Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her), VAULT Festival

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By Becky Lennon

content warning: discussions of domestic violence

Patricia has spent the past year constructing the perfect speech to deliver to the man who used to hit her. Patricia now has to decide if she is going to go have dinner with him, what she is going to say, how she is going to say this, as well as what she is going to wear.

With a balance of humour (noun: the quality of being amusing or comic) and honesty (noun: the quality of being honest), Patricia (Angelina Chudi), explains her past through the juxtaposition of raw and emotional discoveries, with belly-laugh inducing scenarios. Chudi not only creates a sense of safety for the audience, but relatable character who we become extremely fond of. She has made someone familiar, who challenges the stereotypes of domestic violence survivors and the narrative of domestic violence victims as weak or damaged. Chudi is beyond confident in front of the audience, and this enhances her ability to captivate us for the hour we have with her and her story.

Although the main focus is domestic violence, Patricia Gets Ready tackles many different issues related to women, such as the fact that one in four women have had an abortion. Discussions around these topics can be intimidating and uncomfortable, however, the simple but effective direction allowed for us to breathe and digest the real life issues with Patricia.

Patricia Gets Ready runs through 9 February.

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