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Review: Saturday Girls at 25A Belvoir Downstairs

Review By Louisa Polson

A story about two girls in the midst of their high school experience learning how to be themselves and be there for each other. ‘Saturday Girls’ is a production that is putting a story about growing up, being queer and negotiating relationships on the stage at Belvoir’s 25a theatre. Written by Miranda Michalowski a multidisciplinary artist, Saturday Girls is her second play following her debut play, Young bodies /Somebody’s in 2022. Saturday Girls draws on the experiences of balancing relationships with friendships, the dramas of exploring your sexual identity and learning to be comfortable with your sense of self. This is a witty and light-hearted play that knows not to take itself too seriously without washing over some hefty themes.

The play opens with a high energy dance number, akin to something you either loved or loathed to watch in your high school assembly but either way this number sets the tone the story to unfold as you are taken back to high school.

Mym Kwa and Lucy Burke play the leading roles of best friends Sam and Joey. Both actors are spectacular as a leading duo, possessing a stunning ability playfully match the pace of two teen girls. While it could have been easy to play out this relationship between two high school girls as a bit over the top and dramatic, instead Kwa and Burke demonstrate the layers that exist in these friendships. While society often mocks teenage girls for the way they can fall out with each other for something as small as a quip remark and then make up in again in a blink of an eye. The cast and the scriptwriting shine a light on the trust and vulnerability teenage girls give to one another in these relationships, demonstrating a great deal of introspection.

While many of us have tried to leave the high school experience behind Brandon Scane does a fantastic job at reminding of you of these awkward moments you wish you could forget. Playing the role of Rory, Scane’s scenes leave you either laughing or cringing as he seeks to grab the attention of his crush Sam. Often moving through the motions of uncertainty to confidence and then regret. While the role of Gabby, played by Candice Mejias portrays the confident girl in high school that was slightly more mature and experienced than everyone else. This is a universal character that is separate from the common ‘mean girl’ trope, but has you intimidated none-the-less. Mejias plays this role so convincingly and with such strong character traits you will keep reflecting on her well after the play is over.

The hunger to consume stories created by women and about women is peaking as we learn how validating it can be to see a story presented by and for the female gaze. While this may not be an identical retelling of every girl’s experience, it is relatable and grounded in truth without poking fun at it, but still being fun. Saturday Girls is faultless, and girly and fabulous, a definite must see this August!

Image Supplied


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