The 13th Month @ Flight Path Theatre

Historical fiction is always great fun, and Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou’s play The 13th Month will have you fact-checking as soon as you leave the theatre. It satrises political machinations to push for a 13th month to be added to the Gregorian calendar, for socio- economic reasons. The whole idea sounds absurd, but a global calendar debate actually did happen (twice!), and this is what gives the play an original and intriguing hook.

Peg on a Line Productions have gender-bended the casting with an all female cast in a mix of masculine and feminine roles (including adopting faux chest hair and sideburns). The wordplay refers to ‘She-E-O’ (very clever!) and makes note that a 13 month calendar with precisely 28 days each month aligns with the menstrual cycle. Sound-bytes are used including the voice of Whitlman and Gillard which contextualises the setting in Australian politics. The era is moot although the tawny brown cladding suggests not much has changed since the 1970s.

The cast of five (Anna Clark, Lotte Beckett, Ashyr Mason-Kaine, Isobel Ferguson, Lisa Davidson) directed by Madeleine Diggins have fun covering the roles of public servants and billionaires with multiple jets and houses. The standout performer (imho) is Anna Clark who emanates an aura of Kate Winslet, herself also starring in a political satire called The Regime.

The play’s strongest points are the sight gags and the actors’ improv response to candid moments, such as the noise of jet planes flying overhead at Flight Path Theatre (owned by one the billionaires, perhaps?). The puppetry of rats in the newsroom drew special applause and the beercans stored in a photocopier machine was quite laughable. Clearly the team had fun with the ideas for the set design, manifested by Benedict Janeczko-Taylor. The stage makes use of moveable white panels to create a political back office, a conference room and a dark alleyway.

If anything could be improved, it would be to ensure the vocal rhythm and beats are clearer and stronger; conceptually it sounded blurry and it wasn’t simply due to thunderstorms and flying jets. Also if you were positioned on the far left (seating wise) the video projections used throughout the performance were almost impossible to see.

The play has promise and substance, and my guest and I both agreed it’s crammed with fascinating talking points and well worth seeing.

The 13th Month is playing at Flight Path Theatre in Marrickville till 4 May 2024. For tickets and showtimes, go to

Feature image: Samatha Keough
Production images: Grant Leslie Photography

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *