Theatre

Why every Australian girl needs to see the Ladies In Black musical

Ladies In Black opened in Melbourne last week, running for a super-limited time at the renowned Regent Theatre.

This is what happened when we went along on premiere night

What we expected when sashaying our way up the grand Regent Theatre steps to see Ladies In Black was a cheery musical full of Australian tradition, but what we got was so much more.

Set in Sydney in 1959, the Ladies in Black musical takes us back to a time when the city was compromised with repression of the ’50s and liberation of ’60s.

In practice, this leaves audiences confronted with an unsettling, yet stunningly portrayed, recollection of the sort of sexism and female struggle rife during that era.

The show couples this difficult topic together brilliantly with a look at how immigrants in Australia were treated during this time, introducing us to characters who reflect all sides of Sydney society throughout the story.

The plot follows bright-eyed and bookish Lisa (Sarah Morrison) as she discovers the colourful world of prestigious department store F.G. Goodes.

Sounds simple enough, right? Not if your Lisa’s dad (played by Greg Stone), who quickly dismisses his daughter’s hopes for further education and pushes her towards a path of secretarial school and, well, becoming maid for any future husband.

The stark reality of life for Australian women in 1959 sinks in the pit of your stomach, while the courage of Lisa and her new store pals, Fay (Ellen Simpson), Patty (Madeleine Jones) and Magda (Natalie Gamsu) elevates your spirits and turns this tale into something inspirational.

Prepare to feel all kinds of emotions throughout this production, intercepted with upbeat musical numbers written by the one and only Tim Finn.

There isn’t a dull moment as we delved into the world of Ladies In Black. A place that felt by no means uncomplicated but results in a musical that’s full of hope.

We won’t spoil the major twists and turns for you, but seriously suggest you catch Ladies In Black before it leaves Regent Theatre next week.

Ladies In Black is open now at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, with a limited run until 18 March 2017 – book today via Ticketmaster.com.au.

Related links:

Video diary: Backstage at Regent Theatre with Ladies In Black

Photos: Ladies In Black rolls out red carpet for Melbourne premiere

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