The Exotic Lives
of Lola Montez
From the Patrick White Playwright Award winning creators of the Caravan Burlesque, Glory Box and the Australian gothic The Flood, comes a sumptuous storytelling extravaganza; the true lies of the wildest showgirl of the nineteenth century, LOLA MONTEZ. The rabble rousing, skirt raising, whip-smart dancer, courtesan, agitator and legend of the Australian goldfields, LOLA.
The Australian goldrush bought people from over the world to Victoria looking for luck, freedom and a new life. entertainers were daring adventurers. 14 Chinese Opera Companies toured Victoria. Sly grog was sold, theatres and tents were packed, and in 1855 Lola Montez arrived. The scandal is legend.
She horsewhipped her critics (most famously The Editor of the Ballarat Times), swung down mineshafts on a single rope with champagne in hand, created the infamous erotic spider dance "the most libertinish and indelicate performance that could be given on the public stage"(Sydney Morning Herald 1855), escaped arrest dressed only in her jewels, became a Chinese Opera lover… Showered with gold nuggets and insults, Lola Montez swept through Australia and its goldfields leaving a wake of outraged citizens, lovesick miners, and a legend of freedom and rebellion that lives on today.
Starring the direct descendant of Lola herself, multi-award winning actress CAROLINE LEE, directed by internationally acclaimed Queen Provocateur Moira Finucane, and featuring smouldering chanteuse CLARE ST CLARE, LOLA unfurls on stage in a cloud of black and blood red silk, ‘lily-white skin’, literary adventure, smouldering song, hilarious storytelling and, of course, a death scene or three.
CREATED by Finucane & Smith in partnership with Her Majesty’s Ballarat
WRITTEN by Jackie Smith
DIRECTED by Moira Finucane
STARRING direct descendant of Lola Montez, Miss Caroline Lee
PREMIERE SEASON: Her Majesty’s Theatre Ballarat 2017 Australian Goldfields Tour July - Oct 2017
TOURING in 2020 / 2021 via Critical Stages
"Caroline Lee's Lola is a fascinating character who teases and tantalises throughout Smith’s fascinating verbal strip-tease. Sumptuously gowned, she flirts outrageously with her audience, always promising more as she weaves together fact and myth to lead them up the proverbial garden path, where, in the stunning Spider Dance finale, all is revealed, literally." Australian Arts Review
"What a night! Hilarious, truthful history, erotic, exotic, confronting and exciting, but above all, like everything else Finucane & Smith do, Lola is engrossing and enjoyable" 3MBS
"Luscious and indulgent and glorious ... riveting and empowering and awe inspiring in its beauty. You should not miss your chance to experience a transformative and spell-binding night of story telling." ★★★★☆ Planet Arts
"Risqué, exotic, and thoroughly enjoyed by all.” Pastoral Times
"WOW! Entertaining, and exciting, beautiful and talented, injecting humour, drama, sadness and nostalgia into her riveting performance… All I can say is wow!" The Welcome Record, Dunolly & District Community News
"Spellbinding!" Canberra City News
“A beautifully lyrical play, a flawless performance … an astounding interpretation of the Lola Montez story. The Melbourne Critique