How many times have you seen four old broads on a stage leading the drama? Award-winning writer Suzanne Hawley set about writing a new Australian play with four lead women in their 60s, so naturally Wild Thing contains sex, drugs and coarse language. With a hit Sydney season under their belt, these wild things are coming to you in 2023.
“ ..this play has a beating heart; this play will remind you of your own pulse under your skin, steady and true but not forever, not promised."
A tale of sea eagles and pole dancing, of children and childhood dreams, of religion and rock ‘n roll. Most of all this is a tale of friendships that have stood the test of time.
Jackie, Elizabeth, Frances and Susan become besties at high school and find freedom in Swinging London a decade later. After that they carve out very different lives for themselves and don't see each other as often, but always meet up once a year for the ‘Musketeer’s dinner’.
But this year is different.
Past sixty, older but no wiser, the most radical member of the group is in crisis. To offer their support, the ‘Musketeers’ take Jackie back to her country home for a weekend – to relax and let their hair down. What could possibly go wrong? What follows tests their friendship, their morals and their courage as never before.
And a final twist will change their lives forever.
A provocative story for our times, this funny and poignant new Australian play by award-winning writer Suzanne Hawley is both a comedy and a tragedy. A tale of sea eagles and pole dancing, of children and childhood dreams, of religion and rock ‘n roll. Most of all, this is a tale of friendships that have stood the test of time – until they are put to the ultimate test.
The women of Wild Thing are all War Babies, a rare generation. A small group of kids – born between 1939 and 1945 – while our men were away overseas, fighting for Mother England. A generation who went from ‘How much is that doggy in the window’ to ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ almost overnight. They share their birthdays with the likes of Mick Jagger, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Steven Hawking, Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin. American historian Richard Pell argues that war babies were instrumental in most of the social and cultural movements of the 60s and 70s.
And what a time it was to grow up in Oz! You learned about sex reading the Doctor's Book your mum kept hidden in the cupboard with the lift-up flaps that showed…well actually nothing. Not even a nipple. When education for working class girls was limited to ‘Domestic’ how to cook and clean for your man and ‘Commercial’ earning shorthand and typing so you could marry the boss. Leave school at 15, get a job, pay board. University was only for the wealthy. Then came rock n roll, Elvis’s hips, the pill and all hell broke loose. The age of innocence was over. This is the conditioning and the times of our Wild Thing women.
- Suzanne Hawley
The moral dilemma at the play’s centre is one that’s been shoved from the headlines… If the subject is close to you in any way, it is rewarding theatre.
“Four enchanting actors give supple characterisation to Hawley’s ultimately endearing and empowered women."
Sydney Arts Guide
"The moral dilemma at the play’s centre is one that’s been shoved from the headlines by hotter-burning issues of climate, gender and race.If the subject is close to you in any way, it’s rewarding theatre."
"Di Smith brings nuance to the role of Jackie, along with considerable dignity to this important tale of personal agency, for women of a certain age. Helen O’Connor is memorable as the carefree Elizabeth, bringing a sense of cheeky ebullience to the show. The passionate Frances is played by Katrina Foster, whose approach proves to be unmistakeably kooky, and Di Adams’ restraint only makes Susan’s sexual escapades more scandalous."
Suzie Goes See
“It is a beautiful play that deals with important contemporary issues with wisdom and true care delivered by a wonderful cast. There is much laughter. Finishes on Saturday Go.”
Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Diary
Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre Penrith, NSW | Land of the Darug People
14 – 15 April | BOOK
Dubbo Regional Theatre & Convention Centre, NSW | Land of the Tubba-Gah & Wiradjuri People
18 April | BOOK
Orange Civic Centre, NSW | Land of the Wiradjuri People
20 April | BOOK
Jetty Memorial Theatre Coffs Harbour, NSW | Land of the Gumbaynggirr People
22 April | BOOK
Griffith Regional Theatre, NSW | Land of the Wiradjuri People
26 April | BOOK
The Q - Queanbeyan, NSW | Land of the Ngambri and Ngunnawal People
28 – 29 April | BOOK
Goulburn Performing Arts Centre, NSW | Land of the Gundungurra People
3 May | BOOK
Glen Street Theatre Belrose, NSW | Land of the Garigal People
5 – 7 May | BOOK
Cessnock Community Performing Arts Centre, NSW | Land of the Wonnarua People
10 May | BOOK
Glasshouse Theatre Port Macquarie, NSW | Land of the Birpai People
12 May | BOOK
Manning Entertainment Centre, NSW | Land of the Biripi People
14 May | BOOK
Touring April & May 2023
Director Kim Hardwick
Writer Suzanne Hawley
Set Design Tom Bannerman
Costume Design Robert Bayliss
Lighting Design Martin Kinnane
Sound Design Patrick Howard
Composer Leonardo Bosi
Jackie Di Smith
Susan Di Adams
Frances Katrina Foster
Elizabeth Helen O’Connor
Geoff/(and everyone else) Lewis Fitz-Gerald
Marco/Michael Tony Poli
Production Photography Lisa Tomasetti
If you are interested in touring get in contact!
Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880
Arts on Tour is based in Redfern NSW and we respectfully acknowledge the Gadigal people as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the unceded land on which we work.
As we tour artists and productions across these vast lands, we pay our respect to all First Nations Elders, past, present and future.
We celebrate their continuing connection and contribution to culture, country and community, and thank all First Nations peoples for their wisdom in caring for the land, the sky, the rivers and the sea.