In honour of International Women’s Day this Friday’s episode of Neighbours will make Australian television history.
Friday’s episode of the long-running drama will star only female members of the cast for the first time ever, in an episode that was also written and directed by women, a rarity in the Australian television industry.
In order to make this pivotal TV moment a reality, however, fans had to suffer through one of the shows most devastating episodes this week following the death of the beloved character Sonya Rebecchi (Eve Morey), who passed away from ovarian cancer.
Side note – here’s what it’d look like if a man spent a day as a woman… make sure you watch this right to the end. Post continues after video.
In an episode that literally brought fans to tears (one of Australia’s top Instagram influencers, Tully Smyth, even posted a video of herself sobbing after watching the episode) Sonya died in her husband Toadie’s (Ryan Moloney) arms on a beach while watching her kids play. The cancer had spread to her brain and some of her last words were “You can’t tell me there’s a heaven. This is it − I’m never going to see you and the kids again.”
It is because of her death that Ramsay Street will look a little different on Friday, as some of the women take time out to honour one of Sonya’s final wishes – to acknowledge, celebrate and support women, to share their female heroes with each other and to help those in need.
Piper (Mavournee Hazel) and Terese Willis (Rebekah Elmaloglou) resolve to finish one of Sonya’s final community initiatives and package together all the donations for the women’s shelter and distribute them.
As the pair commence rallying their fellow neighbours to assist them, Piper decides that she will interview each of the women in Ramsay Street about their female heroes for a special episode on her video blog.
And, just for a moment all the drama from the long-running soapie fades away, as they each reflect on the women that have helped shape them, inspire them and motivate them.
Neighbours actress Jackie Woodburne, who has been starring on the series for more than 25 years, said the female-focused episode is a timely reminder that the television industry still has a lot of work to do.