A courageous story that inspired the roaming spectacular, The Giants at the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival, Black Swan State Theatre Company presents the Australian premiere season of The Lighthouse Girl in Albany and Perth this April.
Fay, a sweet young girl, lives an isolated life with her lighthouse keeper father on the bleak, windswept Breaksea Island in the Great Southern region of WA. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Fay finds purpose in transcribing Morse code messages from soldiers stationed offshore, becoming their last hope of getting messages to their loved ones before heading to the front line.
On the other side of the country in rural Victoria, Charlie and his best mate Jim abandon the outback for the excitement and adventure of seeing the world. As soldiers in the Light Horse Brigade, they quickly discover the brutal realities of life on the frontline.
Entwining the lives of Fay and Charlie, The Lighthouse Girl brings to life the stories of those left at home during the war waiting, wondering, hoping… and the struggles of the young men who valiantly enlisted to help defend their country.
Based on Albany author Dianne Wolfer’s award-winning acclaimed novels Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy, this evocatively written play by Hellie Turner embodies a powerful and truthful sense of a pivotal time in Australia’s development as a nation.
“My understanding of war was once a history lesson and a news bulletin,” said playwright Hellie Turner in the March edition of The Listening Post. “I didn’t really know much. Not really. I know more now. I see it more clearly. But in some ways, I understand much less. What I do know however, is that writing this play has deepened my gratitude forever, for never having had to encounter the real thing.”
Hellie Turner is a veteran playwright, director and dramaturg, having worked extensively across the WA theatre sector. She has numerous awards and production credits to her name, including Bench, Sardines, Billy Windlock, Windows, Bone Dry, Anytown, Mad Fred, Bela Kiz, The Plough and the Stars, The Dreaming Hill and Project Xan.
Following the season of The Lighthouse Girl, Hellie’s most recent play Self Portrait, Masturbating will be performed as part of WAAPA’s Petit Fours season. The difference between these two plays is a vivid testimony to the diversity of playwright Hellie Turner’s work.
Director: Stuart Halusz Featuring: Daisy Coyle, Benj D’Addario, Murray Dowsett, Nick Maclaine, Alex Malone, Will McNeill, Giuseppe Rotondella Set Designer: Lawrie Cullen-Tait Costume Designer: Lynn Ferguson Lighting Designer: Joe Lui Sound Designer: Brett Smith Dramaturg: Polly Low
The Lighthouse Girl
Albany Entertainment Centre, 2 Toll Place, Albany
Season: 21 & 22 April 2017
Studio Underground – State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, 182 William Street, Perth
Season: 29 April – 14 May 2017 (preview: 28 April)
For more information, visit: www.bsstc.com.au for details.
Image: Daisy Coyle features in The Lighthouse Girl – photo by Robert Frith