Eleanor and Mary Alice
What is so impressive about the text by Peta Tait, is the way in which these women exist solely as women of their time. The script allows us to engage with their achievements in that context. With the beats and silences held, without contrivance, by Leiser-Moore, the audience can fully appreciate the power of live music in performance.
Director Deborah Leiser-Moore draws excellent intimate performances from Sarah McNeill & Petra Kalive. We feel like we are listening in to private conversations (Sydney Arts Guide)
I can’t stop thinking about the performance. It was very moving and thought provoking. It was beautifully put together and the way in which you combined the personal and the political/social/broader human concerns was really wonderful. (Audience member, Perth)
Eleanor and Mary Alice is about personal meetings between Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Alice Evatt, and with short comments by Churchill, Roosevelt and Herbert Evatt. The lives of these two influential women are framed by politics, war, refugees, modernist art and especially Moya Dyring’s painting. As Eleanor tours Australia in 1943, after flying across the Japanese patrolled Pacific, she seeks support to fly on to the battlefront. The two women meet again in Paris in 1948 when Mary Alice tries to overcome Evatt’s annoyance with Eleanor, and they discuss Dyring’s art and the end of her marriage to artist, Sam Atyeo, who is Evatt’s secretary.
In the background Evatt is elected UN General Assembly President and Eleanor is Chair the UN Human Rights Committee developing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Writer: Peta Tait
Director: Deborah Leiser-Moore
Performers: Sarah McNeill/Glenda Lindscott (Eleanore Roosevelt) Petra Kalive (Mary Alice Evatt)
Cellist: Adi Sappir
Sydney Arts Guide
Sydney Morning Herald
Seymour Centre, Sydney in Association with the Evatt Foundation as part of the 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights celebrations.
Perth Centre for Contemporary Photography as part of the Human Rights exhibition.
Heide Gallery, Melbourne
in conjuction with the Moya Dyring exhibition