RSAT-Emily-Goddard-and-Caroline-Lee-star-in-Wittenoom-photo-by-Robert-Blackburn-&-Work-Art-Life-StudiosBased on real life events during the 1950s and 1960s, Wittenoom by Mary-Anne Butler, is a vivid and poetic new fictional drama that follows Dot and her daughter, Pearl, in the remote mining town now synonymous with blue asbestos.

These are the glorious days when the Pilbara’s stunning landscape and close-knit community shape an idyllic lifestyle. Wild-natured Dot is making the most of every second, while teenaged Pearl is trying to make sense of what her own life might be.

Wittenoom weaves their personal stories into the frame of the broader Australian mining industry, in an evocative drama that raises questions of accountability and embraces the fragility of life that is here, and now.

The beautifully written two-hander manages to depict the ricochet of health and cultural impacts of mining, while also capturing the joy and optimism that accompanies life in a boom town.

One fella grabs me around the waist and we twirl and spin so fast we become a whirling cloud of hope. God, we dance. He asks me my name and I tell him it’s Patsy, even though it’s really Dot.

Dot is a speck on the landscape; a nothing. Patsy has class – like Patsy Cline. That’s the thing about way out here. You can be anyone; anything in this centre of the second chance.

Developed as part of the Red Stitch INK writing program, the project has already won its author, Mary-Anne Butler, the Shane and Cathryn Brennan Prize for Playwriting through the Australian Writers Guild. It stars Emily Goddard and Caroline Lee OAM, and is directed by award-winning director, Susie Dee.

“Butler’s writing is poetic, evocative and muscular in a way rarely seen on Australian stages, vivid, visceral and spare.” – Time Out

Director: Susie Dee | Featuring: Emily Goddard, Caroline Lee | Set & Costume Design: Dann Barber | Lighting Design: Rachel Burke | Composition/Sound Design: Ian Moorhead | Assistant Lighting Design: Spencer Herd | Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Cassandra Fumi | Assistant Stage Manager: Georgina Bright

Red Stitch Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel Street, East St Kilda
Season: 1 – 19 February 2023 (previews: 26 – 31 January)
Information and Bookings: www.redstitch.net

Image: Emily Goddard and Caroline Lee star in Wittenoom – photo by Robert Blackburn & Work Art Life Studios