Of Women and Horses I Have Known (4 stars)

This article is from 2010

Of Women and Horses I Have Known

A life in English eccentricity through comedy, theatre and music

This piece tells is the true tale of the formidable Jean Hislop, a genuine eccentric from the English upper classes. The story charts her life through the First World War to her days as a prize-winning breeder on the horse racing circuit, causing controversy along the way with her unflattering ability to tell the situation as she sees it and her unforgiving love for Gin. Initially, told via from the perspective of the surviving family, we are invited to relive some of the most memorable and humorous events of the late Mrs. Hislop's life, before meeting the full force of the woman herself in all her straight talking glory.

On display is a perfect blend of comedy, theatre and a musical number from the diverse cast, shifting seamlessly through their many characters and periods of history with aid of lighting and strategically placed props. Although quite an unsavoury character, who talks of ‘abortion funds’ in order to prevent the ‘breeding mongles’ into the Hislop family, the audience gently to warm to the woman as the events of her life unravel. There is laugh out loud humour throughout, with cursing, controversy and distasteful insults aplenty, making for a delightful peek behind the veil of the secretive, unconventional lives of the upper classes from yesteryear.

Underbelly. 8:40pm.

Of Women and Horses I Have Known

  • 4 stars

'She was the most unpleasant woman I ever met…' How does someone become a story? An anecdote? A generation that fell out of the war and onto the turf. A couple that bred the most successful racehorse of the twentieth century. A woman addicted to speed who drank a bottle of gin a day. A true story of gambling, violence…