The tragically poetic story of the cross-dressing, 1930s literary figure Eve Langley comes to the stage with stunning force in Elizabeth Langley’s one woman show Journal of Peddle Dreams, staged as part of the Mardi Gras festival.
Telling of Eve Langley’s transition from farm girl to contentious, cross dressing literary figure living by the name of Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Langley’s approach to Eve’s story is unabashedly adoring.
Delving into the darker periods of Eve’s life including her seven year internment in a mental institution, her battle to understand her sense of sexuality and her lonely death, which went undiscovered for a full month, Journal of Peddle Dreams is a moving exploration of the struggles faced by women choosing to live outside the norm.
“I first discovered Eve Langley in 1991. It was her face, her name, my name, the dramatic story of her life and an excerpt of her writing from The Pea Pickers that totally fascinated me,” Langley said.
“In 2000, I was looking for a subject for a new one-woman show and decided it was time for me to research and let her inspire me.
“I became more than a fan – I became an advocate, telling everyone who would listen about her life and encouraging them to read her writings. Her uniquely poetic vision has changed me – the proof of artistic intensity and the way I see and experience Australia where I was born.
“Her life exposes a time when women could hardly risk not conforming, as history reveals, without punishment. She fought against any limitations that society placed on females. She expressed time and time again her feeling of sexual confusion, and I do believe that if the term ‘transgender’ had existed, she would have claimed it.
“I don’t think there is enough knowledge of her today and I promote her whenever possible. Eve Langley is a vital part of Australia’s literary heritage, she was lost to the world even while she was still alive. I am campaigning to have more of her writings published.”
Journal of Peddle Dreams, TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer St Darlinghurst. 19-23 February. Bookings: www.eventix.com.au.