Phyl Lobl’s Dames and Daredevils for Democracy played to capacity houses and audience acclaim in its premiere 2017 season at Magda Community Artz, so now Magda’s bringing the adventure to Cleveland from Friday 17 August and Chelmer from Friday 24 August.

In a production featuring many of the original cast and some new, exciting talent, the performance will bring to life 10 of the feisty Australian suffragists who pushed the fight for Australian women’s right to vote and stand for Parliament. The theatre adaptation’s successful premiere in 2017 prompted Magda Community Artz to take it further afield and the current production will play at the Redland Museum and Western Magpies AFL Club.

Phyl Lobl, a respected folk singer-songwriter, educator and activist, researched the various strategies adopted by 10 leading Australian suffragists to create Dames and Daredevils, which commemorates the struggle and achievements of those women whose place in Australian history has been largely unremarked and unpraised. “I structured the production around the different strategies that the women employed,” says Phyl. “Every woman had her own action ‘call-sign’ that proffered the opportunity of writing a specialised song for each of them, with lyrics and melodies that matched their tactics. I was inspired by their bravery and their determination. Despite the vast differences in their backgrounds and upbringing they generated an amazing level of cooperation around the world, winning support from far-sighted and intelligent men of the time.”

For all their passion and determination the Australian women – suffragists rather than suffragettes – called for non-violence in their protest. To kick off the event, Frances Bedford MP, the Member for Florey who founded the Muriel Matters Society in 2009 to honour one of Australia’s leading suffragists will be a special guest at the opening night of Dames and Daredevils for Democracy.

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