Since 1991, Melbourne’s much lauded Women’s Cir-cus has created over 30 original works combining contemporary circus, theatre and music, every three years staging a highly anticipated large scale produc-tion. In 2016, during their 25th Anniversary, they received rave reviews and sold out houses for their season of The Penelopiad, and 2019 sees them create and present another exciting and ambitious work for Melbourne au-diences, The Drill.
Home to the Women’s Circus, The Footscray Drill Hall was built in 1914 to facilitate compulsory military training for men and boys aged 12 to 26 years old. Dozens of Footscray locals volunteered at the Drill Hall and these men became one of the first companies sent into battle in World War One – E Company. Soon they would find themselves in one of Australia’s bloodiest battles; Gallipoli. Most of the company of 250 did not return… and Footscray became a city in mourning.
A century later, the Women’s Circus now invites audiences to a new, site-specific, feminist circus work, sharing untold stories of war through the lens of those left behind. Disappear into the world of 1914 for a surreal journey that blurs the lines between contemporary circus, immersive theatre, historical re-imagining, and art installation.
Created and performed by over sixty Women’s Circus members and artists, The Drill uncovers buried stories of the site’s history to explore the far reaching effects of war on communities. Running from 21 November to 1 De-cember, and playing as a part of the 2019 Due West Festival, this powerful new work takes a compelling look at this historical space.
Women’s Circus is a not for profit arts organisation offering a year round circus and performance training pro-gram and producing socially engaged arts projects for women, trans and non-binary people and their communi-ties. It is a proudly feminist organisation dedicated to individual well-being and community connectedness.
Bookings: 03 9687 3665 and online at www.womenscircus.org.au/the-drill/