A FASCINATING insight into Pablo Picasso’s wives and lovers is emerging from the canvas at Harbour Theatre, as three women share stories about their lives with the great artist.
Written by Brian McAvera and directed by Jarrod Buttery, Picasso’s Women is a collection of three honest, erotic and humorous monologues that pull no punches.
The 2000 play allows Fernande Olivier, Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque to give their point of view and uncover their buried histories while relating their lives to Picasso’s art.
“Most people know Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, yet few know details about his personal life,” Jarrod said.
“Picasso was married twice but had many muses and mistresses and this production explores the lives of three of the most prominent women.
“The challenge of Picasso’s Women is in respectfully depicting real women who lived through some of the most tumultuous years of the 1900s.
“We are fortunate to have three exceptionally talented actresses, with many past productions to their credit, who are excited to bring these three women to life on stage.”
Involved in theatre for more than 30 years, Jarrod was one of the founding members of Blak Yak Theatre and has performed in a plethora of productions with Melville, Roleystone, Garrick, Limelight, Playlovers, KADS, Old Mill, Kwinana and Harbour Theatres.
He directed the first Terry Pratchett play to be staged in Australia, was named best director at the 2004 South West Drama Festival for his production of Heide’s Last Hit and directed the sold-out season of The Ladies Foursome at Harbour Theatre earlier this year.
“The fascinating aspect of Picasso's Women is that it depicts female characters who are not only strong and three-dimensional but real-life historical figures,” Jarrod said.
“These are real women who shared their lives with one of the most famous men of the past century.
“Françoise Gilot, who had two children with Picasso and is still alive, will celebrate her 100th birthday on November 26, which is our opening night.”
Picasso’s Women plays at 7.30pm November 26, 27, December 1, 3 and 4 with 2pm matinees November 28 and December 5. Tickets are $25.50, $23.50 concession and $20.50 students – book at www.TAZTix.com.au or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.
Harbour Theatre is located at 16 Lochee Street, Mosman Park.
picasso1: Anna Head, left, Sherryl Spencer and Melissa Merchant are appearing in Picasso’s Women. Picture: Michael McAllan
picasso2: Picasso’s Women features Anna Head, left, as Françoise Gilot, Sherryl Spencer as Jacqueline Roque and Melissa Merchant as Fernande Olivier. Picture: Michael McAllan
picasso3: Melissa Merchant, left, Sherryl Spencer and Anna Head play the wives and lovers of the famed Spanish painter in Picasso’s Women. Picture: Michael McAllan
picasso4: Françoise Gilot (Anna Head, left), Jacqueline Roque (Sherryl Spencer) and Fernande Olivier (Melissa Merchant) relate their lives to Picasso’s art. Picture: Michael McAllan
Harbour Theatre was formed in December 1963 by eight enthusiastic amateurs, led by Jimmy Quinn, a very competent and experienced director. Since then Harbour Theatre has entertained thousands of people. The variety of plays we have offered the public range from drama to comedy, whodunit to tragedy, and murder to farce. About the only thing we haven't attempted is Shakespeare. Yet!! Over the years Harbour Theatre has produced hundreds of full length plays, countless one-act plays and many Christmas Revues. These have earned us many awards in several of the play festivals around Perth.
Harbour Theatre initially performed in the Evans Davies Library in South Terrace, Fremantle (above what is now Dome). This was Harbour’s home for its first 31 years. Over the years the theatre grew and grew, and in the 1970's a major restructuring of the theatre resulted in the stage and seating being completely changed, thus allowing for larger audiences and better facilities for the actors. With an Associate Membership in the hundreds, Harbour Theatre has always been self sufficient, never having to call on Government or other funding bodies for support.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, in March 1995 we were forced to find another venue at which to perform. As a temporary measure, Harbour Theatre performed at the Tivoli Theatre, Applecross, for about 18 months, while searching for a location back in Fremantle.
Finally, at the end of 1996, Harbour Theatre relocated back in Fremantle to the Princess May Building. The next few weeks were very hectic as the spaced we leased had to be converted into a theatre. Our members raised the money and we built the stage and seating and installed the lighting, in time for our last play of 1996. The Princess May Building became our home for the next 15 years.
In 2007 the Fremantle Education Centre (who leased the Princess May Building from the City of Fremantle) refused to re-negotiate a lease and then in 2009 they received a Government Grant to build offices in the area occupied by the theatre. Despite months of lobbying State government representatives and local councillors, we were forced to move. The City of Fremantle then offered to rent us the Port Cineaste Building as a temporary venue. So, at the end of 2009, with the blood, sweat and tears of 33 of our members, we dismantled our beautiful theatre (and the only purpose built theatre in Fremantle) and moved lock, stock and barrel to the Port Cineaste Building. The major task of converting a cavernous cinema into an intimate performing arts space has been an enormous job undertaken by a number of our hardworking and dedicated members and involved many, many hours of volunteer labour.
Against all the odds Harbour Theatre lives to perform another day and we look forward to bringing you many more years of exciting and entertaining theatre.