BWW Review: THAT BLOODY WOMAN at Touring New Zealand
'That Bloody Woman' touches the spirit of humanity and packages it in a powerful mix of sexy-punk; juxtaposed with the historically authentic, smokey haze, flashy lighting and emotionally-charged, totally awesome music that will literally rock you.
I make no apologies for raving about 'That Bloody Woman'. This 50-something female has been caught off guard by this show. Twice in fact.
I saw it for the second time on Tuesday night at the Auckland Town Hall and the love is still there. Strong, honest, emotional, sexy, unabated love.
It's the emotionally charged story of Kate Sheppard, the woman behind New Zealand women being first to get the vote.
Ada is a victim of domestic abuse, men are drinking too much, the economy's in trouble, Jenny's best friend is in love with Jenny's husband, Kate's son is taken away, and Richard Seddon is a 'dick' in the colloquial sense of the word.
The raw is delivered with the raunchy in a refreshingly original and rich spectacular that touches on the very core of the dignity of the human being; humanity and our right to choose.
What this show isn't, is a 'cliché' of the 'hallelujah brothers', 'do you hear the people sing' rousing anthem style musical. It's fresh, unique and as the young would say, it hits you 'in the feels'.
Our senses are assaulted and provoked then infiltrated with the realities of alcohol abuse, domestic violence and the subordination of women. If history lessons were taught like this everyone would take the class.
You've got to see this. It. Is. Simply. Fabulous.
Writers Luke Di Somma and Gregory Cooper have honoured Kate Sheppard and created a world game changer. The music is sensational; clever, engaging and fresh!
They've perfected making the inappropriate absolutely appropriate, something so many attempt but fail to do. They highlight the irony of the subordination of women being acceptable but cursing or riding a bike is a 'no-no.'
It's hilarious, it's sad, its poignant, there's pathos.
The only thing that has changed the second time around is that I had been skeptical whether it would have international appeal. What was I thinking? The International Theatre Arena needs this.
The Americans will love it. The core of America is built on knowing and wanting 'their rights.' The Americans will also love that their very own Mary Leavitt influenced our Kate. She was a founding member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Mary travelled the world and inspired Kate.
Kate's from England. The English are going to want to claim her as their own her after seeing this show.
Kate Sheppard got the ball rolling for over half the human race to get the vote. Of course this is international.
What if Kate was alive today? It is believable that she'd be into punk, anything that doesn't stifle a woman's opportunity to be 'whoever the hell she wants.'
New Zealand, you've got something that can hold it's own with the international 'big players.' Spread the word.
The performers and the production team were superb. The line up of actors Esther Stephens, Phoebe Hurst, Amy Stracker, Geoffrey Dolan, Cameron Douglas and Kyle Chuen along with musicians Andy Manning, Tim Heeringa, Emma Hattaway and Cameron Burnett were all simply stunning and loaded with talent.
It's got it all and more. I bloody love "That Bloody Woman."
It's had a big highly successful tour of New Zealand but you can still see it in Dunedin and Nelson: https://nz.patronbase.com/_Fortune/Productions/TBW/Performances