Country Matters

Country Matters
Written by Danielle Maas. Created by Cupboard Love. Featuring: Danielle Maas, Jessica Wallace and Amelia Ulrick.The New Theatre. Sydney Fringe Festival. September 28 – October 1, 2011.

In the comprehensive list of credits on the back of their program, the producers of Country Matters go to pains to respectfully thank every direct and indirect source of material and inspiration from which their piece has been referential. Among the list of 86 names, there seemed to be one glaring exception: that of Eve Ensler - writer of The Vagina Monologues and co-founder of the Vday movement (www.vday.org). If this endearing and challenging slice of feminist theatre was made completely independently of any TVM inspiration whatsoever, then it's an astounding feat, and even bigger tribute should be paid to it's brilliant young author/actor, Danielle Maas and producer/actor Jessica Wallace.

Consisting of equal parts street theatre, vaudeville, burlesque and edgy drama - the production ebbs and flows between candid, truthful humour, pathos and tragedy in a similarly strident vein to The VMs - yet it still manages to probe crevices that even the meticulous, militant Eve did not explore. To describe each of the elements in too much detail would spoil the freshness every prospective audience should possess on entry. The publicity photos say much but reveal nothing. With heart-warming/breaking performances from these feisty young women 'fresh out of drama school', This is certainly one actor, writer, activist that eagerly looks forward to being entertained and stimulated by future Cupboard Love projects.

Rose Cooper

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