A surreal meditation on the body, death and ageing with an ensemble of older women.

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This image shows an older woman sitting in a red chair. She sits side-on. The chair and her body are facing to the left, her hands are resting on her left leg and her head is turned towards the camera. She is wearing a fluffy white sweater, matching sweatpants and white sneakers. On her head is a silver beaded headpiece that hangs like a fringe on her forehead and down to her chin on the sides. The floor is grey carpet and the wall behind her is entirely white pleated curtains.

Image Credit: Pier Carthew

  • Created by: THE RABBLE

  • Produced by: Performing Lines

  • Commissioned by: The Substation and Melbourne Fringe

WAKE is a new performance installation by powerhouse experimental theatre makers THE RABBLE, created with an ensemble of older women from the West about the body, death and loneliness.

Audiences are welcomed into the iconic Italian Social Club in Altona to experience a work that is part party, part surreal vaudeville show, part conversation and part town hall meeting. WAKE asks audiences to consider the difficult and taboo discussions around ageing but also celebrates the subtle power of eight spectacular older women.

WAKE embraces connection, the rituals we inhabit as we age and the spaces where we feel most comfortable.

Exploring the ever-increasing hostility towards women’s bodies particularly for older people, WAKE features acts of artistic courage created by the participating women, featuring anything from a ukulele solo to a professional wrestling bout; a Shakespeare monologue to a political speech. In an age of dislocation, WAKE is a work of solidarity.

There will also be an exhibition of video works on display throughout the Italian Social Club as part of WAKE for audiences to experience before and after the performance.

Come and join us at the Italian Social Club Altona for an evening of art and celebration.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, the Besen Family Foundation, and Hobsons Bay City Council. This project also received Cash to Create through the Fringe Fund, with thanks to the Pulse Giving Circle.

Please note: tickets may be available from The Substation’s website even after the Fringe allocation is exhausted. If you see the “Allocation Exhausted” message on this page, please get in touch with the venue directly or visit their website.


THE RABBLE is a group of visionary women who have consistently produced bold, provocative and visually stunning theatrical experiences. The company has forged an unrivaled reputation for producing experimental theatre of the highest quality – theatre that interrogates the human condition through a combination of surreal and visceral aesthetics, a feminist sensibility, and the application of intellectually rigorous research. The results have changed the paradigm of what is possible in theatrical culture in Australia.


Co-Creators & Co-Directors: Emma Valente and Kate Davis
Community Liaison: Cassandra Fumi
Set, Costume & Video Designer: Kate Davis
Sound Designer, Composer & Video Designer: Emma Valente
Lighting Designer & Associate Set Designer: Emma Lockhart-Wilson
Co-Creators, Performers and Co-Costume Designers: Heather Cull, Sandy Daly, Marilyn Davies, Sally Goldner, Clare Larman, Terri Seddon, Jo Walker and Sandy Wood
Production Manager: Nate Evans
Stage Manager: Zsuzsa Gaynor Mihaly
Assistant Stage Manager: Klari Agar
Associate Artists: Dana Miltins & Mary Helen Sassman

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