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Review: The MILF & Mistress at Theatre Works Explosives Factory

Review by Lucy Ross


“Does happily ever after simply expire?”


The MILF and Mistress presented by Theatre Works and Hot Red Productions asks us to question this along with many other societal norms.


Written beautifully by Jane Montgomery Griffiths, the play delves deep into the life of Ali Henderson played by Jennifer Vuletic. A lesbian, a wife, a mother, an English teacher, and someone who, until now, has unexplored sexual desires for BDSM.

From the outside, she appears to have a perfectly modest suburban lifestyle, but underneath there is a yearning for a sexual awakening, that she believes a “well-placed riding crop” can satisfy.


If you are looking for a play that breaks the mold – this certainly is it.

Exploring the sexuality of an older woman is rare to see in popular culture on its own, let alone also including lesbianism, fetishism, and the sex work industry in that melting pot. Even in 2023, the nature of this content is still seen as confronting and taboo in many circles. It is so refreshing to see stories portrayed on the Australian stage that offer us new perspectives and fascinating narratives.


Jane Montgomery Griffith’s writing of this piece is extraordinary. The script is very clever, witty, sensual, and incredibly well constructed. She takes you on a joyous ride through Ali’s life that you don’t ever want to get off.


Jennifer Vuletic was absolutely phenomenal in her portrayal of Ali.

Her performance was so captivating – she had the audience in the palm of her hand and she held onto us with every word. She transitioned between scenes and other characters so fluidly and her ability to create and break the tension between sections was really impressive. We were transported into her world with her – we were laughing, crying, and curious along with her as she experienced it. Her comic timing was fantastic – she used the words of the play like music, and judging by the audience’s reaction, it was apparent that it really sang to everyone. Her performance was truly a masterclass in acting and stagecraft.


To hear that this was Dianne Toulson’s directing debut was absolutely remarkable. The complexity and depth of her direction in this piece were stunning.


The MILF & Mistress is an absolute must-see in the 2023 Midsumma Festival line-up. However, be warned, it does contain nudity, submission & dominance scenes, and strong sexual references. Prepare to be challenged and be presented with visuals and topics generally considered forbidden on a regular stage.


So maybe don’t bring your grandmother, but bring an open mind I promise you, you will enjoy this truly magnificent piece of theatre.

Image Supplied

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