There once was a bird. A sad, magical bird, doomed to never stop flying. Every beat of its wings caused it pain. But the bird flew. It flew until its useless legs dropped off. It flew ceaselessly towards its death.
A young woman, living in a kingdom divided by class, war and plague, discovers her tears have the power to heal.
A knowing Storyteller spins the fable as the orphan Atajarah sets out on her mission to help others. Atajarah’s good intentions are undermined by the King and his alchemist, Darius, who exploit her to heal soldiers wounded in the country’s ceaseless war. When she refuses to continue healing, she is forced to kill her best friend and she grows old overnight. She is sent to the war front, where it seems all hope is lost. She has given so much of herself and wrung dry, she escapes. Years later, Atajarah must decide how to prevent her daughter’s exploitation…
“Widowbird is the work of a writer of imagination and intelligence. This play has a striking central idea that Gibson develops with flair and sensitivity.” Canberra Times