The Female of the Species

Female of the Species

Murwillumbah Theatre Company is proud to present another contemporary Australian comedy, on the back of David Williamson’s Travelling North in 2017 and Elizabeth Coleman’s Secret Bridesmaid’s Business in 2018. The Female of the Species, a comedy by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith, premiered in Melbourne in 2006 and toured the capital cities before its premiere in London’s West End and Broadway, New York in 2008.

This latest gem, from the pen of one of Australia’s most outstanding playwrights, is a satire about celebrity feminists and was loosely inspired by Germaine Greer’s experience of being held captive in her country house in Essex in 2000.

The story unfolds with Margot Mason, pioneer of the 1970s Women’s Liberation movement, fearless academic, sitting at her desk at home, struggling to finish her next book. Through the French doors of the study comes a young, uninvited student, Molly Rivers, Molly, it appears, blames Mason for her own mother’s suicide, and for brainwashing a generation of women with her various books, such as The Cerebral Vagina.

Murray-Smith doesn’t stop with one unexpected visitor – a total of five people come in through the study windows as the play unfolds, each with something to say about Mason’s life and career, and the legacy of her feminist polemics.

Rather than a serious piece of feminist commentary, The Female of the Species blooms into modern farce, with quick wit, big ideas and ridiculous revelations. When is the right time for feminism to laugh at itself? As Molly herself quips ‘Men aren’t our problem. Old feminists are.” The Female of the Species deftly walks the tightrope between satire and farce with the jokes coming thick and fast, proving the female of the species is not only deadlier, but funnier than the male.

Female of the Species will be staged at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre on Friday, March 29 at 7,30pm, Saturday, March 30 at 7.30pm, Friday, April 5 at 7.30pm, Saturday, April 6 at 7.30pm, Sunday, April 7 at 2pm, Friday, April 12 at 7.30pm, Saturday April 13 at 7.30pm and Sunday, April 14 at 2pm.

Tickets are just $20 and are available online at, from Larkins Electrical in Main Street Murwillumbah (cash only) or at the door. Please note that this play contains strong language and adult themes.

The setup is cabaret style with BYO food and drink, as well as a licensed bar and refreshments. The play has no interval, but doors are open 45 minutes before the show commences so you can enjoy a great social night out.