Female of the Species – Review

Hunters Hill Theatre (HHT) has done us the great pleasure of putting on ‘The Female of the Species’, performed on Wallumedegal Country at Club Ryde, this wonderful Australian play is a must-see. I cannot recommend this show enough, I sat down with no idea what to expect and enjoyed an afternoon of laughter thanks to HHT. I really encourage you to book your tickets now @ Hunters Hill Theatre - don’t say I never do anything for you!

'The Female of the Species’ was first performed in 2006 and the play has aged like a good bottle of wine, with 2022 representing the perfect time to enjoy playwright Joanna Murray-Smith’s Political Satire. The show is inspired by a real-life event, in 2000 Germaine Greer, a controversial Feminist Author was held at gunpoint by a 19 year old. Murray-Smith uses this jumping-off point to explore the sometimes taboo theme of feminism and the contradictory and complicated relationships people have to Feminism, as well as motherhood, parasocial relationships, and so much more. These themes are presented with such a wonderful sense of humour and the plot is ridiculous in just the right way, I laughed the whole time.

The show is brought to life by an ensemble of 6 passionate actors led by Director Jennifer Willison. Catherine Porter brings her character to life with ease, the melodramatic Margo opens the show with profanities and lets you know what you’re in for. Bettina Girdler tackles the wild card role of Molly, and Tonia Davis has the joyous task of bringing the exhausted Tess to life, both outrageously fun characters. Bryan is played by Anthony Slaven who has a cheeky little musical number that the audience just went mad for and the Hilarious Dan Ferris entertains with his wonderful portrait of Frank. I would say that Theo is the hero of the show and Michael Richmond is delightful in the role. Director, Willison utilises every inch of the stage, and the cast feels in sync with each other. There were so many little moments in the background or during characters' interactions that made me laugh out loud.

This production reminded me of how magical theatre can be. You’re transported to an early 2000s country cottage, Jennifer Willson is double-billed, Directing and Set Design, and props to Ross Alexander and Christopher Hamilton who constructed the set. You only see Margo’s living room but the layout of the room was done so well and felt so familiar that one can picture the rest of the house. A special shout of for the special effects - I am certain Casey Moon-Watton had fun organising them. All of the behind-the-scenes work was so well executed, it just let the show come to life, and the whole creative team should be celebrated for their work.

I just adored ‘The Female of the Species’, and found so much joy in experiencing some wonderful live theatre. If you want to see Political Satire done right, head over to Club Ryde and catch Hunters Hill Theatre’s production of ‘The Female of the Species’, but be quick as there are only a few shows remaining:-

Friday, 24 June 2022 @ 7.30pm
Saturday, 25 June 2022 @ 2pm & 7.30pm
Sunday, 26 June 2022 @ 2pm
Friday, 1 July 2022 @ 7.30pm
Saturday, 2 July 2022 @ 2pm & 7.30pm
Sunday, 3 July 2022 @ 2pm

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