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Under His Eye: This 'The Handmaid's Tale' Pop-Up Has Brought Gilead to Sydney's Pitt Street Mall

'The Handmaid's Tale' is back for season five, and red-adorned handmaids have descended upon the Sydney CBD's main shopping strip.
By Sarah Ward
September 20, 2022
By Sarah Ward
September 20, 2022

Last week in Sydney, a Heartbreak High-themed uniform shop in Newtown was handing out free threads. This week, handmaids are taking over the Pitt Street Mall in their red-hued attire. Ever wondered what the Harbour City would look like if it fell under Gilead's reach — and no, we're not talking about the Sydney's masterplanned community called Gilead? Then you just need to pop by the CBD to find out.

Whether you're a local or you'll just be visiting this week, you can spot SBS' The Handmaid's Tale pop-up opposite Myer until Sunday, September 25. The show returned just last week, on Thursday, September 15, for its fifth and penultimate season, if you're wondering why Australia is currently under his eye.

Visitors to the Pitt Street Mall will spot two things: a shop window filled with red-dressed mannequins, all wearing the requisite handmaids' getup, and also a real-life handmaid keeping watch.

The inspiration for filling a store display with handmaid attire, other than celebrating the series? A quote from the show: "they should have never given us uniforms if they didn't want us to be an army".

And the vibe? Not quite on the eerie level of the show's 2017 SXSW promotional stunt, which saw the Austin festival filled with handmaids — a concept that hit Sydney as well in 2018 — but expect to feel tense anyway.

It's been a big year or so around Australia for these kinds of pop culture-themed displays, including a Rick and Morty #wormageddon scene in Sydney also this month, and everything from House of the Dragon, The Gray Man and Everything Everywhere All At Once through to Squid Game, Stranger Things and Borat-inspired fun across both the NSW capital and Melbourne. This is the only one that'll have you saying "praise be" and "blessed be", though.

Find SBS' The Handmaid's Tale pop-up in Sydney's Pitt Street Mall, Pitt Street – opposite Myer — until Sunday, September 25. The fifth season of The Handmaid's Tale airs weekly in Australia via SBS TV and SBS On Demand.

Published on September 20, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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