Pramkicker at Chippen Street Theatre

This week Rosie spoke with Linda Nicholls-Gidley, director of the upcoming production of Pramkicker at Chippen Street Theatre, about the importance of this powerful, female driven story and her immediate connection to playwright, Sadie Hasler's work. We cannot wait to see this show as it opens next week. Learn more about the production and get your tickets today:

After reading about this play, I'm very excited to see another female-strong cast hit the stage broaching some difficult topics! What drew you to Pramkicker in the first place?

I was looking for plays written by women and came across playwright Sadie Hasler. The title drew my attention initially, but when started to read it I felt a strong affinity with the story. Hasler writes from her own experiences but the could be the experience of everywoman. I understood the frustration and the hurt of the characters, I had been a part of those conversations, I knew those narratives intimately. Hasler’s writing is raw and pulls no punches. These were stories that I needed to tell.

I also have 2 sisters and the relationships described here are on point. The connection that exists between siblings, the hurt that we can cause them with a word, a phrase, a look and the absolutely fierce loyalty that occurs when your sister is in trouble.

In the midst of a period where women seem to be under the microscope more than ever, how does Pramkicker fit into the narrative of what it means to be a modern woman?

Modern Woman: career, family, home. We are sold the dream and most of us buy into it readily, understanding that we can have it all. The reality is that we struggle to be all things to all people and when we don’t reach the pinnacle of success or we fail gloriously, we point the finger squarely at ourselves and ask why we weren’t good enough or we hide the failure lest anyone suspect we are human.

I am in awe of the women who are brave enough to speak about this. In awe of the women coming forward to speak about their experiences and how their lives have been shaped by these interactions.

Hasler’s Pramkicker does all that: Does having a uterus mean you need to use it? Can we separate biology from purpose and fulfilment? What does society expect from women and why? And in the wake of #metoo, Jude’s reluctance and inability to label her experiences leaves us with the very real problem that Dr Christine Blasey Ford was vilified for testifying about.

Pramkicker had an incredibly successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. What is it about this story that made it an important one to bring to Sydney audiences?

We are on the verge of a tipping point in Sydney, we have bodies such as Women in Theatre and Screen (WITS) and Festival Fatale. We’re getting to see more female directors and writers, which is fantastic, but it’s important to also have female driven storytelling. It’s not band-wagoning to suggest representation matters. This city needs more stories told by and through the female lens.

What have you set out to achieve by putting on this play?

I set out to bring a fantastic group of female creatives together and produce a work that I think deserves an audience. I have had many roles on this production, I am directing and dialect coaching and co-producing. It has been a mammoth task and I am proud of the work we are creating together. I could not have done it without the assistance of the entire team, we have achieved this together.

As a artist, what kind of works are you most interested in bringing to the stage? Are you drawn to comedies, dramas, something else?

I am most interested in in storytelling. I enjoy comedy very much and believe our stories are made that much richer when we find the light in the dark and the dark in the light. Pramkicker has some acerbically funny lines and some truly ridiculous moments, there is something about the absurdity of truth that creates real interest for me.

What can audiences expect from your production of Pramkicker?

Expect the unexpected. With biting comedy and evocative writing, PRAMKICKER is a celebration of female strength and fragility, and the ties that bind sisters.

RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

Favourite production you have ever seen?

The Blue Man Group in Las Vegas

You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?

New York

Dream role in any show to perform?

Jessie in ‘Night Mother by Marsha Norman

Plays or musicals?

Plays… with music!

What’s next for you after this show?

I am in the thick of rehearsing for The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project 10 Years Later!

Pramkicker plays at Chippen Street Theatre from 24th Oct - 3rd Nov. Get your tickets today by clicking here

Linda Nicholls-Gidley

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