Super Woman Money Program
Super Woman Money Program, delivered with pizazz and pathos by Elizabeth Davie, is one of the particularly raw and thought-provoking pieces in the Fringe. Davie confronts us through comedy, song and storytelling about the harsh financial realities of being a woman. She raises the audience’s awareness that women truly are disadvantaged when it comes to superannuation-building as they are the ones who stop work to have and raise children, whilst their husbands continue to thrive in the work force.
The show is based on a very condescending (and we are told, real) email from Elizabeth’s Superannuation fund which gave her tips to save money- like reusing tea bags, buying cheaper makeup, ‘avoid divorce’. This is humorously told via a sock puppet, which in itself demonstrates the child-like unrealistic expectations of the company.
We travel throughout the show guided by Elizabeth’s other persona, a glitzy spokesperson for the Super fund- a host who tries to convince us of it all being great for women. Davie has great comic timing and her facial expressions alone are enough to hold audience attention. Her experiences in clown school certainly help her stage presence.
It is in the last quarter of the show, however, that we are hit full-on, in the face, with her reading an excerpt from Jane Gilmore’s The cost of womanhood, where the harsh realities of life for the character of Mary are laid bare. We are shocked that many women who relied on their husbands and who now find themselves alone, are some of our real battlers. Davie asserts that women over 45 are the fastest growing demographic of homeless.
This is a biting piece of comedy theatre that also educates, informs, shocks and disturbs. How can society have let this happen to our mothers, sisters and wives? Women deserve better than this and seeing this show on International Women’s Day made it even more poignant. As Davie says, “A man is not a financial plan ladies”.
Whilst the venue is tiny and not airconditioned, Super Woman Money Program is a clever piece of theatre and worth a look.
Photographer: Nayt Housman.