When Vivie discovers that her expensive education was funded by her mother’s prosperous string of brothels, her worldview is shattered. With judgements flying, truths to tell and morals in contention, mother and daughter go head to head in a confrontation that neither will ever forget.
I adapted George Bernard's Shaw text, setting it in contemporary New Zealand (on the beachfront Coromandel). Additionally, I added a character of 'Liz' (Mrs Warren's sister) played by poet and former sex worker Hadassah Grace. Together we weaved Hadassah's spoken word poetry about her experiences in the sex industry into Shaw's text. The production culminated in a three way argument between Vivie, Mrs Warren and Liz, discussing sex work and the questions it raises around consent and women in the workplace, particularly potent in the context of New Zealand's #metoo moment.
ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, May 1-16, 2018 (New Zealand)
By George Bernard Shaw. Adaptation: Eleanor Bishop with the cast. Original poetry by Hadassah Grace
Direction: Eleanor Bishop
Performance: Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Karin McCracken, Cameron Rhodes, Stephen Lovatt, Jack Buchanan, Tawanda Manyimo, Hadassah Grace
Design: Tracy Grant Lord
Lighting Design: Jennifer Lal
Sound Design: Te Aihe Butler
“Stigma about sex work dispelled”, Dione Joseph, NZ Herald, May 7, 2018
“Auckland Theatre Company prepares to mark milestone”, Dionne Christian, NZ Herald, September 2, 2017
“A new look at the oldest profession”, Standing Room Only, Radio NZ, April 15, 2018
“Mrs Warren's Profession still the subject of heated debate”, Dionne Christian, NZ Herald, April 28, 2018
“What happens when you find out your mum runs a global chain of brothels”, Lizzie Marvelly, The Villainesse, May 2, 2018