Melbourne Fringe: Matriarch

Matriarch Sandy GreenwoodIn Matriarch, writer Sandy Greenwood performs a touching theatrical collage of the women in her family: herself, her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother.

Accompanied by beautiful and evocative live music from Minjarrah Jarret, Sandy moves across the generations of her family. She tells stories from her own childhood and other stories of humour or frustration or pain. As Sandy herself describes, growing up black, but with white skin, has meant a tumultuous journey of acknowledging both the oppression and privilege that has affected her life.

The set is both practical and stylised. There are elements of bush and berries, yet also a hat stand for the various costume pieces. Russell Wong’s lighting for the most part worked, especially a dream sequence towards the end of the show that revisited the opening scene in terrifying fashion.

It’s no easy task, weaving four character threads (along with Sandy’s own commentary as an actor) into a coherent, compelling whole – but Sandy and her crew pull it off. Matriarch was a testament to the extraordinary power of storytelling and song.

Warehouse – Arts House, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Performance: Sunday 23 September 2018 – 5:30pm
Season: 22 – 29 September 2018 (closed

Image: Sandy Greenwood (supplied)

Review: David Collins