We chat with writer Christine Davey about 'Hysterica' premiering at Explosives Factory as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival.
I’m Christine Davey – the curator for Hysterica – stories about women you’ve never heard of but absolutely should have. It’s great to have the chance to tell you about this project, the people involved and the women we’re introducing to you – women who deserve their spot front and centre of the stage.
I came up with the idea a couple of years ago – what if we told the stories of women who have been sidelined by history? What if we developed a theatrical piece as homage, as a bold testament to the fact that it has been the sidelined who came before us and made it possible to be who we are and what we are? Why should we only know the stories of those who conquered? It was time to bring these women in from the periphery.
I put out a call for directors and actors and Hysterica was born. The four women featured in this interweaving monologues are remarkable, hilarious, furious and flawed. Meet Alice Anderson – a gay motor mechanic and entrepreneur in 1920s Melbourne. Meet Joy Hester – a fierce and frenetic artist in the 1940s. Meet Elizabeth Gould, an artist in the 1860s in the shadow of her more famous husband. Meet Dawn Faizey-Webster, a woman with locked in syndrome completing her PhD one eye blink at a time.
Mary Steuten and Tess Parker inhabit these roles with vulnerability, sensitivity and a visceral approach to performance – they are simply breathtaking. These stories are written by four writers, (Christine Croyden, Christine Davey, Megan J Riedl and Duncan Esler), directed by three directors (Christine Davey, Megan J Riedl and Graci Lynch). We’re all from regional Victoria. We’re all just kicking with delight at sharing this journey with you at Theatre Works.
Why should you come and see this show? Because it’s beautiful and funny. Because it’s divine storytelling. Because these women deserve to be heard. Because given the chance, these women will roar.
We’ll see you at the Explosives Factory from Oct 4 – 8.