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The Female of the Species



The Female of the Species, by Joanna Murray-Smith

Strathmore Theatrical Arts Group presents our next 2017 production by one of Australia's most prolific playwrights Joanna Murray-Smith, The Female of the Species, directed by Mark Stratford at the Strathmore Community Hall from 17 to 27 August.

Forty years ago, Margot Mason, pioneer of the 1970s Women’s Liberation movement and fearless academic, wrote her groundbreaking work The Cerebral Vagina and numerous best-sellers followed. Now she has writer’s block. Molly, an unannounced visitor and committed fan of Margot and her work, offers a potential solution—until Molly produces a gun and calmly informs Margot that she intends to kill her.

Joanna Murray-Smith’s deliciously wicked comedy deftly walks the tightrope between satire and farce, proving the female of the species is not only deadlier, but funnier than the male.

STAG is pleased to continue our season with this production loosely based on the life and work of Australian feminist Germaine Greer. The Female of the Species opened in the West End in July 2008. It was nominated for Best New Comedy in the 2009 Olivier Awards. The Daily Mail said of the production: "This is an adult comedy, full of strong language and political jokes, but with that bold-type proviso I have no hesitation in saying it is the sparkiest, freshest thing on the West End stage this summer."

Ms Murray-Smith's plays have been widely performed around the globe and she is ranked as one of Australia's most highly regarded writers for the stage.
Director Mark Stratford returns for this production after directing Come Blow Your Horn for STAG last year. He is also a familiar face to our audienes, appearing in Gross Indecency and Theft over the last two years. His directing credits include Hot Mikado, Guys and Dolls, Twelfth Night, Twelve Angry Men, Shadowlands, Julius Ceasar, The House of Bernada Alba and The Insect Comedy.
Says Stratford of directing the play: I’ve always been a fan of Joanna Murray-Smith and her piquant take on modern life. This particular play is a favourite of mine for its clever wit and black, at times even mordant, humour. She is always able to cleverly define characters with a minimum of fuss, creating a rich and diverse universe. The fact that this play is based on an actual incident makes it even more interesting and fun to perform!

The cast includes actors familiar to STAG such as Veronica Hannebery (Laying the Ghost, Mousetrap, Romeo and Juliet), , Gilbert Gauci (The Heiress, And This Was Odd), Dennis Hine St Clair (And This Was Odd, Wisdom of Eve, Mousetrap), Madeline Barwick (The Heiress, Gross Indecency) as well as newcomers to our stage: Kirsten Page, and Lachlan Mason. Settings designed and constructed by Tony Leatch and lighting by Rob Mc Donald.

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