From right, Graham Roebuck, Taryn Lees, Melissa Taylor, Demelza Randall, Deirdre Tipping, Sarah Cashin and Isobel Scott in Langham Court Theatre's production of Female Transport on until March 19.

Langham Theatre dives into 19th century slavery

Sexism, classism, oppression and repression are at the forefront of a new historical play on at Langham Court Theatre.

Sexism, classism, oppression and repression are at the forefront of a new historical play on at Langham Court Theatre delving into the world of 19th century slavery in England

Female Transport, a historical drama originally written by Steve Gooch in the ’80s, follows six women convicted of petty crimes in 19th century London as they are transported to a life of hard labour in Britain’s overseas penal colony, in what is now known as Australia. These women must overcome their personal prejudices and band together to survive both the journey and fate that awaits them.

The play focuses on the women and everything they must undergo from the all-male crew, who also go through their own journey of exploration.

“These are stories that need to be told, specifically because . . .  they were the founding women of the country of Australia, essentially because it was basically built on slaves and prisoners who were sent over,” said director Montgomery Bjornson, adding the play has mostly been performed in the university circuit. “The personalities and the stories of the women themselves are very real.”

Deirdre Tipping plays Madge, the oldest of the women in the group who is also gay, in her first play at Langham.

“I really felt this connection from this person who must have been so very lonely, keeping up a tough exterior,” she said. “She’s been around the block and she has her own moral code. She doesn’t mind stealing money, but won’t let someone who can’t help themselves be taken advantage of.”

The play does involve profanity and scenes of violence, such as broom fights, choking, brawling and a whipping.

According to Bjornson, the violence helps shed light on the themes of the play: solidarity and survival.

“It’s witnessing those horrible acts until there’s a big breaking point when they (the women) all stand up together and say ‘that’s it, no one is coming between us anymore’,” Bjornson said.

“It’s brutal and beautiful at the same time and we hope audiences walk away feeling like they endured this journey with them.”

Female Transport runs until March 19 at Langham Court Theatre (805 Langham Crt.) Due to extreme coarse language, violence and mature themes, the play is suitable for ages 15 and up. Tickets can be purchased online at langhamtheatre.ca or by calling 250-384-2142.

 

 

Just Posted

Summer at the Gardens: Alan Doyle show highlights busy schedule

Musical offerings range from classical and jazz to bluegrass and vintage rock

ROCK THE SHORES 2018: A variety of musical flavours throughout weekend in Colwood

Headliners Brian Wilson, Sheepdogs and X Ambassadors part of diverse lineup festival

Fiddle tunes complete farm bistro experience

Year-end recital at the Roost features Nellie Quinn’s fiddle students

Rebirth of downtown cultural festival coming to Victoria in July

Folktoria aims to pick up where Folkfest left off

Pass a pint: Great Canadian Beer Festival tickets on sale now

Over 200 brews and ciders will be featured at this year’s craft celebration

B.C. tourism grant helps Sooke Fine Arts Show

Grant will attract audiences from across B.C. and Washington

Sooke Arts Council hosts open house

Event takes place July 3 at 7 p.m.

Disney production filming at Victoria’s Government House today

Made-for-TV movie will feature the inside of the Rockland Avenue mansion

Duncan Has Talent performers prepping for summer show

Signups on now for crowd-pleasing series staged at Charles Hoey Park as part of The 39 Days of July.

PRIDE WEEK: Popularity has surged for Memorial Drag Ball game in the past 20 years

The venue has changed, but the theme of not taking one’s self too seriously remains

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

Most Read