Ljubičica – Wild Violet is a heartwarming story of the hope, love and legacy of a Croatian wild flower, starring Josipa Draisma
21 – 26 June 2016 at 8.30pm
The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Lt Collins St)
In this exuberant cabaret, Josipa Draisma shares the deeply personal, but universal tale of her mother’s migrant experience.
A poor Croatian village girl is called to a new life in far-away Australia by a father she has longed for, but can barely remember.
“My mother talks of her childhood in Croatia and her life-changing voyage to Australia with such gusto, humility, and hilarity that she always leaves me in tears – of sadness and joy. For years, I’ve wanted to bring her story to the stage. When I met Melita Rowston working on a production about Asylum seekers, I knew I’d found the writer and director who would help me bring my mother’s story to life with love and laughter.” – Josipa Draisma
A young girl grows up in a remote village in Croatia. At bedtime, her beloved grandmother tells her stories of a man sailing the high seas seeking ‘paradise’ for his family. This man – her father – is a stranger to her. When her grandmother suddenly dies, her life is turned upside down. The money her father had been sending dries up leaving her family to survive on scraps. Perhaps her father has found a new wife, a new family? Trapped in a one-roomed house with her mother, sisters and alcoholic grandfather, the wild violets of Croatia become her only comfort in a childhood beset by cruelty, hunger, and poverty.
Based on interviews with Josipa’s mother Ivica, Melita Rowston has written a cabaret that captures the hardship and absurdities of life in Vrsi, Croatia and the bravery of a father who went on a risky journey across the seas to create a better life for his family.
While considered by some as a common weed, the beauty and resilience of ljubičica, the wild violet, becomes the enduring symbol for Ivica’s journey.
Experience an evocative evening of spirited Croatian music that transcends culture and language. These emotionally charged Sevdalinka, Bećarac, and Klapa songs will transport you to a faraway place evoking tears of nostalgia and laughter.
Ljubičica – Wild Violet stars award-winning performer Josipa Draisma (Best Music Award Sydney Fringe & Best Sydney Comedy Festival Emerging Comedian). Written and directed by 2016 STC Patrick White Award finalist Melita Rowston, accompanied by gypsy jazz trio Michael O’Donnell (Violin/Guitar), Crystal Moloney (Accordion) and Mara Knezevic (Vocals).
“Boldly put, this is the best play I have seen, and it’s right up there as one of the best pieces of theater I have ever seen” – The Buzz From Sydney
“Rowston & Draisma have humanized the migrant experience at a time we need it most” – Syke On Stage
“Josipa Draisma is captivating, singing with passion and poise, she achieves a hypnotic mastery over the audience” –Theatre Now
“A thoughtful balance between biography and entertainment. A delightful insight into one of our many migrant experiences with a special poignancy that seems to arise uniquely from true stories” – Suzy Go See
Full: $36 / Concession: $34 / Groups 6+ $30