Company: Breckon & Randall
Venue: Multiple locations in Germany, London, Hong Kong & Japan

Year the project commenced: 2014 
Year it became impossible: 2020 
Audience not reached: 4800​​​​​​​
The Second Woman is a key example of how the pandemic of 2020 suddenly made things that were highly successful into impossibilities. Not only did lockdowns across the world cause the work’s scheduled performances in Germany in May, London in June, Hong Kong in September and Japan in October all to be cancelled, the spread of Covid made the concept and action of the performance itself impossible.  Over a 24-hour performance a female-identifying performer repeats a single scene inspired by John Cassavetes' meta-theatrical film Opening Night.  This scene involves a couple negotiating a long-term relationship that has lost its creativity, romance and vitality and in The Second Woman it is repeated 100 times with 100 men ranging in age, background and acting ability. It relies on physical intimacy with strangers, many strangers, who kiss, touch and share food.  There is no way it can be performed with social distancing protocols nor the need for hand and surface sanitisation.
The scene is simultaneously shown performed live on stage and mediated through live edited video and projection.  While the stage offers a wide view of the action, the screen exhibits closeups of the performance, giving the audience access to the minute shifts in emotional expression.
These cancelled seasons followed five successful Australian seasons as well as ones in New York, Toronto and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Lauded as one the finest examples of Australian contemporary performance, much of The Second Woman's political and emotional potency resides in the show's ability to demonstrate the subtle ways in which gender power hierarchies operate at the level of everyday emotional experience and ordinary social interaction. The capacity of The Second Woman to do this depends on the onstage dynamic accurately expressing local gender relations in their cultural specificity and complexity. For this reason, for each international presentation, a local performer takes on the task of playing the woman. The crew and naturally the 100 men are also local and so travel restrictions will not necessarily disrupt this project’s trajectory long term. There are plans for presentation in 2021 pending restrictions and general COVID-19 risks in relation to physical community.
Video Direction & Camera Operation - EO Gill 
Lighting Design - Amber Silk & Kayla Burrett 
Sound Composition - Nina Buchanan 
Producer - Fenn Gordon
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