Ned Kelly! The Story from the Distaff Side

By Brenda Joy Addie.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In their writings about performance efficacy and the changing emphasis of theatre at the end of the twentieth century, two performance theorists, Baz Kershaw and Richard Schechner both predicted radical changes in theatre-making and in theatre-making outcomes. While Kershaw subscribed to the notion of a democracy of performance facilitating community agency, identity and responsibility, Schnechner suggested that theatre/performance experimentation of the future might include a return to traditional, even ancient values. This paper explores those notions against the theatre-making process and outcomes of the 2005 theatre-work Quilting the Armour (Addie, Brenda; Haughton, Jeannie and Johns, Rosemary from an idea by Helen Morris) and integrates the work of anthropologist Victor Turner in relating social drama to stage drama and its role in providing a reflexive cultural-aesthetic mirror. The significance of Quilting the Armour is that it is a fresh stage rendering of the nineteenth century social drama known as the Ned Kelly uprising. In 2003 it was commissioned by the Rural City of Wangaratta as the featured event of the 125th commemoration of the Ned Kelly siege at Glenrowan, Victoria and is told from the distaff perspective. Within the investigative framework of creating a play about an historical community event for the modern day community there is an analysis of the dramatic form and its emergence as a revised classical Greek drama that subverts the traditional patriarchal position and seeks to discover how the intersection of the feminine economy with Greek tragedy impacts on the efficacy of the form.

Keywords: Heritage Tourism, Revisioned Greek Tragedy, Community Theatre

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 1, Issue 7, pp.63-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.760MB).

Ms Brenda Joy Addie

Master of Creative Arts Student, School of Creative Arts (Theatre Studies), Melbourne University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Having acted with such luminaries as Meryl Streep, Richard Todd, Max Von Sydow, Michael York, Sam Neil and Sooty, Brenda Addie is currently engaged in Theatre Studies research at Melbourne University where she is investigating her own Community Theatre project and the use of the classical tragic form in a fragmented and isolated rural setting. She is particularly interested in theatre in non-sanctioned spaces and the efficacy of the theatre estate to enhance collective agency.


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