A COMEDY based on a real-life incident involving author Germaine Greer comes to life at Melville Theatre for its final season of the year.
Written by Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Lars Jensen, The Female of the Species is a satire about celebrity feminists.
Margot Mason is author of the best-selling The Cerebral Vagina – but the academic and mother is struggling with her latest deadline.
Idealistic student Molly Rivers, the daughter of Margot’s biggest fan, suddenly walks into the writer’s country house and turns her life upside down.
First performed in 2006, the play is on the literature syllabus for Year 11 students in WA and Year 12 drama course in the eastern states.
“The plot is loosely inspired by a real-life incident in 2000, when author Germaine Greer was held at gunpoint in her own home by a disturbed student,” Lars said.
“The original director of The Female of the Species at Melville Theatre had to step aside for personal reasons and I was in the middle of the Australian outback when I was asked if I could step in.
“I wasn’t sure at first but, after reading the script by the campfire at Uluru, I was convinced.
“Having started work on the show, I’m happy I did agree to step in – it’s a very funny script and both myself and my wonderful cast are having so much fun during rehearsals.”
Acting from age 14, Lars’ life has revolved around theatre ever since – he has previously directed musicals at Melville and Stirling Theatres such as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Chorus Line, Blood Brothers and Sweet Charity.
In 2015, he directed the play Equus and scored nine nominations at the annual Finley Awards, winning runner-up best play, best actor in a play, best supporting actress in a play and the Brenda Stanley Award for costumes.
Lars has also been theatre manager of Lady Wardle Performing Arts Centre at St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School for the past 16 years.
“One of the reasons I wasn’t sure whether I should take on directing The Female of the Species was the very full schedule I have at the moment,” he said.
“But my wife Vanessa thought it would be a great creative boost for me and she has stepped in to help out as the production manager and also with some of the rehearsals.
“Luckily enough, I trust my wife 100 per cent… maybe?”
The Female of the Species plays at 7.30pm November 30, December 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 with a 2pm matinee December 3. Tickets are $23, $18 concession – book at TAZTix.com.au.
Melville Theatre is at 393A Canning Highway (corner of Stock Road), Palmyra.
female1: Madelaine Page plays Molly in The Female of the Species, a comedy based on a real-life incident involving feminist author Germaine Greer.
female2: Tess (Nikki Di Camillo, left) tries to give Molly (Madelaine Page) a smashing time in The Female of the Species.
female3: Madelaine Page, left, Tom Rees, Jake Lippo and Nikki Di Camillo, on couch, are appearing in The Female of the Species.
female4: The Female of the Species features Madelaine Page, left, and Tom Rees with Nikki Di Camillo, at front.
The Melville Theatre Company was the brainchild of David J. Burton who, in 1982, called a meeting for interested people in the community to form a theatre company in the Melville area of Perth, Western Australia.
As a result, the Melville Theatre Company was born. The newly formed company's first production was the farce Not Now Darling. With its second production, The Sound of Music, the young company won the Finley Award for best production of the year. Since then, actors and directors have consistently featured in the list of awards at the annual State Drama Festival, now known as Dramafest.
Initially, performances were in the Melville Civic Centre but, since 1987, the venue has been the Roy Edinger Centre, on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.