It’s 1890 in the regional Australian town of Koolgalla, and the Gold Rush is beginning to wane.
Jenny Milford has just arrived to take up a position at the local newspaper, The Argus, but in order to secure the position Jenny has hidden her gender, using only her initials in the job application. Well aware of the social barriers to her advancement and yet determined to forge a life and career for herself, she refuses to yield when The Argus editor Rufus Torrent demands her resignation upon meeting her and discovering she is a woman.
As the strong and savvy Jenny battles for her rights in the workplace, another battle is heating up among the civic leaders of Koolgalla. The town is torn between protecting old interests and investing in the agriculture of the future, and staffers at The Argus need to pick a side.
The two battles intersect when Jenny publishes a pro-irrigation letter drafted by Rufus’ son Ben Torrent, without the consent of either Torrents. Rufus is furious at her ‘feminine scheming’ but Jenny remains determined to challenge this town’s conservatism in matters of gender, class, the role of journalism and environmental sustainability.
The Torrents, 18 Jul – 24 Aug 2019, Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
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