Margaret Helman
25th Jul 2017

Shit happens. But for some, it is inflicted upon them.  The 'universe' they inhabit is a perpetual assault with no other models. Each day is a red alert day as they punch their way through - verbally shrill and physically brutal.

Patricia Cornelius' remarkable play introduces us to three young emotionally damaged women who believe their world is shit, their lives are shit and they are shit.

Ten highly experienced theatre makers came together to produce a work to introduce audiences to characters who most of us rarely meet.  They are passionate about making work that challenges female actors - to command the space and own it.

The writer and the director Susie Dee tell us in the program notes that "they make work that is physical, sensual, heightened (that) blends in a text just as muscular and vigorous."  "The worlds they create are tough and at times brutal'.

There is nothing romantic about the three young women Billy (Nicci Wilks, Bobby (Sarah Ward) and Sam (Peta Brady).  They are incarcerated and yet their message is strong and forceful.   The fight in them is palpable and unrelenting.  They never let their audience off the hook from their struggle not to fit into the norms of gender stereotypes like passive, apologetic or grateful.   Their quest is defined and determined and articulated with athleticism.  These three actors lasso their audience and never let them go.

Their performances are remarkable, powerful and the play's writing is so strong it gives them the power they need to support their anger.

This is a ninety-minute workout for the audience held in the grip of the actors reminding us that there is adversity in making us feel uncomfortable.

How thoroughly uplifting to hear the voices and the messages from Australian women who are so underrepresented on Australian stages.

SHIT is playing at The Seymour Centre until Saturday July 29th.