Written by Jamaica Zuanetti and Directed by Rachel Barring, The Melbourne Fringe Festival presents their deeply profound play, Too Ready Mirror. I was immediately pulled in by the poster which was dark, twisted, and had an element of mystery. It well represented the evening’s proceedings. On the dimly-lit stage, three scenarios were revealed, the only object separating the shadowy scenes were empty picture frames. Mirrors, into gender inequality, specifically the oppression of women in the past, present, and future.
A woman in Victorian costume (played by Jessica Tanner) is first to start the dialogue. Her voice strong and she speaks firmly and directly to the audience. She announces her sole task is to please the king. Her only value is that of a sexual object, nothing more. Her feelings, thoughts are less important than her being ‘framed’ by male desire.
The second scene takes places in the present. A raw, seductive scene between a man and a woman unfolds (Emma Annand and Heath Ivey-Law). A power struggle of sorts over sex and power. The performances were so compelling, I felt I was in the bedroom with them.
Lastly, two school girls (Shoshannah Oks, Emina Ashman) are living in a dystopian future, trapped in their dorm room, taught by the patriarchal society to be afraid of the world outside.
Too Ready Mirror is a clever play, successfully showcasing the subordinate roles woman subconsciously play into and that they can’t escape. They are each trying to break free from men in powerful positions, victims of the male gaze. All three scenarios were equally intriguing.
Leah Sparks is a Canadian girl living in Melbourne. Other than her love for maple syrup, she digs the outdoors, live gigs, beer, the 70s and cruising around Fitzroy with her white wolf.
Too Ready Mirror runs 15 September-28 September, 8.30pm (60 mins) at Northcote Town Hall. Buy tickets now.
The venue is accessible.