Two internationally acclaimed poets, Carrie Rudzinski and Olivia Hall, will be sending up myths about women and hysteria in their first tour of Central Otago next week.
The artists both write and perform the spoken word. Reviewers have labelled their show ‘‘deeply raw . . . and also very funny’’.
‘‘This is not school like poetry, more like a theatrical event in which some of the narrative is in poetry form.
While the target is women, men are not excluded,’’ Arts Central committee member Peter Mead said this week.
Both women have been writing since children.
Both are also fervent about social issues, gender, feminism, and sexuality.
Their paths crossed seven years ago when Carrie performed in a poetry event in Wellington that Olivia helped organise.
This led to their first show How We Survive which toured to many parts of New Zealand but never made it to Central Otago.
‘‘We loved that experience and we loved writing together. I had previous involvement in duet poetry so knew what was needed to create this show but Covid intervened and it took a bit longer than we anticipated,’’ Carrie said.
‘‘In developing the show, we were looking back at the history of where the term hysteria and hysterical came from and how it had been used as a medical term, particularly against woman, but also the idea that it still really gets thrown around today in a similar way.’’
‘‘There remains the idea that women are sort of hysterical and have all these emotions they can’t contain.’’
Olivia said word poetry is a very different experience to the poetry people may have experienced at school.
‘‘It can be a nice awakening for people. They might think they hate poetry but have only heard that inaccessible poetry. Spoken word is more accessible to people,’’ she said.
Their shows contain adult and explicit themes, so have a 13-plus age recommendation.
All shows begin at 7.30pm.
Wednesday May 24, Central Stories, Alexandra
Thursday May 25, Domaine Thomson Cellar Door, Pisa
Friday May 26, Luggate Hall, Luggate
Saturday May 27 Coronation Hall, Bannockburn.