By Lia Cocks
Looking for a night out to celebrate all things women in a man’s world through the storytelling of cabaret? Then head on over and catch Woman by the vocally talented chanteuse, Jodie Stubbs.
She will take you on a historical journey through time; from the Garden of Eden, to the turn of the 20th century to modern day motherhood explored through song, story and comedy.
Using music from Broadway, 60s classics, R&B, pop; you’ll enjoy this one-woman show as she navigates what it’s like to ‘have it all’.
Jodie makes her grand entrance with strong opening vocals, before walking us through the long history of female oppression, beginning with the story of Florence Nightingale.
She first sings 'What’s Up?' by 4 Non Blondes, and this becomes her theme song for the night...before she is interrupted by her ‘ringing’ phone - the babysitter.
She then strives to get through her one hour show recounting how you can be a mum, cabaret star, wife and career woman - without having to check on the kids!
The systematic suppression of women continues to 1922, where she takes on the persona of fictitious Davinia from Kansas, where she travels to New York and stumbles upon a performance of activist/entertainer Josephine Baker.
This leads into a fabulous arrangement of Madonna’s 'Material Girl' - kudos to David Butler, her accompanist and musical director. He did a tremendous job.
As we wander into the 1940s, we are interrupted by her babysitter calling once again. At the end of her tether, Jodie goes all Mission Impossible on us, and talks the babysitter through, step by step, on how to get the baby to sleep (pat till the cows come home, give yet another bottle of milk and commando crawl out of the bedroom once the said baby is sleeping in the cot), allowing the toddler to watch the wretched iPad and eat chocolate (let’s face it, we’ve ALL been there!)
At this stage, David notifies her she’s running out of time, so we double time through the 40s (thanks Rosie the Riveter), to realise we’ve landed in the 50s and women are sent back to the kitchen!
Jodie then proceeds to read excerpts from 1955’s The Good Wife’s Guide...with little gems like ‘clear away the clutter, prepare yourself and have dinner ready’ or ‘be a little gay and more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift, and one of your duties is to provide it’ Say what, girlfriend!!?? Lucky I wasn’t around in those days! This scene was my favourite comical moment, as all the women in the room gasped in horror and relief that those days are gone (hopefully…).
We move onto the 60s with 'I just wanna make love to you', before she is ‘interrupted’ by having to put her kids to bed...at this point she asks David to start the encore. He reluctantly starts singing I am Woman, which I thought was delivered with excellent comedy timing, before Jodie returns and announces while she loves being a working woman/cabaret star, she really is ready to go home, put her uggies on and snuggle on the couch with her husband.
As a working mother of three myself, Woman is a totally relatable, entertaining hour of comedy, incredible vocals, narrative cabaret that essentially leaves you thinking ‘it’s never too late to choose what you want.’
Girls night out gold!
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.