Parramatta Girls

By Alana Valentine Director Wesley Enoch

  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 21 Mar – 22 Apr 2007

My name’s Gayle and I was here in the fifties. They set this place up in 1908 and they didn’t close it til 1980. Well, my maths has never been very good but maths or no maths, 200 girls by eighty years is a lot to answer for. We’ve got somethin’ in common, ladies, and we’re gonna share it today.

The inmates of Girls Training School, Parramatta had about as hard an upbringing as you can get in Australia. But theirs is also one of the great untold stories of making good in tough times.

Based on the testimony of dozens of GTS old-girls, this vibrant new play from Alana Valentine (Run Rabbit Run) is a joyous and harrowing dramatisation of the experiences of eight inmates and their reunion forty years later. Interspersed with song and storytelling, this is a stirring tribute to mischief and humour in the face of hardship and inequality.

Under the direction of Wesley Enoch, eight dames, this mob of great Australian actresses, took over the Belvoir stage in a moving and riotous act of letting the cat out of the bag and setting it smack bang amongst the pigeons!


By Alana Valentine
Director Wesley Enoch
Set Designer Ralph Myers
Costume Designer Alice Babidge
Lighting Designer Rachael Burke
Sound Designer Steve Francis
Musical Director Michael McGlynn
Fight Director Kyle Rowlands


Valerie Bader
Annie Byron
Jeanette Cronin
Lisa Flanagan
Genevieve Hegney
Roxanne McDonald
Leah Purcell
Carole Skinner

Production images by Heidrun Lohr


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