A thought provoking new Australian work featuring award-winning actor Jillian Murray, fortyfivedownstairs celebrates groundbreaking French feminist Simone de Beauvoir singular brilliance in De Stroyed in a limited season from 17 May 2017.
Simone de Beauvoir radically inspired generations of women from the fifties on to strive for personal freedom and independence. With her seminal work The Second Sex, published in 1949, she provoked outrage while igniting a movement that gave women ownership of their own narrative.
Along with The Woman Destroyed and The Second Sex – De Stroyed draws on de Beauvoir’s love letters to fellow writer and philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, with whom she shared a lifelong relationship that generated endless controversy and curiosity.
De Stroyed scrutinizes with searing intelligence, humour and pathos, what it means to love another, our common fate, and the tensions created by leading an unconventional life. It opens the window to view where contemporary Feminism began and, in light of the #metoo and Times Up movements, questions how far have we really come?
Director Suzanne Chaundy, whose most recent work has been directing epic operas such as Wagner’s Lohengrin and Tristan and Isolde, turns 180 degrees in this intimate collaboration with actor and co-devisor Jillian Murray, who recently won a Green Room Award for her stunning performance in Marguerite Duras’ L’amante anglaise, and is nominated again this year for Ionesco’s The Chairs.
“We were drawn together by our shared love of de Beauvoir, particularly her work of fiction The Woman Destroyed,” says Murray. “Our first creative development was at La Mama in 2011, and the positive response and curiosity around who Simone de Beauvoir was, encouraged us to go further to bring more of the controversial woman behind the work into the foreground.”
Chaundy and Murray have joined forces with composer Christopher de Groot and video artist Zoe Scoglio to set the work in a contemporary space, allowing audiences to simultaneously engage in both the past and present.
“We want to celebrate de Beauvoir’s singular brilliance,” says Murray. “The work is intimate and personal. As Simone would have said, the personal is political!”
Director & Co Creator: Suzanne Chaundy Performer & Co Creator: Jillian Murray Video Artist: Zoe Scoglio Composer: Christopher de Groot
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 17 – 27 May 2018
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
Image: Jillian Murray stars in De Stroyed (supplied)