Maureen: Harbinger of Death @ Space Theatre, Adelaide 14/3/2023
Here’s the thing, There’s the truth and then there is the story that surrounds it and that’s the whole picture. That is the pitch for this wonderful performance about Maureen who has the knack of predicting when her friends will die.
Sole performer Jonny Hawkins and director and co-creator Nell Ranney have previously performed Maureen: Harbinger of Death for the Sydney Festival in 2021 and in Melbourne in 2022. It is a touching and real homage to older women, celebrating the voice, wisdom and unapologetic passions of dames who defy invisibility. It also beautifully pays tribute to kindness over politeness.
Jonny introduces us to her at the commencement of the play and then transforms into her by donning a skirt and then becomes part of Isabel Hudson’s beautiful set to tell us Maureen’s story. Jonny is a brilliant actor and absolutely makes the character real for the audience. You really feel like you know Maureen. I had lived in Sydney in the late 80s and this performance really brought me back to those times with its poignant description of Maureen’s stories in Kings Cross. Maureen’s modernisation of the Persephone myth was inspired and the sections of the play where Maureen appeared to be lucid dreaming were like incredibly touching poetry. I look forward to anything these creators bring us in the future.
It was a sold-out audience for the opening night which was incredibly well deserved. There is so much competing for your attention in Adelaide at the moment like the Festival, the Fringe and Womadelaide and I am so grateful I was able to find the time to see this absolute gem of a show.
Adelaide Festival Review By Richard De Pizzol
For tickets and show information to Maureen: Harbinger of Death head to the Adelaide Festival