First Night Reviews: Theatregoers’ thoughts on Wild Dogs Under My Skirt

Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, the award-winning stage adaptation of Tusiata Avia’s poetry, opened at Wollongong’s Illawarra Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday, April 10. Here’s what theatregoers thought.


Joanne, Liverpool – “It was really good; I was trying to pick up on some of the cultural references. It was educational to a degree, really entertaining. I didn’t know where to look. Because it was very simple, there was a lot of emphasis on the main characters, which was really good and really helped with the story.”


Ruth, Woonona – “I enjoyed the show, there were so many elements going on. It was musical, it was humorous, it was incredibly sad. It highlighted the good things about Samoan culture, especially in regards to women and also some of the struggles that they face in the past and the present.”


Finn, Fairy Meadow – “I loved the show, it was such a brilliant experience. I’m a cis white man, this show isn’t really for me, but I still enjoyed the spectacle and beautiful heartfelt stories. It was honestly gut-wrenching but oh my god, beautiful.”


Frank, Inner West, Sydney – “I really enjoyed it. It has subject matter that I don’t think about in my day-to-day life. I had no idea that New Zealand’s governance in Samoa had led to those complications. Or just Samoan and Polynesian culture in general is something that I don’t know much about so I enjoyed getting that lens into that. It was obviously very personal, very comedic. That use of comedy to disarm and to tell actual messages is always a thing I’m a fan of.”


Cath, Wollongong – “It was powerful and compelling – such powerful women. I haven’t seen a Samoan story on the stage before. It was fun, and some of it was confronting, in a fun way.”


Rahima, originally from Afghanistan, now in Wollongong – “I was shocked at the beginning because there was a big knife, but later on in the show I found a definition with the women and the culture – I liked the production, beautiful play.”


Kay, Unanderra – “I loved the show. I was very moved, particularly by the singing. I feel like there is something ancestral about Samoan women singing together. I cried several times. Especially in that last scene – it’s confronting and important and one of the actors stared me straight in the eyes for a long time.”

Merrigong Theatre Company presents Tusiata Avia’s Wild Dogs Under My Skirt from 10-13 April at the Bruce Gordon Theatre at Wollongong’s Illawarra Performing Arts Centre. Tickets $45-$55, book via Merrigong’s website