Preview: Noel Lothian Hall celebrates Votes for Women

A series of productions celebrate a special anniversary at Noel Lothian Hall

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Gulliver's Travels
Photo by Lily Faith Knight and Matteo Zenini
Published 26 Feb 2019

In 1894 the South Australian government passed a bill which granted women the right to vote and stand for parliament. The Noel Lothian Hall, in the Botanic Gardens, is marking the 125th anniversary of the bill by hosting a series of shows which focus on the theme of women's emancipation and empowerment.

That Daring Australian Girl is based on the true story of Muriel Matters, a South Australian who became a leading agitator in the UK's suffragette movement. Writer-performer Joanne Hartstone plays Matters, who chained herself to the British House of Commons, in a show that has collected an impressive number of five-star reviews for its commanding performance.

Dietrich: Natural Duty, another piece of biographical theatre, is performed in drag by Peter Groom about Marlene Dietrich – the German Hollywood icon who threw herself behind the allied war effort and raised funds to help Jews escape Nazi Germany. Groom has received a lot of positive attention for the authenticity of his performance, especially Dietrich's accent and mannerisms, in a cabaret event that is sure to be brimming with glam and sequins.

A retelling of the beloved adventure Gulliver’s Travels, which famously satirised 18th Century English society, brings new life to the story with a female protagonist and a cast of Lilliputian puppets. Developed specifically for the Noel Lothian Hall, this performance promises a reimagining that will delight audiences with its fresh insights on the scathing critique and for the ingenuity of its Gilliam-like production.

The Noel Lothian Hall is also offering a number of shows that don't quite fit the suffragette theme. A cast of recent WAAPA graduates perform Cookies and Cream, which asks exactly how you're meant to go about reconciling the misinformation and bad advice you receive in high-school sex-ed with your sexual experiences as an adult.

jden redden’s The Expert at the Card Table has shown at past festivals, but with its transition to the Noel Lothian Hall it features better projection equipment which could be a game changer for the show. Dealing with the most pragmatic of magical disciplines, it offers an intimate demonstration of all the necessary sleight of hand required to cheat at cards. This is the best chance you’ll get to see someone deal from the bottom of the deck, or load their hand with aces, without actually losing your trousers in the process.