Yarn was first performed as part of the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival season (25 September – 5 October) at the Australian Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne. Following the success of this season Lily was invited to remount Yarn in 2014 for Monash University’s Three For Free season.
Yarn explores the idea that individuals evolve from the stories that precede them, as well as the stories others tell about them, and the stories they tell about themselves. At the centre of Yarn sits Lily, a young woman attempting to untangle herself from three specific stories that she believes inform her identity. The stories she grapples with are ‘Lilith and Eve’ from the Judeo-Christian mythology, Oscar Wilde’s interpretation of ‘Salome’, and a contemporary tale of a young woman falling in love and having her heartbroken.
All of the women in these stories feel bound in some way and are searching for a freedom they cannot quite articulate. Each of them is cursed to replay their narrative over and over, examining it in detail from different angles but always ending at the same point. Salome always asks for John the Baptist’s head. Eve always eats the apple. The young woman’s relationship will inevitably fail. The play concludes with Lily deciding to ‘unpick the threads beat down precisely, unravel the yarns, the myths, ruin the tapestry’. Essentially she is choosing to start again from nothing, from a point that predates gender inequality, victim-blaming and all the other narratives that have lead to her feelings of powerlessness. This is not a statement of nihilism but rather an optimistic, feminist rebirth; both an acknowledgment and rejection of determinism.
ISBN: 978 1 925338 04 1
"Fish pours so much of her body and her voice into it, with such a fierceness, immediacy and vulnerability, creating a story that makes you feel deeply – about womanhood and women’s power, it does ultimately feel like a stranger has handed you something precious. Yarn deserves a large audience. Take your sisters, your daughters, your mother, your sons, your friends. Performances like this don’t come along every day."
— Australian Stage, September 2013
"It is an argument about male and female and the war between them, aggravated by the struggle for dominance, by the molding force of myth and legend, by misogyny, fear, rage and revenge. You might also carp at the avowedly feminist import, but that’s unlikely: Ms Fish is too absorbing, too funny and entertaining, and her feminism so intriguingly original that you are just swept along."
— Stage Whispers
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