By Natesha Somasundaram
Directed by Claudia Barrie

  • Venue Downstairs Theatre
  • Dates 18 MARCH – 4 APRIL 2020
  • Duration 60 minutes

    *** Given the unprecedented global health crisis we currently face, Belvoir has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel all  performances of girl friend. Although our venue’s capacity is less than 500, we are being cautious and following the government’s directive to restrict public gatherings. The health and safety of our audience, staff and actors is always our first priority.

    If you purchased a ticket to girl friend, please consider donating the amount to the producing company New Ghosts Theatre Company to help them recover costs involved in the production. To donate your ticketed amount or to discuss refund options call box office on 9699 3444 or email [email protected]***

    Everyone does a bad thing now and then. But Madhavi Rao did one of the worst things of all. The real life accomplice to the 1997 murder of Joe Cinque in Canberra, Madhavi managed to slip through several legal loopholes and come out completely unscathed. Where she is (and who she is now) is anyone’s guess.

    girl friend is a darkly hilarious traipse into what happens to the best of us, when we become the worst of us.

    “Like a lot of people, I’m obsessed with true crime. The banality of it, the dramatics of it, the too-close-to-home-ness of it. This case struck me so deeply because these women murderers grew up in wildly identical circumstances to myself. Questions began to bubble at the back of my mind: how far away am I from becoming these women, really? What does it actually take for someone to throw their moral compass completely out the window? Could I set this entire thing in a supermarket and make it a comedy?” says Somasundaram.

    An intensely covered news story at the time, the bizarre circumstances surrounding the murder have inspired many artists in the form of books, theatrical plays and film. All of these works have been authored by Caucasian writers, often inexplicably erasing or sidelining both murderer Anu Singh and Madhavi’s cultural background (Indian-Australian), and its potential relationship to their behaviour.

    “Whilst I am deeply unsettled by domestic violence, I am also deeply unsettled by the strangeness of cultural erasure in dissecting crime. The public, creative and commercial response to the crime, more-so than the crime itself, certainly speaks worlds about the internal state of a community.” – Natesha Somasundaram

    Presented by New Ghosts Theatre Company with the Ignite Collective.


    Producer Loredana Cross
    Production Manager Catherine O’Donoghue
    Production Designer Angela Doherty
    Assistant Production Designer Ruru Zhu
    Sound Designer Clare Hennessy
    Lighting Designer Kate Baldwin
    Stage Manager Jennifer Jackson


    Vaishnavi Suryaprakash
    Nikita Waldron

    • What is 25A?

      This show is part of 25A.
      It has been made by independent and emerging artists.
      They have produced and marketed it themselves.
      They get 100% of the box office and the theatre for free.
      Their task is to make a show for less than $1500.

      Thanks for supporting the artists of the future.

    • Running Time and Content Warnings

      Running Time: Approx. 60 minutes

      Please be advised that the upcoming 25a production of girl friend is an experimental theatre show containing strong coarse language, explicit sexual references, and depictions of violence.

      Whilst based on true events, this has been interpreted with artistic licence and content in this show may be offensive to particular community groups.

      If you feel this may be of concern to you, please contact our box office on 02 9699 3444 and a member of staff will be able to assist you.

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