Nora and Delia Ephron’s
Love, Loss and What I Wore
The Dark Room
Director: Damian Thorne
Review Date: 24/05/2019
On Friday with my own squad of epic women we took the short stroll from The Brewers Apprentice to the Dark Room to catch this strong yet tender women-centric show. The title gives a decent clue as to what it was themed around, and a cast of strong, well-known local women was a good draw-card.
Beautiful floral artworks by local artist Amey Bell-Booth set a nice backdrop for an otherwise minimalist set. Five women (Gael Haining Ede, Jan Barnett, Trudy Pearson, Rachel Bowen, and Kate Balfour) dressed in black and seated on stools, faced the audience and spoke from the heart about life, and clothes in a series of candid monologues. That might sound a bit materialistic, but it was so much deeper than that. The closet was turned out, and every corner exposed as they each undressed the layers of clothing we hide behind. Comments by our parents that have haunted us for years, the well-meant but horrifying remarks tossed around about how we should look, the dresses worn at special occasions, the black-hole of the purse (handbag), rape and what was worn, the loved and lost clothes, the bad parts of our bodies, it was all there, and on point.
This show modeled excellent writing first and foremost. The script written by sisters Nora and Delia Ephron based on the book by Illene Beckerman was impeccable and all the women I attended with felt that it hit home in a perfectly true way.
Gael Haining Ede and Trudy Pearson produced emotionally vulnerable performances with expert style, and Rachel Bowen and Kate Balfour shared a beautiful and surprising scene about wedding outfits. Newcomer Jan Barnett delivered a challenging script about mini-skirts and her favourite boots.
I’m grateful that director Damian Thorne brought this show to Palmy. It was a lovely experience to share with friends. I’d suggest that you would need to be a particular kind of guy to gain enjoyment from this show. My hubby was going to attend but backed-out when he realised he would be the only man in the oestrogen-rich gang. I would have squirmed in angst if he was there because ninety minutes of deep discussion about women’s body image, clothes, relationships, aging and other stuff would be as overpowering for him as perfume sprayed right into his open eyes.
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