The Sydney Morning Herald, Cameron Woodhead

"Collyer patterns wide-ranging dialogue – we get everything from frank sex confessions to stories of bodily betrayal, from surreal elegy to piteous intimations of domestic violence – into a kind of dream play that, underneath the surface comedy, offers a jarring lens onto gendered experience ..."


Chris Boyd, The Australian

"Collyer’s writing arcs from brutally unromantic to gruffly ­poetic with some exquisitely confessional exchanges along the way. Jousting dialogue unravels into contemplative soliloquies ... the design sharply — and magically — counterpoints the narrative reality ... production elements resolve and coalesce into something remarkable, even ecstatic."


Robert Reid, Witness Performance

"Netball as Homeric battlefield: In Contest, now on at Darebin Arts Speakeasy, the world created by writer Emilie Collyer and director Prue Clark is remarkable: an epic battle worthy of Homer that spills out of, and perfectly captures, formalised physical contest."


Michael Brindley, Stage Whispers

"Contest (the very title open to multiple interpretations) is a highly intelligent, perceptive and deeply felt work, performed by an excellent cast. They bring out all the buried or repressed fears and emotions of their characters, layered into them by the playwright. I hope I won’t put anyone off by saying this is genuinely feminist play which makes its convincing case by being so believable."


Laura Hartnell, Theatre People

" incisive and moving portrait of five women on a netball team ... The real strength of ‘Contest’ is its physicality. There is something cathartic but also unsettling in seeing women’s sweat pour down their faces, and their muscles shake with effort. This, combined with Collyer’s writing, makes for a dynamic conversation between mind and body, language and motion ..."


Long form response from Georgia Symons, commissioned by New Working Group

"Contest points to the artificial rigidity of the structures that many of us live within; structures that we can work on escaping and unlearning, even if there is some sense in which this unlearning makes the “normal” of life impossible. The game can’t go on. But perhaps something much more beautiful – and difficult, and honest – can begin."


Emilie Collyer


World Premiere 25 July - 4 August 2018

Presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy in association with New Working Group and Bureau of Works

Production History

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