Following their award-winning Melbourne Fringe hit, The Unspoken Word is Joe, Melbourne theatre makers Zoey Dawson and Declan Greene transport the despairing times of Colonial Australia to the Northcote Town Hall from 23 July to 6 August with their latest production, Conviction.
Set on the desperate shores of colonial Australia, Conviction is the story of two convict women, played by Ruby Hughes and Caroline Lee, who disguise themselves as free settlers in the hope of another chance at life. But the arrival of Dushan Philips’ as a sinister redcoat and Troy Reid as an innocent convict boy, see their plans give way to terror, self-doubt and treachery.
However, true to Zoey Dawson’s beguiling, meta-theatrical style, carefully laid plans begin to crumble. Will they survive the uprising brewing outside or will they be revealed as the hackneyed imaginings of a failed playwright imploding with self-hatred?
Continuing an investigation that started with The Unspoken Word is Joe, Conviction is a caustically funny examination of contemporary feminism and self-authorship. It is a play ‘unwriting’ itself – and the authority of traditional drama – before our very eyes.
“This play, along with The Unspoken Word is Joe and Calamity (2015, MTC NEON) make up an unofficial trilogy of plays in which I’ve used my own life – and my experiences as a woman in theatre – to explore the patriarchal social structures and internalised misogyny that affects me on a daily basis,” says Dawson. So often when women make work about themselves it is seen as self-indulgent, navel-gazing, or worse – therapeutic.”
“I like to think the very act of a woman talking publicly and unapologetically about her life, her fears, her deepest shame, her greatest dreams – can be a political, even revolutionary, act. That might sound really serious and heavy but luckily, my obsession with ritualised self-humiliation hopefully makes these plays pretty funny, too.”
Director/Dramaturge: Declan Greene Featuring: Troy Reid, Ruby Hughes, Caroline Lee, Dushan Phillips Writer: Zoey Dawson Set and Costume Design: Romanie Harper Lighting Design: Amelia Lever-Davidson Sound Design: James Paul Stage Management: Kate Brennan Producer: Anastasia Ryan
Northcote Town Hall, 189 High Street, Northcote
Season: 23 July – 6 August 2016 (previews: 21 & 22 July)
Information and Bookings: www.northcotetownhall.com.au
Image: Zoey Dawson and Bliss the Dog – photo by Sarah Walker