Lizzie The Musical – 5 Creatives Share The Inspo For The Show

It's 1892 in small town America. A young woman is the prime suspect of her parents' murder. Her name is Lizzie Borden – and her story has become legend.

'Lizzie The Musical'

This is the Australian premiere of 'Lizzie The Musical' at Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney, a relentless, camp, rock musical about accused axe murderer Lizzie Borden, directed by writer, director, producer and performer Maeve Marsden.

'Lizzie The Musical' is a revenge tale for our times, but it's not filled with the familiar stage musicality of Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber – oh no. Think more Bikini Kill, The Runaways, and Hole. Now you're talking!

To tell the audience a little about the show, the cast and creatives have been sharing the art, music, books, films and icons who have inspired the production via the @officialhayestheatreco Instagram. Here are some of Maeve Marsden's favourites.

One

“All that came to mind when our director Maeve was describing 'Lizzie' was 'omg this is riot grrrl', a feminist movement in the '90s, all girls all day and focused on connecting women to break down the walls of oppression. So many quotes from the zines too that I think about all the time in relation to Lizzie like 'burn down the walls that say you can’t' and 'a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do' ahaha. I think I said that one a lot in rehearsals." Ali Calder, playing Emma Borden

Two

“'Bound' is the Wachowskis' feature film debut, released in 1996. A neo-noir inspired crime thriller about a heist gone wrong, the Wachowskis manage to do something very few queer films achieve: create an authentically queer story without relegating it to a narrative exclusively about being gay. These characters are confident in their sexuality (and love for each other) and strong in a way that never feels pseudo masculine but utterly true to who these two women are. This is what 'Lizzie' captures so well: a story about women unapologetically coming into their voice and finding their place in the world." Arran Munro, Hayes Theatre Co Marketing Associate

Three

"My musical influences veer from the power punk pop of The 5.6.7.8's and '90s No Doubt, through a Tom Waits-style nightmare fairground into the camp avant-garde strut of Diamanda Galás. Weaving music together with sound, there is an ever-present soundscape in country Australia that I grew up with – the sweltering heat that presses down on a body, the electric fence that clicks along with the raspy cicadas, the wind in the wires and amongst the junk in the shed, the weird tension that comes with so much empty sky. The sparse, brooding film soundtrack for 'The Proposition' by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis is a good touchstone, but I also found a bit of inspo in a video I found of experimental musician and inventor Jon Rose playing a barbed wire fence in Tjoritja on the Larapinta Trail, Arrernte country." Victoria Falconer, Musical Director

Four

“I draw inspiration from Sayaka Murata’s book, 'Earthlings'. Sometimes to survive the only way out is an act of violence.” Sarah Ward, playing Bridget Sullivan.

Five

“I draw inspiration from the cello rock ensemble Rasputina, a huge formative influence for me, being an all-women group pushing the boundaries with classical instruments, which they run through distortion and use to rock out! It was something I’d never seen before and showed me that there were truly no boundaries when it came to instrumentation. A lot of these extended techniques and effects are what I’ve drawn on playing for 'Lizzie' but more than that Rasputina draws on the same time period of the 1800s in their costuming and aesthetic, mixing it with punkier elements of the '90s, and fusing all of these sounds and visuals with historical narratives. The band is actually where I first heard the tale of Lizzie Borden, and part of why I jumped at the chance to work on the production.” Sister Ursuline, Cellist


'Lizzie The Musical' plays Hayes Theatre Co 13 January-5 February.

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