By Jeni Bezuidenhout & Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou, La Mama EXPLORATIONS, 205 Faraday Street 7, 8 & 9 December, 2015.

Panoptican Collective has extremely admirable goals that aim to increase social responsibility and raise awareness about social injustice. These objectives are fully fleshed out in this play. Six female stories trace the very long history of the abuse, oppression and marginalisation of women across of range of social and political contexts. Each story is inspired by literary and historical figures and told entirely from the perspective of the individual experience of persecution.

The effect is persuasive and powerful and the staging of each story is designed for maximum dramatic impact. Anthea (Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou) provides a sombre opening as she surveys the dead bodies surrounding her. Margaret (Kellie Tori) conveys the chilling fear of her entrapment magnificently. Edith (Eva Justine Torkkola) propels the anger and determination of a suffragette with great force and energy. Eliza (Jeni Bezuidenhout) tells a compelling story inspired by the experience of a female wartime factory worker.

Bronte (Isabelle Bertoli) poignantly portrays an ordinary person trying to live an ordinary life that is increasingly complicated and violated by her own community.  Danielle (Luke Lennox) is tortured by the pressure to adhere to gender binaries and effectively exposes the suffering this causes.  Each story would benefit from greater contextualisation but these are extremely well written and performed pieces that are a grim reminder of the injurious nature of man.

Patricia Di Risio