Leah PurcellBased on the book Don't Take Your Love To Town by Ruby Langford Ginibi, the upcoming two-hour (including interval) stage adaptation of the same name by Eamon Flack and Leah Purcell is sure to be one of year's most highly anticipated productions. A tribute to the extraordinary life of the woman whom many knew as a chronicler of Indigenous history, an outspoken activist and a brilliant storyteller; this is the life of Aunty Ruby, told with gusto, honesty and enthusiasm.

Directed and performed by Purcell this stage adaptation pays homage to the woman who was "as much a survivor as a superwoman".

"Those were the days when blackfellas didn't have two sticks, let alone two cents to rub together" explains Purcell, "But Ruby was a survivor and she saw it all - from Coonabarabran to Surry Hills, she was there. She was a strong black woman and she told her story."

That story is now ready to be heard in a unique poetic style: 'It's monologue based in the traditional sense of the terms" says Purcell, "But it has a bit more slam and essentially offers a glimpse into a life that many will recognize."

The 50 page series of monologues may certainly be word heavy, but that's not something Purcell is shying away from. "The labour is in the words. It's big, it's entertaining ... but ultimately, this is a story of a woman who worked extremely hard; and that labour is what we're sharing with our audience. And to understand, it's important that we listen hard."

As a performer Purcell is looking forward to sharing Ruby's story on Belvoir's mainstage and this one woman show is pulling out all the stops.

"Ruby did more than just try to survive," shares Purcell, "She understood the strong connections to the bush, to Elders and to country; but she stepped into the city and she learnt to walk both sides of the line - and that is not an easy thing to do."

Essentially, this is storytelling at its best. There may be no camp-fire but Purcell encourages punters to "bring your ugg boots and get ready for a good story - it's the old style of sitting down and meeting someone and having a good yarn."

And storytelling is at the core of a life lived to full. And certainly, Ruby Langford Ginibi's life is a story that is meant to be shared - and that is exactly what Purcell intends to do: share the story of a strong black woman, a woman who in every way was indeed, a superwoman.


Don’t Take Your Love to Town, from the book by Ruby Langford Ginibi, adapted by Eamon Flack & Leah Purcell, and directed by Leah Purcell plays at the Downstairs Theatre, Belvoir, 29 Nov 2012 - 6 Jan 2013. Further details»


Image credit:–
Top Right – Leah Purcell. Photo – Heidrun Lohr.

Most read features

Tyran Parke

A knight to remember! Featuring the iconic music of ABBA, the worldwide stage hit CHESS THE MUSICAL will debut at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in April 2021. Heather Bloom chats to director Tyran Parke about post pandemic performances and the enduring nature of live theatre. 

Most read reviews

Magic Mike Live

Yes, the bodies you see are perfect specimens of sculptured sixpacks and biceps you could walk over and get at least 2000 steps in. But they are muscles moving bodies in marvellous ways. These boys can dance and every movement is potent.

Shrek The Musical

With the world struggling to find a new norm in these ever-changing circumstances, never has the phrase “the show must go on” been more apparent. 

Skylight | Verendus Theatrical/Red Phoenix Theatre

This is a production of which any director, cast and theatre company should be proud.

Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark | The Listies

To pee or not to pee. It sounds like a lowbrow take on the infamous Hamlet quote. One that a philistine would utter while their cronies scoff and drink mead and the thespians nearby cringe while nibbling on breast of peacock. 

The Shape of Things | Lambert House Enterprises

What becomes of the broken arted? They are cast from paradise according to Neil La Bute’s The Shape of Things.