10 March 2024
In theatre and livestreamed
Few writers captured the mechanics of tyrannical power better than George Orwell. That is, until Anna Funder came along. Hear how she exposed the great literary hero’s own ‘Orwellian’ erasure of his wife Eileen O’Shaughnessy, and how the tyranny of ‘wifedom’ persists today.
|Sunday 10 March 2024
|2:15 - 3:15pm
|Livestream Festival Pass Early Bird Price (7 - 18 Feb)
|Livestream Festival Pass Standard Price
$8.95 booking fee applies per transaction
Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection.
The only authorised ticket agency for this event is Sydney Opera House. For more information about Authorised Agencies, see the frequently asked questions below.
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9am, Wednesday 17 January 2024
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9am, Thursday 18 January 2024
There are a number of wheelchair and companion seating locations available.
Auslan interpretation service is provided for audiences who are deaf and use Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Experienced Auslan interpreters stand to the side of the stage and translate what the speakers are saying into Auslan. A block of seats is reserved for users of this service to ensure a good view of the interpreter and the stage. To be seated in this area, please approach Front of House when entering the venue. BOOK NOW
Captions are text descriptions that display the session's dialogue, identify speakers, and describe other relevant sounds that are otherwise inaccessible to people who are deaf or have hearing loss. Captions will be available via your personal device (phone), to access the captions on your personal device (phone), scan the QR Code on the sign displayed at the entry to the venue.
Find out more about accessibility at Sydney Opera House
This event will run for 60 minutes.
Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.
Age guidance: 15+
This event contains adult themes and may include strong language. Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
The doublethink of patriarchy exposed
When Anna Funder turned to her literary hero, George Orwell, for inspiration, she discovered a writer who had deliberately obscured the significant contribution his first wife Eileen O’Shaughnessy made to his most significant and successful works. It was a grand silent conspiracy across time that included Orwell’s biographers who obscure the fact that Animal Farm and 1984 would not have been the books they were without O’Shaughnessy. The writer who gave us “Big Brother” and critical terms like “doublethink” to describe how tyrannical power works, engaged in his own doublethink to keep his wife’s talents subservient to his own.
Join Funder, who coined her own term, “wifedom”, to describe this phenomenon, as she wrestles with Orwell’s legacy and how we might dismantle the “doublethink of patriarchy”.
Sydney Opera House Presents
Anna Funder is the author of Stasiland and All That I Am - both international bestsellers, published in more than twenty-four countries - and the novella The Girl with the Dogs.
Her books have won multiple literary awards, including the UK's premier award for non-fiction, the Samuel Johnson Prize, for Stasiland, and Australia’s most prestigious, the Miles Franklin, for her novel All That I Am.
Originally trained as an international human rights lawyer, Anna is a former DAAD Fellow in Berlin, Australia Council Fellow, and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. She lives in Sydney.
Jemma Birrell is Head of Writing at the Powerhouse, an unprecedented role for a museum bringing in new voices through commissions, collaborations and events. Previous roles include artistic director of Sydney Writers’ Festival, co-director of FestivalandCo and events director at Shakespeare and Company in Paris. She also published a short book series and hosted a podcast with writers.
Our foyers will be open 90 minutes pre-show for Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars.
All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer.
The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a six min walk to the Opera House.
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We’re committed to making your experience safe, comfortable and enjoyable, with a number of measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. We remind our audiences and visitors to please stay home if you feel unwell. If you need to discuss your ticketing or booking options, contact our Box Office team on 02 9250 7777.
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We have a number of safety measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. While face masks are no longer required, we ask all our patrons and visitors to practise good hygiene. Please stay home if you feel unwell and read more about our flexible ticket options.
The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Frequently asked questions
We advise that you arrive 15 minutes prior to the event. Ticket purchases and collection at our Box Office is discouraged and eTicket or postal delivery methods should be used, wherever possible. However, if you are collecting your tickets from the Box Office, we recommend doing this at least 60 minutes before the event starts.
Prior to the workshop, please notify us if you will need a chair for the session, so we can have those available. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a chair or notify our team of any additional needs you may have.
The authorised agency for this event is the Sydney Opera House.
Only tickets purchased by authorised agencies should be considered reliable. If you purchase tickets from a non-authorised agency such as Ticketmaster Resale, Viagogo, Ticketbis, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia or any other unauthorised seller, you risk that these tickets are fake, void or have previously been cancelled. RESALE RESTRICTION APPLIES. For more details, please refer to our General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events.
Please contact Box Office on 9250 7777 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend. If you can no longer attend because you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the Opera House has introduced flexible ticketing options to help you, find out more information here.
Food and beverages will not be allowed unless specified in the event. Opera Bar, Opera Kitchen and Portside are also available to purchase food before your event. Please bring a credit or debit card for any on-site purchases to enable contactless payment.
All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to the foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer or as directed by Sydney Opera House staff, adhering to COVID-safe rules.
The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Sydney Opera House is our top priority. In line with this commitment, the Opera House became a smoke-free site in January 2022. Read our Smoke-free Environment Policy.
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