Two Influential Women, the tale of Eleanor and Mary Alice: Review

Eleanor and Mary Alice is being performed at the Perth Centre for Photography, for a very limited run. This show was first performed at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne in 2014.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Alice Evatt meet in Australia in 1943, and again in Paris in 1948 when Eleanor is Chair of the UN Human Rights Committee and Herbert Evatt is the President of the UN General Assembly, developing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” 

Photo Credit: Lachlan McDonald

Photo Credit: Lachlan McDonald

This is the tale of two influential women, whose lives are being turned upside down by the war but they are still doing their duty. As the wives of important figures, they have certain expectations placed on them, expectations they don’t often agree with.

The show was very interesting. We started outside in the garden, and watched as Eleanor arrived and was greeted out the front by Mary Alice, we were then invited to follow them inside the art gallery. The walls of the art gallery are covered in various images depicting various stages of the Humans Rights movement on the walls.

The play itself was quite different to how I anticipated, the actors moved around the audience, examining the images and talking to each other. It was a different form of theatre than I’m used to, but it was pulled off excellently. It aided the feeling that we were somehow peering through time at this private exchange.

Written by Peta Tait, Directed by Deborah Leiser-Moore; featuring Petra Kalive as Mary Alice, and Sarah McNeill as Eleanor and Adi Sappir as the cellist, this show comes together perfectly. 

Photo Credit: Lachlan McDonald

Photo Credit: Lachlan McDonald


Admission to Eleanor and Mary Alice is free, however, you can reserve your spots on Trybooking, and there are only a couple shows left. 

The show also links into the new Human Rights Exhibition Project being displayed at the Perth Centre for Photography from the 9th of December to the 21st of January (with a small break from December 17th to January 11th).

‘The Human Rights Exhibition Project draws on UNESCO’s travelling Human Rights Exhibition. The 1949 Exhibition was conceived as a vehicle for disseminating the content of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th December 1948.’ Admission to the exhibition is free, with a bar where food and refreshments are available for purchase.



About Mikaela Zarifis

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I live my life amongst the pages of books, with my head in the clouds, and a cup of tea by my side. Recent graduate of Curtin’s Professional Writing and Publishing course. Instagram: @mikaelazarifis