She Is Vigilante by Lyn Zelen

 *****stars

She Is Vigilante – five fearless insightful stories about women.

This priceless on-point collection from new and emerging women writers is astounding. The satirical and sublime stories cover the unwarranted predicaments women find themselves in today.

Theatre Works presents the community–based exceptionally talented cast of all ages from all cultures, who performed the contemporaneous works about women and the people who care for women.

These short plays are in-depth snapshots of the ridiculous nature of adverts for domestic appliances, virtual reality and refugees, abuse, rape, birth, murder and combatants. This production denotes the truth and promotes resolution that will resonate with everyone.

Directors Bridgette Balodis and Krystalla Pearce have the privilege of bringing these brilliant stories and cast to life. The day-to-day struggles women experience from morning to night.

Writer Maja Amanita’s Robot Coupe tongue-in-cheek series of adverts, peppers the pace between the darker plays and vignettes. Her satirical take on the absurdity of breakfast television and domestic appliances is honest and hilarious. Each skit shrewdly exposes hidden domestic violence and domestic appliance defense.

One of the ads features two female presenters, in singsong info-mercial voices selling a plastic dehydration appliance. Their fixed smiles soon fade when the truth comes out—the dual use of the appliance that stops food wastage and violence.

One of the presenter’s hints at her co-presenter’s abusive husband and suggests the appliance can easily dehydrate poisonous mushrooms for his dinner. The women drop their singsong voice façade and discuss the services available for abused women.

Roshelle Fong’s futuristic virtual reality and emojis’ story, ‘Papillion 741929 Butterfly Emoji’, exposes workplace harassment and the plight of refugees. In the year 6000, VR programmer Vivien (Desiree Tan), is interrogated in jail for creating a VR program where female refugees become avatars and have virtual journeys home.

The prison emoji guards and ‘black widow’ central computer, use physical and mental programming on Vivien forcing her to reveal the anonymity of the refugees’ avatars. How much torture can Vivien endure?

Vigil/ant/e is Ivana Brehas and Krystalla Pearce’s three distinctive vignettes encompassing the online pornographic rape culture and misogyny. This negative victim concept has given rise to a proactive female anger, resulting in powerful activism and vigilance.

The stunned audience sat motionless listening to the brutal nature of strangulation pornography and urged men and boys to stop watching the online de-humanisation of the female form and real life murders. The vignettes also acknowledge the contribution of the divine male in our society, their growing presence, respect, nurture and support of the women in their lives.

The post Vigil/ant/e stunned silence was replaced by another ‘brainwashing info-mercial’. In her angel white pants suit, Lucy Ansell sings a witty advert with hilarious facial gestures. The ironically sexy songstress says the domestic device will help you say “No!’ to workplace harassment.

Athena, Huntress of Men arrives! Lauren Anderson and Meegan May’s accurate and evocative story exposes the truth of predators on public transport. A leather-clad hair–whipping masked Athena, comes to the aid of a late night female commuter on a train being sexually harassed by a drunken male.

This isn’t another victim’s account; it’s a call to arms. The commuter trains with Athena to learn the art of self-defense—handbag wielding and crotch-kicking. The next time she’s accosted by a man, she releases her “Huntress of Men” from within and defends herself.

The last confronting play written by Chanella Hosanna Faalu Faapio Macri is based on the effects of ‘female as a class’; where you come from determines your outcome in society.

A child is abducted, is the child still alive? The female perpetrator is imprisoned and abused by a frustrated female prison guard who wants to know how and why she did it?

This shocking story portrays the denigration, homelessness, and colonisation of women. The author questions how these women became the initial victim, who are their handlers or enablers and how circumstance turns a mother from victim to a criminal.

The astute direction of Balodis and Pearce and meticulous production produced riveting performances.

This vigilant collaborative genius of new and emerging female writers, brilliant community-based female artists, and uniting members in the community, are a new force to be reckoned with—waging peace and dignity.

Performances:               5.0 / 5

Costumes:                     5.0 / 5

Sets:                              5.0 / 5

Lighting:                                 5.0 / 5

Sound:                                    5.0 / 5

Direction:                      5.0 / 5

Stage Management:       5.0 / 5

Photographer: Jack Dixon-Gunn

 

 

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