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International Women’s Day doesn’t have to be about hardcore feminism and lecturing. At the Red Rattler in Marrickville, playfulness and activism combine for one night only, in a mysterious production that will celebrate the day, titled In Her Nature To Decide. The performance will be intense and confronting, showcasing what it is to be a woman today though expressive female voices, in mediums as diverse as poetry, music and drawing. One of the four creative talents performing on the night, Angela Stretch tells us why In Her Nature To Decide will be an innovative and unique experience.  

How will In Her Nature To Decide celebrate women around the world? The performance evening’s motif draws on elements of each of the artists’ own lives, an imaginative vision of a world where all things are interrelated, where flesh and blood are near kin to soil and water, where men and women share common instincts.  Entertaining and inspiring performances will create startling poetic energy, shaping identity and will offer up more questions than answers.

The title is intriguing, what is the message behind it? Does it relate to feminism in a broader sense? The title derives from the significance of female empowerment, women are not treated equally in many areas of society and some have no voice. Basic human rights allow us the freedom to make moral decisions.  It is, and should be in ‘our’ nature to decide.  In general the title is open to individual clarification.

Could you briefly describe what is in store for audiences? The time is the present and the Red Rattler is a playhouse where a program of one-night stands are resplendent. There is a rich tapestry in performance and the four poets, Edwina Blush, Candy Royalle, Jade Oldfield and myself will each present new work developed to engage and entertain.  Bursting from feminine lips doing dialects, soft, raucous, prodding and sultry ‘we’ the poets will present new work, an imaginative vision of the world.  I will be presenting a self-propelling, self-generating body of work that is an exploration of a memoir.  Playing with open text and performative media poetry of screen, stage and song.

How will the production live out this year’s theme: connecting girls, inspiring futures? The poets have written material that engages this year’s IWD theme, an open interpretation that is both individual in approach and subject matter.  Our objective is to connect with those who attend the performance and to inspire thought through performative art. Music by Catherine Golden will be improvising, responding to the poets and the live drawing by Fran Callen will imbue the characters and personalities through interpretive sketchings. The evening is about daring to be inspired!

You have said that the audience will themselves build up the environment of everything ‘female’, what do you mean by that? From the emotional potpourri of slapstick to the knockabout, chatterings to the dramatic, the sentimental, the repressed and short-lived the audience can expect the passing of word variety as applied in succession to different things from female artists about female thoughts and issues.  The audience will in turn bring with them laughs, hurrahs and perhaps a catcall or three.  There will also be live drawing up-for-sale by Sketchy Fran Callen. If you’re not present the opportunity remains unpronounced!

Mar 16, The Red Rattler, 6 Faversham St, Marrickville, $15-19 on the door, 9565 1044, daisytickets.com

BY MARILYN HETRELES