Theatrically portraying the unique lens of womanhood and explores a rich tapestry of connection and love, Crash Theatre Company presents Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter at The Blue Room Theatre from 16 May 2023.
Forged by Ana Ferreira Manhoso and Courtney McManus, two young female theatremakers, Crash produces radical and future bound independent theatre that tells stories of risk, resiliency, resourcefulness.
The story of Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter, co-written by McManus and Hannah Quaden, leaves us no choice but to revere the relationships that raise us and to celebrate them as instrumental to the fabric of our being.
There is nothing quiet or mundane about this piece, it is an epic of all proportions. It is grand and sweeping and shows the messiness and vulnerability of four women with genuine love at the forefront of their friendship. It’s the moment at your first sleepover party with a Freddo ice-cream cake and Lizzie McGuire.
It’s the memory of tackling the local shopping centre food court together with resumes so you can afford One Direction concert tickets. It’s the moment when you and your friends entered the school talent show as a joke, but now it’s showtime and you’re stealing looks at each other, holding back giggles on stage.
The sound of the most secretive whisper to the loud bellows of peeling laughs – Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter will wrap you in a warm hug of nostalgia and remind you of the first crushes, the friendship bracelets, and the love that you and your friends share after all this time.
A toast to the friendships that raise us, Crash Theatre Company assembles an all-female powerhouse creative team to present Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter.
The play shows Bree, Georgia, Nic and Holly as four young women who met on the first day of high school, now about to graduate from university. They smoke a joint to relieve some of the graduation day jitters and end up travelling through time, visiting some key moments in their friendship to seek truth, solace and hope, for what comes next.
By the directing partnership of Quaden and Ella Cooke, this story is performed through the vehicle of magic realism; providing a multidisciplinary and sensory audience experience that will emulate time-travel, nostalgia, and a critical reflection of the self.
Female friendship is portrayed by the media in a way that is often insulting, usually conveyed by someone who doesn’t understand the multiplicity and intricacies of womanhood and female companionship.
From Blair and Serena’s constant world-ending drama in Gossip Girl to the male-obsessed steadfast bond in John Tucker Must Die – female relationships are typically held together in media through a connection to men, money, and popularity.
These ‘chick flicks’ target a female audience, but many neglect to pass the Bechdel Test (a media metric used to document the representation of women in cinema). Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of close friendships in a dignified portrayal without belittlement.
The play encourages audiences to question the essence of individuality within a collective, which Bree summarises perfectly… “Sometimes I think I just chose all the best things about you three and sewed them together and now that’s who I am,” she said.
The characters are forced to reflect on the way that time binds them together and drives them apart. They consider what their friendship will look like after graduation, without the ever-present structure of an educational institution holding them together.
How can they develop themselves as individuals if they are forever tied to each other? Does this limit who they can become? Through this, audiences can expect to reflect on their own friendships and how they have changed over time.
Crash brings you an all-female, predominantly queer production team starring Stella Banfield, Courtney McManus, Clea Purkis, and Shannon Rogers. Produced by an eclectic and powerful collective of Western Australian artists including Ana Ferreira Manhoso, Bec Price, Orla-Jean Poole, Megan Mak, Rachel Porter, and Lea Šimic.
Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter
The Blue Room Theatre, 53 James Street, Perth
Season: 16 May – 3 June 2023
Information and Bookings: www.blueroom.org.au
Image: Sisterhood of the Travelling Lighter – photo by Declan Young