WHAT: Women on Fire - Menopause the Musical
WHEN: Sunday, November 5, 8pm, $45
WHERE: Laurieton United Services Club
TICKETS: Phone 6559 9110, or at club reception.
Whether you remember her from her stint on game show Sale of the Century alongside Tony Barber, or as guard Heather Rodgers in the original Prisoner television drama, or as Raelene in daytime soap of the late ‘70s, The Restless Years, Victoria Nicolls is instantly recognisable.
Now a member of the sixties club, she still has that distinctive jawline and twinkling eyes. She puts them to great use in Women on Fire.
She says she was honoured to be invited to do the show. A solo mother of two, now 21 and 24 years old, Nicolls put her career on hold when her children were young. “I toured with Mum’s the Word in 2008-9, and have been working in children’s theatre and trying to get my own thing going since,” she says.
She is loving doing Women on Fire. “It’s a wonderful group of women and a very happy environment. It’s real, it’s us saying let’s have a look at ourselves. It’s still a bit of a taboo subject. Some women even now don’t know what’s happening [during menopause].”
Nicolls says the show is the star. “It’s got like a cult following, a bit like the Rocky Horror Show. It’s about these women who come together in a department store setting, where they share the load.”
The show has been pared down slightly with a reduced number of songs so it is now an 80 minute show with no interval. Nicolls says it is very clever, but there are a couple of bits where she does: “hold my breath and jump in fingers crossed and hope it works”.
“It’s a great team of women and we have a bit of fun, but we are all very disciplined. I have three really fast changes one after the other, so you have to be.”
She adds it is a joy getting to meet “all the country people”. “It is really important to take theatre to regional areas. We are playing RSLs, halls and elegant venues so it’s a real experience. Australia has such beautiful countryside.”
Jeanie Linders created Menopause the Musical as a celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived ‘The Change’.
Many women bring their husbands or partners to the show. “They love it, and I guess they do learn something, because unless you are going through it, you don’t understand it. They get to know women are not imagining it.”
Nicolls says there is a grief attached to “the change”. “It’s a touchpoint in our lives, an acceptance of aging. We share it, women are more vocal. We talk about our first love, getting our period. We have to have a sense of humour to cope with it all.”
The music brings back memories – The Great Pretender, Only You, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Stand by Your Man, I Will Survive – all with new witty lyrics that are so relatable.