"The heart-stopping musical that left me in tears."

A huge sob caught in my throat.  My eyes darted around the theatre to see if anyone heard, only to see others with tears in their eyes.

This is not what I expected at a musical.

I love musicals. Musicals make me happy.

Not this musical.

This musical is about domestic violence. And it’s brilliant.

B-Girl is a musical about domestic violence. Image supplied.

B-Girl at the Sydney Opera House is a glam-rock musical odyssey that tackles domestic violence themes with the fury it deserves.

Created by iOTA, award winning actor, singer and composer, and director Craig Ilott the highly original storyline pushes you back in your seat.

It’s the story of Rachel, played savagely by Blazey Best, a downtrodden mousy woman in a violent marriage who escapes into her alter-ego, Clifford North, played with buckets of swagger by iOTA.

“Craig came up with the idea,” says iOTA.  “It’s the story of a girl in an abusive relationship who escapes into a fantasy world of glam rock. I thought about it for five seconds and then said let’s do it. We’re both pretty sensitive guys and we can put ourselves in situations like that. We certainly came at it with empathy and compassion.”

iOTA to the right. Image supplied.

I found it unsual that Rachel’s alter ego is male.

“Cliff isn’t really male. He’s more gender fluid. It’s about strength and confidence. It’s about freedom, losing the freedom and trying to regain it. It’s about finding confidence through some other influence,” he says.

Flipping like a fish on a jetty, the show is both inspiring and heart wrenching.

The contrast is eerily depicted in one spoken word piece – Swing. Clifford starts singing about the joy a young girl feels when her dad pushes her on a swing.


“Like the one that daddy first took her to and helped her gently onto the seat.

Her hands gripped firm to the chain. 

He pulled her back and she awaits the release.

She drops through the air. The breeze in her hair.

The pit of her stomach rushing up and bursting into her chest and onto her smiling face and nothing and nowhere is better than this place.

May life always feel this way. 

She’s never gunna forget the day when she took her first swing.” 

iOTA is an award-winning actor. Image supplied.

But when Rachel replies it takes a dark turn.

“He told her she was ugly like a witch.

She was beyond love.

He was the only one that would put up with that face.

And she would die without him.

And the earth began to crack and quake.

And thunder hammered the sky.

And lightening shrieked from his eyes and black tar spewed from his mouth as he gripped her neck and pinned her to the wall.

He raised his fist and she awaits the release.

The pit of her stomach rushing up and bursting into her chest and onto her grimaced face and nothing and nowhere is worse than this place.

My life will never again be safe.

She’s never gunna forget the day when he took his first swing.”

“She’s never gunna forget the day when he took his first swing.” Image supplied.

Yep, that’s when I sobbed.

“I just sat down and wrote it and it was an intense couple of hours. I was exhausted. But as soon as I read it again I knew it was powerful. It’s a real turning point in the show,” he says.

iOTA says he’s aware the subject matter may turn people off seeing B-Girl.

“It may scare people off. It’s hard. But I feel like we want talk about it because you have to. No matter how uncomfortable.”

After seeing the show a representative from Domestic Violence NSW wrote iOTA a letter saying how touched she was and that’d they’d love for him to become an ambassador.

B-Girl is on at the Sydney Opera House until June 21 and plans to tour nationally.

Related Christine Anu on the moment she decided to leave an abusive relationship. 

Related Domestic violence: Rosie Batty appeals for more media freedom to report on family violence.

Related Australian police deal with a domestic violence matter every 2 minutes.