Song for the sirens

FOOTY fans will be the winners when Before the Siren—a fantasy league of culture and sport—comes to Fremantle Oval.

Edgy art, comedy, dance, and football will combine in an exploration of women’s teamwork on and off the field.

It’s part half-time show and part community parade, and there’ll be all the hype of a match, including banners, chants, a mascot and dazzling displays of female strength.

The Perth contingent of Shirleys, an international group of women named Shirley, will be part of the fun.

• The women behind the footy get the limelight in PIAF show Before the Siren. Photo by Toni Wilkinson

• The women behind the footy get the limelight in PIAF show Before the Siren. Photo by Toni Wilkinson

Formed because their mothers were fans of 1930s child mega-star Shirley Temple, their anthem is a parody of the 1931 song Jolly Good Company.

“Here we are again

Happy as can be

All named Shirl and

Jolly good company,” they sing at the drop of a hanky. This week they were outside Fremantle Oval.

Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby will compère, and there’ll be a display by the Girl Guides, Roller Derby girls (bruises are just derby kisses), and an appearance from the outrageously colourful Red Hat Ladies (not the shy retiring types).

PIAF commissioned Melbourne artist Lara Thoms and Perth-based performance art duo Renae Coles and Anna Dunnill (Snapcat) to bring the show together

“We had been looking into the history of women in sport so it was timely,” Dunnill says of the four year project.

The Snapcat ladies were artists-in-residence at the Fremantle Art Centre where their research included learning how to make the huge banners players break through as they run on-field.

The Fremantle Dockers have a huge team of (predominately) women volunteers making the banners.

“[They] have mastered this art, and let’s just say it involves hundreds of rolls of sticky-tap and a large floor space,” Dunnill says.

Before the Siren, a free event, is at Fremantle Oval, February 19, 5–7pm.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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