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Striking While The Iron Is Hot

Award-winning local pop duo, The Ironing Maidens, will bring their new work, A Soap Opera, to Tanks Arts Centre this March, giving Cairns audiences the chance to check out an exciting new genre in entertainment.

Dubbed ‘gig theatre’, the pair will take audiences on a high energy spin-cycle into a world where irons make music, housewives revolt and daytime drama irons out the wrinkles of the patriarchy, one song at a time.

The duo, made up of singer/songwriter Melania Jack, and CQU Associate Lecturer Patty Preece, ingeniously engineer real irons and ironing boards into The Ironing Maiden’s electronic instruments.

“The domestic sphere is the final frontier of the gender equality movement and we’re putting an ironic spin on the way women have been systematically sold the gendered expectations of homemaking and all of the merchandise that goes with it,” Melania says.

“The new show dives deeper into this conversation around the recognition of women’s work, be it in the kitchen, on stage, or in the studio.”

Their 2019 sold-out Adelaide Fringe show, Electro House Wife, took out the festival’s John Chataway Innovation Award, with the dynamo duo going on to spend a month in the UK researching electronic music pioneer, Daphne Oram, to inform the development of A Soap Opera.

“Daphne’s work was pivotal in the race to create electronic music during the 1950s and knowing of her extraordinary career provides younger female electronic musicians a lineage to connect with in an otherwise male-celebrated industry,” Patty says.

A diverse creative team was pulled together to develop the new show including acclaimed Indigenous producer Yvette Walker, international theatre director Karen Crone, mainstream television scriptwriter Annette Moore, and celebrity clothing designer Frida Las Vegas.

The Ironing Maidens’ A Soap Opera will make its world premiere at the 2020 Adelaide Fringe before coming north to Tanks Arts Centre on 7 March. Tickets cost $15.75 or $10.50 for concession and children aged 13-17 years and are available from Ticketlink.