s what’s sad. We should be better than that.”

Cowell’s career continues to develop apace on several fronts as an actor, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and director.

As an actor, he is still probably best known in Australia as Tom in Love My Way but his credits range from playing Hamlet for Bell Shakespeare to True West for Sydney Theatre Company directed by Philip Seymour Hoffmann to the movies Beneath Hill 60 and Save Your Legs!, which he wrote and performed in. Recently he played a Hebrew warrior in five episodes of The Borgias.

He is now keen to get his teeth into film directing. He had a taste of it recently when he wrote and directed an 80-minute telemovie for the ABC called The Outlaw Michael Howe, to screen later this year. “It may or may not get a cinema release,” says Cowell.

“It all happened very quickly. I was offered the job five days before the shoot and then I wrote a script, cast it and then all of a sudden I was out in Tasmania. It was an incredible experience. I want to make my play Ruben Guthrie into a movie so it was great to get up there and learn what the job is in a lot of ways and to tell the untold story of this incredible man who was conveniently written out of history because he intimidated the government so much.”

Howe was a notorious bushranger who gathered a small army around him, took on the corrupt government, and terrorised Van Diemen’s Land between 1812 and 1818.

“They had an Aboriginal girl with them so they learned how to live and hide and burn the land,” says Cowell. “He also started having relations with a white woman who was a convict but ended up becoming a settler through marrying a wealthy marine officer who was the richest man in Van Diemen’s Land. So I’ve treated it as a tragic love story of a man who I guess resembles what Australia could be. He’s got this beautiful Aboriginal girl who’s teaching him the ways (of the land) and this white girl who is saying, ‘we can have it all.’ So he has the truth or the greed and, of course, he tries to have both.”

Damon Herriman plays Howe. The cast also includes Rarriwuy Hick, Mirrah Foulkes, Darren Gilshenan, Matt Day and Damon Gameau. “So I managed to get all my friends together to go and make a film and they are all brilliant in it,” says Cowell.

As for Ruben Guthrie, he has written a screenplay based on his acclaimed 2008 play – a sharp-edged black comedy about alcohol addiction and binge drinking – and says the project is now in the financing stage.

Meanwhile, he is looking forward to returning to London to continue work on the project for Channel Four. He clearly enjoys living in London and says that having his play Happy New at the Trafalgar Studios earlier this year was very exciting.

“It was fantastic,” he says. “It was quite surreal to see my second play, which is really a dirty, strange piece of theatre (all of my friends say it is my best play) in the Trafalgar Studios in the posh part of town. The director Robert Shaw really stuck by it over six years to get it in there, after it had a run at the Old Red Lion. It’s so hard to get a play on in London as an Australian playwright. There really is a wall up. They don’t want our work there, they will take work from anywhere else.”

Asked why he thinks that is, Cowell says he doesn’t know but suspects there’s “a colonial aspect to it”. However, he’s adamant that Australian playwrights offer something different to British playwrights.

“What we can give them is something they can’t create – and that’s what a lot of the reviews said about Happy New: this is an urgent, ugly, gruesome, raw, emotional piece of theatre that is so whack and uses language in a brutal way, god bless Australia.

“I see so much British theatre and I come out so impressed but so unmoved at the same time. It’s almost like watching great chess players in a park. It’s like, ‘how did you do that?” but quickly at the bar you are thinking about something else. I find Australian theatre affects me – maybe because it’s my life on stage, my country on stage, but it affects me more than anything because I think our actors and designers are a little more imaginative and little more exposed and messier. We can play complex drama brilliantly and we are ready for the full assault. It is always refreshing to come back and see the actors on stage here. It’s marvellous and I think we’ve got some great directors and designers as well.

“But I was really chuffed to walk into London and see my play on the West End. It definitely helps next time I want to present a work there.”

Miss Julie plays at Belvoir St Theatre, August 24 – October 6

An edited version of this story appeared in the Sunday Telegraph on August 11 

The Hayloft Project Relocates to Sydney

Hayloft's Delectable Shelter. Photo: Pia Johnson

Hayloft’s Delectable Shelter. Photo: Pia Johnson

Founded in 2007 by Simon Stone, The Hayloft Project has quickly established itself as one of Melbourne’s most exciting theatre companies with critics hailing it as “a shining light in Melbourne theatre” and “the hottest property in Melbourne’s indie theatre scene.”

So news that the company is relocating to Sydney in 2014 under its recently appointed artistic director Benedict Hardie is very welcome – at least to theatre lovers at the Sydney end of the Hume Highway.

The move follows in the footsteps of Stone, who left Melbourne to become resident director at Belvoir in 2011, and Anne-Louise Sarks who took over from him as artistic director of Hayloft and has now replaced him at Belvoir as one of two new resident directors.

