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In their final pairing of the year CONVERSATION 4: Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Black Swan State Theatre Company explores the roles and representations of women across a century through In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play, a hysterical parlour drama, and Xenides, a convival musical.

About the shows

In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play

In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl is a vivacious play about power and passion that reveals the history of the “aid that every women appreciates’, the vibrator. The play is set in the 1880s and takes place in the adjoining parlour and consulting room of Dr Givings, who specialises in treating “hysteria” in women.

Obsessed with the phenomena of technology and what it can do for his patients, Dr Givings fails to notice that his wife, Catherine, is feeling neglected. Seeking the comradeship of her husband’s patients, Catherine begins to uncover the truth about what goes on ‘in the room next door’.

Since the late 1880s, the vibrator has gone from a device for treating ‘hysteria’ in women to the ‘aid that every woman appreciates’. Sarah Ruhl presents a comedy about marriage, intimacy and electricity, delving deep into the taboo subject matter of female pleasure through a play that is sure to hit the spot.

Xenides

Men desired her, women envied her. Adriana Xenides (1956 – 2010) was an Australian TV legend, the darling of ‘TV Week’ and glossy magazines and best known as the hostess of Australia’s favorite game show, Wheel of Fortune. Xenides was known to be a cunning self-promoter, never allowing her audiences to see what truly lied behind all the glitz and glamour. She was a tragic Australian icon who died far too young but remained classic till the end.

Xenides is an Australian musical exposé that gives voice to Adriana Xenides and peers, into her life of health, emotional, financial and family issues, which was all too often misunderstood and misrepresented by the media. The musical is both hilarious and tender, featuring a wonderful mash-up of ‘80s songs, from TV theme tunes to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, alongside an original composition by electronic power-pop group, The Twoks.

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