The world premiere of Gin Sister will be directed by Matilda Award nominee Elizabeth Millington for Melbourne’s newest grass roots theatre festival, The Poppyseed festival.
According to Millington, the work touches on some pretty loaded topics such as social stigma and addiction, but most importantly it explores the human condition; our search for meaning, for fulfillment, for something bigger than ourselves. A God. Gin Sister asks: Why do we drink? To celebrate, to escape, to feel, to numb, to forget, to remember, to dream and to fly.
Gin Sister is described as a surreal journey into the world of women’s drinking culture- from the giddy highs to the sobering truths that come with alcohol use and abuse. Utilizing an eclectic mix tape of song, dance, verbatim, poetic self-reflections and classical text, Gin Sister promises to take us on an intoxicating journey through the female experience of our favorite poison.
Millington became involved with the project when theatre company Man With A Plan approached her about directing a new work that was based around the idea of the female drinking culture. “I was instantly attracted to this rather provocative theme,” says Millington. “And the caliber of the creatives involved; this (quite young) company consists of 3 artists that are not only exceptional performers but very talented theatre-makers, offering a smorgasbord of skills for me to play with!”
The work is interesting and profound, making comment about the relationship between the alcohol culture and women by women.
“The reason this work focuses on the female perspective is because it is being created by a cast of women, who, in the pursuit of a powerful and honest performance, are working from what they know, Millington explains. “We have unpacked what it is to desire alcohol in all of its forms. For some this is a heady red wine at dinner or a well-earned 6 pack with friends, whilst for others it is a row of tequila shots that ends in a sweaty mess covered in glitter at an abandoned warehouse – (that has ever happened to me). This pursuit of freedom, joy and fulfillment are universal and are desired by both men and women but the consequence of seeking them in alcohol are often vastly different. Social stigma and vulnerability is much higher for women and we explore this across the ages – from the futureless wasting away of the Three Sisters to the train-wreck of Amy Winehouse.”
It is Millington’s belief that Gin Sister allows the audience to see themselves on stage.
“Whether it be as the innocent wide-eyed child chasing a dream or the cynical and weary old soul lamenting loss,” she says. We all spend our lives struggling to find happiness, to balance structure and freedom, order and chaos, Apollo and Dionysus. “The audience is given the chance to question their own relationship to alcohol and why they crave (or abstain from) this delightful poison”
Man With a Plan is a Melbourne based theatre collective presenting a female perspective on broad social issues. The company debuted in 2014 with Anthony Weigh’s Like A Fishbone to industry acclaim as part of the MKA HYPRTXT Festival. Gin Sister marks their second collaboration and first original work.
Millington advises audiences to prepare for a night that is dangerous, sexy, violent, beautiful, intelligent, dark, funny, joyful and provocative.
“This is a show for the unfulfilled, for those of us who dream, who cry, who desire, who love and want to be loved. And if you are none of those things – then you are probably already drunk”
Gin Sister will take you from reality to transcendence to self realisation in this epic tale of the quintessential ‘good night out’.
November 25 – December 6