The Hatpin Revival
By James Millar and Peter Rutherford
With Grace Taylor and Maryann Wright
Produced by Taylor Wright Productions
Directed by Grace Taylor
Workshopped at RAM in summer of 2023
The Hatpin Revival is looking for partners to join us for the next stage of development. If you're interested in learning more, click here
The Hatpin is based on the true story of homeless single mother, Amber Murray, who in 1890s pre-federated Australia advertised her baby in a newspaper trading column in the hope of saving his life. The Makin family take the child in return for regular support payments, but as the story progresses we learn that the Makins are preying on vulnerable women with their own version of survival.
The Hatpin is a gripping exploration of how society has and continues to punish women for being poor and pregnant. The Makin v Murray case was one of the most moving criminal trials in early Australian history, which led to the country’s first fostering laws. Its harrowing narrative speaks to the ongoing need to fiercely protect the welfare of single mothers and their children.
Not seen for over a decade, this is a total re-working of the show for a contemporary audience. Its themes still speak to a modern audience, and updates have focused on removing the male characters to hone in on the experience of the seven women, and shortening the piece to a one-act 80 minute chamber musical. Producers are working with the original writers on this.
A first workshop was held at The Royal Academy of Music, London, in July 2023. This involved a one week rehearsal culminating in a 1 hour showing. The workshop was funded by RGM Productions, Neil Gooding Productions, Paul Mulholland, and JBR Productions.