To celebrate NAIDOC week, we wanted to honour the extraordinary life of one of Australia’s foremost, but often misremembered Indigenous women, Truganini. Born on Bruny Island off the Tasmanian Coast in the early 19th century in the Palawa community, Truganini’s life was quickly transformed by the arrival of British invaders. After surviving a tragic early life, she realised she could help her people by becoming a guide and interpreter. But when she lost hope in even that, she turned to the bush and life as an outlaw. A content warning to listeners that this episode contains discussion of extreme violence and genocide. Because of her, we can.
In October 2017, women across the globe came together under the hashtag MeToo. However, social activist and advocate Tarana Burke had already been campaigning for women of colour under the same banner for eleven long years. In this episode, we talk about her incredibly important work, the pervasiveness of predatory behaviour, and the way women are constantly told that they should somehow take responsibility for a culture of misogyny and sexual entitlement beyond their control. A content warning for listeners that we discuss issues of sexual violence and trauma, getting pretty angry and emotional into the bargain. This is not an episode best suited to your morning commute! At the same time, we also celebrate the influence of this inspiring woman, and the movement that has grown up in the wake of her work.
In our first interview of season two, (and the launch of a new special series!) we sat down with author Margot McGovern to chat all things YA: from the emergence of ‘unlikable’ female protagonists (and why they’re so irresistible) to the power of transforming myths of masculine adventure for girls, we delved deep into the gender dynamics of the world’s fastest growing literary genre.
In Neverland, Margot’s own feisty and – let’s be honest – bratty heroine Kit must navigate her return to her island home-turned-boarding school and its troubled teenage inhabitants, the depths of lust and attraction, not to mention the treacherous waters of her family’s tragic past and her own history of self-harm. We like our heroines complicated, and Kit Learmouth doesn’t disappoint, so grab yourself a map and join us for our first dive into the waters of YA.
After leaving her home at the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota for the brutal regiment of boarding school in the east, Zitkála-Šá began developing the creative talents and political consciousness that would make her one of the most influential Native American women of the 20th Century. Her acclaimed stories and essays chronicled her struggles with identity and culture, and her translations brought Native American legends to a whole new audience. All the while, she maintained a subversive rebellious spirit that lit the flames of her later activism. So join us as we traverse prairies and plains with one who knows them best, Zitkála-Šá.
Many different versions of Sedna’s story abound, from a young woman forced to marry a dog, to a victim of abduction by a bird man. But in all her tellings, Sedna emerges as a powerful spiritual force, a mistress of the sea and its creatures, transformed by a brutal physical attack. Come with us to the chill of the frozen north as we dive into the dark waters and seek out this mythic woman’s tale.
Known as the Liberator of the Liberator, Manuela Sáenz rose to prominence as the mistress of revolutionary hero, Simón Bolívar. A heroine in her own right, Manuela became a celebrated patriot, spy, recruiter and trusted informant of the revolution that saw the overthrow of Spanish rule in South America. But she was also infamous for her wild antics, from the strange battlefield trophy she’d wear to masquerades to the wild political stunts she’d pull at parties. Wherever Manuela went, controversy wasn’t far behind! Join us as we unfurl the patriot banner, evade an assassination attempt or two, and traverse the expanse of the newly liberated (though short lived) state of Gran Colombia!
Towards the close of the 17th century, the opulent hallways of Versailles were swept up with the scandalous ‘Affair of the Poisons’. The Sun King, Louis XIV, ordered an investigation into the dark underworld of the Paris occult, hunting down those who supplied potions and aphrodisiacs alongside more sinister wares. One of those was Catherine Monvoisin, a favoured fortune teller and sorceress among the wealthy elite. Join us as we press our ears to the grand doorways of the palace, abuzz with whispered gossip and treachery, and endeavour to unpick truth from accusation in the life of La Voisin.
Infamous as the last woman tried under the Witchcraft Act of 1735, Helen Duncan caused more than a few stirs in her time. After terrifying her schoolmates her with dire predictions, Helen grew up to become one of wartime Britain’s foremost physical mediums. She soon became the target of a series of scientific investigations and caught the attention of MI5, which resulted in a court-case Winston Churchill himself described as ‘obsolete tomfoolery.’ So grab your cheesecloth and darken the lights as we delve into the scandalous life of Mrs Duncan!
One of Australia’s most awarded playwrights, Patricia Cornelius isn’t afraid to go where other writers won’t. With titles like SHIT and SLUT, Patricia pushes her audience to pay attention to some of society’s most visceral issues. In The Club was specially commissioned for the State Theatre Company of South Australia, and it shines a blinding light on accounts of sexual violence in one of our most beloved national sports. Patricia sat down with us to discuss her life in the theatre, and just what inspired her to write this uncompromising new work.
Merry Christmas, Deviants! In our special Christmas episode, we close the year by revisiting a few of our favourite deviant women of season one, and introducing our first ever live show. We also take a quick trip to the snowy north to meet the Yule Lad’s terrifying mother, and discover the mythological woman at the heart of kissing under the mistletoe! So grab a glass of gluhwein, sit beneath some fairy lights, and join us as we wrap up (ey?) 2017!
This Adelaide Fringe, Lauren and Alicia are set to take you on an eye-opening romp through the lives of two of history’s most outrageous women.
♠ Julie D’Aubigny ♠
Monday 26th Feb 2018
7pm @ The Jade, 160 Flinders Street, Adelaide
Come along for a cavalier adventure in 17th century France through the life and times of the flamboyant and swashbuckling Julie D’Aubigny.
♣ Madame Blavatsky ♣
Wednesday 14th March 2018
7pm @ The Jade, 160 Flinders Street, Adelaide
Sit with us at the dark table of the Victorian séance as we delve into the occult world of the mysterious and down-right weird Madame Blavatsky
In two alternate shows, these Adelaide locals will bring their signature mix of historical storytelling and comedic banter to a live audience for the first time.
Get your tickets now from FringeTix.
For teenage Uschi Obermaier, rock’n’roll offered an escape from the drudgery of post-war Munich, and it didn’t take long before her beauty and brazenness caught the eye of some of the 20th century’s greatest male musicians. Both lauded and denigrated for her ‘groupie’ status, Uschi’s modelling career and high-profile relationships saw her gain notoriety for her hedonistic attitude, but also allowed her the freedom to travel the world. Settle the needle into the groove of a good record, and join us for our final episode of Series One, as we delve into the world of a woman who lived life by her own rules to become an icon of an era.