Ladies Day


Performance Dates:

15 February — 26 March 2016



It’s Ladies Day at the Broome races and the pinely beautiful Mike is the toast of the track. But amongst the froth and festivity, a brutal act of violence reminds us that life is not just all swishy hemlines, debonair gents and fascinators galore.

Known for her incredibly successful verbatim works, she takes her interviews and research with inpiduals and communities, and mixes them with a healthy dose of drama. The result is powerful, thought-provoking theatre in which the voices of her protagonists ring absolutely true.

Alana spent months interviewing the gay community in the Top End, Katherine and Broome to create a play that asks questions about tolerance, isolation, love, hope and the right to have your story told. Griffin is proud to present the world premiere of Ladies Day -­ a vivid, richly evocative play with a big heart, directed by Darren Yap.

Ladies Day will be supported by Griffin’s ‘Production Partnerships Program’. Remarkable productions made possible through the support of individual donors.

The research and writing of Ladies Day was supported by the Literature Fund of the Australia Council for the Arts.

LADIES DAY has been shortlisted for the Nick Enright Prize in the Playwriting category for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards


Ladies Day presents Australia’s foremost verbatim playwright, Alana Valentine, at the height of her powers as she deftly interrogates the boundaries of her preferred form. Surprising and moving, Ladies Day is also confronting and compassionate. Characters that initially seem stereotypical develop into people for whom we feel anguish and outrage, before morphing again and demanding we reconsider the nature of truth-telling and theatre. The complexity of the story and the interrogation of sexuality, identity and violence are masterly.”

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Ladies Day Reviews:

‘… a profound investigation into what it means to be truthful in the theatre’ — The Australian

‘Quite simply I believed every word’ — Australian Stage Online

‘Alana Valentine is probably Australia’s greatest verbatim playwright. For well over a decade now, Valentine has been interviewing people from all walks of life about their experiences, traumas and passions, and bringing their words to the stage’ — The Daily Review

…an intriguing line between fact and fiction, with epic techniques keeping us alive to the contradictions inherent in turning the stuff of real lives into theatre’ — Sydney Morning Herald

‘Facts are hard to capture, but our humanity can hear the truth ringing no matter what guise it takes’ — Suzy Goes See

‘Ladies Day is one of the most intelligent pieces I have ever seen on stage. Alana Valentine is a writer at the peak of her career, offering a crafted play that will live on well beyond this fabulous production at Griffin. Ladies Day is a play we will be talking about for years to come, because it uses theatre to really interrogate what writing is, what humanity is, what compassion is and it does so in the hands of a writer who can offer the cleverest of wit with a full helping of authentic politics, humanity and the capacity to completely surprise you just when you think you have it all figured out’ — Suzie Miller on the Griffin blog

“Australian” and “new” means that the work can often hit a little closer to home in terms of language, setting and relevance. In their latest production, Ladies Day, nothing is more fitting then describing it as hitting, for it gets you. Right there in the feelings’ — the AU Review

‘[Valentine is] giving a voice to inhabitants of this world that may not always get the opportunity to speak. And they should, because they have incredible stories should we take the time to listen’ — Theatre Now

‘Studded with powerful monologues and charged finally with an articulate denouement about the enigma of remembered truth, and who has the right to tell what stories’ — Stage Whispers

‘Confronting and funny, brutal and compassionate, Valentine’s Ladies Day reaches two important benchmarks of the best theatre: the 100 minutes duration seems like half an hour and as the play gets underway we cease to notice actors but see other people.’ — South Sydney Herald

‘Daring stuff, both subjectively and objectively to put into the public space in the theatre.’ — Kevin Jackson Theatre Diary

‘The questions of justice, identity, revenge, reality and truth suddenly open up an electrifying new range of dilemmas.’ — Stage Noise

Ladies Day Media:
Sydney Morning Herald
The Brag

‘This is a funny, smart and tremendously moving new Australian work that does something different within its genre, and expands it’ — Time Out

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