Monday 26 October 2020

Portrait of 3 women who are the cast of Single Ladies NOW
Artwork by Tammy Winter using a photo by Red Stitch Actors' Theatre

As Melbourne went into lockdown in March 2020, playwright Michele Lee had just finished previews on what was about to be the world premiere of her play Single Ladies.

Three years in the making, the play was to be opened the following week at Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre in St Kilda, but like most theatre productions, the season was cancelled abruptly due to COVID-19.  ‘We had about 5 previews’ Lee said, ‘and then the company needed to cancel the last preview and the rest of the season. So I feel pretty lucky to have seen it in production even if the play didn’t officially open.’ 

Lee’s play Single Ladies focuses on three characters living in the City of Yarra. Rachel, Lilike and Anne are all single and they all live alone in Collingwood. These three fictional characters form an unlikely friendship over a day, as they travel over the streets of Collingwood.  In response to the cancelled season, Lee wrote three short audio works, designed to be companion pieces to the play. Lee had previously worked with audio, and her return to the form was quicker than expected with the arrival of COVID.

The audio monologues bring together artists from the original team who worked on the stage production. This includes director Bagryana Popov; dramaturg Emilie Collyer; sound designer and composer Elissa Goodrich; and actors Jem Lai, Caroline Lee and Andrea Swifte.‘I really enjoyed making companion pieces, and I certainly love that idea of creating more from within a known universe of story’ says Lee. 

You can now listen to a moment in the lives of the three characters Rachel, Lilike and Anne, in SINGLE LADIES NOW.

More information about Michele Lee.

SINGLE LADIES NOW received support from the City of Yarra through our COVID-19 Quick Response grant stream. Michele Lee developed Single Ladies over three years between 2017-2019, with support from the City of Yarra through Triennial Funding.   In addition the project had support from Creative Victoria and Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. 

SINGLE LADIES NOW was made on Wurundjeri land.   


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