The Folding Wife

April —
May 2007
Paschal Daantos Berry, Deborah Pollard, Valerie Berry
The Folding Wife

Touring nationally by Performing Lines for Mobile States: Touring Contemporary Performance Australia.

Further Information

This lovingly realised and beautifully performed work escapes its own cultural limitations of place.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Alone, equipped with only her anecdotes, Grace breathes life into the two women of her family who have lead her to the Australian landscape.

The Folding Wife contrasts the iconic imagery of a fierce, impenetrable Australian landscape with that of the resilient Filipina. Three generations of women shared a goal: to leave the poverty and uncertainty of their homeland for the promises of the First World. Grace is a young Filipina woman laying her family to rest, packing them up in little boxes. There is Clara, the grand matriarch who remembers the opulent Philippines of the Spanish era, who finds comfort in her impeccable breeding. Her daughter Dolores is a disappointment, having given birth to Grace after a scandalous affair.

Writer Paschal Daantos Berry, in collaboration with Anino Shadowplay Collective, creates a series of narrative fragments drawing on the selected memories of Grace. In the folds and creases of her possessions, in the images and anecdotes about Clara and Dolores, she is able to unravel her own identity.

Delicate, inventive and revealing, The Folding Wife blends the stories of three generations of Filipina women with the audio-visual poetry of the Manila-based Anino Shadowplay Collective.The Sun-Herald

The Folding Wife explores the external and internal landscapes that propel people to scatter across the face of the earth and the consequences it has for personal and cultural identity. It captures the anxiety of post-colonial poverty in the Philippines and the lure of the First World dream, a circumstance that sits at the heart of many contemporary migrant experiences. Does a country and the promise of a new life measure up to its imagined expectations?

This lovingly realised and beautifully performed work escapes its own cultural limitations of place. While emigration is central to the recent history of the Philippines, that’s now true of here, there and everywhere. 

The Sydney Morning Herald

Performance Information

Anino Shadowplay Collective combine high tech video with low-tech object puppetry projected through an overhead projector and a data projector. Simple mediums such as lace, sand, dye, water and transparent objects are used to create potent images that support and juxtapose the narratives.

The show’s multimedia artists are integrated into the stage action. They become the overall manipulators of the space. They dress the performer, pose the performer and interact with the performer. This device creates a deconstructed setting where audience watch the artists construct the projected imagery and its more intimate relationship with the world of the performance.

Like painters playing with liquid light, colour and form, they create the visual sensuality and texture of memory so powerfully evoked in the text. … Sweet, sour, bitter – all the tastes of memory are present in this powerful work. The audience is left with sensual impressions of lace, blood, laughter and sorrow. 


Creative Team


Paschal Daantos Berry


Deborah Pollard


Valerie Berry

Multimedia & Design

Datu Arrelano and Andrew Cruz, Anino Shadowplay Collective

Lighting Designer

Neil Simpson

Production Manager

Alex Dick

Tour Production Manager 

Joshua Emanuel

Event Details

  • Mackay Entertainment Centre- 27,28 April
  • Riverway Arts Centre, Townsville – 30 April
  • Darwin Entertainment Centre- 5,6 May
  • Jute Theatre, Cairns- 8,9 May
  • Brisbane Powerhouse-12-15 May
  • CarriageWorks, Sydney- 18-22 May
  • Arts House, Melbourne- 26-29 May

Supporters and Partners

The Folding Wife was produced in association with Blacktown Arts Centre and its development has been supported by Blacktown City Council.

Supporters: Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, Blacktown City Council.