Who Are We?
In 1988 a group of women travelled from Sydney to Canberra to campaign against the political invisibility of older women. On the lawns of Old Parliament House they performed the show they had created for the purpose.
And so, the Older Women’s Network Theatre Group was born.
Over thirty years later the Theatre Group is still performing shows, written by themselves, put to the music of others. They deal with serious topics intermingled with humour and pathos, both spoken and sung.
Many inspirational women have been involved in the foundation and continuation of the Theatre Group. Peggy Hewitt was among them. She was instrumental in establishing and championing women’s rights through the Theatre Group.
Crones In Cabaret at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2023 performing
“Not Dead Yet”
The Older Women’s Network Theatre Group used the dead period of Covid lockdown to create a new show which was performed under the title of The Crones in Cabaret at the Adelaide Fringe in March 2023 and called “Not Dead Yet”
This death-defying show presents the challenges and triumphs of ageing.
The show is a original, funny, moving and poignant and features performers from 60-90 who are still ageing and raging. The show was loved by audiences and three sell-out shows at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and an award for best cabaret.
Most members have no theatre or stage experience before joining. Any woman wishing to join the group is welcome: no audition, just a keen sense of the need to advocate for women, and an urge to perform.
The group meets every Tuesday for rehearsals at OWN NSW’s Newtown Wellness Centre at 8-10 Victoria Street, Newtown, NSW 2042.
- Community Action
All the members of the group have responsibilities toward the smooth running of the group, which isn’t too hard, because we all enjoy each other’s company. We have a Coordinator, an Assistant Coordinator, a Director, and a Pianist.
Join the Older Women’s Network Theatre Group
We’re always looking for new members with hidden (or obvious) talents! Are you a performer, a musician, a composer, a choreographer – or maybe you always wanted to be but everybody told you to ‘get a real job’? Well now’s your chance!
It’s time to strut your stuff before the words “break a leg” become a health warning. Then again, you may be fighting fit, and top of your class at the ladies gym – in which case perhaps you could give serious consideration to becoming our roadie? Yes, we do tour, oh it may not be exactly a rock star lifestyle, but what happens on tour, stays on tour! That’s not an ageist dig at our memories – we’re all part actor, part elephant. Thank goodness we have a great Director/Wrangler to get us all to the stage and make sure the right parts perform!
Our vision is to educate audiences, through songs and skits, about the issues facing older women today. We seek to do this through positive messages and to show our audiences the joy that comes from belonging to our theatre group.
You will be beside yourself with fun. What are you waiting for?
“Don’t Knock your Granny”
Edingurgh Fringe 2018
Adelaide fringe 2020
In 2018 the Theatre Group under the name of Feisty Women of Oz, took their show “Don’t Knock Your Granny” to the Edinburgh Fringe and performed over three nights to great acclaim.
In 2020 they took the same show to the Adelaide Fringe Festival and once again were hugely successful.
Fringe Review: Don’t Knock Your Granny 2020
“This wonderful fun production has a serious message: they really want to draw attention to elder abuse, which is rife in our society but stays so well hidden most of the time.
With their pianist, Janice Beavan and their artistic director Jo Cahill these feisty women keep their audience entertained even when they make you want to cry.
Norma Bastock, Halcyon Evans, Maz Goldrick, Itojo Hardie, Fiona Ninnes, Brigid Sen, Mary Smith, Ruth Thompson, Rita Tratt and Miranda Walker are certainly old, they range in age from 60s to 90s and no-one would dispute that they are feisty, but there is a lot of life in this show.”
The Inspiration and the messages behind the
Older Women’s Network Theatre Group
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DO YOU WANT TO FIND A GROUP TO JOIN? STAY INFORMED? VOLUNTEER? ATTEND AN EVENT? DONATE?
Find out today how you can get involved and shape the future of older women in Australia.
We would love to hear from you.
Any enquiry is welcome and we value your contribution.