"The ideas Kate is exploring in this exciting new text couldn't be more timely. This is the battle cry of a generation." Elsie Edgerton-Till, Director
Wonderbabes is a thrilling performance by Kate McDowell exposing the traumas of our young sexual and political lives. Set in Byron Bay on New Year’s Eve Wonderbabes is the epic story of one young woman’s incendiary journey through the night.
“This show is about a young woman who’s testing her limits. She’s angry and frustrated with her mother, the world, and pretty much everyone. She wants to cause trouble, get into danger, and feel something intense in order to know herself better. It’s a two-hour performance piece written as a hero’s journey that has the pace and structure to keep you hanging in there.” — Kate McDowell
“The ideas Kate is exploring in this exciting new text couldn’t be more timely. This is the battle cry of a generation.” — Elsie Edgerton-Till, Director
An extraordinary piece of storytelling Wonderbabes is both visceral and poetic, moving between brutal reality and a lyrical otherworldliness. Told over 1.5 hours, McDowell’s performance is superbly underpinned by an original electronic score that is mixed live on stage by composer James Brown.
“We wanted to create an immersive music festival experience for the performance of Wonderbabes,” said Producer Marisa Snow “The Northern Rivers is an epicentre of music festival culture where a lot of young people have formative experiences. Wonderbabes is an opportunity to see an incredibly powerful theatrical performance presented like a kick-arse music gig.’ The Quad is the perfect site to present this work and play with the work’s experimental form in an open-air environment.’
Wonderbabes was a featured satellite event in Byron Writers Festival’s 2018 Program.
Wonderbabes 2018 premiere season was presented in The Quad Lismore, a new outdoor cultural precinct in the centre of the city. The partnership between The Quad and NORPA taps into our strong track record of staging theatre in unique site-specific spaces (Railway Wonderland, Dreamland, The HOME Project) while also adding to the animation of the cultural life of Lismore, and supporting emerging local artists through NORPA’s Associate Artist program.
Writer & Performer Kate McDowell
Director Elsie Edgerton-Till
Production Designers Charles Davis & Hugh O’Connor
Composer/Sound Designer James Brown
Lighting Designer Richard Morrod
Producer Marisa Snow
NORPA Associate Artist Kate McDowell, originally from Lismore, holds a NIDA Postgraduate Diploma in Writing for Performance and is trained in dance, puppetry and performance.
For NORPA Kate was Assistant Director/Stage Manager on Dreamland, design intern for Journey To an Unnamed World and researcher for new work Wildskin.
Elsie Edgerton-Till’s extensive theatre experience includes directing engagements for Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Ensemble Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, New Zealand Playhouse, National Institute of Dramatic Arts, The Court Theatre, World Busker’s Festival, The Forge and the New Theatre.
James Brown is a Sydney based composer who has worked collaboratively with companies both locally and internationally to produce soundtracks for performance, film, animation and games. His process often involves creating music in synchronicity with the development of the project, creating a strong connection between the material and sound.
Charles is a graduate of NIDA, and studied architectural design at Monash University. He has worked as a designer and associate designer for Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Griffin, Sydney Chamber Opera, Pinchgut and Opera Australia. In 2017, Charles was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award for best set design for The Whale.
Hugh O’Connor is an Australian set, costume, production and event designer. Production design credits include Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, 40th Anniversary Parade, Norman Conquests Trilogy ( Ensemble Theatre), Neville’s Island, Relatively Speaking (Ensemble Theatre) and Hidden Sydney (Vivid Festival).
Extenuating the energy of live performance is what Rich does best. Whether it be with bands, theatre, dance or circus Rich is at home behind a lighting console. Trained as a dancer at the Victorian Academy of the Arts, Rich performed worldwide with companies such as Sydney Dance Company which shaped and styled his belief in the importance of the backstage arts.
Marisa is a creative producer and director specialising in place-making, large scale events and activation of public space. She has worked with Sydney Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Blues Festival, Darwin Festival, NORPA and Creative Road. She was appointed as the Quadrangle Placemaking Officer in September 2017.
Photo: Darcy Grant
Wonderbabes is a NORPA and The Quad coproduction, with support from Southern Cross University, Lismore City Council and Byron Writers Festival.
Photos | Kate Holmes @kateholmesphotographer