Theatre/Plays

Reflection: Everyman adapted by Carol Ann Duffy

A few years ago I worked with a student of mine on a musical adaptation of Everyman. This story has been important to English drama, theatre and storytelling since the late Middle Ages. It asks viewers to consider their own mortality, and to determine whether they have lead a good life, and by what standards do they measure that goodness. Although Duffy’s adaptation dates from 2015, and my student’s adaptation from early 2016, it strikes me that this story is ready for another, less compromising, revisit. Continue reading “Reflection: Everyman adapted by Carol Ann Duffy”

Fiction

Reflection: Reading Crime Fiction – The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan

Last week Irish women from around the world boarded planes and ferries in an attempt to go home and vote in a referendum that amended to Irish constitution to decriminalise abortion. As you know by now, they won. The images of Irish women, thankful for and celebrating their autonomy, their freedom hit close to home. It came on the back of discussion both there and in Australia about the ways in which the Catholic Church perpetuated systems of violence and oppression, particularly against women. (I’m comfortable discussing this oppression having been raised and educated in Catholic institutions. We discuss our own history). I had read Dervla McTiernan’s The Rúin a little while ago, but hadn’t quite found the lens through which I could explore it, but now I can: this is a crime novel that explores the ways in which shame and expectation haunt communities and individuals.

Continue reading “Reflection: Reading Crime Fiction – The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan”
Fiction, Life Writing

Reflection: The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser

On Friday I walked underneath a blazing sun with 60 thousand other people to stand in solidarity with Aboriginal people and Torres Straight Islanders. We gathered in Naarm on Wirundjuri and Boon Wurrung land, under the banners of Constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, the abolition of national holidays that are invested in narratives of white supremacy, and calling for a treaty to be negotiated in relation to the stolen land on which we work, walk, live, and love. We mourned the violences enacted against a 60 thousand year old culture. As I’m writing this, I’m sat in a pub, surrounded by old men while Baker Boy plays over the speakers, and there is an absolute joy that I derive from hearing Danzel Baker singing in Yolngu Matha. The resilience of humans to keep culture alive through art, stories and music is, for me, central to what it is to assert subjectivity (self in relation to power) in the face of oppression and dehumanisation. It is a bitter irony that International Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on 27th January, the very day after the Australian national celebration of the events that resulted in Australia’s genocide against First Nations people. News papers can’t seem to decide between proclamations of “Never Forget, Never Again” and “Just Get Over It.” The dissonance is painful.

Continue reading “Reflection: The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser”

Fiction

Reflection: We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ

TW: mention of socially mandated reproduction/rape.

I was wandering thorugh The Book Grocer when I came across this volume. Having loved The Female Man, And Chaos Died, and How To Supress Women’s Writing, I was delighted to come across the novella, We Who Are About To…. I was fresh from the Ethics/Utopias/Dystopias conference (I think that event might shape a bit of my reading this year) and I’m always here for a bright, kitsch cover.

Continue reading “Reflection: We Who Are About To… by Joanna Russ”

Whisky

Wayward Girls Drink Michel Couvreur Intravagan’za

After a day sweltering in the Melbourne Summer a few of us decided (we few, we lucky few, we band of sisters) to go ahead with a whisky night at the Northcote Home for Wayward Girls. We started the evening with a 10yo Glenlivet, just to open the palate and went on to the Hakushu Single Malt Distillers reserve. This was a fresh and light whisky, perfect for an evening that hadn’t yet dropped below 30 degrees (my cat had melted).  Continue reading “Wayward Girls Drink Michel Couvreur Intravagan’za”