My Giddy Aunt

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Whip-smart and fabulously funny, the women of vaudeville entertained Australia and challenged ideas of how women should behave.

Opening a forgotten case of photographs, Sharon Connolly begins a search for the great aunt she never knew. Gladys Shaw was a whistling comedian, a singer and saxophonist, an eccentric dancer and a whip cracker - one of the 'girls' who once made Australia laugh. They were musical comics, character actors and male impersonators in an entertainment industry being transformed by cinema and radio. They parodied men, played naive maidens and maiden aunts, but they were modern women - independent, determined and sometimes wild. And they lived in a world of changing ideas about how women were expected to behave and dress.

Filmmaker Sharon Connolly finds a sisterhood of jesters who charmed and surprised the backblocks, towns and big cities of Australia and New Zealand during the early 20th century.

With a foreword by historian Professor Ann Curthoys, My Giddy Aunt tells how funny girls became entertaining women, while negotiating a society made for men.