Weddings as moments of great personal and cultural significance are often very emotional experiences from the engagement to the bachelor/bachelorette parties and all the little rituals that go into the big day. For marginalised people, people who are not reflected in bridal magazines or represented in bridal shops, and who don’t even appear in trashy wedding reality shows, organising a wedding can encompass an additional range of emotions that damper the joy and frivolity of the occasion. Alana Valentine’s new play Made to Measure confronts the experience of trying to celebrate yourself in a world that won’t celebrate with you.
The past few years has seen Australia rattled by revelations and testimonies of abuse suffered by children in the care of institutions whether schools, churches, or homes for juvenile offenders and abandoned children. Following on from Alana Valentine’s renowned script Parramatta Girls, Eyes to the Floor integrates memories from survivors of the Institution for Girls in Hay, NSW, where girls aged 13-17 who were expelled from Parramatta Girls Home and Cootamundra Girls Home were sent in the 1960s and 1970s.
Barbara and René are sisters and cousins and singing partners. They’re scraping together a living at odd gigs in Sydney but, when their mother gets sick, they go on a journey to find her first in Darwin and then back in their hometown of Katherine. It isn’t easy to return to a place you ran from and, for Barbara, even harder to remember somewhere that abandoned you. This rock musical about family and belonging, written by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine, returns to the Belvoir stage a year and a half after its world premiere.