Kate Mulqueen knows a lot about death. Her family ran a funeral business, her dad made his living making wills, and her sister killed herself seven years ago – on the day Michael Jackson died. In her new solo show, Mulqueen invites you, to experience the living and loving of someone with severe depression, and the processing of grief when they die.
Kate Mulqueen left her house on 24 June 2009 to play Lady Anne in a performance of Richard III. The next day, her sister was found dead in the middle of the Edinburgh Gardens. Join Mulqueen for a darkly poetic, unashamedly intimate, blood, guts and excrement tale of life, death and literature.
Playing during Mental Health Week, and following on from her debut season at The Butterfly Club in February (Piano. Girl. Songs.), Inside the Bell Jar recounts, through story, song and sucker punch, the trauma, loss of identity and guilt that surrounds the experience of death by suicide of a sister.
“This show is really personal, obviously. But I’m also genuinely interested in the experience of grief, and what it does to us as humans,” says Mulqueen. “I saw Robin Nevin perform A Year of Magical Thinking at the MTC a number of years ago, which blew me away. It is is based on Joan Didion’s book about her grieving the death of her husband, and I remember distinctly thinking: Yes! This is what it is like!”
“Grief is something we all have to experience at some point, but in Western society particularly, we’re not really good at it. We don’t have the framework; it’s almost shameful, to feel. And suicide has its own stigma. But I think the theatrical space offers us the opportunity to understand these big concepts better.”
“We share, in an hour of darkness and story, a communion of sorts, and if we’re open to it, we can come out closer to understanding our own humanness. That’s why I was interested in sharing my own story.”
Inside the Bell Jar
The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: 11 – 16 October 2016
Information and Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com
Image: Kate Mulqueen