Women of Letters

Often it is forgotten how powerful feelings and written expression can be. ‘Women of Letters’ is a Melbourne born idea where women write letters to a theme and read them aloud. Wednesday evenings production, with the theme A Letter to the Thing I Didn’t See Coming featured Abbe May, Mama Kin (aka Danielle Caruana), Carmen Lawrence, Gillian O’Shaughnessy, AJ Betts and Sally Burton. Each spoke small, autobiographical, chapters, pouring their hearts out onto paper.

A unique part of ‘Women of Letters’ is that nothing is recorded meaning that the vulnerabilities and parts of the speaker given to the room stay in the room. The speakers have the ability to share their letters if they wish, but there is no requirement. In theory, the 90 or so people in the room will be the only people to ever hear these stories.

Sharing one’s self in such fashion takes unbelievable honesty and that was felt in the silence, laughter and tears of the audience.

Speaking to the room about self-discovery, love and loss, these women have changed how I feel about communication. I have always been a lover of words, and written words; I am an avid list maker and I am proud to say that I share some of the speaker’s unadulterated love for stationery. The physical act of writing is pleasurable to me. But writing with pen and paper is a dying art. And letter writing is no exception.

Theatre and performance is about communication and the conveyance of feelings; Wednesday night’s exploration of emotion and words reminds everyone how beautiful, poignant and special the written word is.

While ‘Women of Letters’ was only here for two sold out nights, take stock of the written word and the vulnerability and honesty it brings.

You can find out more about ‘Women of Letters’, including their books here. ‘Women of Letters’ was presented by Perth Theatre Company.


This post was originally published by Out In Perth. You can read it here.

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