by Katherine Lyall-Watson
Australia breeds its women tough – and adventurous.
Intrepid performers Roxanne McDonald and Barbara Lowing – two of Brisbane’s best-loved actors – navigate risky terrain as they journey through the heart lines of their own lives and into the hilarious misadventures of the women who made them who they are today.
Directed by Caroline Dunphy, Rovers is a new comedy-drama celebrating the grit and daring of women trailblazers, including Barbara Toy, who crossed deserts and warzones in her trusty Land Rover, Pollyanna.
Woven from true stories and wild machinations, this epic adventure will resonate with audiences of all ages.
Join us in a celebration of Australian women who’ve dared to follow their dreams.
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Brought to you by Brisbane Times
The use of simple props meant that the focus was on the women on stage bouncing off each other’s energy and enjoying performing together after 21 years. The comedy came as side splitting relief to what could’ve been an intense and heavy piece of work. The voice over added a modern multi-media facet to the show. Read more
Writer Katherine Lyall-Watson
Director Caroline Dunphy
Performers Roxanne McDonald and Barbara Lowing
Vocal Artist Kirk Page
Videography & Performance Joel Kishinevsky & Michael Tuahine
Cultural Consultant Nadine McDonald-Dowd
Composer & Sound Designer Dane Alexander
Lighting Designer Christine Felmingham
Set Designer Jonathan Shankey
Costume Designer Oscar Hannah Clark
Technical Manager Jeremy Gordon
Production Manager Peter Cossar
Dramaturg Kathryn Kelly
Producer Danielle Shankey
Community Engagement Emily Coleman
Marketing Cinnamon Smith
Sound Design Intern Isabella Hall
Rovers was created especially for Barbara Lowing and Roxanne McDonald. Some sections are taken verbatim from interviews with Barb and Roxy, some have been written from imagination, and some are created from research into Australia’s wild women. Roxy and Barb helped shape the text into their own voices.
The Aboriginal words used in the piece (particularly in Mary’s speeches) have been taken from a wide range of sources and aren’t faithful to any one Aboriginal language. This is because Mary lived in lutruwita (what we now call Tasmania) soon after the first Invasion. It’s believed that there were between five and sixteen languages spoken in lutruwita before the white man arrived. Palawa kani is a recently revived, constructed language but the words used in Rovers are a mix of languages, predominantly Murri language, as this is Roxy’s country and Mary is a character invented and played by Roxy, rather than a recreation of the original woman.
We are deeply grateful to Roxy, Barb, Kirk Page and Nadine McDonald-Dowd for their involvement in the early drafts of Rovers.
- Belloo Creative
This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
Rovers was developed with support of NORPA and premiered at NORPA on 17 August 2018.
The Block (Building Z3), QUT Creative Industries
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