Two women, two plays, two powerful voices.
This double volume pairs powerhouse playwright Patricia Cornelius, in collaboration with Susie Dee and Nicci Wilks, with rising star Benjamin Nichol in two searing monodramas about women who are dispossessed and dismissed.
In RUNT, Cornelius, Dee and Wilks have created an expansive work about the runts of this world—the lesser, the weak, the insignificant, the ‘unders’. Runt, a small woman who has endured nothing but misery, toughens up to face her oppressors and fight for equality and decency. But just as she starts to sense greatness rising in her, something shifts and she feels the dirt sucking her back in.
[Cornelius’s] art has a conscious rhythm, poetry and structure that make other writers seethe with envy. Her language doesn’t sound naturalistic but when it’s spoken by an actor, it sounds like it could never be anything but their voice.—Time Out
In kerosene, Nichol’s unlikely protagonist Millie yearns for love and acceptance, finding instead rejection and humiliation at every turn … except from her sad, soft old grandfather, and her best friend Annie. Millie shapes her loyalty to Annie into a bond that burns hotter than any romantic furnace. Life sends them on different paths, but when Annie turns up bruised and bloodied on the doorstep, Millie sets out to honour her childhood friend in the only way she knows how: revenge.
Nichol builds a world that is dense and rich with life. The writing is so subtle but poignant, with dialogue that carries the audience down a path that we can all relate to, even if we haven’t walked it ourselves.—Australian Arts Review