On Van Badham's gravestone, will be the words from the first published review of her work in the Daily Telegraph: "pointless, predictable, sporadically amusing. 3/10".
Her memory of the review is wrong, as it turns out, as is the publication*, but no matter - the playwright and political rabble-rouser is still a long way from the grave.
Still very much alive and kicking, punching, gouging, writing, speaking, provoking and tweeting.
By the time she dies, she may change her mind to one of the more favourable reviews by numerous British publications:
"One of the leading voices of her generation" (Time Out); "a major talent" (The Guardian); or "the brilliant Australian playwright" (The Independent).
When we talk, on a park bench overlooking Botany Bay near her parents' house at Sans Souci, her father and best friend has just died, eight months after a diagnosis of lung cancer.
(Her mother and dying father can be seen in an offbeat Christmas message posted on YouTube, Badham Family Conversations, urging people not to smoke.)
She and her mother were both there as he drew his last breath, but it was a good death.
"We held him and told him that we loved him and that we would be OK," she said. "We told him he was an amazing father. There was nothing left unsaid.
"How lucky for a child to have that kind of relationship with her father."
Yet even at this time, between the death and the funeral, Badham is an unstoppable force of nature, talking at high speed for almost two hours until the exhausted interviewer is forced to call a halt.
When she's not talking, she's tweeting to her 3827 followers - anything up to 500 tweets and retweets over a 24-hour period is not uncommon.
Perhaps it's not surprising then, that she's attracted the attention of a troll, who has taunted her with the vilest barbs about her politics, her gender, her dead father.
When he started tweeting her pornographic images, she went to the police.
It's all part of the colourful narrative of the self-described anarcho-communist ("Some days, I am more of an anarcho-syndicalist and some days more of a libertarian communist"), who chose theatre as her means of revolution.
Despite growing up in Sydney, living 10 years in London and currently working in Melbourne, it is Wollongong that she calls home. She attended university in the Gong, living in Bulli, Coalcliff and Coledale, studying three degrees over nine years.
"There is nowhere else like that in the world that also has a view of a steelworks," she said.
"It's a city of intense juxtaposition. I learned how to be an artist there.
"You have to make your own fun. Do you smoke bongs and sit by the beach all day or do you make a magazine, do posters, write booklets?
"Because you are an hour away from Sydney, it's your opportunity to process the canon on your own.
"Wollongong is the place of my dreams and imagination. It's an imaginary country between childhood and adulthood."
While studying, Badham immersed herself in student politics, earning notoriety as the woman who burned an image of John Howard in a campaign against voluntary student unionism.
"Isn't it said that university students are supposed to be intelligent," opined one Mercury letter-writer.
"Yet we get people like Vanessa Badham giving us a load of rhetoric and burning a poster of John Howard.
"If the student union is half as good as she says it is, why doesn't she and her cohorts get off their backsides?
"It shouldn't be so hard to convince students to pay fees voluntarily."
Eventually, Howard had the last laugh, winning the 2001 "Tampa" election and forcing Badham to flee the country in despair, becoming an exchange student at the University of Sheffield in the UK.
Yet the move proved to be the making of her, discovered by her tutor, who saw an exciting new talent in her play, Kitchen, about two human resources managers from North Wollongong.
The synopsis is simple: He loses his job so she turns him into domestic labour. She locks him out of the fridge so he tortures her. She then goes to seduce him and hits him over the head with the frying pan. She then bakes him and eats him while he is still alive.
The play was turned down by Theatre South in Wollongong just before that company died but was a smash hit at the Edinburgh International Festival and later transferred to London.
It gives an idea of Badham's style - eclectic, expansive, political, confronting and more than a little crazy.
The play's success paved the way for a blossoming career in London.
Now Vanessa Badham became Van Badham ("The name gets more traction because you could be a man") and wrote radio plays and television scripts for the BBC; worked for avant-garde theatre companies; won awards and accolades; and completed a two-year residency at the London Academy for Drama and Dramatic Art.
It all came to a shuddering halt with the GFC, when she found herself living next to a Ugandan crack whore who serviced clients in the stairwell of a cramped Pimlico bedsit that had no power and no hot water. And the relationship with her unemployed boyfriend was fast disintegrating.
Then, she found herself travelling through London with a head-injury after an argument with her boyfriend, watching rioters burn and loot that city. It was time to get out.
When she arrived in Melbourne on October 3, 2010, to take up a job as associate artist at the Malthouse Theatre, it was the start of the rest of her life.
"I had my belongings in a shipping container, I had quit smoking, broken up with my long-term partner, moved house, moved to another country and started a new job," she said.
"All on the same day."
Badham returns to Wollongong next week for the world premiere of her latest work, The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars.
The play - to be staged until April 27 at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre - is a reworking of the Greek myth of Ariadne, who fell in love with a prince, Theseus, and helped him escape from a maze inhabited by the Minotaur, a mythical bull.
The updated version follows the story of Marion, an artist, struggling with the imperfections of everyday life in her quest for perfect love. "The play is about confronting the bull, which has the ability to destroy but which therefore is also an act of creation," Badham said.
If the story seems familiar - Badham is also writing a booklet on the feminist guide to internet dating - this seeker of true love offers no excuses.
"The great gift of writing is that you can work your way through your own life," she said.
"Because unless it's sincere, it has no meaning. Even fiction only works if it's really true."
The play grew out of a commission from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford when Badham's finances were low.
Her challenge was to write a play inspired by an ancient ceramic shard in the museum's collection, showing a man going eye to eye with a bull. "This is why we will never run out of drama," Badham said.
"Even if we solve all our political problems and achieve world peace, we will always fall in love with the wrong people or f--- up our relationships."
It's hard to see Van Badham ever running out of material.
The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars is at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in Wollongong from Wednesday, April 17, to Saturday, April 27. Details: merrigong.com.au.
*The actual publication was the Sun-Herald, whose reviewer called her play, Dole Diary, "amusing only in short bursts. All too predictable. 3/10".