Adelaide Botanic Gardens - Noel Lothian Hall
Until 17 Mar 2019

Review by Luke Wagner

Presented at the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival

It is absolutely fitting that International Women’s Day – a day celebrating the achievements of bold, brave and influential women – has been followed by a show that does just that.

Muriel Matters was an actress and elocutionist who went on to help spearhead the women’s suffrage movement in England in the early 1900s. Matters was boldly outspoken and passionate in her fight to give every woman the right to vote alongside their male counterparts. Matters’ story follows her from her home in Adelaide through to her politically charged life in England.

Joanne Hartstone is the incredible writer and performer behind this stunning production. Hartstone is clearly passionate about Muriel’s story. She was able to encapsulate every emotion as she showed us a journal like retelling of Matters history. Hartstone is a brilliant actor and perfectly delivered this historic piece and made it feel current and relevant, as it rightly should.

The production was equally stunning. The use of a golden wash of light across the stage was perfectly set with smoke that hung in the air for the duration of the show. The simple set was used well as a symbolic representation of various locations through Muriel’s history.

This is a well-thought-out and stunningly delivered piece of theatre crafted by a talented team of performers, designers and director. The message remains as important today as it did when the first battle for women’s rights was won more than 100 years ago.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)