Single Ladies Now – A mini-album of audio plays

RSAT Andrea Swifte, Jem Lai and Caroline Lee feature in Single Ladies - photo by Robert BlackburnDeveloped through Red Stitch’s unique INK playwriting program, Michele Lee’s new play Single Ladies was in its first week of previews in March when it had to close due to Covid-19 restrictions.

During Lockdown, with support from the City of Yarra, Creative Victoria and Red Stitch Theatre, Michele has developed a series of short audio works based on the three characters from Single Ladies – Anne (in her 70s), Lilike (50s) and Rachel (20s).

Single Ladies Now is not about Covid-19. It is an introduction to the three women, immediately before the plot of the play begins. The monologues have provided an opportunity for the creative team of Single Ladies to delve deeper into the characters, and for the actors to inhabit their roles in a different context and deliver them in a different medium.

Set in the sanitised grunge of Collingwood, Anne, Lilike and Rachel are from different generations and backgrounds and hold different allegiances to their neighbourhood. Original cast members Caroline Lee, Andrea Swifte and Jem Lai each performs a ten-minute monologue in this mini-album of audio plays, which are available to be accessed by a broader audience via the Red Stitch website.

Michele Lee is a Hmong-Australian playwright with a razor-sharp eye for the contradictions of multiculturalism and the interplay between sexuality, identity, displacement and desire in contemporary culture. At 29, she wrote her debut novel, Banana Girl, an irreverent and poignant memoir about living in an on-line world, Gen Y yearnings and the pressures of being a young artist, and is the author of award-winning plays Going Down and Rice.

Director: Bagryana Popov Featuring: Jem Lai, Caroline Lee, Andrea Swifte Dramaturgy: Emilie Collyer Sound Design and Composition: Elissa Goodrich Recording: Russell Goldsmith

Red Stitch hopes to stage Single Ladies in the future, when these monologues can then serve as an introduction to the characters. For more information and to listen to the monologues, visit: for details.

Image: Andrea Swifte, Jem Lai and Caroline Lee feature in Single Ladies Now – photo by Robert Blackburn