The Second Woman
Nat Randall & Anna Breckon
"One of the finest examples of independent Australian theatre in years.” ★★★★★ – The Guardian
In an epic endurance performance, Nat Randall repeats a single scene inspired by the John Cassavetes’ American meta-theatrical drama Opening Night. 100 times over a 24 hour period, Randall performs over and over a scene between a husband and wife in a marriage that has lost its creativity, romance and vitality. Starring opposite Randall are 100 different men drawn from the local community.
The scene is captured on multiple cameras and projected live alongside the staged performance, highlighting minute details of expression and variations in performance. The Second Woman makes a public spectacle of the affects and styles of connection involved in a scene of stranger intimacy. Through the repetition of this intimate exchange, The Second Woman explores the generic and gendered conventions of emotionality, as well as the affective and relational nature of gender identity.
“Maybe the bloodlust you can sense in the room isn’t over watching this woman get more and more raw and exhausted in each performance, but watching her expose man after man to this covert examination of masculinity.” – Worm Hole
On entering the theatre space, the audience encounters a beautifully-designed playing space and large accompanying cinema screen. While the evocative set draws its aesthetic influence from 1970s American independent cinema, the live screen images take their stylistic and emotional cues from the history of women’s melodrama. Once inside, audience members are free to come and go over the next 24 hours.
The music swells, the camera operators move to their mark, our character Virginia (Randall) stands waiting. A man enters, we know as little about him as Randall does. What follows is a tense and intimate exchange, culminating in one final choice for the participant – “I’ve always loved you” or “I’ve never loved you”.
The man leaves. The scene finishes and Nat/Virginia must clean up the mess. Slowly and ritualistically, the scene is reset, ready to go all over again. Through repetition of this exchange, variations in character and delivery are amplified. On-stage sparks fly, lines between fiction and reality blur, and the sense of elation and anxiety is palpable.
“…each scene rolls into the next, into the next, into the next in an unstoppable Netflix auto-play, generating a sense of imminent reward – you can’t step away.” – Kill Your Darlings
The Second Woman requires a diverse range of male-identifying participants to perform opposite Nat Randall in this exciting cinematic performance experiment. All ages, backgrounds and levels of performance experience are welcome, and participants are sourced through an open public callout.
Participants are provided with an easy script and offered a $50 honorarium. The performance space feels like its own world – you won’t see the audience. You don’t need to be a performer to be part of the show. Take up the challenge and be part of The Second Woman!
“...what an enthralling, magnificent work. The Second Woman is as first rate as everybody says.” – The Monthly
Watch Behind The Second Woman, a new feature documentary on iView.
3 - 4 March 2018 | Perth Festival at PICA Performance Space | MORE INFO>>
[email protected] | +612 9319 0066
October | LiveWorks Festival, Performance Space, Sydney, New South Wales
June | Dark MOFO Festival, Hobart, Tasmania
May | Next Wave Festival, Melbourne, Victoria
Co-creators Nat Randall & Anna Breckon
Concept & Performance Nat Randall
Script & Direction Anna Breckon & Nat Randall
Video Direction EO Gill & Anna Breckon
Camera Operation EO Gill
Lighting Design Amber Silk
Sound Composition Nina Buchanan
Set Design FUTURE METHOD STUDIO
Hair & Makeup Design Sophie Roberts
The Second Woman was originally developed for Next Wave Festival 2016.