Caught in the headlights of her 15th birthday, Greta wishes she could be anywhere else. And strangely enough ‘anywhere else’ is exactly where she finds herself – a peculiar through-the-looking-glass existence that transforms the weird hypocrisy of the adult world into something absurd and beautiful.
The bitchy twins who make school a misery, her almost too-romantic imaginary boyfriend, her hyperventilating parents… they all crop up in her tour of her own subconscious. But eventually, even a girl asleep has to wake up.
In recent years, Belvoir audiences have come to know and love Matthew Whittet’s distinctive voice (Seventeen, Cinderella, Old Man). Now, fresh from its season at the Adelaide Festival, Belvoir presents his hit collaboration with Windmill’s Artistic Director, Rosemary Myers – a play about being lost in the jungle of teenagerdom and coming out the other side. On stage Whittet is joined by Dylan Young (The Seagull), Amber McMahon (Angels in America), Sheridan Harbridge (Songs for the Fallen), and Ellen Steele (Big Bad Wolf, Grug).
“Girl Asleep is about closing the doors of childhood and opening up the strange and incongruous doors of adolescence,” says writer Matthew Whittet. “Of the vast changes that occur inside the minds, hearts and bodies of kids at this crazy time of life. Of how truly difficult it is to be a teenager.”
“Of how enormous things are. Of how emotional things can be, and how exhilarating the ride can be. The peaks are high, and the troughs are not. They’re the times I look back on as an adult, and know that the seeds of who I am now were planted at those exact moments.”
“That only now can I see how important certain moments were when I was 14 or 15. That some of the battles I fought then were the ones that define so much of who I am now,” added Whittet.
Since its theatrical premiere, the team behind Girl Asleep have adapted the play into a feature film which has won the CinefestOz prize, MIFF Critics’ Choice and the Grand Jury Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, captivating audiences around the world. The Belvoir season gives both theatre and film audiences a unique chance to see the live theatre production.
Part fable and part lipstick-smeared vigilante escapade, this is a girl’s own adventure. Heroism and gender implode in a gaudy and gawky rite-of-passage story like you’ve never seen. Or have chosen to forget. You’re never too old for this happy mayhem. Fifteen never dies!
Director: Rosemary Myers Featuring: Sheridan Harbridge, Amber McMahon, Ellen Steele, Matthew Whittet, Dylan Young Set & Costume Designer: Jonathon Oxlade Lighting Designer: Richard Vabre Original Soundtrack: Luke Smiles (motion laboratories) Movement Consultant: Gabrielle Nankivell
Belvoir Upstairs Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills
Season: 4 – 24 December 2016 (previews: 2 & 3 December)
Information and Bookings: www.belvoir.com.au
Image: Amber McMahon stars in Belvoir’s production of Girl Asleep – photo by Brett Boardman