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Ladies Day by Alana Valentine (Currency Press in association with Griffin Theatre Sydney)
A writer with a voice recorder goes to Broome to investigate the rainbow reputation of the town, but the stories that unfold give her more material than she had anticipated. Ladies Day presents Australia’s foremost verbatim playwright, Alana Valentine, at the height of her powers as she deftly interrogates the boundaries of her preferred form.
Surprising and moving, Ladies Day is also confronting and compassionate. Characters that initially seem stereotypical develop into people for whom we feel anguish and outrage, before morphing again and demanding we reconsider the nature of truth-telling and theatre. The complexity of the story and the interrogation of sexuality, identity and violence are masterly. The personal is political here — with humour and heart aplenty.