Vivacious and unapologetic, The Rover's 17th-century feminism is painfully pertinent

Hansen, Claire (2017) Vivacious and unapologetic, The Rover's 17th-century feminism is painfully pertinent. The Conversation, 6 July 2017.

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The Rover, now on at Belvoir Theatre in Sydney, starts unexpectedly, with long-dead 17th-century playwright Aphra Behn walking onstage – staring down the audience in a gawdy gold gown, beverage in hand, vivacious and unapologetic. She challenges us to accept a play by a female playwright:

Men are but Bunglers, when they wou'd express The sweets of Love, the dying tenderness; But Women, by their own abundance, measure, And when they write, have deeper sense of Pleasure.

She then exhorts those in the audience who do not like the prospect of a female playwright to, in her words, "fuck off". When nobody chooses to do so, Behn allows the play to start. Under the direction of Eamon Flack, this irreverent, hilarious production deftly offers Behn's work in a way that is accessible, clever and utterly relevant.

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Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2018 01:10
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