The life of a Tasmanian icon is the inspiration of a new play coming to the Earl Arts Centre.
Marjorie Bligh has been known as a domestic goddess, pioneer recycler, author, and housewife superstar. The Tasmanian has even been referred to as the potential inspiration behind Dame Edna Everage. Now her life will be explored in the world premiere of Marjorie Unravelled.
The performance was cancelled in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, but is back in 2021 with a new director and cast. Three cast members - Anna Bridge, Sally Crates, and Yasmine Barrett - will play Marjorie at different stages of her life. The fourth cast member, Matt Hyde, will play the other roles in the show.
Director Matt Taylor, back from Sydney after studying a 12-month post-graduate course on directing at NIDA, brought Stella Kent's musical to life. With music composed by Karlin Love, the show is bound to delight.
Taylor said though he was originally a cast member, he was approached to take the reins when the original director pulled out.
"Originally when I looked at it I wasn't certain how I could bring it to life in my own directorial vision. It was so different to the things I would normally do," he said. "Upon reflection ... it's very much about the unsung heroes - people who would not be recognised as these heroines."
The show is based on the fantasy life Marjorie thought she had, where not everything the audience sees is real, but the character believes it to be.
Taylor said it was exciting the play was a world premiere, as Tasmania often did not get to see those in its midst.
"The show is a very unconventional musical. It's only a very small cast ... and three women are playing Marjorie at different stages of her life," he said. "We see her transforming herself from this humble housemaid ... to becoming this regal princess that she believes herself to be by the end of her life."
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The juggle of three actors playing Marjorie has been a challenge for the director, who said he had to find ways each actor could be similar with their characteristics while changing for the different parts of Marjorie's life.
"The way we have directed it is younger Marjorie is a lot more common and as she gets older she wants to become this regal princess ... and speaks more proper," he said.
Though the show will mainly appeal to an older audience who know the story of Marjorie - or her recipes, crafting techniques, and recycling campaign - Taylor said he hoped younger audiences would also enjoy the show.
"I think they are going to have a really fun night at the theatre. We are bringing as much satire to the show as possible," he said. "I hope they come away with the idea of seizing the day."
Marjorie Unravelled will show at the Earl Arts from September 9-18. To purchase tickets visit theatrenorth.com.au.
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