"What a lot of people have loved about the show is how unashamedly Australian it is."
Costume changes can be a tricky business in musical theatre. A performer could have just a minute or two to get out of one outfit and into the next.
Naturally there are plenty of tricks employed by costume designers to make a quick changeover easier. Dressing your ensemble in vintage dresses with their original 60-year-old zippers certainly makes this challenging for performers and dressers alike.
But the cast of Ladies In Black wouldn't have it any other way. When they slip those vintage dresses on they're halfway to becoming the ladies of 1950s Sydney, working at Goodes department store, sharing their lives, their stories and their hopes for a rapidly changing future.
"The scenes are quite short so some times you do a costume change for three lines and then run off and do another one."
"It was mayhem at the beginning," says Lucy Maunder with a laugh. Maunder has just finished a run performing Ladies In Black at QPAC in Queensland before the musical kicks off Melbourne Theatre Company's 2016 season.
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"The scenes are quite short so some times you do a costume change for three lines and then run off and do another one. There's been some funny things happen but that's just live theatre. We're fine now.
"But Gabriela Tylesova has done an amazing job," Maunder says proudly. "The costumes are so beautiful. The '50s were quite uptight in terms of women and the way women were supposed to behave and hold themselves. The costumes, the shoes and the hair, once that all comes together you certainly feel much less contemporary."
Based on the Australian novel, The Women In Black by Madeleine St John, this original Australian musical features the songwriting talents of Tim Finn and a book by Carolyn Burns.
While Australian theatre often reflects Australian experiences in our own accent it's much rarer to see ourselves on stage in a musical, unless it's a philandering spin-bowler, a cock in a frock on a rock or a Zegna-suited former Prime Minister.
Maunder thinks Ladies In Black is connecting with audiences who enjoy seeing a version of themselves in the production.
"What a lot of people have loved about the show is how unashamedly Australian it is. Ladies In Black is very nostalgic and people can relate to everything that is being said. Especially people of that generation who lived through it.
"There are little things that come up in the script that you hear them laughing at. My dad came to see it and at the end said to [cast member] Deidre Rubenstein, 'that character you played, she is my mother'. Sitting around a table with a teapot and the girls talking about men. They're not all upper class people. It's very human."
While the songs of Finn are sure to attract a music-loving audience, Maunder is happy that audiences are being exposed to a cast of strong women on stage.
"It's awesome. The cast is great and we get on so well. We've all been joined at the hip. We've just had such a lovely time.
"And it really helps when you perform a piece that really moves the audience. It's such a great piece to celebrate women."