It’s so refreshing when an original piece of work is brought to a wider audience, especially one that shines a light on a snippet of Australian history. Ladies in Black had such a successful premiere season last year that they’ve come back to delight audiences once again, this time touring to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and ending in Canberra.
We are transported back to Sydney in the late 50s early 60s where a wide-eyed young girl named Lisa embarks on a journey of self discovery, and her first ever job at the renowned department store F.G. Goodes. The story in itself is really quite simple, in fact there is nothing climactic about it, but that in itself is what makes this show so charming and heart warming. Whether you were born in the 50s or the 00s, this is a story that anyone can relate to. From a modern-day perspective it does seem very trivial how green Lisa is, but the women that surround her are what open her up to new ideas, new thinkings and ultimately, her true self.
Each and every member of this show plays an integral part to the development of the narrative and to Lisa’s growth. As a company, under the direction of Simon Phillips, their commitment to the truth is stunning to see unfold and their playfulness in song and dance is fantastic. Stand out performances by Sarah Morrison, Madeleine Jones, Natalie Gamsu, Bobby Fox, Ellen Simpson and Greg Stone really do keep the audience engaged, but including some kick-ass songs and clever choreography by Andrew Hallsworth shows just how in demand this show was for a return.
The title song ‘Ladies in Black’ and ‘Bastard Song’ are without a doubt the two standout moments of the show. Composer and lyricist Tim Finn has created a genius body of work with catchy melodies and cheeky lyrics to ensure the audience laps up every bit of it. Playwright Carolyn Burns has penned a gorgeous adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel The Women in Black, making this award winning show one to be spoken about for years to come.
Will Ladies in Black find international acclaim? Time will tell, but for now, get yourself along to it and take a stroll down memory lane.
Ladies in Black runs in Melbourne until March 19, then jets off to Canberra. For tickets and more info, head HERE.