Hardie describes the relocation as “a very exciting challenge for the company next year, to see if we can’t work up some of our Hayloft magic (in Sydney).”

He says that there was a mix of reasons for the decision, some of them personal. “It’s a bit of a homecoming for me. I’m from the Blue Mountains, I went to school in Penrith so coming back is an exciting new challenge for me and an excuse to see my Mum a bit more.

“I think Sydney is looking like an exciting prospect to a lot of theatre artists,” adds Hardie. “The independent scene in Sydney in the last five or ten years has been expanding and acquiring much more legitimacy and interest from audiences and that means, I think, that the Sydney scene is poised only to expand and get more exciting in the next few years and it’s great to be a part of that.”

As to whether he hopes to keep working with actors already associated with the company he says: “We like to establish long-term collaborative relationships with actors and designers so those who can work in Sydney, then absolutely I would jump at the chance to have them working (with us) but that will be on a case by case basis.

“Many actors that we have worked with before have already relocated to Sydney, some of whom you see regularly on the Belvoir stages, so I am looking forward to reconnecting with some of those actors.”

Actors performing in Sydney who have worked with Hayloft include Gareth Davies, Ashley Zuckerman, Shelley Lauman and Eryn Jean Norvill.

Sydney has already seen several Hayloft productions including Stone’s memorable Thyestes, his version of Spring Awakening and The Only Child, which he adapted from Ibsen’s Little Eyolf.

This week the company will perform its post-apocalyptic, black comedy Delectable Shelter at the Seymour Centre as part of a national tour.

Written and directed by Hardie, the play (which premiered in 2011) is set in a bunker where the last five surviving humans plan a utopian future. The production features an eye-popping design, elaborate, five-part, Bach-style, a cappella arrangements of 1980s love songs (arranged by Benny Davis from The Axis of Awesome) and a range of comedy styles.

“My intention was to write a comedy where I could shine a harsh light on some of the prejudices and fears that people harbour but don’t talk about,” says Hardie. “Then it all became bonkers and I ended up creating this very elaborate play set in a bunker underground and spanning 350 years with choral arrangements of 1980s pop ballads.

“But it’s a lot of fun. Silliness and fun were the guiding principles for a lot of it. It leaves no comedy style unturned.”

Delectable Shelter, Seymour Centre, August 13 – 17

An edited version of this story ran in the Sunday Telegraph on August 11

Angels in America review

Belvoir St Theatre, June 1

Luke Mullins and Paula Arundell. Photo: Heidrun Lohr

Luke Mullins and Paula Arundell. Photo: Heidrun Lohr

Set in the 1980s during the Reagan era and the AIDS epidemic, Tony Kushner’s epic, two-part drama Angels in America was a landmark piece of theatre when it premiered in 1991.

First seen in Sydney in 1993, the social and political context has changed but the human dilemmas in the play still resonate powerfully in this very special Belvoir production directed by Eamon Flack.

Subtitled A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Angels in America tells the cleverly meshed stories of several different characters, connected through other people that they meet either in real life or hallucinations.

In Greenwich Village, a young man called Prior Walter (Luke Mullins) has full-blown AIDS – as does Roy Cohn (Marcus Graham), the real-life, notoriously corrupt Republic lawyer. But where Prior, an ex-drag queen, is out and proud, the aggressive, tough-talking Cohn insists that he is dying of liver cancer because homosexuals have “zero clout” and he therefore cannot be one.

Unable to cope with Prior’s escalating sickness, his Jewish boyfriend Louis (Mitchell Butel) leaves him, becoming involved with Joe Pitt (Ashley Zukerman), a closeted, Mormon and protégé of Cohn’s with a pill-popping wife called Harper.

Angels in America is a thrillingly daring, imaginative, humanist play that combines political, social, religious and environmental themes with wonderful flights of fancy including an angel who declares Prior a prophet.

Michael Hankin has designed a stark, beige-tiled set, which works brilliantly for a play that moves between Central Park, Antarctica, Salt Lake City, hospitals and heaven among other locations.

On this open space, Flack directs a crystal clear production that flows seamlessly. He uses the space superbly and has choreographed the scene changes with economical precision. Characters in hallucinations arrive and depart with a cheek toss of glitter, while the arrival of the angel is a glorious explosion of colour and sound.

Perched on a stepladder in a slightly underwhelming costume, the first glimpse of the angel is a bit of a letdown after the Spielberg-like build-up to her revelation, but that’s a minor quibble.

In every other way Mel Page’s costumes, Niklas Pajanti’s lighting and Alan John’s music add to a superbly staged production.

