"You’ll be mightily impressed by its music, its message and above all, its women.
Because these five women are not just mightily talented - they’re wonderfully effective theatrical re-tellers of our history."
-Colin Mockett, Entertainment Geelong
OLD ENGLAND SLIPS AWAY FROM ME..."
In the midst of convict ships arriving each week from Britain, a different cargo leaves for Australia. On board are 287 single and free immigrant women enticed by promises of a better life. What waits for them at sea will determine their survival. What waits for them in Sydney will determine their success.
VOYAGE | Rehearsal Trailer
VOYAGE | Cinematic Trailer
A NEW AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL
Writer, Helen Begley, brings the worlds of contemporary theatre, Australian Folk Music and Academia together, with a script that emerged from the work of Australian historian, Dr Liz Rushen. Her original songs trace their lineage back to the folk songs of early immigrants through the parlours and music halls of 19th Century Sydney to the stages of contemporary Australian folk festivals. The result is Musical Theatre in the Australian vernacular.
The women’s story is nationally significant, the execution, spare and essential. Two actors are required to portray thirteen characters. Three musicians are tasked with underscoring seventeen songs and ninety minutes of theatre.
Voyage is an alternative story of “Mateship.” Without sentimentality, it champions the kind of staunch female friendship that fosters resilience and endurance and maintains hope and humour in the face of hostility. Through this lens it asks audiences to reflect on their attitudes to women, migration, identity, colonisation and racism and questions whether the attitudes of the 19th Century are still mirrored in contemporary Australia.
PHOTOS: DANIEL BURKE,
BURKE PHOTOGRAPHY AUSTRALIA
CAST & CREW
Helen Begley is a Melbourne Singer/Songwriter with a prevailing interest in writing about Australian women. She presents songs ranging in theme from West Brunswick to Women's history. Her latest folk song cycle is Voyage presented by The Good Girl Song Project. She has appeared in many festivals over the years as a solo artist, with The Good Girl Song Project and Melbourne Folk band, Milk as well as touring nationally. She has written and recorded Voyage with The Good Girl Song Project, two solo albums, The Bride and West Brunswick, written and appeared on three Milk albums and has won several awards for song-writing. Helen also runs her own business, Chicks with Picks Melbourne where she teaches and encourages women to learn ukulele, guitar and songwriting and participate more broadly in music and song making.
THE GOOD GIRL/OTHERS, DESIGNER
Carly Ellis is an actor, musician/singer/voice artist, and a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts, Acting course in Ballarat. Carly's first job was as a freelance portrait artist - aged 14. Since then, she has worked on collecting her skills in music as a multi-instrumentalist, in needlepoint, painting, and singing. Carly's theatre credits include Olivia in Twelfth Night, Head Chief Rabbit/Musical Director in Wind in the Willows, Duchess in Alice in Wonderland (Australian Shakespeare Company), Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Miranda in The Tempest (Melbourne Shakespeare Company.) Recently, Carly played the mad musical Conductor in Ulysses (Bloomsday in Melbourne.) Carly has starred in many commercials and fashion films, and Melbourne Fashion Festival's A Victorian Silhouette in association with Sovereign Hill Museum. Recently, Carly voiced several roles in their multi-million dollar live show AURA - now showing. Most recently, Carly has voiced projects for Emmi Climate Solutions, commercials for JOY FM radio, and several commercial voice overs from her new home voice-over studio set-up.
Ruby is a female-identifying multi-disciplinary artist currently based in Melbourne. She undertook intensive acting, playwriting and directing training at the world-renowned Herbert Berghof Studio in New York City. She earned her professional writing and editing degree at RMIT University, Melbourne. Ruby was the youngest recipient of the National St Martin’s Playwriting Award in 2010 for her first play Serpents.She completed a residency at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre Company in 2016. She was commissioned by the company to write and direct an original work for their 10th Anniversary Season. Upon her return to Australia, Ruby directed a series of plays for independent Melbourne companies including Simon Stephens’ Punk Rock at renowned Melbourne theatre fortyfivedownstairs, which saw a sold-out season and rave reviews. While at NIDA, Ruby has expanded her practice to include theatre-making, devising, and the adaptation of new works. Voyage allowed Ruby to truly explore new territory, and shape tales of epic proportions with the most minimal means.
ELIZABETH WADE/ OTHERS, PRODUCER
Penny is an actor, a singer, voice coach and workshop facilitator of over 20 years experience. Currently working primarily as a voice and acting coach alongside her presence in the Good Girl Song Project, in recent years she has featured in the premiere of NED: A New Australian Musical as matriarch Ellen Kelly and in Threes A Crowd’s presentation of Under Milk Wood. In 2014 she played the role of Gertrude in the Australian Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet. A WAAPA graduate, previous career highlights have been Mamma Mia!, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Way Dead Cool (OzOpera). Penny has also appeared in Threes A Crowd’s Grey Gardens, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and as the title role in Castlemaine State Festival’s 2011 Opening Cornucopia. She was a member of Punctum Live Arts for 8 years, developing works such as exquisite one act opera Dinner in a Dry Dam and Unterdog and the School of Disobedience.
Melbourne based violinist, Kylie Morrigan, began her music training early (age 3) as a classical violinist. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts, she played in Orchestra Victoria and various freelance orchestras before retiring to raise and homeschool her 4 children. Kylie has since returned to the world of music performance enjoying a range of playing styles including electro swing, folk and contemporary classical. She currently performs and records amidst a healthy national and international touring schedule with the Formidable Vegetable Sound System, The Simon Kerr
Perspective, artist Mal Webb, electronic artist ‘Spoonbill’ and the Ad Hoc Music Collective.
ELIZABETH WADE UNDERSTUDY
Penelope Swales is a musician, actor and human rights lawyer who has been articulating the human condition with passion and humour for over 30 years. She sings about politics, love, friendship, the unbreakable bond between people and dogs and the impact of the Internet on society and relationships. In 2020 she released the digital single The Ides of March in Christchurch and received a personal thanks from NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Adern. She won the 2019 Alistair Hulett Songs for Social Justice Award with her song “Cambridge Analytica” which explores the impact of social media propoganda on democracy. She recently released her 5th CD with festival favourites Totally Gourdgeous and is working on her 11th solo CD with her new band The Stranded Assets.
Penelope has toured extensively throughout Australia, North America and Europe, both solo and with Totally Gourdgeous. In 2007 she featured in the B-day production of The Vagina Monologues at Sydney Theatre. In 2003, her album “Monkey Comfort” received critical acclaim, spending 8 weeks at No. 6 on the Australian Independent Blues and Roots charts. She was a founding member of Melbourne's Styx Performing Troupe and played Elizabeth Wade in a previous iteration of Voyage.
LIZ RUSHEN - AUTHOR, SINGLE AND FREE
NOLA TURNER-JENSEN - INDIGENOUS CONSULTANT
CORA BROWNE - IRISH CONSULTANT
META COHEN - DRAMATURG
EMMA LOCKHART-WILSON- LIGHTING DESIGNER
EMILY TAMBREE - STAGE MANAGER/LIGHTING OPERATOR
BRIDGET MCWILLIAMS - LIGHTING OPERATOR
BREE HORWOOD - VIDEOGRAPHER
DANI MARSHALL - SOUND RECORDIST (LIVE READING)