“When I was little, I was at a sports carnival. I knocked over a pole in high jump and one of the mums said to me- ’It’s a good thing you’re so beautiful'.”
That’s one-moment actress Lauren Richardson will remember forever.
FIERCE is a play which tracks the career of Suzie Flack (played by Lauren Richardson), an extraordinarily talented Australian Rules Football player, who achieves her lifelong dream of being drafted to play alongside her male counterparts in the AFL.
This raw but imaginative play explores the impact of this success on Flack and on her family, her relationships, her team and the sport as a whole.
The protagonist of FIERCE, Richardson has faced many trials and tribulations as a woman who is trying to hold her own in a harsh society. In this ground-breaking play, she’s finally found a place where she receives the respect she has been longing for and can use her voice to advocate for women’s rights.
Richardson has now been able to use her voice and her ability to corroborate that the stereotypical gender role of women can be diversified and liberated into something no one wold expect.
“I think as women, sometimes our potential is limited by what society might think we are capable of,” she said.
“The knee-jerk reaction when they hear ‘there’s this woman that plays AFL against the men’ is ‘that would never happen’. That’s not the point. The point is ‘what if’."
Playing the main role, Richardson has come into her own, bringing the determined and headstrong Suzie to life in a powerful and emotional fashion.
“My character demands. She takes up space, she stands her ground without apology,” Richardson said.
“I’ve just had to back myself in the role.”
Despite the many hesitations of women competing is a predominantly ‘male sport’, the men in the FIERCE cast have been welcoming and open to adapt to the radical ideas of this pioneering play.