The casting could hardly be better with all the actors working together as a finely tuned ensemble. Mullins gives a deeply sympathetic performance as Prior that embraces his camp wit, fear and fortitude, while his skinny physique makes the ravages of AIDS-related illnesses painfully believable. It’s a performance so truthful it hurts to watch.

Graham is also superb as the demonic Cohn, conveying his physical disintegration so convincingly his face seems to become a stretched death mask.

Marcus Graham as Roy Cohn. Photo: Heidrun Lohr

Marcus Graham as Roy Cohn. Photo: Heidrun Lohr

Butel captures the guilt-ridden angst of Louis, whose mind and mouth are forever racing, while McMahon gives a touchingly warm, sweetly funny, poignant portrayal of Harper, whose fears about the destruction of the ozone layer and Joe’s true nature/sexuality tip her into Valium-induced hallucinations.

There are also excellent performances from Zukerman as Joe, Paula Arundell as a nurse and the angel, DeObia Oparei as Belize, a black drag queen who is a friend of Prior’s and a nurse caring for Cohn, and Robyn Nevin in a series of roles including a rabbi, doctor and Bolshevik as well as Joe’s Mormon mother and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg who visits Cohn.

Part 1, Millennium Approaches, runs nearly four hours but zips by. It really is a contemporary classic. Part II, Perestroika, feels a little slow to start – but that’s in the writing rather than the production.

You can see both parts in one day (which I’d recommend) or separately. Either way, by the end of the seven hours of theatre (plus four intervals), you have gone on an extraordinary journey with the characters. You have laughed and cried with them, and shared their struggles, fears, anxiety, heartaches and joys.

Despite all the world problems canvassed by the play, you feel elated at the end, sharing its defiant optimism. 

Belvoir St Theatre until July 14; Theatre Royal, July 18 – 28

An edited version of this review ran in the Sunday Telegraph on June 9

The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe: review

Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, May 10

It must have taken an enormous amount of courage for Yarrie Bangura, Aminata Conteh-Biger, Yordanos Haile-Michael and Rosemary Kariuki-Fyfe to discuss their harrowing life stories with writer/director Ros Horin.

To then relive them on stage can’t be easy either – but the experiences of these four women are at the heart of a shocking, moving but joyous new production called The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe.

Yordanos Haile-Michael and Rosemary Kariuki-Fyfe. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Yordanos Haile-Michael and Rosemary Kariuki-Fyfe. Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

It is almost three years since Horin began researching the project and as she says in the theatre program the journey has been “intense, emotional, at times extremely disturbing. Full of tears, full of laughter, warmth, sharing, drumming, singing, dancing and mostly enriching, uplifting, inspiring.”

Bangura grew up in a refugee camp in Guinea having witnessed shocking barbarity during the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone. Conteh-Biger, the daughter of a wealthy Muslim businessman, was kidnapped and abused by rebels when they invaded the Sierra Leonean capital of Freetown. She was the first refugee to arrive in Australia from Sierra Leone in 2000.

Haile-Michael was abandoned by her father (who killed her mother) at age three and was then kidnapped, abused and forced to fight as a child soldier for the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, before escaping to a Sudanese refugee camp. Kuriuki-Fyfe fled domestic violence in Kenya.

All four now live happy, productive lives in Sydney where they have variously learned to read, love, form friendships and (as told in a hilariously sweet story) ride an escalator. Each in their own way is working to help others.

Though untrained as performers the four women – each of them such different personalities – all have a strong stage presence.

In telling their stories they are joined on stage by professional actors Nancy Denis, Tariro Mavondo and Effie Nkrumah, singer/songwriter Aminata Doumbia, and dancers Eden Dessalegn and Lisa Viola.

Horin’s production uses a patchwork of storytelling, music, dance, video projections and humour. Sometimes the women call on other performers to talk for them at particularly difficult parts of their story, while they watch quietly.

Their experiences are intercut with other lighter-hearted scenes such as a quiz about the geography of Africa, a demonstration of the various different African dance styles and a gathering in a hairdressing salon.

Dan Potra’s set – a large hanging carpet with pot plants and wooden stools – is an evocative backdrop (lit by Nicholas Rayment), which is matched by the women’s wonderfully colourful clothes.

Running 100 minutes without interval, a little tightening wouldn’t go astray but The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe is a powerful, uplifting and humbling experience.

As well as a shocking insight into the horrific, systemic violence against women taking place in parts of Africa, it is a celebration of the resilience and spirit of these four remarkable women as well as a powerful plea for refugee support programs.

Riverside Theatres until May 18; Belvoir St Theatre, August 15 – September 15