Wharf 1, Sydney
February 22, 2018

 “There are two types of women in this world. Those that think family violence would never happen to them and those that know it could happen to anyone.”

So says the protagonist in Anna Barnes’ new one-woman play Lethal Indifference – a 90-minute monologue based on her own personal experience.

Emily Barclay in Lethal Indifference. Photograph © Prudence Upton

Barnes, who won the STC’s Patrick White Playwright’s Award in 2012, also works as a publicist for a family violence legal service in Melbourne. Invited to the coroner’s court, she heard the inquest into the death of a woman around the same age as herself who was murdered by her partner. It was a shockingly brutal case, and Barnes couldn’t stop thinking about it. As she candidly admits in the theatre program, she wanted someone else to write about it or cover it in a journalistic way. But it wasn’t to be. “The media weren’t interested in telling this story. So I ended up having to do it myself,” she says.

The resulting play, which she called Lethal Indifference, was workshopped as part of Sydney Theatre Company’s Rough Drafts program...