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The Afterglow at Melbourne Fringe

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by Rachael Taylor (subscribe)
My husband and I run a small mixed farm on the Mornington Peninsula. You can check us out online at heritagefarm.com.au or in person at our fortnightly tours
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A funny, evocative play at The Melbourne Fringe Festival
The Afterglow, written by Emily Stekly, and performed by Hannah Koch, is part of this year's Melbourne Fringe Festival. It's on at The Owl and Cat at 34 Swan St, Richmond, between the 29th of September and 3rd of October.

The Afterglow is a one woman show that tells the evocative and emotionally charged stories of four very different women. There's the ordinary Emma, Australian, and in her 20's, Dr Erika, the outrageous, Irish, anthropologist. Nanai, a 60 year old Filipino woman clinging to her traditions, and lastly, there's Aggie. An 80 something year old woman with a story that will haunt you.
the afterglow melbourne fringe festival hannah koch emily stekly
Hannah Koch stars in The Afterglow, a one woman show written by Emily Stekly

What unites these women? What common threads draw these stories together into one show? At first glance, nothing. Nothing except the actress is the same.

I was lucky enough to see a rehearsal earlier this week, and I was thoroughly impressed. Hannah Koch is on the stage alone for an hour. There are no costume changes, the set is so minimal as to be almost bare. And yet through voice, and movement and some indefinable shift, this young actress brings to life four very different women. And we get to watch her transform from one scene to the next.

As the play progresses, there are other threads that link the stories, that weave, if not the characters, then the themes together. The play begins a discussion of mortality and death without taboo. It introduces cultural tradition and spirituality, grief and desperation.

The Afterglow leaves you asking questions and wondering. These four women have four very different stories to tell. What began as the playwright's own need to express thoughts and reflections in the wake of her father's death, has grown into a play with a script and actress powerful enough to escape stereotype.

For all that this play tackles serious issues, and there is only ever one actress on the stage, The Afterglow is not a lecture. It doesn't alienate. Instead this one woman show is a physical, emotionally engaging story, with some laughs along the way.

I cannot recommend it highly enough. Opening night is Tuesday the 29th of September, and tickets are a discounted $20. Every other evening (and the Saturday matinee) tickets are $25 for concession holders and $30 full price. The Owl and Cat is an intimate theatre, and is easy to get to. The route 70 tram drops you 120m away, it's 300m from Richmond Train Station, train, and you can always drive if need be.

Follow Dusk Till Dawn Productions on Facebook for a glimpse into last minute rehearsals and some fun competitions, and buy tickets here through the Melbourne Fringe Festival website.
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Why? It's a genuinely good piece of theatre
When: From the 29th of September to the 3rd of October. Shows are at 9:30pm, plus a 3:30 matinee on the Saturday
Where: The Owl and Cat, 34 Swan St, Richmond
Cost: $20 tickets on opening night, Other performances are $30, or $25 for concession
Your Comment
Yet another fanstastic production. So many to choose from.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7178) 1481 days ago
Looks great! I've just bought tickets and I'm looking forward to going.
by Frank (score: 0|3) 1481 days ago
A one woman on stage show that keeps you entertained...must be a great show. I liked how you wrote this article without revealing too much of the storyline:)
by Maria M (score: 2|661) 1480 days ago
This article inspired me to buy tickets for today's matinee for mum and I. We both loved the show and thought Hannah was a talented actor.
by barbc (score: 1|65) 1471 days ago
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