THE SOVEREIGN WIFE
Moira and Connor O'Flaherty leave county Mayo for a better life in the Australian goldfields. But all they find in the harsh soil of Hiscock's Gully is poverty and heartbreak. As the Eureka Flag is raised, Moira makes a terrible pact in order to save her family. The effects of this one night will be felt for generations.
Spanning one hundred and fifty years of toil, hardship, and devastating etcetera, The Sovereign Wife is one woman's epic journey across our sunburnt country – from country Victoria all the way to the Simpson Desert.
Taking inspiration from The Man From Snowy River, Baz Luhrmann's Australia, and the spellbinding artwork of Ken Done, The Sovereign Wife is a wild bush-doof through our national identity.
Performed by PAUL BLENHEIM, JOSEPH CHETTY, JASON DE SANTIS, ASH FLANDERS, GENEVIEVE GIUFFRE, FELIX CHING CHING HO, BESSIE HOLLAND, MORGAN MAGUIRE, and PETER PALTOS
Created by ASH FLANDERS & DECLAN GREENE
Directed by DECLAN GREENE
Set Design by ROMANIE HARPER
Costume Design by OWEN PHILLIPS
Lighting Design by KATIE SFETKIDIS
Sound Design & Composition by JED PALMER
Video Projection by ROHAN SPONG
Dramaturgy by NAKKIAH LUI
Stage Manager: HARRIET GREGORY
Assistant Stage Manager: ANASTASIA RYAN
Costume Design Assistant: CELESTE MACLEOD
Produced by BEK BERGER
A Sisters Grimm & MTC NEON production.
WINNER - GREEN ROOM AWARDS - BEST PRODUCTION
WINNER - GREEN ROOM AWARDS - MALE PERFORMER (Ash Flanders)
★★★★ 'This radically ambitious and very funny gender-bending romp smells of the future, even as it casts an ironic glance (through fake lashes) at our colonial past.' The Age
★★★★½ '[The Sovereign Wife] deconstructs every historical, racist, sexist, hetero-normative, homophobic, cultural cliché about Australia ever depicted on screen or stage. [..] It's a relief to see such rudeness, such anarchy, on the main stage. Nothing is as you'd expect.' ArtsHub
★★★★ 'At three hours long, with two intervals, this is a vast triptych tribute - playful, subversive, enthusiastic - to the myth of the Aussie battler… As an exploration of the cultural cringe and a sly celebration of the pioneer genre this is highly recommended.' TimeOut
'This is an endlessly surprising piece. It's not just the highlight of the NEON festival, it's the show to beat, so far, in 2013.' The Australian
'[Sisters Grimm] pay tribute to melodrama as much they as satirise it, generating moments of genuine pathos amid the chaos. But above all, it’s deliriously fun. [...] The Sovereign Wife is sold out: but watch out for a season extension. If the standing ovation on opening night is anything to go by, you’ll have to be quick.' ABC Arts
'There’s hilarity galore but underscoring it is a fiercely intelligent interrogation of the Australian identity. [...] The diverse and energetic cast give the performance everything. If camp’s your thing, you’ll love the pants off it. If it’s not, well the Sisters might yet win you over.' Concrete Playground
'A glorious, glittering monster... Hilarious, heartfelt, totally sold-out.' Inpress
11 - 21 JULY 2013
NEON: FESTIVAL OF INDEPENDENT THEATRE
Melbourne Theatre Company